Intangible Cultural Heritage

‘Americans’ in Pruszków and in Grodzisk, Poland


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Agnieszka Szurek

University of Warsaw, Poland

MEMORIAMEDIA Review 6. Art.1. 2021




photo: Agnieszka Szurek / Memória Imaterial edition


This paper explores local and family memory of the re-emigrants from the United States who came to live in Pruszków and Grodzisk, small towns near Warsaw. Stories by and about the ‘Americans’ took many different forms and were conveyed in different ways: in memoirs, newspapers articles, oral tradition, through lifestyle practices or preserving memorabilia. Drawing on the notion of ‘rhetorical ecologies’ and on Kenneth Burke’s concept of identification, this paper describes various contexts, negotiations and reinterpretations which influenced the forming of a local version of the ‘American ethos’.



Keywords: re-emigrants, family history, local history, rhetorical ecologies.