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The Local Boundaries of the Nation: Borderland Guard Activists in Polish-Occupied Volhynia, 1919–1920

  • Kathryn Ciancia


This article traces how Polish national activists in the Borderland Guard (Straż Kresowa) constructed the local boundaries of the nation in the multiethnic borderland of Polish-occupied Volhynia. In 1919 and 1920, as Russian imperial structures collapsed and those of the Polish state remained embryonic, these men created a series of exclusions and conditional inclusions that emerged from, rather than in spite of, their nominal celebration of democracy and equality. In addition to debating how far—and on what terms—Ukrainians (or Ruthenians) and Jews could be included in the Polish nation, they also marked out internal Polish boundaries, based on religious, linguistic, economic, class, and affective criteria. Taking readers beyond intellectual debates in Warsaw and toward competitive local questions about the grounds for national membership, the article challenges the usefulness of the broader analytical dichotomy between the “inclusive” (civic) and “exclusive” (ethnic) strains of modern nationalism.



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My thanks to Małgorzata Fidelis, Irina Gigova, Emily Greble, Maureen Healy, and Andrea Orzoff, as well as to the reviewers and editors at Slavic Review, for their valuable feedback at various stages of the writing process.



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1. Davies, Norman, White Eagle, Red Star: The Polish-Soviet War, 1919–20 (New York, 1972), 58.

2. Roshwald, Aviel, Ethnic Nationalism and the Fall of Empires: Central Europe, Russia, and the Middle East, 1914-1923 (London, 2001).

3. See, for instance, Wandycz, Piotr S., Soviet-Polish Relations, 1917–1921 (Cambridge, Mass., 1969); Palij, Michael, The Ukrainian-Polish Defensive Alliance, 1919–1921: An Aspect of the Ukrainian Revolution (Edmonton, 1995); Borzęcki, Jerzy, The Soviet-Polish Peace of 1921 and the Creation of Interwar Europe (New Haven, 2008); Davies, White Eagle, Red Star. Engelstein’s, Laura Russia in Flames: War, Revolution, Civil War, 1914–1921 (New York, 2018) offers a political and military history of the borderlands, centered around the implosion of imperial Russia. Diplomatic wrangling is covered in MacMillan, Margaret, Paris 1919: Six Months that Changed the World (New York, 2002).

4. Böhler, Jochen, Civil War in Central Europe, 1918–1921: The Reconstruction of Poland (Oxford, 2018); Sanborn, Joshua, “The Genesis of Russian Warlordism: Violence and Governance during the First World War and the Civil War,” Contemporary European History 19, no. 3 (2010): 195213. Also useful are the other articles in this special 2010 issue of Contemporary European History on “Aftershocks: Violence in Dissolving Empires after the First World War,” edited by Julia Eichenberg and John Paul Newman. Several edited volumes feature essays on local dynamics, including Bartov, Omer and Weitz, Eric D., eds., Shatterzone of Empires: Coexistence and Violence in the German, Habsburg, Russian, and Ottoman Borderlands (Bloomington, 2013); and Böhler, Jochen, Borodziej, Włodzimierz, and von Puttkamer, Joachim, eds., Legacies of Violence: Eastern Europe’s First World War (Munich, 2014). On an example from the waning Austro-Hungarian empire, see Beneš, Jakub S., “The Green Cadres and the Collapse of Austria-Hungary in 1918,” Past and Present 236, no. 1 (2017): 207–41.

5. The adjective kresowa, which I have translated as “borderland,” usually referred to the historic eastern borderlands of Poland (kresy). In 1920, the organization’s name was changed to Towarzystwo Straży Kresowej or “the Society of the Borderland Guard.” To avoid confusion, I use “the Guard” throughout.

6. For the concept of “brokers,” I draw from Jun Uchida’s work on Japanese settlers in Korea. For Uchida, “brokers” were not official agents of the state, but worked as mediators between the metropole and the imperial fringe. See Uchida, Brokers of Empire: Japanese Settler Colonialism in Korea, 1876–1945 (Cambridge, Mass., 2011).

7. Examples of Polish historiography include Zielińska, Nina, Towarzystwo Straży Kresowej, 1918–1927 (Lublin, 2006); Gierowska-Kałłaur, Joanna, Straż Kresowa a Zarząd Cywilny Ziem Wschodnich: Współdziałanie czy rywalizacja? (Warsaw, 1999); Waingertner, Przemysław, “Towarzystwo Straży Kresowej i Związek Rad Ludowych. Postulaty badawcze,” Przegląd Nauk Historycznych 2 no. 1 (2003): 157–67; Nowacki, Tadeusz, ZET w walce o niepodległość i budowę państwa: szkice i wspomnienia (Warsaw, 1996), particularly 130–41. In broader works on the period, the Guard receives a cursory mention only. See Davies, White Eagle, Red Star, 82; Mędrzecki, Włodzimierz, Inteligencja polska na Wołyniu w okresie międzywojennym (Warsaw, 2005), 5051; Schenke, Cornelia, Nationalstaat und nationale Frage: Polen und die Ukrainer 1921–1939 (Hamburg, 2004), 7177.

8. Judson, Pieter M., Guardians of the Nation: Activists on the Language Frontiers of Imperial Austria (Cambridge, Mass., 2006), 2. The most comprehensive overview is Zahra, Tara, “Imagined Non-Communities: National Indifference as a Category of Analysis,” Slavic Review 69, no. 1 (Spring 2010): 93119.

9. Arguments about local attitudes based on the Guard’s reports can be found in Zielińska, Nina, “Postawy mieszkańców Wołynia w czasie wojny polsko-bolszewickiej (na podstawie raportów Towarzystwa Straży Kresowej),” in Kołodziejczyk, Ryszard, ed., Społeczeństwo polskie w dobie I wojny światowej i wojny polsko-bolszewickiej 1920 roku (Kielce, 2001), 271–82.

10. Ciancia, Kathryn, “Borderland Modernity: Poles, Jews, and Urban Spaces in Interwar Eastern Poland,” The Journal of Modern History 89, no 3 (September 2017): 534–35.

11. Davies, Norman, Heart of Europe: The Past in Poland’s Present (Oxford, 2001), 113–29. One of Piłsudski’s best known supporters, the governor of Volhynia between 1928 and 1938, is the subject of Snyder’s, Timothy Sketches from a Secret War: A Polish Artist’s Mission to Liberate Soviet Ukraine (New Haven, 2005).

12. Dziewanowski, M. K., Joseph Piłsudski: A European Federalist, 1918–1922 (Stanford, 1969), particularly Chapter 5.

13. On the intellectual intricacies of Polish nationalism, see Porter, Brian, When Nationalism Began to Hate: Imagining Modern Politics in Nineteenth-Century Poland (New York, 2000); Brykczynski, Paul, “Reconsidering ‘Piłsudskiite Nationalism,’Nationalities Papers 42, no. 5 (2014): 771–90; and Brykczynski, Primed for Violence: Murder, Antisemitism, and Democratic Politics in Interwar Poland (Madison, 2016).

14. Brubaker, Rogers, Ethnicity without Groups (Cambridge, Mass., 2004), 141.

15. Pervaia vseobshchaia perepis΄ naseleniia Rossiiskoi Imperii, 1897 g. vyp. 7 (St. Petersburg, 1905), 2.

16. A helpful overview of the national and social composition of Russia’s western borderlands is Weeks, Theodore R., Nation and State in Late Imperial Russia: Nationalism and Russification on the Western Frontier, 1863-1914 (DeKalb, IL., 2008).

17. Ibid.

18. Hillis, Faith, Children of Rus΄: Right-Bank Ukraine and the Invention of a Russian Nation (Ithaca, 2013), 211–43.

19. Lohr, Eric, Nationalizing the Russian Empire: The Campaign against Enemy Aliens during World War I (Cambridge, Mass., 2003).

20. Zieliński, Konrad, “Population Displacement and Citizenship in Poland, 1918-24,” in Baron, Nick and Gatrell, Peter, eds., Homelands: War, Population and Statehood in Eastern Europe and Russia, 1918–1924 (London, 2004), 98118.

21. President Woodrow Wilson’s Fourteen Points (January 8, 1918), at (accessed May 2, 2019).

22. Edward Maliszewski, “Żywioł polski na Wołyniu,” Ziemia, December 31, 1919, 619–24.

23. For examples of the Ukrainian case, see Shelukhin, S., Ukraine, Poland and Russia and The Right of the Free Disposition of the Peoples (Washington, D. C., 1919); Mémoire sur l’indépendance de l’Ukraine présenté à la Conférence de la paix par la délégation de la république ukrainienne (Paris, 1919).

24. For more on the kresy as an imagined space, see Kolbuszewski, Jacek, Kresy (Wrocław, 1995); Kieniewicz, Stefan, “Kresy. Przemiany terminologiczne w perspektywie dziejowej,” Przegląd Wschodni 1, no. 1 (1991): 313; Zarycki, Tomasz, Ideologies of Eastness in Central and Eastern Europe (New York, 2014), particularly 115–51. On the broader European gradient, see Larry Wolff, Inventing Eastern Europe: The Map of Civilization on the Mind of the Enlightenment (Stanford, 1994). On the internalization of these ideas within eastern Europe, see Bakić-Hayden, Milica, “Nesting Orientalisms: The Case of Former Yugoslavia,” Slavic Review 54, no. 4 (Winter 1995): 917–31.

25. “Memoriał o terytorium państwa Polskiego złożony przez R. Dmowskiego Prezydentowi Wilsonowi w Waszyngtonie dnia 8 października 1918 roku,” in Roman Dmowski, ed., Polityka polska i odbudowanie państwa, Volume 2 (Warsaw, 1988), 302–7.

26. “Mémoire sur les Frontières Nord et Sud-Est de la Pologne Restaurée,” Archiwum Akt Nowych (Archive of New Documents, Warsaw; hereafter AAN) Komitet Narodowy Polski (Polish National Committee; hereafter KNP) 317/16.

27. “Stosunki polityczno-społeczne Ukrainy w 1918 r.–1919 r.” AAN KNP 905/2-3.

28. Conrad, Benjamin, “Das Ende der Föderation: Die Ostpolitik Piłsudskis und des Belweder-Lagers 1918–1920,” in Bicknell, Lisa, ed., Kommunikation über Grenzen: Polen als Schauplatz transnationaler Akteure von den Teilungen bis heute (Berlin, 2013), 1132. See also Wandycz, Soviet-Polish Relations, 90–117; Dziewanowski, Joseph Piłsudski. On the ideologically complex genealogy of federalism, see Case, Holly, “The Strange Politics of Federative Ideas in East-Central Europe,” The Journal of Modern History 85, no. 4 (December 2013): 833–66.

29. Gierowska-Kałłaur, Joanna, Zarząd Cywilny Ziem Wschodnich (19 lutego 1919–9 września 1920) (Warsaw, 2003), 336.

30. On the similarities between the approaches, see Benecke, Werner, Die Ostgebiete der Zweiten Polnischen Republik: Staatsmacht und öffentliche Ordnung in einer Minderheitenregion 1918–1939 (Cologne, 1999), 22.

31. “Les Confins Orientaux de la Pologne,” AAN Delegacja Polska na Konferencję Pokojową w Paryżu (Polish Delegation to the Peace Conference in Paris) 153/23.

32. On “Polish imperialism” from the Ukrainian perspective, see Shelukhin, Ukraine, Poland and Russia. See also Wandycz, Soviet-Polish Relations, 287. On the centrality of consent in Woodrow Wilson’s understanding of self-determination, see Weitz, Eric D., “From the Vienna to the Paris System: International Politics and the Entangled Histories of Human Rights, Forced Deportations, and Civilizing Missions,” The American Historical Review 113, no. 5 (December 2008), 1328. On the entangled histories of imperialism, self-determination, and the concept of consent, see also Getachew, Adom, Worldmaking after Empire: The Rise and Fall of Self-Determination (Princeton, 2019), 3770.

33. One particularly damning article was penned by an anti-Semitic nationalist, Andrzej Niemojewski. See Niemojewski, “Komisarz Osmołowski a Litwa,” Myśl Niepodległa, July 26, 1919, 498–503.

34. Maliszewski, Edward, “Próba obliczenia obszaru i ludności ziem zajętych na Wschodzie,” Wschód Polski 1, no. 1 (December 1919), 2935.

35. Borzęcki, The Soviet-Polish Peace, 60.

36. While the Guard generally supported Piłsudski’s approach, several historians have noted internal disagreements, including the presence of members who favored elements of the incorporationist model. See Gierowska-Kałłaur, Straż Kresowa a Zarząd Cywilny Ziem Wschodnich, 47–60; Waingertner, “Towarzystwo Straży Kresowej i Związek Rad Ludowych,” 162. For potted biographies of major activists, see Nowacki, ZET w walce o niepodległość i budowę państwa, 544–68.

37. I use Polish forms of place names, rather than Ukrainian, Russian, Yiddish, or other local languages, since the area was under Polish occupation at this time. This choice does not denote any normative assumptions about the “real” national identities of these places.

38. Zielińska, Towarzystwo Straży Kresowej, 51; Schenke, Nationalstaat und nationale Frage, 71.

39. Records of personnel in Łuck county indicate that, from June 1919, the position of county secretary was held by a 22-year old woman. “Lista Pracowników Straży Kresowej na powiecie łuckim, czerwiec 1920r,” AAN Towarzystwo Straży Kresowej (hereafter TSK) 145/162. Nina Zielińska’s list of people who worked for the nationwide organization also includes several women. See Zielińska, Towarzystwo Straży Kresowej, 34–35.

40. “Dlaczego żołnierz polski wkroczył na Wołyń?” Polak Kresowy, June 8, 1919, 2–3. If published articles showcased how people welcomed the army’s presence, however, reports indicated that the violent behavior of Polish soldiers toward civilians frequently increased hatred of Poles in general. “Stosunki na Wołyniu” (kwiecień-czerwiec 1919), Józef Piłsudski Institute of America Archives, Adiutantura Generalna Naczelnego Wodza 2/16/245–7.

41. “Obchody narodowe na Wołyniu,” Polak Kresowy, June 22, 1919, 2.

42. “Obchód narodowy w Kowlu,” Polak Kresowy, July 20, 1919, 4.

43. Ibid.

44. “Memoriał w sprawie położenia na Wołyniu, zadań Administracji i Straży Kresowej,” AAN TSK 217/91.

45. “Protokuł zjazdu delegatów ludności polskiej powiatu Łuckiego dnia 27 lipca 1919 roku,” AAN TSK 239/18.

46. Porter, Brian, “Hetmanka and Mother: Representing the Virgin Mary in Modern Poland,” Contemporary European History 14, no. 2 (2005), particularly 160.

47. “Protokuł zjazdu delegatów ludności polskiej powiatu Łuckiego,” AAN TSK 239/18.

48. “Protokuł zjazdu delegatów północnych części powiatów Łuckiego i Rówieńskiego dnia 28 września 1919 r. w Sarnach,” AAN TSK 239/114.

49. “Protokuł Zjazdu Powiatu Rówieńskiego w dniu 26/X 1919 r.,” AAN TSK 239/149.

50. Lud is a singular noun in Polish and evokes connotations of what Brian Porter calls “organic homogeneity.” Porter, When Nationalism Began to Hate, 14.

51. “Memoriał w sprawie położenia na Wołyniu,” AAN TSK 217/89.

52. “Protokuł delegatów ludności polskiej pow. Kowelskiego w dniu 14.9.1919,” AAN TSK 239/110.

53. “Protokuł zjazdu delegatów północnych części powiatów Łuckiego i Rówieńskiego,” AAN TSK 239/121.

54. Ibid.

55. “Protokuł zjazdu delegatów ludności polskiej pow. Kowelskiego w dniu 14.9.1919r.” AAN TSK 239/102.

56. “Minorities Treaty between the Principal Allied and Associated Powers (the British Empire, France, Italy, Japan and the United States) and Poland, signed at Versailles, 28 June 1919,” at (accessed May 2, 2019).

57. On hierarchies within the mandate system, see Susan Pedersen, The Guardians: The League of Nations and the Crisis of Empire (Oxford, 2015).

58. “Protokuł zjazdu delegatów ludności polskiej pow. Kowelskiego,” AAN TSK 239/106–107.

59. The phrase “Ruthenian brothers” is in “Protokuł zjazdu powiatu Rówieńskiego w dniu 26/X 1919 r.,” AAN TSK 239/155.

60. Gierowska-Kałłaur, Zarząd Cywilny Ziem Wschodnich, 337.

61. In doing so, they drew on pre-1914 intra-Polish tensions between the pragmatic approach to imperialism espoused by large landowners and the anti-imperial nationalism of the intelligentsia. Zarycki, Ideologies of Eastness, 145.

62. Lohr, Nationalizing the Russian Empire, 87.

63. Statistics published in 1905 indicated that almost 48 percent of the Volhynian governorate’s private land was in Polish hands, as opposed to the 45 percent that was owned by “Russians,” broadly defined. Weeks, Nation and State, 87. On intra-Polish competitions, see Beauvois, Daniel, La bataille de la terre en Ukraine, 1863–1914: Les Polonais et les conflits socio-ethniques (Lille, 1993), 149241.

64. “Memoriał w sprawie położenia na Wołyniu,” AAN TSK 217/89.

65. “Protokuły Posiedzeń Zjazdu Polaków Ziemi Wołyńskiej w Łucku dnia 12, 13 i 14 kwietnia 1920 roku,” AAN Ministerstwo Rolnictwa i Reform Rolnych 732/9. On the attitudes of Polish landowners more generally, see Mich, Włodzimierz, Ideologia Polskiego Ziemiaństwa 1918–1939 (Lublin, 2000).

66. In a memoir about her experiences in a landowning family in eastern Volhynia (which was to become part of the Soviet Union), Zofia Kossak painted a nostalgic vision of prewar ethnic and social harmony. Zofia Kossak, Pożoga (Warsaw, 1935). An analysis of Kossak’s style can be found in Gosk, Hanna, “Polski dyskurs kresowy w niefikcjonalnych zapisach międzywojennych. Próba lektury w perspektywie postcolonial studies,” Teksty Drugie, no. 6 (2008), particularly 24–25.

67. As Peter Holquist has argued, such reports are more revealing about the systems that collected the information than they are about the people under surveillance. Holquist, ““Information Is the Alpha and Omega of Our Work”: Bolshevik Surveillance in Its Pan-European Context,” The Journal of Modern History 69, no. 3 (September 1997): 415–50.

68. Gierowska-Kałłaur, Zarząd Cywilny Ziem Wschodnich, 329.

69. “Memoriał w sprawie położenia na Wołyniu,” AAN TSK 217/93.

70. “Raport tygodniowy za czas od 22.X. do 29.X.1919 roku,” AAN TSK 214/15. A “salt panic” was declared across the kresy more generally. See “W sprawie soli dla kresów,” Wschód Polski 1, no. 2 (January 1920), 34–35.

71. See Grove, William, War’s Aftermath (Polish Relief in 1919) (New York, 1940), 72. Articles in The New York Times highlighted similar problems. See, for instance, “Hunger and Disease Grip Eastern Poland,” The New York Times, April 12, 1919, 4. On American relief efforts more generally, see Rodogno, Davide, Piana, Francesca, and Gauthier, Shaloma, “Shaping Poland: Relief and Rehabilitation Programmes Undertaken by Foreign Organizations, 1918–1922,” in Rodogno, Davide, Struck, Bernhard, and Vogel, Jakob, eds., Shaping the Transnational Sphere: Experts, Networks and Issues from the 1840s to the 1930s (New York, 2015), 259–78.

72. Healy, Maureen, Vienna and the Fall of the Habsburg Empire: Total War and Everyday Life in World War I (Cambridge, Eng., 2004), particularly 31–86; Davis, Belinda J., Home Fires Burning: Food, Politics, and Everyday Life in World War I Berlin (Chapel Hill, 2000); Blobaum, Robert, A Minor Apocalypse: Warsaw during the First World War (Ithaca, 2017), 7992.

73. On Jews as Bolsheviks, see “Wyciągi z raportów kierownika Straży Kresowej pow. Łuckiego za rok 1919 dotyczące stosunków rolnych,” AAN TSK 201/115, 123.

74. Claims that Jews hid food had also been made by Ukrainian forces before their withdrawal in early 1919. See Gilley, Christopher, “Beyond Petliura: The Ukrainian National Movement and the 1919 Pogroms,” East European Jewish Affairs 47, no. 1 (2017), 49.

75. “Wyciągi z raportów kierownika Straży Kresowej pow. Łuckiego,” AAN TSK 201/112, 113.

76. “Obchód narodowy w Kowlu,” 4.

77. “Protokuł zjazdu delegatów ludności powiatu Łuckiego dnia 27 lipca 1919,” AAN TSK 239/19. On the broader context, see Fink, Carole, Defending the Rights of Others: The Great Powers, the Jews, and International Minority Protection, 18781938 (Cambridge, Eng., 2004), 101–30.

78. See note 14.

79. Dan Diner, “Between Empire and Nation State: Outline for a European Contemporary History of the Jews, 1750–1950,” in Bartov and Weitz, eds., Shatterzone of Empires, 62.

80. Weiner, Amir, ed., Landscaping the Human Garden: Twentieth-Century Population Management in a Comparative Framework (Stanford, 2003).

81. Lohr, Nationalizing the Russian Empire, 57.

82. On the amorphousness of national identities in the interwar kresy, see Linkiewicz, Olga, “Peasant Communities in Interwar Poland’s Eastern Borderlands: Polish Historiography and the Local Story,” Acta Poloniae Historica 109 (2014): 1736.

83. “Raport w objazdu pow. Dubieńskiego i Krzemienieckiego dn. 21, 22, i 23 października 1919 r.,” AAN TSK 327/11.

84. Ibid., 9.

85. “Raport miesięczny z powiatu Dubieńskiego za czas od 21/III od 11/IV 1920 roku,” AAN TSK 328/1.

86. “Wyciągi z raportów kierownika Straży Kresowej pow. Łuckiego,” AAN TSK 201/91.

87. “Raport o sytuacji na Wołyniu,” AAN TSK 215/40.

88. “Memoriał w sprawie położenia na Wołyniu,” AAN TSK 217/89. On colonists, see “Koloniści Polscy na Wołyniu,” Polak Kresowy, January 18, 1920, 6.

89. “Sprawy rolne na Wołyniu,” Polak Kresowy, August 31, 1919, 1.

90. “Wyciągi z raportów kierownika Straży Kresowej pow. Łuckiego,” AAN TSK 201/101, 100.

91. Maliszewski, “Żywioł polski,” 621.

92. “Raport o sytuacji na Wołyniu,” AAN TSK 215/43. The author of the report is named only as the deputy head of the Guard in Volhynia. Nina Zielińska states that this was Antoni Zalewski, although she does not give a date to indicate when he took up the position. See Zielińska, Towarzystwo Straży Kresowej, 35. In other documents, Zalewski is noted as still holding the position of the head instructor for Łuck county in June 1920. See “Lista Pracowników Straży Kresowej na powiecie łuckim, czerwiec 1920r,” AAN TSK 145/162.

93. “Raport o sytuacji na Wołyniu,” AAN TSK 215/43.

94. Ibid., 53.

95. On “Little Russians” as a branch of the Russian nation, see Weeks, Nation and State, 64–65. On “Germanized Italians,” see Frank, Matthew, Making Minorities History: Population Transfer in Twentieth-Century Europe (Oxford, 2017), 104; on “Magyarized Romanians,” see Maria Bucur, Eugenics and Modernization in Interwar Romania (Pittsburgh, 2002), 145–46.

96. Porter, When Nationalism Began to Hate, 182–88.

97. “Mémoire sur les Frontières Nord et Sud-Est de la Pologne Restaurée,” AAN KNP 317/10; Sprawozdanie stenograficzne z 24 posiedzenia Sejmu Ustawodawczego z dnia 3 kwietnia 1919 roku, 9.

98. Some members of the Polish left did not believe that all kresy populations were members of developed national groups. See Szczepański, Janusz, Społeczeństwo Polski w walce z najazdem bolszewickim 1920 roku (Warsaw, 2000), 49.

99. Palij, The Ukrainian-Polish Defensive Alliance, particularly 99–123.

100. “Wydział Organizacyjny SK Okręgu Wołyńskiego do Wydział Org. SK w Warszawie, 19 kwietnia 1920,” AAN TSK 415/52; “Lista Pracowników Straży Kresowej,” AAN TSK 145/162.

101. Bruski, Jan Jacek, Between Prometheism and Realpolitik: Poland and Soviet Ukraine, 1921–1926 (Krakow, 2017), 109.

102. Rogers Brubaker and Frederick Cooper argue that categories of practice are “categories of everyday social experience, developed and deployed by ordinary social actors, as distinguished from the experience-distant categories used by social analysts.” Brubaker and Cooper, “Beyond ‘Identity,’” Theory and Society 29, no. 1 (February 2000): 1–47, here 4.

103. On the First World War extending well beyond the official armistice of November 1918, see Gerwarth, Robert, The Vanquished: Why the First World War Failed to End, 1917–1923 (London, 2016).

104. On attempts to tie visions of Polishness to urban spaces in interwar Volhynia, see Ciancia, “Borderland Modernity.”

My thanks to Małgorzata Fidelis, Irina Gigova, Emily Greble, Maureen Healy, and Andrea Orzoff, as well as to the reviewers and editors at Slavic Review, for their valuable feedback at various stages of the writing process.

The Local Boundaries of the Nation: Borderland Guard Activists in Polish-Occupied Volhynia, 1919–1920

  • Kathryn Ciancia


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