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2017 | 10, Antropologia - folklor - historia | 35–48

Article title

Kultura w historii. Piotra Kowalskiego koncepcja antropologii historycznej

Title variants

Culture in History. Piotr Kowalski’s Concept of Historical Anthropology

Languages of publication



The prime objective of the article is to reconstruct basic assumptions that accompany the historical anthropology practiced by Piotr Kowalski. The last decade of Kowalski’s work is dominated by that type of studies and therefore they form a conceptionally mature construct that combines lifetime experience of that culture researcher. At first, when entering the field of historical anthropology, Kowalski referred to the textbook patterns of studies conducted abroad. However, it was not long that he proposed his own understanding of research problems in the history of culture. He refers to the category of colloquial thinking schemes and the vision of culture as a structured semiotic chaos. His rejection of the culture viewed as a coherent and organized whole dynamizes the model of historical culture that he accepts. What makes one of the expressions of that trend is the accepting the situational definition of cultural experience and organization of the world. In the last years before his death, Piotr Kowalski applies a multi-variant research model, in which philological, folkloristic, and anthropological competences are originally included into the task of identifying alien historical re-constructed worlds. His final image of the research method or a bundle of research methods reflects the motives crucial for his studies, mostly in the sphere of the tension between the standing and the change, repeatability and dynamization, as well as individualization of reading the world in historical cultures. The subject of his last studies is formed by the civilizational process, understood in its widest scope, happening in the space of cultural constructs, and watched by a researcher in the micro- and macroscale at the same time. What makes a crucial historical source for the research presented in that way is a narrative text.


  • Uniwersytet Warmińsko-Mazurski w Olsztynie


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Publication order reference


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