History of Humanist and Social Thought Research Unit


Main research activities

The scope of the Unit’s activities comprises research into twentieth-century intellectual movements and currents that have influenced the fields of science – both humanities and social, as well as technical. Among the dominant research topics, one can distinguish the history of historiography considered against a broad socio-political background; source studies for the history of Polish-Soviet scientific relations; ideological and cultural influences in architecture and urban planning along with the resulting transformations of public space, as well as international relations on scientific and intellectual levels.

The interests of the Unit’s researchers include such topics as: historians’ biographical writing, institutional conditions for the development of historical sciences in various areas of 20th-century Poland, political and social contexts of history writing, issues of transfer and reception of foreign methodological currents and research concepts in Polish historiography, acquisition and publication of new sources for this discipline (memoirs, diary writing, epistolography, oral history).

The subject of research carried out in the History of Humanist and Social Thought Research Unit are also intellectual trends determining the approach and way of thinking about architectural design and implementation. Twentieth-century ideological currents had a significant impact on the development of world architecture, urban planning, and construction. The dominant issues include the period of the “revolution of modernity” (1910–1934; European and Russian avant-garde); totalitarian architecture and the so-called second wave of modernism – the post-war development of the international style ideologically based on social concepts.

The interdisciplinary nature of research and focusing on the theoretical and ideological perspective allow us to complement and link our research with that conducted in other research units at the Institute for the History of Science, PAS, such as the History of Technology and the History of Education and Anthropology of Culture units.

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