Department of Political Studies

Department of Political Studies
Department of Political Studies

Kate Korycki

Kate KoryckiPeacock Post-Doctoral Fellow
PhD Political Science (UofT); MA Political Science (McGill); BA Public Administration and Governance (Ryerson)

Department of Political Studies
Mackintosh-Corry Hall, C328



Research Interests

Identity politics, collective memory politics, transition societies, political parties, power/ideology, narratives, constructivism (in comparative politics), discourse analysis and qualitative research methods, French post-structuralism; Central-Eastern European politics, North American politics

Brief Biography

Kate is a comparative political scientist interested in the articulation of identities, collective memories and group imaginaries. Her research concerns the process by which ethnic, racial or gender identities are discursively and relationally formed, and how the fluid and constructed identities appear as natural and fixed. To that end, she adapts the sociological concept of collective memory to the field of politics; that is, she tracks how stories of the past are creatively manipulated, how they constitute identities, and how they effect who is included or excluded in the conception of 'we.'

In her dissertation, Kate focused on societies in transition, and she developed a politicized collective framework. The framework allowed her to analyze how political elites engage the past to constitute and maintain social divisions. To develop the framework, she compared and systemically examined the narratives of communism woven by major political parties in post-transition Poland. She trace how those narratives divided the political field, how they legitimized the post-transition order, and how they constituted and circulated a particular vision of common belonging.

In her current work she is tracking the resonance of past-inflected elite narratives among the electorates. In her future work she will adapt her politicized collective memory framework to liberal societies grappling (or not) with their painful pasts. 

Having spent half her life in communist Poland, Kate came to Canada at 18. Shortly after arrival she joined the Canadian public service. Her last posting took her to Northern Ontario where she was responsible for the outreach and the delivery of the Common Experience payment - a gesture of reconciliation between Indigenous victims of residential schools and a Canadian state. 

Kate is a consummate teacher. She sees the classroom as a space of exploration, exchange and shared reflection. She has designed two courses on Order and Disorder, as well as Peace and the Politics of difference. She will now add Central Eastern politics as well as Collective Memory seminar to the portfolio of her courses.

Selected Publications

“Politicized Memory in Poland: Anti-communism and the Holocaust.” The Holocaust Studies, 2018. (Under review)

“Out of Gay and into Class Closet: Sara Dezalay, Kate Korycki and Anna Zawadzka discuss concepts of race, gender and class in Didier Eribon and Édouard Louis.” Studia Literaria et Historica, 2018. (Under review)

“Memory and Politics in Post-Transition Space: the Case of Poland.” East European Politics and Societies, and Cultures. Vol. 31, Issue 3, August 2017. Pages: 518-544 (In print, peer reviewed).

““To Kill the Indian in a Child,” on Cultural Genocide and Transitional Justice in Canada: Interview with Kate Korycki.” Studia Literaria et Historica, No. 5, 2016, pages 1-15. (In print, peer reviewed).

“Desire Recast: Production of Gay Identity in Iran” (with Abouzar Nasirzadeh). Journal of Gender Studies. Vol. 25, Issue 1, 2016, pages 50-65. (In print, peer reviewed).

“Homophobia as a tool of Statecraft: Iran and its Queers” (with Abouzar Nasirzadeh). In Meredith L. Weiss and Michael J. Bosia (eds.) Global Homophobias: States, Movements, and the Politics of Oppression. University of Illinois Press. 2013, pages 174-196 (In print, peer reviewed).