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Dr. Thuc Linh Nguyen Vu


Friedrich Meinecke Institut

Global History

Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin

(Beurlaubt) Polish History, East European History, history of dissidence, history of migration, history of contacts between the Second and the Third World, global socialism, race and critical Whiteness Studies.

Koserstraße 20
Raum A 351
14195 Berlin

I am a Lecturer (equivalent to Assistant Professor or Wissentschaftliche Mitarbeiterin) in History at the Free University in Berlin. I earned my PhD from the European University Institute in Florence in 2019. My research interests include the history of political mobilization in late socialist Poland, the history of prisons, the history of care work, the history of migration between Vietnam and Poland, contacts between the Second and the Third World in the Global Cold War, gender history and the history of race and racism.

I am currently working on a book manuscript based on my PhD dissertation that is tentatively entitled: ‘Practices of Togetherness: Jacek Kuroń, Communities of Care and Political Opposition in Poland, 1955-1982’ which combines the history of dissidence with cultural history and the history of everyday life.

Simultaneously, I am developing my second research project on relations of exchange between Vietnam and Poland under late socialism with a particular focus on Vietnamese students in Poland.

Before joining the Free University in Berlin I was a visiting scholar at the European Institute at Columbia University in New York (2016) and at the Center for European and Mediterranean Studies at New York University (2018-19). I previously taught at Sciences Po Paris-Le Havre, the Utrecht University and the University of Passau. My research has been supported by grants from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from the Republic of Poland and the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Republic of Poland.

Winter Term 2019/2020

MA Socialist Encounters: The Second and Third World in the Global Cold War

Summer Term 2020

Racism and Whiteness: History

My book manuscript is based on my doctoral dissertation and is entitled ‘Practices of Togetherness: Jacek Kuroń, Pedagogy, Communities of Care and Political Opposition in Late Socialist Poland (1955-1982).’ Zooming in on the complex dynamics that enabled the emergence of political mobilization within the milieu around Jacek Kuroń (1934-2004) engenders a multi-layered story of political mobilization. This story involves visions and practices of political opposition ranging from resisting through survival via self-organized networks of everyday care and support to political actions that more easily fit established frames of interpreting political activism. At the heart of the life and legacy of Kuroń, one of the most prominent members of political opposition and a co-founder of the Workers’ Defense Committee (KOR), were thus communal bonds of friendships and care. In analyzing their role in political mobilization, I trace the prehistory of this specific type of socialization and culture around the milieu back to the socialist pedagogy in the mid 1950s when Kuroń was a co-founder of Walterowcy scout troops for schoolchildren. While Kuroń socialist pedagogy was known within the scouting circles thanks to the many articles and opinion pieces that he regularly published in scouting magazines, many of the young children in Walterowcy–that later became his friends and members of political opposition–imbibed socialist ideas through embodied collective practices during summer camps and meetings.

Concomitantly, I am in the early stage of my second research project on the contacts between Poland and Vietnam in the global Cold War. While this research project tracks the various contacts and modes of interaction between the two countries, my goal is to recast the story of global Cold War from the pivot point of the two medium states from the Second and Third World and the Vietnamese students in Poland in the late 1970s. Their itineraries, experiences and interactions with the Polish institutions and society encapsulate the intertwined and intimate histories of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and the Polish People’s Republic under state socialism. I focus on how the presence of the Vietnamese students in Poland and their interactions contributed to the reconfiguration of the urban and day-to-day experience of late socialism.

Articles in Peer-Reviewed Journals

“Affective Community: Jacek Kuroń’s Political Milieu in Late-Socialist Poland,” under review, Cahiers du Monde Russe.

“Out of Loneliness: Precarious Lives in the Women’s Internment Camp in Gołdap under Martial Law in Poland,” to be submitted.

Reviews in Peer-Reviewed Journals

Review of Siobhan Doucette, Books are Weapons: The Polish Opposition Press and the Overthrow of Communism, forthcoming in: European History Quarterly, forthcoming.

“Listening to Solidarity. A Review of Jack M. Bloom: Seeing Through the Eyes of the Polish Revolution”, in: History Workshop Journal, 81 (2016), 1, pp. 293-300.

Review of Katherine Lebow, Unfinished Utopia: Nowa Huta, Stalinism, and Polish Society, 1949-56 and Kinga Pozniak, Nowa Huta: Generations of Change in a Model Socialist Town, in European History Quarterly, 46 (2016), 2, pp. 367-370.

“Global Circuits of Expertise and the Making of the Post-1945 World,” Conference Report, H-Net Reviews / H-Soz-Kult, July 2016.

Review of Andrzej Brzeziecki, Tadeusz Mazowiecki: biografia naszego premiera, and Roman Graczyk, Od uwikłania do autentyczności. Biografia polityczna Tadeusza Mazowieckiego, in: Acta Poloniae Historica, 112 (2015), pp. 372-383.

Popular Publications

“Precarity and Neoliberalism, Resistance and Solidarity: Work and the Future of the University”, in: Krisis. Journal for Contemporary Philosophy, 2 (2015), pp. 7-14 (with John-Erik Hansson and Ola Innset).

“Collecting Xenophobia. Ein Projekt zur Archivierung der ‘Gelben Gefahr’” (on John Kuo-Wei Tchen/Dylan Yeats (eds.): Yellow Peril! An Archive of Anti-Asian Fear), in: Cargo. Film, Medien, Kultur, 23/2014 (with Robin Celikates).

OSA Geschichte
OSA Geschichte