“Repronetwork is pleased to announce that the winner of the 2017 Adele E. Clarke Book Award is The Politics of Morality: The Church, The State, and Reproductive Rights in Postsocialist Poland, by Joanna Mishtal. The Politics of Morality is a compelling investigation of reproductive life in Poland after the fall of socialism and the rise of Solidarity. Weaving together ethnographic insights gleaned from her encounters with Polish families, Catholic clergy, physicians, and reproductive rights activists, Mishtal illuminates a contradictory landscape of conservative Catholic politics, widespread, privatized medical provision of illegal abortions, a falling birth rate, and public near-silence about reproductive rights. The Politics of Morality contains insights that reverberate far beyond Poland, with its examination of the role and influence of the Catholic church, the rise of conservative moral politics, the shifting legal and practical roles of the medical profession in reproductive care, the impact of neoliberal economic policies on childbearing, and challenges to reproductive activism.” — Lara Freidenfelds, Ph.D., Adele E. Clarke Book Award Committee Chair
Associate professor of anthropology, Joanna Mishtal, Ph.D., had her book, The Politics of Morality: The Church, the State and Reproductive Rights in Postsocialist Poland, published and released with Ohio University Press in August. The Politics of Morality is a full-length, single author ethnography based on 21 months of primary data collection in Kraków, Warsaw, and Gdańsk, Poland. It examines the politics of gender, focusing on reproductive rights, health, and social policies. Specifically, this book is an anthropological study of the expansion of power by the religious right and its effects on individual rights and social values, and it examines the contentious nature of reproductive rights politics that emerged since the fall of state socialism in 1989, and in light of the 2004 EU integration.
Joanna Mishtal, Ph.D., associate professor in the department of anthropology, was recently awarded the UCF Undergraduate Research Mentor of the Year, sponsored by the Office of Undergraduate Research and the Student Undergraduate Research Council. This honor is awarded through student nomination letters. Students elect to write the letters and the letters are carefully read and scored by the Student Undergraduate Research Council. This year there were 16 nominations for this award.
What is your current job title and responsibilities?
I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology, College of Sciences. Much of my work is research related, i.e., conducting anthropological fieldwork in Europe, writing articles and revising my book based on past research, as well as preparing grant proposals. An important and enjoyable part of my work is teaching and mentoring students, both undergraduate and graduate.
What is your history at UCF? (past job titles, responsibilities)
I accepted a tenure-track position at UCF in 2008. From the start, I was hired to replace Dr. Allyn Stearman, who was retiring, and therefore teach applied anthropology, both the undergraduate course and the graduate seminar. I also teach cultural medical anthropology. Teaching these areas of anthropology is particularly rewording because my students conduct service-learning in our local communities as part of these classes.
Faculty members from each college were recognized during UCF’s annual Founders’ Day ceremony.
University Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching: Joanna Z. Mishtal, College of Sciences. Mishtal is an assistant professor of anthropology who joined UCF in 2008 after completing her postdoctoral fellowship in medical anthropology and public health at Columbia University. She specializes in cultural medical anthropology, and her research focuses on gender and reproductive rights in the European Union, Poland and Ireland.