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Zygmunt Bauman

Poznan (Poland)


Zygmunt Bauman (1925-2017) was a philosopher, sociologist and essayist, and Emeritus Professor of Sociology at the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom, where he lived for more than forty years. He was exiled twice from Poland, the country of his birth, first in 1939 when he went to the Soviet Union because of the Nazi terror, and the second time in 1968, to Israel after a vicious anti-Semitic campaign in Poland. Throughout his career, he developed a critical and emancipatory sociology, in which his main areas of interest had been the Holocaust, modernity (which he described as liquid modernity), consumerist postmodernity and, more recently, education.

After fighting in the Polish army and on the Eastern Front in the Second World War, he taught in the University of Warsaw until his second exile. He then worked in several universities, including that of Tel Aviv and others of the United States and Canada, before eventually settling in Leeds. In 2010, together with Alain Touraine, he was awarded the Prince of Asturias Award for Communications and Humanities.

Notable among his large number of published works are:

  • La felicitat es fa, no es compra / Joys of Life Made, Not Bought (Breus CCCB, 2013).
  • On Education: Conversations with Riccardo Mazzeo (2012, with Riccardo Mazzeo).
  • Consuming Life (2007).
  • Archipiélago de excepciones (Archipelago of Exceptions, Dixit Serie, CCCB, 2007).
  • Liquid Times: Living in an Age of Uncertainty (2006).
  • Europe: An Unfinished Adventure (2004).
  • Liquid Modernity (2000).
  • Postmodernity and Its Discontents (1997).
  • Postmodern Ethics (1993).
  • Modernity and the Holocaust (1989).

[Last update: January 2017]

Translation: Julie Wark.