As of 2020, Europe is in a permanent state of emergency. The SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus pandemic has shown how the worst dreams of modern society can come true. The health failure profession and the problems of social isolation have shed new light on other phenomena that determine the state of European cultures. Access to information alongside the spread of false information, the possibility of a multifaceted acquisition of knowledge, and the ever-accelerating progress of post-truth, as well as war, inflation and widespread poverty coupled with technological progress, are just some of the phenomena that characterize Europe in 2022. To paraphrase the words of Zygmunt Bauman, Europe is under siege, and the widespread anxiety about tomorrow's risks forces an anthropological reflection on the state of culture and contemporary society. How are today's threats different from those with which Europe has struggled in past centuries? False information, social unrest, wars, epidemics and environmental threats in the 21st century changed their face due to the functioning of new media and postmodern changes. The state of contingency described by Anthony Giddens in The Consequences of Modernity prompts reflection on the condition of generations in the third decade of the 21st century. European societies grew up convinced of the limitless possibilities offered by technology, advances in science, medical advances and universal access to information. Contemporary threats, revealing the naivety of faith in the unlimited possibilities of man, show how culture satisfies the need for trust and a sense of security. As mentioned earlier, are many of the risks, such as false information, undermining authority, and transforming expert systems and cultural ways of dealing with threats? Do contemporary cultural phenomena respond to the need to face what is beyond us?

  • Vol 22 No 2 (2022)

    Studia Etnologiczne i Antropologiczne, vol. 22 (2)

    In this edition, we refer to Jan Kubik's famous book "The Power of Symbols Against the Symbols of Power. "The Rise of Solidarity and the Fall of State Socialism in Poland" (1994), in which political power was shown as the art of using symbols or reproducing national discourses. We want to treat Kubik's perspective - in these troubled times - as a pretext to discuss the role of symbols in gaining, manifesting and questioning power both in time and space. We especially encourage you to submit articles on the relationship between power and clothing, food, religion, violence, political staging and cultural heritage.

  • Vol 22 No 1 (2022)

    Studia Etnologiczne i Antropologiczne, vol. 22 (1)


    A "big, beautiful wall" along the border with Mexico is unlikely to be completed in the foreseeable future. But the idea itself will not disappear soon and will probably continue to heat up the political atmosphere in the US for years to come. But what do we need a wall on a political border today for? After all, a hard border - one of the first associations of which is this architectural form - is a lofty and unfriendly line, which disturbs the need to move, extremely important for contemporary man. Should this phenomenon be treated as "phantom yearning for borders” (to use a Frank Jacobs’ phrase) - or maybe there is something more behind it; perhaps a border wall is once again something necessary for the prosperity and development of the modern state, and recently also for the epidemic security? Answering these questions is even more difficult insofar as the wall is rarely an effective barrier against intruders. A border wall does not protect against migration or germs. That was the case in the times of Emperor Hadrian - it is no different under President Donald Trump. A wall - be it of stone, steel or concrete - can at most slow down or restrict human mobility. Reason? In the today's world, stable, clearly defined borders simply do not exist. (Or perhaps they have never existed?). What is outside cannot be precisely separated today from what is inside. Nowadays borders do not coincide with sovereignty or political power. Does a state end at its borders, or perhaps only there where its "national" mobile telephony network no longer reaches, or where its currency ceases to exist? Answers to these questions are not easy for anybody. Thinking of the "political edges" of a state, we most often think of land borders (the only exception in this respect may be “island nations"). This is largely due to our attachment to land - a kind of terracentrism. And so Wikipedia informs that Poland is bordered only with 7 countries. However, it considers land borders only. This is all the more puzzling since their importance in international contacts is gradually decreasing, while the role of sea, air and... digital routes is increasing. All of them today are becoming true corridors in the global system of exchange and communication. Despite the galloping globalisation, borders seem to be needed as never before.
    This is due to the social inequalities in the world, which today have clearly a spatial character. Today, the standard of living in individual countries can vary dramatically, and migration - from poor to rich countries - is a matter of social advancement. That is why the borders in the modern word differ from those of yesterday, but also have some elements in common. Namely, they are ubiquitous, dynamic, fragmented and often deeply hidden and closely linked to the world of advanced digital technologies. In volume 22 (1) of “Studia Etnologiczne i Antropologiczne" we want to consider what physical borders are now - and what they once were. And all sorts of boundary structures - walls, small walls and fences - are good pretext for such considerations. These, as we believe, speak a lot about the idea of borderness over time.\

    In this volume, we particularly encourage to reflect on the following set of topics: 

    • the dynamics of border infrastructure: guardhouses, fences, checkpoints, interstate shopping centres, etc.,
    • the wall, small wall and fences as historical phenomena, connected with specific socio-cultural phenomena,
    • relations between the wall ... and the state,
    • the wall as a source of violence and aggression, 
    • the role of the wall in the construction of a "mystic geography". 
    Vol 21 No 2 (2021)

    Council of the   journal “Studia Etnologiczne i Antropologiczne", a former President of the Polish Ethnological Society and a Director of the former Institute of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology in Cieszyn, a long-term lecturer in ethnology and ethnography at University of Wrocław, and above all – an ethnologist who has been studying the culture dynamics of Poland for many years using the ethnogeographic and the retrogressive methods.

    Therefore, we would like to devote a part of this year's volume 21 (2) to the manuscripts  written by friends and fellows of the Professor, both from Poland and abroad. The topics of the proposed articles may concern any research issues related to the ethnography of Central and Eastern Europe.

    Since 2021, “Studia Etnologiczne i Antropologiczne" will have been published twice a year. For the publication for the second half of 2021, we are also accepting manuscripts whose common denominator will be culture (in) isolation.

    Vol 21 No 1 (2021)

    We would like to devote the next volume of Journal of Ethnology and Anthropology to the NIGHT category.

    Night is still an underestimated object of ​​anthropology research, constituting a methodological and theoretical challenge. Looking at our everyday life from the point of view of the 24-hour day cycle, the night is an extremely important yet still inaccurately known part of reality (enough to mention anthropologists whose research in the vast majority has concerned the day, not the night). There is no point in asking if the night can be a valuable cognitive perspective. One should rather ask: what methods should be used to investigate it or how to separate human psychophysical and cultural conditions? What is the night for a contemporary person, what purposes does it serve, what does it change? The night has always been an important part of human activity in many cultures: social and religious practices, entertainment, hygiene or trade. For instance, in Islam it is a time of many religious practices (“five scared nights” just to mention a big religious festival).   In today's world the importance of night has increased even further. As a result of climate change, outbreaks of violence and aggression, overpopulation, material poverty – or quite recently – pandemic of COVID-19 –the night has become a time of various possibilities during which a person can make even a periodic correction of their life situation. Murray Melbin (1987) proposed once a conception of the night as a metaphorical frontier – a “fertile” and still undeveloped world, extremely attractive especially for a capitalistic and urban lifestyles. Although the contemporary increase in nocturnal research has complicated this picture (Gallan and Gibson 2011, Hadfield 2015, Williams 2008 and others), we can reuse this metaphor to develop a more complex view showing an increasing multiplicity of the night which is fragmented, qualitatively different and highly determined both culturally and biologically. Therefore, we encourage a multidimensional and transdisciplinary approach to the issue of night – its role, status, understanding, research perspectives, theoretical framework and terminology.

    In particular, we will be interested in the following themes:

    1. night in the city,
    2. technology and night infrastructure,
    3. night economy and consumption,
    4. night conceptualizations,
    5. night as a natural resource,
    6. "nocturnal animals" and social practices,
    7. theorizing of the night and research perspectives,
    8. night as a relevant context for traditional narratives and discources.

    Submission:  www.journals.us.edu.pl  (15 January 2021- deadline).

  • Vol 20 (2020)

    ”Studia Etnologiczne i Antropologiczne” has been published at the Cieszyn seat of the University of Silesia for more than 20 years – soon the reader will get the twenty first volume of the annual journal. Is it a lot? It seems that twenty years makes it possible to call this magazine quite young, but at the same time it should be noted that this period has brought many experiences. Over the past few decades, various changes have taken place at an unprecedented speed in all spheres of life of people inhabiting every corner of the world. A good journal can be called the one which keeps up with these processes - "Studia Etnologiczne i Anthropologiczne” should be, without any doubt, included in this group.

    The issues discussed in it create, as the title suggests, a wide and colourful range of topics, from manifestations of folk culture, identities of small and smallest local communities to the socio-cultural effects of the globalisation processes. From the discussions of the world cultural heritage to the search for the essence of ethnic and national borderlands. From the discussions of the persistence of folk art to the search for answers to the question of how the human culture exists and what transformations it is undergoing.

  • Vol 19 (2019)

    Volume 19 of "Studia Etnologiczne i Anthropologiczne” contains articles whose “common denominator” is the issue of cultural heritage and cultural identity. Documentation, preservation and revitalization of various manifestations of cultural heritage, in this issue of the journal, are discussed, inter alia, on the example of: Mental maps, resources of the Polish Ethnographic Atlas, Silesian culinary art, “folk fashion”, and a reflection on preserving and redefining the cultural identity of groups described in individual articles, a Polish community in Zaolzie, Ukrainians, "Namibian Czechs", Kashubians and people living in the Polish-Lithuanian borderland, to whom attention was paid during field work by the authors publishing in this issue of "SEiA", are, in ethnology and cultural anthropology, invariably inexhaustible research areas of scientific exploration, undertaken in various forms, taking into account different theoretical perspectives.

  • Vol 18 (2018)

    Volume 18 of "Studia Etnologiczne i Antropologiczne” contains texts from various research areas, and a list of Authors and the languages in which the articles are written confirm that the journal maintains its wide range and an international character.

    This issue of "Studia Etnologiczne i Antropologiczne” is opened with articles that still refer to the previous seventeenth volume and are the continuation of the themes contained there concerning cultural ecology (Sebastian Latocha) and contemporary African problems (Ignacy Nasalski).

    The articles published in the second section refer mostly to the issue of tradition. Individual articles present descriptions of tradition in its various versions, transformations, variants, or areas of culture. The third thematic block of Volume 18 of "SEiA", entitled Symbolical and axiological interpretations of the world, contains articles being the analysis of human beliefs, values and ways of perceiving and organising space.

    Reports on selected current projects and important events for Polish ethnology and anthropology supplement this issue of the journal.

  • Vol 17 (2017)

    The volume begins with articles on broadly understood cultural ecology. This is not an coincidence. The Cieszyn Centre of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology has been dealing with this issue for many years, and recently, on this basis, a new specialization has been created as part of the second cycle programme. Ecology, however, is not all. The volume contains also, which we are particularly pleased to note, articles focused on Africa. This is a continent which, due to both its uniqueness and the universality of its problems, is attracting more and more attention from researchers. This is also visible in our journal. In the Spojrzenie na Afrykę [The View on Africa] section you will find, among other things, information on the maladies of education among post-pastoral communities, the consequences and specificity of globalisation and African consumerism, colonial discourse and its contemporary reminiscences, or the perception of time. All of this has been presented in original research papers. The issue ends with texts whose binding aspect is a typically anthropological perspective (or, if you prefer, Antropologiczne konteksty kultury [Anthropological Contexts of Culture]).

  • Vol 16 (2016)

    Each time we say farewell to a paradigm, a research area, a condition for the practice of anthropology or history in general, it soon turns out that it returns in a different, new form and not necessarily as a farce, as a classic of social thought would say. With the famous “end of history” of Francis Fukuyama we were supposed to move to a liberal society free of social frictions, formed by reference to the individual as the starting point of politics and social governance. Although politics and economics are still based on this individualistic paradigm, symptoms of an attempt to build community anew can be noticed. These attempts are additionally strengthened by the now permanent financial crisis, which began in 2008, or by the European universalism bursting at the seams. Here, from the anthropologist's point of view, the first issue arises, namely: how to link these global processes to local forms of identity or community generation? It is hard to find a direct impact of financial transactions made thousands of kilometres away from Poland on the specific community of allotment garden users and their struggle to maintain them. What links both processes is placing the intertwining of economics, culture, and ideology, for which "profitability" is the point of reference, into the global transformations. Here, of course, the problem of the anthropologist's involvement in research appears, and it is a problem not so much of research ethics as of the ethics of the researchers, that is, what set of values they will share. The so-called engagement turn in anthropology and ethnographic research has already been signalled in Poland and is more and more often treated as a basic paradigm. In the present publication we propose to look at this change from the perspective of attempts to set artistic and animation practices to ethnographic research.
     Such analyses, supplemented with a review of theories concerning methodology of this sort of research, constitute an attempt to identify the "zero degree" of practising anthropology.

  • Vol 15 (2015)

    Starting from 2015, "Studia Etnologiczne i Antropologiczne", in addition to articles, dissertations and research reports will publish reviews and reports, and in subsequent issues it is planned to create a "Varia” section, containing, inter alia, communications, discussions, and a chronicle. In volume 15 - published in the new formula - the "Articles" section consists of three parts:

    • Transformations of modern city-space;
    • City and urbanity - between order and the elements;
    • Experiencing the city and identity of a place.

    In the first part - devoted to the transformations currently taking place in urban space - the following are discussed: the importance of nature in the city; the element and order of urban space; new trends, new needs of city dwellers.
    In the second part - focused on the order/vitality of urban space - the following is presented: the urban street as a space of political life; the city as a space of cultural performance; the case of entertainment in the city: shoefiti; the process of dramatisation of urban space; Kiev’s Maidan as symbol of new Ukraine; the specificity of the Omdurman street. The third part - experiencing the city and identity of a place - contains articles, inter alia devoted to the soundscape of the place of residence; Urbexers - explorers of a desolate city; contemporary self-identifications of Zaolzie residents.

  • Globalisation as a challenge for the preservation and propagation of cultural heritage in Central and Eastern Europe.
    Vol 14 (2014)

    Knowledge about the process of globalisation, its directions and effects is incoherent, dispersed, and the term globalisation itself is understood and interpreted in various ways. Therefore it is not easy to link globalisation and cultural heritage, but the authors of the contributions published in the next volume of "Studia Etnologiczne i Antropologiczne" decided to overcome this difficulty.
     Globalisation is a serious challenge for cultural heritage. One aspect of this challenge is the obvious threat in the form of the most important mechanism of globalization, namely homogenization, the universal desire to standardize and simplify all contents, including the content from the field of culture. The second aspect is a chance to introduce cultural heritage - national and local - into the global circulation of knowledge about the world, i.e. into the circulation providing a unique opportunity to appear on a global scale. The publication is above all addressed to ethnologists, sociologists, culture scientists, but also people dealing with the propagation of cultural heritage on a daily basis. The work addresses, among other things, the impact of globalisation on human identity, presents the role of dissemination of cultural heritage in a global reality and shows the transformations affecting cultural heritage in the era of globalisation.

  • Cultural areas of the contemporary city - functions and borderlands
    Vol 13 (2013)

    The common feature of the texts in this volume is an attempt to capture and interpret the semantic landscape of the city, together with a multidimensional analysis of dynamic transformations the urban cultural areas are subject to. The collected articles demonstrate that space of the contemporary city is a subject of research interests of representatives of various scientific disciplines: sociologists, cultural scientists, architects, ethnologists and cultural anthropologists. An interdisciplinary reflection, which enables multifaceted references and comparisons, has made it possible to highlight, from various perspectives, the problem of perception and evaluation of the city, functional and symbolic transformations taking place in it, or to indicate, on concrete examples, the intensity and consequences of intercultural contacts in the shaping of urban life and culture. This constitutes a measurable contribution to the deepening of knowledge necessary to explain phenomena and processes having a significant impact on the current image of urban culture. Undoubtedly, the publication has not only cognitive but also practical value, drawing attention to the importance of problems raised in the context of the quality of urban life. It should be of interest for sociologists, cultural scientists, architects, urban anthropologists and all those who, by virtue of their functions, have a real impact on urban reality.

  • Cultural heritage “excess baggage” of daily life?
    Vol 12 (2012)

    Can we talk about "excess baggage" in the context of cultural heritage? Can historical, cultural, religious - spiritual and material values, which constitute, after all, a social good, be at the same time a burden in the context of everyday life? The metaphor of "excess baggage" in relation to cultural heritage turned out to be extremely apt, as evidenced by the texts published in the Vol. 12 of "Studia Etnologiczne i Antropologiczne". Many authors note that the process of inheritance, including cultural inheritance, is complicated, multidimensional and ambiguous, as evidenced, for example, by the attitude towards the German "inheritance" in Lower Silesia, Opole Silesia, Warmia and Mazuria. This existing legacy was undoubtedly a kind of "excess baggage" for the resettlers, who became its heirs as a result of political actions. The metaphor of cultural heritage as "excess baggage" takes on a different dimension in the context of contemporary trends related to tourism, contemporary exhibition practices or organisation of domestic space. In the attitudes of consumerism and because of the need to accumulate sensations and consciously choose a lifestyle, references to cultural heritage as unnecessary ballast are observed.

    The publication is complemented by terminological considerations on cultural heritage as part of personality, an element of regional education, politics and its valuation. Activities for the preservation of cultural heritage, undertaken by international institutions, universities and associations, are also discussed.

  • Ethnology at the border
    Vol 11 (2011)

    The volume, as part of research on the contemporary cultural and social reality in ethnic and regional borderlands, has been divided into three parts. The first part presents the history of the ethnology programme at the University of Silesia. The process of formation of the team of lecturers and the process of setting research directions and creating research plans have been presented. Also short scientific biographical entries of the staff of the Institute of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology have been presented. The second part is composed of articles representative for the authors’ profile of interests, concerning the issues of socio-cultural borderlands, ethnicity and identity, anthropology of the contemporary city, traditions and cultural transformations of rural areas. The third part contains information material: a list of conferences organised by the Cieszyn centre and a list of PhD and MA theses.

  • Social and cultural problems of the contemporary city
    Vol 10 (2010)

    Another volume of this serial publication is the result of the latest research of ethnologists, sociologists and cultural anthropologists conducted in cities in Poland, Western Europe and one of the cities in Africa. It contains an overview of the history of Polish and Slovak research, research concepts and methods, and proposals of research methods. The authors describe above all the urban situation and the processes of social and cultural change taking place in the public and private spaces of contemporary (post-industrial, in particular) cities. They also emphasise the aesthetic, symbolic, ludic, ideological, etc. role played by different spaces of the city in the creation of cultural patterns, ways and styles of life, and spending time.
    The publication is addressed to ethnologists, sociologists, cultural scientists, architects, urban planners, and employees of municipal offices and cultural centres.