Agata Zysiak's research aims to examine the postwar reconstruction of the Polish academic system as a local articulation of a more global process – democratization of access to higher education. In Eastern Europe postwar changes paved the way to build a socialistic university, which can be seen as one of many answers to a rising need for university reform and education for the working classes. In this problem-driven study she examines the case of Poland, particularly a project of building university in the biggest industrial Polish center: Lodz. In four parts I examine: 1) construction of normative models of traditional vs modern university; 2) creation of a new social imaginary; 3) results of educational reforms, upward mobility and educational stratification in Poland up to the 1990s; 4) limits of social change and reproduction of the academic field.
Agata Zysiak, PhD, a sociologist of culture and urban activist, works at the Institute for Social Studies at University of Warsaw, is involved in several research projects concerning industrial cities, socialist academia and modernity. She also served as a visiting scholar at University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Wayne State University in Detroit and Free University in Berlin. Her postdoctoral research is a comparative study of working class in Detroit and Lodz.