Marianna Szczygielska

Marianna Szczygielska


Szczygielska Marianna

Marianna Szczygielska, Ph. D.

Postdoctoral Researcher

Department of Ecological Anthropology


  • szczygielska[at]


Research profile

Marianna Szczygielska is a feminist historian of science. She brings queer and decolonial approaches into reflection on human-animal relations. Szczygielska graduated from the Central European University in Budapest and authored a doctoral dissertation on zoological gardens. Szczygielska worked as postdoctoral fellow at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin. With a background in philosophy and gender studies, her research interests include environmental humanities, queer ecologies, and feminist science and technology studies. She is an associate editor of the Humanimalia journal. 

Szczygielska is currently a postdoctoral researcher in the ERC BOAR Project: "Veterinarization of Europe? Hunting for Wild Boar Futures in the Time of African Swine Fever."

Research output 

Scientific publications

Edited volumes and Special Issues 

2020     Steinbock, E., Szczygielska, M., Wagner A. C. (eds.) Tranimacies: Intimate Links Between Animal and Trans* Studies. London: Routledge.

2019     Szczygielska, M., Cielemęcka, O. (2019) Plantarium: Human-Vegetal Ecologies. Catalyst: Feminism, Theory, and Technoscience, 5(2), 1-12. 

2017     Steinbock, E., Szczygielska, M., Wagner, A.C. Thinking Linking. Introduction to the special issue “Tranimacies: Intimate Links between Affect, Animals, and Trans* Studies.” Angelaki: Journal of the Theoretical Humanities 22(2): 1-10.

2013     Nitis, M., Stark, W., Szczygielska, M. The Conditions of Praxis: Theory and Practice in Activism and Academia. Graduate Journal of Social Science 10(3): 8-13.

Articles in peer-reviewed journals

2023     von Essen, E., O'Mahony, K., Szczygielska, M., Gieser, T., Vaté, V., Arregui, A., & Broz, L. The Many Boar Identities: Understanding Difference and Change in the Geographies of European Wild Boar Management.  Journal of Environmental Planning and Management https://doi:10.1080/09640568.2023.2269312

2023     Szczygielska, M., Kowalewska, A. Tracing Viral Trajectories. Epistemic and Bodily Reservoirs in Interspecies Health. History and Technology.

2023     Szczygielska, M. Reading Teeth: Ivory as an Artifact of Classed Whiteness. Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences 53(3): 308-331. 

2023     Samojlik, T., Daszkiewicz, P., Fedotova, A., Rickiene, A., Cielemęcka, O., Szczygielska. M. The evolution of the bison image and its implications for current species conservation. PLOS ONE 18(1): 1-18.  

2022     Szczygielska, M. Animal Sex in Public: Warping Time and Sexuality in the Zoo. Environmental Humanities 14(3): 641–660.

2022     Szczygielska, M. Undoing extinction. The role of zoos in breeding back the tarpan wild horse, 1922–1945. Centaurus: Journal of the European Society for the History of Science 64(3): 729-750.  

2021     Baker, C., Szczygielska, M., Drnovšek Zorko, Š. Guarding the "Balkan Route" on the postsocialist frontier: revisiting Maja Weiss’ “Varuh meje.” International Feminist Journal of Politics 23(5): 811-828.

2021     Szczygielska, M.  kości słoniowej do plastiku, czyli nienaturalna historia materialności w epoce antropocenu. [From ivory to plastic, or the unnatural history of materiality in the age of the Anthropocene] Kultura Współczesna 113 (1): 28-42. 10.26112/kw.2021.113.03

2020     Szczygielska, M. Elephant Empire: Zoos and Colonial Encounters in Eastern Europe. Cultural Studies 34(5): 789–810.

2017 Szczygielska, M. “Jedząc kebaba…” Zwierzęta i zwierzęcość a islamofobia. [“Eating a kebab…” Animals/Animality and Islamophobia.] Praktyka Teoretyczna 26(4): 238-248.

2017     Szczygielska, M. Hyenas and Hormones: Transpecies Encounters and the Traffic in HumAnimals. Angelaki: Journal of Theoretical Humanities 22(2): 61-84.

2015     Szczygielska, M. Posthumanizm: dzień po rewolucji. [Posthumanism: A Day After the Revolution.] Czas Kultury 184(1): 140-147.

2013     Szczygielska, M. Transbiological Re-imaginings of the Modern Self and the Nonhuman: Zoo Animals as Transbiological Entities. Identities: Journal for Politics, Gender and Culture 10(2): 101-110.

Book chapters

2023    Szczygielska, M., Kowalewska, A. Naïve Boars and Dummy Sows: Porcine Sex and the Politics of Purity. In Aavik, K., Irni, K., Joki, M. (eds.) Feminist Animal and Multispecies Studies: Critical Perspectives on Food and Eating. Brill Press, 45-69. DOI:

2021     Szczygielska, M. The Future of the Zoo: A New Cosmopolis. / Przyszłość zoo. Nowa kosmopolis. in Bakke, M. (ed.) Refugia: The Survival of Urban Transspecies Communities / Refugia. (Prze)trwanie transgatunkowych wspólnot miejskich. Poznań: Adam Mickiewicz University Press, 178-204. (bilingual publication) 

2019     Szczygielska, M. "Good Change" and Better Activism: Feminist Responses to Backsliding Gender Policies in Poland. In Krizsán, A., Roggeband, C. (eds.) Gendering Democratic Backsliding in Central and Eastern Europe. A Comparative Agenda. Budapest: CEU Press, 120-160. 

2019     Szczygielska, M. Pandas and the Reproduction of Race and Sexuality in the Zoo. In McDonald, T., Vandersommers D. (eds.) Zoo Studies. A New Humanities. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 211-236. 

2017     Szczygielska, M. Zoos. In Salazar Parreñas, J. (ed.) Gender: Animals. Macmillan Interdisciplinary Handbooks. Farmington Hills: Macmillan, 247-262. 

2010     Szczygielska, M. The heroines of sustainable development. Gender and sustainable development in a critical perspective. In Fogelberg Eriksson, A. (ed) Proceedings from the international conference Equality, Growth & Sustainability. Do they mix? Linköping University Press, 135-42. 

Conferences and workshops

Selected Conference Presentations

2023     Beasts of Prestige. Elephants in the Saint Petersburg Imperial Menagerie in the Long 19th Century (1796-1917). European Society for Environmental History Conference. Bern, August 20-25.

2022     Lion Capital: Zoo acquisition strategies in interwar Poland. Colonial Dimensions of the Global Wildlife Trade Conference. Göttingen, November 28-29.

2022     “Have you seen Little Cohn?” An Elephant’s Life on Display. The Animal on Stage: Cultural Performances conference. The Zbigniew Raszewski Theatre Institute. Warsaw, November 15-16.

2022     Undoing extinction. The role of zoos in breeding back the tarpan wild horse, 1922-1945. European Society for Environmental History Conference. Bristol, July 4-8.

2021     Transnational dimensions of Tadeusz Vetulani’s work on back breeding the tarpan in Poland, 1922-1945. The Ignaz-Lieben-Society Symposium. Vienna, October 14-16. 

2020     Rendering Animal Bodies Between the Zoo and the Natural History Museum in Poznań (1924-1945). The 9th International Conference of the European Society for the History of Science. 31 August - 3 September. 

2019     Elephant Empire: Zoos and Colonial Encounters in Eastern Europe (1870s-1940s). Reimagining Polish Worldwideness: Cross-Cultural Encounter and Global Arrangements. Herder-Institut, Marburg, September 19-21.

2019     Polish-Lithuanian forests as a model of primeval nature. Perception of European bison and primeval forest in the 18th and 19th centuries Workshop, Mammal Research Institute of the Polish Academy of Science, Białowieża, August 15-18.

2019     Elephant Empire Beyond the Colonial Encounter. History of Science Society Annual Meeting. Utrecht University, July 23-27.

2019     Engendering Wildlife and Whiteness: Elephants, Ivory, and Zoos (1870s–1940s). Historicizing “Whiteness” in Eastern Europe and Russia Workshop. Bucharest, June 25-26.

2018     Decolonizing Matter-reference with Feminist Materialisms. with Sigrid Schmitz. 10th European Feminist Research Conference Difference, Diversity, Diffraction: Confronting Hegemonies and Dispossessions. Georg-August-University Göttingen, September 12-15.

2018     Wildlife Revenge: Human-Animal Drama in Spoor (2017). (Un)Common Worlds. Human-Animal Studies Conference. University of Turku, August 7-9.

2017     The Missing Link: Human/Animal Divide in the “Bearded Lady” Spectacle. Staged Otherness. Human Oddities in Central and Eastern Europe, c. 1850–1939. The Institute of Art, Polish Academy of Sciences. Warsaw, October 25-27.

2017     Elephant Pride: Post-socialist and Post-colonial Analysis of Enacting Sexual Politics in the Zoo.  Dialoguing 'Between the Posts’. Post-socialist and post-/decolonial perspectives on domination, hierarchy and resistance in South-Eastern Europe. Centre for Comparative Conflict Studies at the Faculty of Media and Communications. Belgrade, September 22-23.

2017 Decolonizing Materialism. with Sigrid Schmitz. New Materialisms on the Crossroads of the Natural and Human Sciences workshop, Rachel Carson Center, Munich, September 14-15.

2017     Decolonizing Natural History: Temporality, Zoos, and Multispecies Ethics in the Anthropocene. The 8th Annual Conference on the New Materialisms. UNESCO, Paris, June 7-9.

2016     Aporias of the Animal Turn and the Politics of Academic Hoaxers, Killjoys, and Watchdogs. 7th Annual Conference on the New Materialisms. Warsaw, September 21-23.

2016 Penguins, Captive Sexualities, and the Traffic in HumAnimals. 10th European Society for Literature, Science and the Arts Conference. Stockholm University, June 14-17.

Organizing Committee 

2023     Integrating Elephants into More-Than-Human Narratives. Workshop at the University of Lyon, June 23. 

2023     Critical Histories of Technology Cluster. Workshops at the Matter of Flux: Women/FLINTA* in Art, Science and Technology Festival, Berlin. June 15-18. 

2020     Global South Cosmologies & Epistemologies: A Trans-Hemispheric Conversation. Workshop at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin, June 11-12. 

2018     Feral Incursions. Conference at the Central European University, May 11-12. 

2017     Making Families Great Again? Intersectional Perspectives on the Global Right’s Gendered Politics. Panel discussion at the Central European University, May 29.

Grants and Awards


2017     Short-Term Academic Mission. The University of Vienna, Faculty of Social Sciences. Source: COST Action IS1307.

2016     The Seed Box. A Mistra-Formas Environmental Humanities Collaboratory Seed Grant. Source: Mistra: Swedish Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research.

2013     Doctoral Research Support Grant, Source: CEU Budapest Foundation


Awards and Scholarships

2017     Best Dissertation Award, Central European University.

2015     Visby Scholarship for Doctoral Students. Source: The Swedish Institute.

2014     Award for Advanced Doctoral Students, Central European University.

2012     Academic Achievement Award for First-Year Doctoral Students, Central European University.

2010     Outstanding Academic Achievement Excellence Award, Central European University.

2009     Dean’s Award, Adam Mickiewicz University.

Other publications and activities

Online essays

2022     Szczygielska, M., Kuen, L., O’Mahony, K., Keil, P.G. Feral ethics. Thinking feral with pigs. New Alphabet School (HKW)

2020     Szczygielska, M., Goldstein, P. Three keywords to better understand the Polish abortion protests. ZOiS Spotlight 41 [also in German “Drei Stichworte, um die polnischen Abtreibungsproteste besser zu verstehen”].

2020     Szczygielska, M. Rainbow Resistance: The Fight of LGBTQ Activists in Poland against Post-Election Repressions. LeftEast

2020     Szczygielska, M. One mask fits all? Gender and care work in Covid crisis. The Mask-Arrayed

2019     Cielemęcka, O., Szczygielska, M. Thinking the Feminist Vegetal Turn in the Shadow of Douglas-firs: An Interview with Catriona Sandilands. Catalyst: Feminism, Theory, and Technoscience 5(2): 1-19.

2019     Szczygielska, M. Poland’s wild boar targeted in pointless cull that could actually spread swine fever. The Conversation

2018     Szczygielska, M. Captive breeding has a dark side – as disturbing Czech discovery of trafficked tiger body parts highlights. The Conversation

2018     Szczygielska, M. Wild Boars and Family Values in Poland. Bewildering Boar Blog

2016     Szczygielska, M., Cielemęcka, O. Vegetal Ecologies. New Materialism Almanac 2016.

2015     Szczygielska, M. Animals Off Display. UnderCurrents: Journal of Critical Environmental Studies 19: 53-57. Text and photo essay.


Science communication

2023     Interview about ivory for popular science podcast “Brzmienie świata z lotu Drozda.” Episode 140.

2021     Szczygielska, M. “Pink Ivory” art installation at the Museum of Natural History, Wrocław University within the Museum of the Anthropocene exhibition.

2021     “Creature Comforts: Animals, Zoos, and Exotic Trafficking in Eurasia” lecture and podcast interview at the Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies at the University of Pittsburgh (REEES). 

2020     Roeder, C. F., Szczygielska, M., Hegesh, N. The Mask-Arrayed. An online storytelling project. 

2018     Qubaia, A., Szczygielska, M. Feral Interview. A Conversation with Eva Hayward and Jack Halberstam. Audio Podcast.


Book reviews

2018     Szczygielska, M. Viewing the World Through the American Zoo. A review of The Animal Game. Searching for Wildness at the American Zoo by Daniel E. Bender. Diplomatic History 42(4): 740–743.

2015     Szczygielska, M. The Bittersweet Dimensions of Racial Mattering. A review of Habeas Viscus: Racializing Assemblages, Biopolitics, and Black Feminist Theories of the Human by Alexander G. Weheliye. Parallax 21(4): 462-465.

2014     Szczygielska, M. Review of Cloning Wild Life. Zoos, Captivity, and the Future of Endangered Animals by Carrie Friese. Pulse: A History, Sociology & Philosophy of Science Journal 2(1): 96-99.

2012     Szczygielska, M. Review of The Queer Art of Failure by Jack Halberstam. Graduate Journal of Social Science 9(2): 235-239.