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Dr Michał Murawski


Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellow

Telephone: 07980207018
Room Number: Lindop House 2D


I am an anthropologist of architecture and of cities based at the Department of Russian, Queen Mary, University of London, where I am a Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellow. Between 2014-2016, I was Mellon Postdoctoral Research Fellow at The School of Slavonic and Eastern European Studies (SSEES), University College London. My work focuses on the complex social lives of monumental buildings and on the architecture and planning of Eastern European communism. I am especially interested in the powerful - and subversive - impacts that communist-era built environments continue to exert on the capitalist cities of the 21st century. ​ I received my PhD in social anthropology from Cambridge University in February 2014. My dissertation was about the Palace of Culture and Science, a vast Stalin-era skyscraper 'gifted' to Poland by the Soviet Union in 1955. I am currently working on a book about capitalist Warsaw's self-perceived 'obsession' with the Stalinist Palace, entitled Palace Complex, under contract with Indiana University Press. My Warsaw research has also resulted in several articles and book chapters, while my Polish-language book about the Palace was published by the Museum of Warsaw in July 2015. Besides this, I am getting started with a new project on the urbanism of Putin-era Moscow, and have also carried out research on the domestic lives of political dissidents living under house arrest.

Michał Murawski - CV [PDF 199KB]


Research Interests:

Anthropology of architecture and of cities; post-socialism; Moscow; Warsaw



Murawski, M. 2015. Kompleks Pałacu.
Polish-language monograph, translated by Ewa Klekot, Warsaw: Museum of Warsaw Press.

An English-language monograph, entitled Palace Complex, is under contract with Indiana University Press. 

Journal Articles and Book Chapters 

Michał Murawski and Jane Rendell (eds.), 2017. The Social Condenser: A Century of Revolution Through Architecture, 1917-2017. A special issue of The Journal of Architecture vol. 22, No. 3. 

Murawski, M. 2017. ‘Introduction: Crystallising the Social Condenser’. The Journal of Architecture 22(3).

Murawski, M. 2017. 'A Stalinist Social Condenser In a Capitalist City'. The Journal of Architecture 22(3).

Murawski, M. 2017. 'Radical Centres: The Political Morphology of Monumentality in Warsaw and Johannesburg'. Third Text 30(5).

Murawski, M. 2016. ‘Big Affects: Size, Sex and Stalinist ‘Architectural Power’ in Post-Socialist Warsaw’ in Elements of Architecture: Assembling Archaeology, Affect and The Performance of Building Spaces, Tim Flohr Sørensen and Mikel Bille (eds.), London: Routledge. 

Murawski, M. 2016. "Radical Centres: The Political Morphology of Monumentality in Warsaw and Johannesburg". Third Text: Critical Perspectives on Contemporary Art and Culture. Forthcoming.

Murawski, M. 2016. ‘Big Affects: Size, Sex and Stalinist ‘Architectural Power’ in Post-Socialist Warsaw’ in Elements of Architecture: Assembling Archaeology, Affect and The Performance of Building Spaces, Tim Flohr Sørensen and Mikel Bille (eds.), London: Routledge. 

Murawski, M. 2013. ‘Palaceology, or Palace-as-Methodology: Ethnographic Conceptualism, Total Urbanism and a Stalinist Skyscraper in Warsaw’,Laboratorium: Russian Review of Social Research. Special Issue on ‘ethnographic conceptualism’, 5(2):56-83, Nikolai Ssorin-Chaikov (ed.).

Murawski, M. 2012. ‘Cosmopolitan Architecture: “Deviations” from Stalinist Aesthetics and the Making of Twenty-First Century Warsaw’, in Caroline Humphrey and Vera Skvirskaya (eds.) Post-Cosmopolitan Cities, London: Berghahn. 

Murawski, M. 2011. ‘Inappropriate Object: Warsaw and the Stalin Era Palace of Culture after the Smolensk Catastrophe’, Anthropology Today, 27(4): 5-11

Murawski, M. 2011. ‘From Iconicity to Dominationality: The Palace of Culture and Science in Contemporary Warsaw’Informationen zur Modernen Stadtgeschichte. 2:56-69. 

Murawski, M. 2009. ‘(A)political Buildings: Ideology, Memory and Warsaw’s ‘Old’ Town’, Docomomo Proceedings 2 (May 2009).

Amrith, M., Johnson, J., Martin, D., Murawski, M. and Nelms, T. 2008/2009.  ‘Harvesting Failure in the Field: An Ethnographic Apprenticeship in Coping with the Unexpected’, Cambridge Anthropology 28(1):61-83.  

Book reviews

Murawski, M. 2014. “Taming the Wild in the City”. Review essay of Carol Jerolmack, The Global Pigeon. European Journal of Sociology 55(2):562-566.

Murawski, M. 2011. Review of Gisa Weszkalnys, Berlin Alexanderplatz: Transforming Place in a Unified Germany. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 17(4).

Other writing

Michał Murawski, 2016. "Letter from: In Search of Progressive Architecture at the Venice Biennale". 
Calvert Journal, 29 July.

Michał Murawski, 2016 "Arch of History: What the Ruins of Palmyra Reveal About Conflicting Visions of East and West". 
Calvert Journal, 9 June. 

Michał Murawski, 2015. ‘Centring the FRINGE’. SSEES Research Blog, 16 December. 

Michał Murawski, 2015. 'Pałac Kotów i Sokołów'. Dwutygodnik  163. 

Michał Murawski, 2012. 'Power Tower'Fulcrum (Architectural Association). 50:1.

Michał Murawski, 2012, 'Czym jest architektura XXI wieku w Warszawie?' in Cos Ktore Nadchodzi: Architektura XXI Wieku/That Something on theHorizon:  Architecture of the 21st Century, Warsaw: Fundacja Bec Zmiana.

Maciej Czeredys and Michał Murawski,  2011. ‘The Knotted Archiblabla’ in The Knot: An Experiment in Contemporary Art in Public Urban Space, Berlin: Jovis.

Michał Murawski, 2011. ‘Continuity Street Versus the Palace of Rupture’ in  Anatomy of A Street: Warsaw, Warsaw: Fundacja Bec Zmiana. 

Michał Murawski, 2010. ‘Warszawa Juz sie Pałacyzuje’. Kultura Liberalna 24 (74). 


"World Have Your Say". BBC World Service, April 2016.
Speaking on the wartime destruction and reconstruction of Warsaw and Palmyra (35:40 onwards). 

"Re-Activating the Social Condenser". UCL Urban Lab Podcast, May 2015.

"Dissident Domesticity". School of Advanced Study Podcast, February 2015. 

"New Old Town". 99% Invisible Podcast, February 2013.

"Płyta Pałacu Kultury Zgrzyta", Polskie Radio 1, July 2014 (in Polish)

A Walk Around the Palace of Culture, Warsaw Museum of Modern Art, October 2011 (in Polish)

Archigadanina #1 (Archiblahblah #1), Warsaw Museum of Modern Art, July 2010 (in Polish)

Archigadanina #2 (Archiblahblah #2), Warsaw Museum of Modern Art, July 2010 (in Polish)

Archigadanina #3 (Archiblahblah #3), Warsaw Museum of Modern Art, July 2010 (in Polish)

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