•••2017 PhD Art History, McGill University2011 MRes History, European University Institute2009 MA History of Art, University College London2008 BA History of Art, University College London
•••Research interests: central and eastern European art and visual culture, 1500–1700; global art histories; cultural entanglement; historiography of art and methodologies of art history; art history from below; early modern power dynamics; centres and peripheries; early modern popular culture; collecting; European perceptions of the wider world; urban culture
Tomasz Grusiecki specialises in the study of cultural interactions between east-central Europe and the wider world, focusing on the issues of centre and periphery, cultural liminality, and perceptions of selfhood and alterity. He has published on these subjects in, among others, Slavonic and East European Review, Journal of Early Modern History, Journal of the History of Collections, World Art, Zeitschrift für Ostmitteleuropa-Forschung, and The Polish Review, with further studies forthcoming.
He is currently preparing a book manuscript, tentatively titled Transcultural Commonwealth: Foreign Things and the Invention of Tradition in Poland-Lithuania, 1500-1700. This study explores representations of the emerging Polish-Lithuanian identity, as the otherwise heterogeneous Polish, Ruthenian, Lithuanian and Prussian nobilities found themselves in the midst of searching for a convincing story of their shared place in the world. My book examines how these stories were activated and legitimised by visual images and objects of material culture, including maps, illustrated histories, costume, portraits, and carpets. While these artefacts acted as signifiers of cultural distinctiveness, they were often appropriated from abroad, particularly the Ottoman Empire. Highlighting practices of objects’ mobility, adaptation, and cultural reappropriation, whereby exotic becomes local and foreign turns native, this study points to the exogenous underpinnings of cultural self-identifications and the artefacts that mediated them. Transcultural Commonwealth brings to the fore the often-overlooked extrinsic aspect of nativism, using Poland-Lithuania as a useful methodological laboratory for challenging the theories of nations’ and societies’ cultural distinctiveness. It reveals how the discourse of distinctiveness emerged in response to transcultural trajectories of societies and their traditions, and how making sense of one’s own world was fundamentally informed by other cultures, and therefore was inevitably globally embedded.
Tomasz's new research project, Warsaw Discovers the World: Re-Imagining the City in the Age of Encounters, 1570–1657, is set to explore an allegedly marginal city as it experienced the effects of an increasingly interconnected world. Focusing on cultural entanglement, this study will allow for a historical re-assessment of Warsaw’s neglected role in early globalisation. By concentrating on a city at Europe’s eastern periphery, this project aims to expand our framing of early modern globalization beyond western Europe and its numerous colonies and trading posts. This study will thus put to test the binary of colony and metropole, exotic and local, and self and other.
Before coming to Boise State, Tomasz was Postdoctoral Fellow at Central European University in Budapest, where he received funding from the Central European University Budapest Foundation, and the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Société et culture.