Florence Vychytil-Baudoux: Research & CV

Between Citizenship, Ethnicity and the Politics of Exile: The Logics of Polonia‘s Political Integration in France, the United States and Canada, 1945-1980

Research Area 1 – Displacements, “Dépaysements” and Discrepancies: People, Knowledge and Practices

Contact: florence.vychytil-baudoux@cefres.cz

My work deals with the strategies of political inclusion of the Polish dispersion communities (Polonia) in the United States, Canada and France after World War II. It focuses on how such population groups appraised the citizenship of their host country and investigates its uses. The renewal of the associate landscape in the wake of WWII indeed suggests a shift in community identity: as it was henceforth grounded in the claim for a double belonging, the collective political imagination and action came to be redesigned.

The analysis of sources and of chronology also leads to look closer into the topic through the prism of circulations and transfers, enabling to analyse the modes and structuration of such flows along with the reception with which they were met. Bringing to light the trans-state network at stake should renew the (so far relatively fragmented) historiography on the Polish dispersion and add to the ongoing reflection on the notions of diaspora and transnationalism. In the context of Poland’s integration within the Soviet bloc, as the Polish institutions in exile in London were progressively isolated, North America soon took precedence—which leads to question the notions of center and periphery. Thus, a special attention will be paid to the actors of such shift, most of whom were exiles who had left Poland between 1939 and the beginning of Cold War.



Since 2008: PhD in Immigration History, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS, Paris). Dissertation topic: Polonia’s Political Assimilation in France, Canada and the United States during the Cold War. Supervisor: Prof. Nancy L. Green

2006-2008: Master’s Degree in History of International Relations (with highest honors), Sciences Po, Paris. Thesis title: “Le Comité électoral des Polonais naturalisés, 1953-1976” [The Electoral Committee of French Citizens of Polish Ancestry, 1953-1976]. Supervisor: Prof. Maurice Vaïsse

2003-2006: BA Program in Central and Eastern European Studies, Sciences Po, Paris/Dijon


  • “Le Comité électoral des Polonais naturalisés (1953-1976) : une expérience polonienne en France”, Relations Internationales, 2010/1, no. 141, pp. 65-81.
Book review

Selected Conference and Workshop Papers

  • “La dispersion polonaise, une communauté atlantique ?” [The Polish Dispersion: an Atlantic Community?]. Workshop, CRHIA / University of La Rochelle, “Les circulations dans l’espace atlantique à l’époque contemporaine. Nouvelles approches, sources et méthodologies” [Circulations in the Atlantic World in the Contemporary Era. New approaches, sources and methods], 11 December 2015, La Rochelle (France).
  • “La dispersion polonaise à l’épreuve de la Guerre froide : politique d’exil et nouveaux modèles de polonité” [The Polish Dispersion and the Cold War: Exile Politics and New Forms of Polishness]. International Conference, French Archives / Cité de l’histoire de l’immigration, “La nationalité en guerre” [Nationality in War], 3-4 December 2015, Paris (France).
  • “Citizenship practices during the Cold War: a Polish American model?”. 72nd annual meeting of the Polish American Historical Association, 2-4 January 2015, New York City (USA).
  • “Entretenir la polonité par-delà le territoire : exilés polonais et Polonia(s), 1939-1980” [Keeping Polishness Alive beyond Territory: Polish Exiles and Polonia(s)]. Workshop,  CRHIA / University of Nantes, “Droits, liens à la nation et territoires en Europe”, 28 November 2014, Nantes (France).
  • “Political integration as a by-product of exile politics: Polish-Americans during the Cold War”. International Conference, University of Gdańsk / Polish American Historical Association, “East Central Europe in Exile: Patterns of Transatlantic Migrations”, 31 May–1 June 2012, Gdańsk (Poland).

Research Stays

  • 2011-2012: Fulbright visiting doctoral student, Immigration History Research Center, University of Minnesota, USA (8 months)
  • 2010: Institute of Canadian and Aboriginal Studies, University of Ottawa, Canada (3 months)
  • 2009: Jagiellon University, Cracow, Poland (3 months)


French: mother tongue
English: bilingual
Polish: fluent
Czech: working knowledge