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ARCHIVES  Danyliw Seminar 2018

Anna Muller

University of Michigan-Dearbnorn (US)

Anna Muller is an Assistant Professor and the Frank and Mary Padzieski Endowed Professor in Polish/Polish American/Eastern European Studies at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, and is the first-vice President of the Polish American Historical Association. She is the author of If the Walls Could Speak. Inside a Women’s Prison in Communist Poland, and recently coordinated an exhibit at the Harn Museum in Gainesville on contemporary masculinities and femininities in Eastern Europe, titled she, he, me.

PRESENTATION

Abstract

Underground, Imprisonments, and the Polish-Ukrainian Relationships: Narrative Strategies in Telling the Life of Polish and Ukrainian Female Underground Members

Anna Muller

The end of the 20th century and beginning of the 21st century, brought an abundance of autobiographical writings through which the authors attempted to clothe the past in narratives that explained why their lives unfolded in a given way. This project focuses on the differences in the narrative strategies used by Polish and Ukrainian resistance members, more specifically between the female members of UPA and the Home Army. Although the narratives are built around similar topics: coming of age, school friendships, and the wartime and post-war struggle that resulted in imprisonment, the way each group perceives their participation in the underground, as well as their imprisonment, differs. While the Polish women were often able to separate the underground resistance from their private life, entry into the Ukrainian underground was more encompassing. This had consequences for the normalization strategies that the women adapted after their release. The comparison of the Polish and Ukrainian normalizing strategies provides a micro-historical perspective of the Polish-Ukrainian relationships.