Katarzyna Jeżowska is a cultural historian of Eastern Europe during the Cold War. She is currently completing the manuscript of her first book ‘Socialist by design. The state, industry, and modernity in Cold War Poland’. The central task of this book is to uncover how modern Poland was conceptualized and visualized in the three decades between the 1940s and 1970s. It shows that more than merely developing a new iconography, the state turned to the products of industry, which allowed it to connect the search for Polishness with the national economic and social objectives. At stake was a political project, which from the start was imbued with a paradox: how to demonstrate the socialist commitment of post-war Poland while providing it with a clear distinctiveness vis-à-vis other countries, including, most importantly, the USSR. At Stanford, Katarzyna will work on her second project, ‘Coal Nations and Carbon Cultures’. The project continues an investigation into the political potential of material cultures, placing coal at the forefront of this enquiry. It unearths the complex relationship between natural resources, industrial products, and national identity.