XIV International April Conference, PUNO in London

The Politics of History and Memory in Poland in the 20th and 21st Century – Between Continuity and Change.

About the Conference

The Polish University Abroad in London has since 2010 been organising the annual International April Conferences, in memory of the last Polish President in Exile, Ryszard Kaczorowski.

The electoral defeat of the Law and Justice (PiS) party in Poland in October 2023 ended the dominance of this political formation, which hugely invested in the historical and cultural legitimization of its rule. The reframing of the national past in a way that legitimized PiS’s political project and privileged an ethnocentric and Catholic identity is a powerful example of the politicization of history and memory.

However, in its reliance on history, memory, and culture in the quest for the empowerment of new elites and the promotion of a particular form of national identity, Jarosław Kaczyński’s party joined the procession of political forces and actors that have dominated Poland since 1918 and which have made selective and instrumental use of the past. In different periods, ideologically and politically driven projects have sought to provide an account of Polish contemporary history while simultaneously claiming that specific political movements embody national values and the true expression of Polishness.

What were the similarities and differences in the way historical policy was conducted in the Second Republic, the Polish People’s Republic, and the Third Republic? This main question will be addressed during an international conference on the politics of history and memory in Poland organised on the 18 May 2024 by the European History unit of Polish University Abroad in London. This online event aims to provide us with a better understanding of the problem of the contemporary politics of history and memory, presented in a broader historical perspective than existing analyses and studies.


18 May 2024 – Conference

Conference language


Organization information

Conference programme and more information in the attached file

Time and venue

Access online: After registration (link below)


Saturday, 18 May 2024, 10:00 – 17:00 in London

Place: POSK