Richard Butterwick (from 2012 Butterwick-Pawlikowski) studied History at the University of Cambridge where he graduated with first-class honours in 1989. Following a year at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków, he moved to the University of Oxford to study for his doctorate, awarded in 1994. After teaching at the University of Łódź in 1993/94, he then held a three-year postdoctoral fellowship at Oxford, before becoming Lecturer in Modern European History at the Queen’s University of Belfast in 1997.
In 2005 he moved to the School of Slavonic and East European Studies at University College London, where in 2013 he became Professor of Polish-Lithuanian History. Professor Butterwick-Pawlikowski held the European Civilization Chair at Natolin between 2014 and 2020, and will return to his position in September 2023. His teaching for the College includes lecture courses and simulation games, covering the history of modern central and eastern Europe and the history of European civilization.
Professor Butterwick-Pawlikowski’s research focuses on one of the most remarkable polities in European history – the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth – during the age of Enlightenment. He is the author of ninety scholarly publications – monographs, edited volumes, and articles and chapters in refereed journals and collections. His book The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth 1733-1795: Light and Flame, published by Yale University Press in 2020, won the Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences of America’s Oskar Halecki Award in 2021 and the Polish Historical Society’s Pro Historia Polonorum prize in 2022.
The longer Polish edition, Światło i płomień. Odrodzenie i zniszczenie Rzeczypospolitej (1733-1795), published by Wydawnictwo Literackie in 2022, won the Polish Historical Society’s Karol Modzelewski Prize for the Historical Book of the Year in 2023.
His other books are:
- The Constitution of 3 May 1791: Testament of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (Warsaw: Polish History Museum, 2021; downloadable here; Polish, Lithuanian, Ukrainian and German editions, Lithuanian Braille edition);
- (ed., with Wioletta Pawlikowska), Social and Cultural Relations in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania: Microhistories (New York: Routledge, 2019);
- (ed., with Quincy Cloet and Alex Dowdall), Breaking Empires, Making Nations? The First World War and the Reforging of Europe (Warsaw: College of Europe Natolin and Natolin European Centre, 2017);
- The Polish Revolution and the Catholic Church, 1788-1792: A Political History (Oxford: OUP, 2012; longer Polish edition: Polska Rewolucja a Kościół katolicki 1788-1792, Kraków: Arcana and Muzeum Historii Polski, 2012, second edition 2019);
- (ed., with Simon Davies and Gabriel Sánchez Espinosa), Peripheries of the Enlightenment (Oxford: Voltaire Foundation, SVEC 2008:1);
- (ed.), The Polish-Lithuanian Monarchy in European Context, c. 1500-1795 (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2001; Polish translation: Warsaw: Bellona, 2010);
- Poland’s Last King and English Culture: Stanisław August Poniatowski, 1732-1798 (Oxford: OUP, 1998; revised Polish edition: Stanisław August a kultura angielska, Warsaw: IBL, 2000).
In 2016 Professor Butterwick-Pawlikowski was awarded the bronze medal Gloria Artis for his services to Polish culture and gained the degree of habilitated doctor from the Polish Academy of Sciences. Increasingly active in the field of public history in Poland and Lithuania, in March 2022 he became Principal Historian of the Polish History Museum in Warsaw.
This spot was made in 2023 to mark Poland’s Flag Day (2 May): watch here.
This lecture was recorded in the Royal Castle in Warsaw for the 230th anniversary of the Constitution of 3 May 1791: watch here.