Xymena Kurowska

20 01 2022

Xymena Kurowska of Central European University joins the Hayseed Scholar podcast. Professor Kurowska grew up in the northern part of Poland, at a time of world and local transition. She discusses what it was like to move around to ‘closed’ cities in a military family, having a father who served in the Polish military and also in a UN peacekeeping operation in Southern Lebanon.

Xymena recalls how a karate injury almost kept her out of going to a university, and how she came to study International Relations. She reflects on what Warsaw was like in the late 1990s, getting her MA in Warsaw when Poland was part of the 2003 ‘Coalition of the Willing’ for the US-led Iraq War. She recalls being on the waitlist, and then attending, European University Institute in Florence for her Phd, and the challenges and opportunities that entailed, eventually working with Prof Fritz Kratochwil.

She discusses the experiences she had with Dvora Yanow who ‘changed her life’ through introducing her to interpretive methods and a network of interpretive ‘American Political Scientists’ like Friend of the Hayseed Scholar Podcast, Professor Peri Schwartz’Shea. Xymena recalls how she got a job at CEU right after her PhD, getting a Marie Curie fellowship at Aber,  how she decompresses via hiking and watching Mixed Martial Arts, and how she approaches editing a journal.