The Centre for Polish-Lithuanian Studies is a newly-established research centre at the University of Aberdeen. Inspired by the legacy of Jerzy Giedroyć, to whose memory the Centre is dedicated, and who sought to reconcile the nations once part of the Polish-Lithuanian union, it aims to restore consideration of Poland-Lithuania and its legacy to the mainstream of European history and culture. Its research and teaching agenda will encompass not just the history of the Polish-Lithuanian union down to the partitions, but also its historical, social, and cultural legacies, all of which are evident across its former lands to the present day. The Centre is dedicated to challenging the national perspectives that have often bedevilled studies of the union. It therefore embraces the different perspectives of all the nations that formed it and contributed to its republican, consensual political culture. It is concerned not only with the positive sides of the union and its legacy, but examines the considerable problems that afflicted it during and after its existence, problems that have at times had serious consequences for relations between the union’s successor states. It will therefore devote as much attention to the union’s legacy since it was partitioned out of existence at the end of the eighteenth century as it does to study of the union itself. Finally, the Centre will consider the relevance of the Polish-Lithuanian union, a multilevel, multiethnic, and religiously plural political union, whose experience raises serious general questions concerning modern consensual democratic and multilateral political systems in what Michael Keating (Aberdeen) has termed ‘the post-sovereignty age.

The Centre was formally opened by the ambassadors of the Republic of Poland, Mr Arkady Rzegocki, and of the Republic of Lithuania, Mr Renatas Norkus, at a two-day symposium held in Aberdeen on 31 January and 1 February 2020.

The Centre welcomes applicants for PhD study on any aspect of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and its legacy. Aberdeen University offers the option of pursuing distance PhD studies.

Any enquires about the Centre should be directed to robert.frost@abdn.ac.uk

Robert Frost, Director of the Research Centre for Polish-Lithuanian Studies