We need a simple straightforward word to designate the activities of people when they are not motivated by thoughts of exchange, a word that denotes autonomous, non-market-related actions through which people satisfy everyday needs — the actions which by their own nature escape bureaucratic control… that we want to defend from measurement or manipulation. The term must be broad enough to fit the preparation of food and the shaping of language, childbirth and recreation, without implying either a privatised activity […] a hobby or an irrational and primitive procedure.
Such an adjective is not at hand.
But ‘vernacular’ might serve.
Ivan Illich, Shadow Work (1981)
I am currently a fellow at Contemporary Humanism – an interdisciplinary research programme set in motion by a partnership of universities from Australia, Chile, France, and Italy.
My time is divided between Melbourne, where I am working on my doctoral dissertation at Australian Catholic University’s Institute for Religion and Critical Inquiry, Rome, where I am associated with Università LUMSA, and rural eastern Poland – Ashkenazi heartland – where I try to maintain a home.
Before joining Contemporary Humanism, I’d lived for significant periods in Austria, Italy, France, and Poland.
My ‘professional’ academic interests mainly revolve around Catholic reactions to modernity. One emphasis of my work is the period from the Syllabus Errorum to the oath against modernism, or, roughly, from Barbey d’Aurevilly to Hugo Ball; another, more closely linked to my current doctoral research, is concerned with “Catholic atheism” (Lacan, Žižek, Badiou) and Radical Orthodoxy.
I am interested to reread the ‘long 19th century’ Catholic response to modernity using some of the categories refined in the 20th and early 21st. My emphasis is particularly on the notion of “progress,” the dichotomy fiction-reality, and connected questions of the representational, the metaphoric – and the poetic and poietic.
These enquiries have led me to an interest in the field referred to as “historical Jesus” studies (Leben-Jesu-Forschung), and iconoclasm.
Outside the scope of my doctorate, I’ve worked – with varying degree of seriousness – on Hermann von Keyserling, Hegel and Heidegger (particularly Gesamtausgabe vol. 32), mimetic theory (Girard, Descombes), and degrowth (Georgescu-Roegen).
My long-standing admiration for Roy Harris’s integrational approach to linguistics is sometimes echoed in my philosophical ruminations.
Among contemporary scholars, I find inspiration in the work of, among others: Rebecca Comay, Alain Besançon, Andrzej Elżanowski, Dina Gusejnova, Theresa Kuhn, Thomas Sheehan, Catherine Malabou, Rowan Williams.
Before rejoining academia in 2018, I’d interned as an economic policy analyst with the Polish government, worked as a ‘corporate communication facilitator,’ and held teaching positions in the private sector.
I studied linguistics and philosophy at the University of Warsaw (MA, 2012) and philosophy at the Sorbonne (Paris 1).
I am a member of the Austrian Alpine Club and the Polish Society for the Protection of Birds, and engage frequently in public on the conservationist front.
Pelléas and Mélisande and The Magic Flute are, at the moment, my favourite operas. Barbara Wysocka, Robert Carsen, and Mariusz Treliński are perhaps my favourite directors.