The School of Geography, Politics and Sociology

Staff Profile

Dr Dariusz Gafijczuk

Lecturer in Sociology

Background


I joined Newcastle University as Lecturer in Sociology in September 2013. Previously I held positions at University College London, Trinity College Dublin and a Newton Fellowship at Lancaster University.

My work is situated in three main areas of investigation:

(1) Sociological Theory (classics & the diverse corpus of contemporary social thought)

(2) History (turn of the twentieth century Central Europe, especially the cultural and artistic avant-garde movements; philosophy of history, with a focus on the theories of temporality and the changing relationship between past, present, and future; the interaction between sociology and history as a mode of inquiry)

(3) Contemporary identities under the condition of hyper-insecurity - social, cultural, and political





Research

My work examines individual and collective social life through the bi-focal lens of theory and history.

This inquiry is underpinned by several areas of concentration, such as the detailed study of the cultural edifices at the turn of the 20th century in the region of Central Europe, especially the relationship between aesthetics and the construction of collective identities; a rigorous analysis of cultural forms, such as the artistic avant-gardes (both visual and acoustic) and their connection to social and political spaces; the changing nature of time, especially the past as a type of collective, social communication.

In addition, I am interested in epistemology and the nature of sociological inquiry. My most recent work grapples with the notion of sociological inquiry through the concept of 'vividness' as a type of sociological imagination.

Finally, I am currently in the process of developing a new research path, loosely entitled The Histories of Refuge. This is a culmination and an extension of the work I have undertaken until now. Its aim will be to create a historically informed and theoretically ground-breaking approach to how the notion of refuge can serve as the basis for building cohesive and more importantly, empathetic societies.


Teaching

SOC 2084 - The Invention of Central Europe

Second year option module that concentrates on the history and theory of how cultural centrality has bee defined, and in essence invented. Central Europe serves as the exemplary region through which these dynamics of cultural invention ca be studied. Some of the themes considered are: nationalism and imagined communities; invention of tradition; shifting centers; pure and impure identity, etc.


SOC 3073 - Exploring Social Complexity


A third year compulsory social theory module which aims to study classical and contemporary theories of how societies are put together, by concentrating on some of the most pressing contemporary issues and events, in all their nuance and complexity. Some of the themes explored are: emotions; identity politics; urban living; consumerism; risk and security.


SOC 8036 - Sociological and Cultural Perspectives

This is an MA seminar that aims to introduce students to some of the most original and important classical texts, such as Marcel Mauss' The Gift, Max Weber's The Protestant Ethic (among others) which will be read in part of in their entirely whilst thinking about how cultures and societies have been defined and thought of differently in the past. The overarching paradigm here is the changing notion and definition of time itself. It is duration, and the many cultural forms it has taken, that serves in many ways as the most direct and powerful indicator of cultural difference and alternative possibilities for how the world we inhabit is imagined.






Publications