Alex Paradowski

Credentials: Poland

2023 SKJ Fellow

Alex Paradowski is a PhD student in the Department of History. Focusing on modern Polish history, her research scrutinizes the role of gender and sexuality in the process of state formation. Her dissertation seeks to examine how the Polish state, in its various iterations and through its experts and institutions, sought to construct and utilize women’s reproductive capacities. More significantly, she is interested in uncovering how women themselves recognized, embodied, and challenged ideas of sexuality and reproduction put forth by the state. The Scott Kloeck-Jenson Fellowship will allow her to travel to Poland during the summer and conduct preliminary archival research on Poland’s conscious motherhood movement, which promoted ideals of birth control and family planning throughout the twentieth century. Her ultimate goal is to contextualize the Polish government’s recent abortion ban by offering a more nuanced understanding of the relationship between women, their sexual and reproductive autonomies, and the state—thus contributing to the ongoing efforts of Polish feminists in their struggle for reproductive rights.

Read Alex Paradowski’s fellowship report here