Lech Walesa, Polish hero, Solidarity founder, and first democratically elected President of Poland, lectured at IU Bloomington on October 5, 1998, as the guest of Union Board and several area studies units. The Polish Studies Center had main responsibility for the academic component of President Walesa's visit. Walesa was exceedingly generous with his time here, holding six separate meetings with various groups on campus. Over one hundred students met him personally at gatherings ranging from a Tea at the Polish Studies Center, a dinner in the Tudor Room co-hosted by Union Board and Chancellor Kenneth Gros Louis, and at a post-lecture reception sponsored by International Programs in the Dowling Center. Walesa addressed a full house in the Musical Arts Center, and his talk was televised and re-broadcast by WTIU several times that week. Videotapes in English and in Polish may be borrowed from the Polish Studies Center.
Lech Walesa's career as a leader in the struggles for Poland spans the Solidarity era 1980-81 to the present. Dramatic moments include the period of Martial Law in 1982 and Walesa's own internment when he served as a symbol of peaceful resistance to the communist authorities; his leadership role in Solidarity's underground activities during the 1980s, finally resulting in the 1989 Round Table Talks which dissolved the communist government; and Walesa's own term in office as President of the Republic of Poland, 1991-95. As president, Walesa paved the path for a free market economy and Poland received one of the first invitations to join an expanded NATO. Lech Walesa won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1983 for his efforts to gain new freedoms for Poles from the dying communist regime, and his message of non-violent resistance and peaceful yet clever and forceful negotiation with powerful adversaries is something he still advocates today.
Walesa was not elected to a second term as president in 1995, and it appears that his career in elected office has ended. Now on the lecture circuit, Walesa speaks for global cooperation and supports the need for scholars and specialists to cooperate internationally to find solutions to problems of poverty and environmental damage.
While he is an enthusiastic supporter of traditional instruments such as NATO, the EU, and the market economies that are emerging in the postcommunist world, Walesa doesn't trust simply in strategic alliances and material improvements to solve international problems or make people better world citizens. Lech Walesa often spoke about our conscience, our spiritual dimension, and the role of religion in shaping world affairs for the better--in particular, he frequently cited the role of Pope John-Paul II in strengthening Poland's Solidarity movement. So while Lech Walesa is known as Solidarity's untutored but savvy political leader, as the humorous but charismatic little guy who jumped over the Gdansk Shipyard wall and turned a local strike into a national freedom movement, Walesa now wants to be seen as a kind of social philosopher, a man above the battle who can remind people of what they owe to their conscience, even more than to their pocketbook or party or national allegiance.
While IU area studies faculty may have wanted to hear more about Solidarity politics and history from Walesa, he pleased the students whom he met immensely with his charisma and with his hope in what the next student generation can contribute, if it develops a global vision. Here was a chance to meet one of the heroes of the Twentieth Century, Chancellor Gros Louis noted in his introduction to Walesa's lecture, and students took the opportunity to heart. They pressed him with questions at his visit to the Polish Studies Center. Delegates from a student organization which fosters international internships, AIESEC, enlisted Walesa's support for their Poland activities. And at the closing reception, over a dozen members of Union Board posed for a picture with Walesa and pressed him for autographs, because, one said, "we liked him so much."
Lech Walesa met with several faculty and student groups during his visit, including a Tea for students and tour at the Polish Studies Center organized by Timothy Wiles; a lunch with REEI staff and area studies faculty, including colleagues from IU Northwest and IUPUI; a press conference, and a meeting with area business people organized by the International Resource Center and hosted by its director, Shawn Reynolds, and also attended by John Fernandez, Mayor of Bloomington.
In the evening, Walesa was guest of honor at a banquet in the
Tudor Room, at which he received honors and gifts from both Indiana
University and the State of Indiana. From IU he received a copy of the
newly-published Constitution and Reform in Eighteenth-Century Poland,
edited by Emeritus Professor of Polish Literature Samuel Fiszman, who
greeted Walesa at the banquet and who commented that he associated the
book's message of rule of law in Poland with Walesa's own patriotic
PSC's Frank Nierzwicki presented Lech Walesa with a proclamation from Governor Frank O'Bannon, naming the Polish hero an Honorary Hoosier. Joining Frank for this ceremony are representatives from organized labor in Indiana, Ken Zeller, President, AFL-CIO, and Jerry Payne, Secretary. Timothy Wiles is at right.
Governor Frank O'Bannon issued a proclamation from the State of Indiana to mark Lech Walesa's visit, and this was presented and read by Polish Studies affiliate Frank Nierzwicki. It proclaimed President Walesa an Honorary Hoosier, the highest distinction that is awarded to a person not resident of Indiana. Several representatives from state-wide offices joined Frank in presenting this honor, including Phil Lehmkuhler, District Representative, and Wayne Vance, Administrative Assistant, from Congressman Hamilton's Office; Steve Tokarski, President Indiana Division, Polish-American Congress; Ken Zeller, President, AFL-CIO and Jerry Payne, Secretary.
Joining Lech Walesa on the stage of the MAC were representatives from several groups that had worked hard to make his visit a success and for us, an encounter with a truly global individual. In his introduction, Chancellor Gros Louis reminded us that we were witnessing history thanks to this visitor, and he also commented on the role IU played for Polish faculty and students in the communist period: thanks to our exchange IU provided an intellectual lifeline for many Polish academics and a chance to work and study in a free atmosphere during their stays here.
Representing students of East European and Russian area studies, doctoral student Michael Katula greeted President Walesa with a short address in Polish; he studies in the SPEA-Political Science joint degree program. Union Board President Chad Bradford greeted Walesa from the IU student body and also conducted the question period following the speech, and Lectures Director Patrick Beeker noted that if students have the general goal to educate themselves to make positive change in the world, IU students were now enjoying as their guest someone who had truly changed things. Bozena Shallcross (Polish Literature and Language) represented Polish Studies on the platform as the Center's Associate Director; she translated questions for Walesa during the discussion period.
At a closing reception in the Dowling International Center, Dean of International Programs Patrick O'Meara greeted Walesa and offered another fraternal gift as a token from our office, an IU beer stein, and he asked Dean of the School of Music David G. Woods to introduce a musical toast to Walesa, namely arias from two Polish operas sung in Polish by voice students from the School, Renata Rudziecka and Duane Whittmann.
With Lech Walesa at a reception are Manian Krajewska, left, (Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, and Ewa Jaworowski.
The Polish Studies Center was pleased to host Professor Hanna Gosk of the Institute of Literature, Faculty of Polish Philology, at Warsaw University. Professor Gosk came to Indiana University as part of the exchange program between the two institutions. Gosk had a busy and fruitful visit: she delivered two public lectures, attended numerous Polish Studies functions and classes, and collected theoretical materials for her study of the hero in literature and the first person subject.
On Wednesday, September 16, Professor Gosk delivered an informal lecture on Polish prose since 1989. She outlined the contours of contemporary Polish literature, pointing out the institutional changes that have affected what writers can publish and highlighting the work of a new generation of writers. Gosk mentioned how the lifting of censorship has changed the relationship between writers and readers, eliminating the writing in parables that occurred before as an effort to circumvent the authorities. The closing of state publishing houses and withdrawal of state subsidies has meant that writers of "belles-lettres" have chosen to adopt more popular genres in order to survive on the market. Gosk argued that while several themes (or anti-themes) are readily apparent in the prose of writers who began in the late 80s or early 90s, an appropriate critical response has yet to generate. Young writers have discarded both the forms and questions of earlier Polish prose. No longer do they consider universal or Polish themes -- their works are ahistorical and personal, linguistically playful and at times coarse, words for words' sake. (A copy of Hanna Gosk's talk, which lists numerous examples of the new prose, is available at the Polish Studies Center.)
Gosk's second lecture, "The Picture of America in Polish Prose of the 1980s and 1990s" considered the writings of four Polish writers, Miron Bialoszewski, Edward Redliski, Stanislaw Esden-Tempski, and Izabela Filipiak. From the four writers Gosk constructed a meta-narrative, portraying the major themes common to each. Ultimately, Gosk argued, the image of America in these works was as much a self portrait as a true representation of America. The experience of life in communist Poland shaped the lens through which these authors selectively viewed their subject.
Professor Gosk is the author of three books, "A Gdy to Wszystko Zapomne": szkice o polskim pisarstwie emigracyjnym XX wieku (1995), Wizerunek Bohatera: o debiutanckiej prozie polskiej przelomu 1956 roku (1992), and W kregu "Kuznicy": dyskusje krytycznoliterackie, lat 1945-1948 (1985), as well as numerous articles on twentieth-century Polish literature. She has also lectured on Polish literature in England, at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, and she held research appointments at the University of London and St. Hugh's College, Oxford University. This year she begins duties as the director of doctoral studies in the Institute of Polish Literature at Warsaw University.
In celebration of Polish Heritage Month, the Polish Studies Center was pleased to bring approximately thirty-five pieces of Walter Whipple's collection of Polish religious folk art to IU for the month of October. Several wooden sculptures and glass paintings of Biblical characters or scenes were exhibited in the School of Fine Arts Library gallery, with an additional exhibit at the Institute of Religion of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Atwater Ave., near the Polish Studies Center. Whipple inaugurated the exhibit with a slide talk on Thursday, October 7, followed by an opening reception at the gallery.
Walter Whipple, a professor of Polish at Brigham Young University, acquired the bulk of his collection of folk art in Poland from 1991 to 1993. While there, he got to know most of the artists personally, traveling to their homes to purchase works unavailable in the "Cepelia" state art stores. He also commissioned several works, demanding only that the artist try to do his best work. The most endearing parts of Whipple's lectures are about his relationships with the artists, many of whom still correspond with him. Dr. Whipple managed to acquire the most comprehensive collection of Polish religious folk art in the United States. The exhibit has been extremely popular in all of its venues. The staff of the Polish Studies Center heard many favorable reviews of the exhibit. We hope to bring a larger portion of the Whipple collection to Indiana University for a future long-term exhibit.
Antoni Maczak, a distinguished professor of European History at Warsaw University, visited Indiana University the first week of November. This was Professor Maczak's second lecture visit at IU; he first visited the campus for a conference in the early 1970s. Maczak stayed in Foster Hall, where he had an informal talk with residents on Monday, November 2.
Professor Maczak delivered a well-attended public lecture, "Early Modern Poland as a Paradox." Using a contemporary source by a British observer of Poland, as well as his own observations on the political history of Poland and other European polities, Professor Maczak illustrated the paradoxical status of Early Modern Poland as a progressive but ultimately weak state. In the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries Poland developed a strong gentry democracy, based on representative local government. County officers remained subject to their county and not the king. Maczak stressed patron-client relationships in Poland, a feature noticed by his British observer as well. Remarkably, despite a weak king and a vast territory, the country stayed together, largely because of the strong cohesion among the nobles.
The most important "points of contact" soldering the Polish state, Maczak argued, were among the magnate households of the Senate. Maczak compared Early Modern Poland to England, which was also a federation of noble households, only in Poland the king was effectively checked. While in England, Spain, and especially France, aristocratic power was curbed by strong monarchs, in Poland the existing political structure allowed the magnates to increase their power. Elected kings proved unwilling and then unable to account for the power of strong political families, who were linked to local nobility by patronage systems. By the eighteenth century power was concentrated in several magnate families. Lesser nobles clung to the idea of noble equality, even if it was largely a fiction. All the same, Maczak insisted, the social system of patron-client relations assured that magnates would try to execute the needs of local nobles.
When the Commonwealth was threatened by strong states on all sides, it lacked a strong army and strong central authority, both of which the nobles had long thought would curb their "golden freedom." And yet, argued Maczak, the final paradox was that the source of Poland's weakness was also what allowed the nation to exist once the state no longer did. The connection to the idea of the Polish nation-state persisted among its gentry. Poland's paradoxical political and social systems, according to Maczak, upset the notions of what is "normal" in western historiography. Poland's representative system of government preceded anything of its scale in England or France.
Professor Maczak's broad knowledge of early modern Europe and his commitment to comparative history made his lecture interesting for people familiar with Polish history as well as for non-specialists. He continued to assist students by responding to their research questions at a discussion session held at the Polish Studies Center on November 6th. This exchange visit truly lived up to the title reserved for the occasion, Warsaw University Distinguished Lecturer in Polish Studies.
Professor Andrzej Walicki, O'Neill Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame (formerly Professor at the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology in the Polish Academy of Sciences and now Member of the Academy) has been named one of three winners of this year's International Balzan Prizes. The other 1998 Balzan Prizes were awarded to Harmon Craig (USA) for Geochemistry and to Sir Robert May (Australia) for Biodiversity. Professor Walicki accepted the prestigious Balzan Prize honoring his work "on the cultural and social history of the Slavonic World" from the President of the Italian Republic on November 23rd in Rome at the Palazzo del Quirinale. On the following day at the Italian Senate Walicki participated as a lecturer at the International Symposium "The Slavonic World between Revolution and Evolution." The Balzan award is granted each year to three people who perform outstanding work in the areas of literature, moral sciences, arts, medicine, mathematics, and natural and physical sciences. The nominations for the prizes are submitted by learned societies from all over the world. The prize candidates are then selected by a committee of eminent European scholars.
Professor Walicki has been a visiting Professor at Oxford University, Stanford University; at the Woodrow Wilson International Center, Washington; at the University of Geneva; and at the Australian National University, Canberra. He is author of numerous books devoted to Polish and Russian philosophy and social thought of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries. Walicki has lectured several times at the Polish Studies Center, Indiana University and participated in conferences organized by the Center. His essays appear in two volumes edited by Samuel Fiszman and published by the Polish Studies Center, The Polish Renaissance in its European Context, and Constitution and Reform in Eighteenth-Century Poland. Walicki plans to visit Bloomington during Spring Semester to lecture on Adam Mickiewicz in the context of early Nineteenth Century intellectual history, to mark the bicentennial of Mickiewicz's birth.
The Polish Studies Center has received a grant of $90,000 from the United States Information Agency this year, to organize a program supporting the small press publishing industry in Poland. Timothy Wiles, Associate Professor of English and Director of Polish Studies, will administer the program, in cooperation with several publishing organizations, chief among them the Indiana University Press. (Wiles is the editor of a book series on Drama and Performance Studies at the IU Press which comprises ten titles in this field.) The Polish Studies Center will organize a series of workshops for Polish publishers during the course of this "Polish Small Press Development Program" (PSPDP), on aspects of business and financial management, marketing and distribution, electronic publishing, and issues of copyright and intellectual property rights. Collaborating with the Center in this project are IU Law faculty specialists in copyright, including Professor Fred Cate; IU Press senior sponsoring editor and Slavics specialist Janet Rabinowitch; and leaders of two national organizations which foster quality book publication, the Association of American University Presses and the Polish Chamber of Books. Wiles spent two weeks in Poland in August 1998, planning the program with Polish publishing specialists. Main activities in 1999 will include a publisher's workshop and study tour in the Midwest (ten Poles will spend a month at IU and in Indianapolis, Chicago and Ann Arbor in professional internships), and a large scale workshop to be held in Poland in May at which several U.S. publishers will be principal speakers.
In 1989 Polish reformers began the task of reforming governance in Poland. One of most daunting policy issues facing Polish postcommunist leaders was reworking the constitution. In his new book The Struggle for Constitutionalism in Poland, Mark Brzezinski provides an insightful history of the struggles and reforms that led to Poland's first modern democratic constitution of 1997, written from the special perspective he has as a political scientist and practicing lawyer, and a scholar who consulted extensively in Poland during the early 1990s. As Brzezinski notes Polish law makers had centuries of constitutional traditions to sift through, some of them benchmarks of democratic thinking, some, low points of communist doublethink. Following a scathing evaluation of the postwar constitution left in place by the communists, Brzezinski transports the reader back through time to the origin of Polish constitutionalism. What may surprise some is that this origin can be traced back to the 13th century.
Brzezinski outlines the political dueling between Poland's ennobled szlachta class and the throne over issues of taxation and political freedom. These showdowns led to the decentralization of power to the nobility and thus to a code of personal rights for this privileged group, which made up approximately 10 % of Polish society. Eventually, Polish kings were mere figureheads, and the state was robbed of any kind of centralized decision-making authority. By the time reformers set about correcting the imbalance of political power by rewriting the constitution in 1791, Poland soon became partitioned by Austria, Russia, and Prussia. For 123 years, Poland disappeared as an independent country.
Brzezinski just as thoroughly examines the constitutional vacillations of the interwar years from 1918-39, during which a populist model of government vied with Pilsudski's strong-arm approach to ruling. The point, Brzezinski states, is not that Poland failed to envision total democracy, but that successive generations of leadership in Poland gradually moved toward instituting forms of limited government and a system of checks and balances. This admirable effort was, of course, quashed by the invasion of Germany and the Soviet Union in 1939.
Following the unhappy conclusion of World War II with the agreements at Potsdam, the development of constitutionalism in Poland was derailed by communism. While sound on paper, the democratic principles of the various communist constitutions were never applied equally across Polish society. Worse yet, certain provisions of these drafts allowed the authoritarian government to silence its critics through draconian means that were officially legal. However, morally bankrupt and lacking legitimacy, the communist constitution, along with those who imposed it on Poland, were due to lose power. Brzezinski describes the democratic institutions and political structures that sprang to life after the Round Table Agreements of 1989. Within the new Polish democratic framework, Brzezinski examines the drafting and content of the "Small Constitution" of 1992 and the passage of the entirely new constitution of 1997.
In the last section of the book, Brzezinski analyzes the evolution of judicial review from its communist days to its present development. The author explores decommunization and lustration and the danger these thorny issues pose to constitutional legitimacy. Brzezinski also considers dangers to individual rights present in contemporary Poland and the powerful political influence of the Polish Catholic Church. Brzezinski concludes the volume by placing Poland's recent efforts to ensure constitutional rule into the overall historical context. Through the adaptation of Western models and the drive to make constitutionalism a foundation of postcommunist government, the contemporary leaders of Poland have completed an experiment that began long ago.
The Struggle for Constitutionalism in Poland is a great resource for students of Polish history and politics. Furthermore, the volume will be of interest to anyone studying the broader topics of constitutionalism and democratic transitions. Brzezinski's first chapter includes a useful theoretical framework of constitutionalism and its place in a democracy. The analysis throughout the book is specific but not encumbered by detail. Most significantly, Brzezinski offers conclusions and lessons about the virtues and dangers of redesigning government that have implications well outside of the Polish or Central European context.
Mark Brzezinski is a lawyer and political scientist in Washington, DC. His book was the subject of the Plenary Session Panel at the Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences conference in Washington in June 1998. Following his law studies at the University of Virginia, in 1991-93 Brzezinski worked as an instructor in comparative government studies at the American Studies Center, Warsaw University, before completing his doctorate at Oxford University. He spoke on the importance of the newly empowered judicial tribunal (Poland's Supreme Court) at the IU conference on Polish Society and Politics in Transition in 1993.
Michael Katula is a student in the SPEA-Political Science joint doctoral degree program at IU. Last year, while completing his Masters Degree at the Russian and East European Institute with a concentration on Poland, he served as research assistant at the Polish Studies Center.
Jack Bloom (Sociology, IU Northwest) presented a paper titled "How Social Upheaval from Below Affects the Ruling Group's Ability to Act: The Case of Poland, 1980-1981" in August at the meeting of the American Sociological Review. Bloom also presented "Researching the Polish Revolution: Using Life Histories to Illuminate the Macro-Historical Process" at the meeting of the Southern Sociological Society in Atlanta last spring.
Jack Bloom and Joanna Bloom (Sociology, IUN) are working actively this year to develop a Polish Studies Center at the Northwest campus of Indiana University in Gary. News about academic events and conferences will be announced soon. This month, the IUN Polish Studies Center will host its first Polish Christmas Luncheon and Bazaar on Saturday, December 5, in the Library Conference Center starting at 11:30a.m., with the Bazaar from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. Polish posters, ornaments, toys and gifts will be available, with proceeds going to the new Center. We wish this new project the best of luck and much success in the new year.
A Polish edition of Peter Bondanella's Umberto Eco was published this year, translated by Michal Pawal Markowski (Znak Publishers, Krakow, 1998). Bondanella is Professor of Italian Literature and Director of the West European Studies, IUB.
Ron Carter (English, IU East) received an international projects and activities grant from the President's Council on International Programs. Carter's project, "The Year's Work in English Studies in Poland for 1997 and Hemingway on the Polish Stage," catalogs academic publications and theatrical productions in Poland pertaining to the above topics.
Dan Cole (IU School of Law, Indianapolis) presented a paper in June on environmental protection in post-communist Poland at the 56th annual convention of the Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences in America, held in Washington, D.C. His book, Environmental Protection in Transition: Economic, Legal and Socio-Economic Perspectives on Poland, co-edited by John Clark of the Hudson Institute, was published this October. The book represents a collection of several papers presented in a 1996 conference on environmental protection in Poland, sponsored by the Polish Studies Center. Contributors include Zbigniew Bochniarz and Richard Bolan, Boguslaw Fiedor, Jerzy Jendroska, Piotr Glinksi, Jerzy Sleszynski, and Susan Cummings. Dr. Cole's article on the 1997 Polish constitution will be published this fall in the Warsaw - St. Louis Transatlantic Law Journal. Additionally, Dr. Cole's review essay "From Renaissance Poland to Poland's Renaissance: Reflections on Mark Brzezinski's The Struggle for Constitutionalism in Poland" will be published in volume 97(6) of the Michigan Law Review in Spring 1999.
Ronald Feldstein (Slavics, IUB) continues to instruct Second Year Polish this year, along with his duties in Russian Language and Linguistics.
Emeritus Professor of Polish Literature Samuel Fiszman, in partnership with Michael Mikos (Slavic Languages, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee) organized four sessions on Adam Mickiewicz which were the centerpiece of the program of the 56th annual PIASA conference held at Georgetown University in June 1998. The Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences of America holds a conference on scholarly achievements in all branches of Polish studies each year. To mark the two hundredth anniversary of the birth of Poland's national poet (and leading visionary of Polish national thinking), the Institute asked Professor Fiszman to put together four panels on different aspects of Mickiewicz's achievement. Indiana University was represented at the conference by PSC director Timothy Wiles, who chaired one of the sessions and sent greetings from Professor Fiszman, who was recovering from an illness. They both thank Michael Miko for his work in arranging the panels, which were conceived by Professor Fiszman in conjunction with work on his current project, a collection of essays on Mickiewicz in the context of Polish romanticism by an international body of scholars.
Professor Owen Johnson (School of Journalism & Adj. Prof., Dept. of History, IUB) published "The Media and Democracy in Eastern Europe," in Patrick O'Neil, ed., Communicating Democracy (Boulder, Colorado: Lynne Rienner, 1998), pp. 103-24.
Marian Krajewska (Music, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College) represented the Polish Studies Center at the American Council for Polish Studies convention in Detroit last summer, where she also served as Music Co-Chair with Camille Budarz; together they organized and adjudicated the national Sembrich vocal competition for ACPC. (See an announcement of this year's competition in the announcements column.) Professor Krajewska also sang with the College Choir in Rome in October, at the ceremony in St. Peter's Square at which Pope John Paul II proclaimed the beatification of Mother Theodore, founder of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College.
Ursula Niklas' (Philosophy, IUPUI) essay on Zbigniew Herbert entitled, "What are poets for?" will appear in a commemorative issue of Periphery: Journal of Polish Affairs.
Harold Schaffer (IU Library, Director of Renovation and Facilities) visited Warsaw University Library on the bilateral library exchange in September. He consulted on the forthcoming move of collections into Warsaw University's new library--a collection of three million books and items on paper--and enjoyed a splendid tour of the new library, rising on the banks of Wisla River below the main campus embankments, scheduled to open in Fall 1999. Harold toured a number of library departments and consulted with several specialists. His experience in moving the IUPUI collection into the new library at the Indianapolis campus has been particularly valuable for the monumental effort in Warsaw.
Associate Director of the Polish Studies Center and Assistant Professor of Polish Literature and Language, Bozena Shallcross, published "Intimations of Intimacy: Adam Mickiewicz's On the Grecian Room'" in Slavic and East European Journal, vol. 42, no. 2, 1998. She also published a review article, "Isaac Bashevis Singer: Two Polish Works" in The Polish Review, no. 2, 1998. Professor Shallcross was selected as a Senior Scholar by the Wilson Center's East European Program to participate in the Junior Scholars' Training Seminar last August 13-17 in New York City. In September, she attended the first International Congress of Polish Literary Studies Abroad in Warsaw. Professor Shallcross received an ACLS Fellowship for the spring semester 1999 to work on her forthcoming book, tentatively titled Epiphanic Travels.
Martin Spechler (Economics, IUPUI) recently completed an article, "Nationalism in Economic History," which includes substantial sections on Central and Eastern Europe. It will be published in the new Encyclopedia of Nationalism (Academic Press).
Suzanne Thorin (Dean of the Libraries) visited Warsaw University as guest of University Librarian Henryk Hollender in May 1998, a visit in return after Hollender's successful inspection tour of the IU Library system in 1996. This exchange of librarians and library administrators arose out of the unique opportunity of Warsaw University receiving authorization (and $85 million funding after the fall of communism) to build a state-of-the-art library facility which will be a model for academic libraries in East Central Europe. In addition to talks with heads of divisions at the WU Library, Dean Thorin discussed the role of the library system within a research university's teaching and scholarly missions with the WU Rector and Vice Rectors. She also toured the National Library in Warsaw, and traveled to Kraków where she met with the director of the Jagiellonian University Library, which is also under extensive renovation and expansion at present.
Polish Studies Center Director Timothy Wiles visited Warsaw and Krakow for two weeks last August, where he held discussions with representatives from the Polish publishing industry to plan activities of the USIA-funded "Polish Small Press Development Program," to be conducted during 1998-99 and jointly managed by the PSC and the IU Press. He also gave a talk at the IU Mini University in June on "Poland and the New Central Europe: NATO, The Euro, and other Alliances with the West." and chaired a session on Mickiewicz at the PIASA conference in Washington on June 13th.
Jeffrey A. Wolin (Director, School of Fine Arts) exhibited his portraits of Holocaust survivors in a show titled "Written in Memory" at the School of Fine Arts Gallery in September. The photographs will be displayed at Warsaw University in April 1999, in observance of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising anniversary. Wolin received funding from the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture to assist with the Polish exhibition.
Graduate assistants at Polish Studies in 1998-99. Thanks to some new funding sources the Center has an exceptionally large and talented staff this year. The Polish Studies research assistant is Nathan Wood (History), who has taken charge of hosting faculty visitors and is the main author of news stories in the PSC Newsletter. Nathan's biggest coup this semester was the exhibit of Polish religious folk art, which he persuaded his mentor from Brigham Young University Walter Whipple to bring to IU. Nathan first worked with Walter when they were posted in Poland by the LDS Church. Agnieszka Gmys-Wiktor is working as graduate assistant on the Polish Small Press Development Program, funded by the United States Information Agency. Her current duties include the construction of a bilingual website on book publishing and management issues for the PSPDP. A native of Krakow and holder of a Masters degree from the Jagiellonian University, Agnieszka is currently studying in the School of Library and Information Science. Amy Eberhardt is working with Frank Nierzwicki at the Polish Studies Center under an Indiana Department of Transportation grant, doing comparative research in transportation logistics and funding for both Indiana and Poland venues. Amy is in the REEI-SPEA joint degree program and she has done research on public administration in Poland during two extended visits.
Anne Czupryna (senior, IUB) received a Kociuszko Foundation Grant for the academic year at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków. Czupryna is taking courses in ethnology and sociology as part of her fulfillment of her Independent Major in Polish Studies.
Jennifer Day (graduate student, Slavic Languages and Literatures) has received a Fulbright-Hays fellowship for dissertation research on two Russian writers, Vladimir Nabokov and Joseph Brodsky, both of whom grew up in St. Petersburg and later emigrated to the United States. Using personal interviews, textual analysis, and cultural histories of the city, Day intends to reconstruct the city as it was remembered and represented in the two writers' works. Jennifer Day has assisted with Polish language instruction this semester, and she is program assistant for the PSC conference "Home/Less: the Polish Experience," December 4-5, 1998.
Graduate student Amy Eberhardt (SPEA) received an International Programs travel enhancement grant and a Kosciuszko Foundation Grant to study in Poland last summer. Eberhardt took classes and conducted research with the geography department of the Jagiellonian University. She spent some time gathering data on water pollution levels in rural areas of the Carpathians. Eberhardt also received a Kosciuszko Foundation Fellowship for the 1998-1999 academic year.
Braeson House (graduate student, History) received a Kosciuszko Foundation Fellowship for the 1998-1999 academic year.
Lynn Lubamersky (History) defended her dissertation in May 1998, under the direction of Owen V. Johnson, "Family Politics and Factional Politics: The Radziwill Family of Zdzieciol and the Social History of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, 1733-1763." Lynn is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor at Boise State University.
Ewa Paluszkiewicz and Michael Ausbrook were married on September 25th and greeted friends at a party at the Polish Studies Center on October 15, 1998. Ewa is tutoring three extramural students in Polish language at the Polish Studies Center.
Lee Roby (Slavics) continues her dissertation research on film maker Krzysztof Kieslowski, and this year, she is Instructor of First Year Polish at IUB.
First year graduate student Angela White (History) received the Chancellor's Fellowship from the College of Arts and Sciences. Angela studies Polish-Jewish relations during the interwar period.
Barbara Hicks (Political Science, University of North Carolina) was featured with a picture and full page story in the IREX Frontline Newsletter, Fall 1998 issue. This issue, observing "40 Years of History," was dominated by stories from the former U.S.S.R. and Eastern Europe, particularly the varieties of scholarship--and support of democratic development--that have been fostered by the International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX) in the first forty years of operations, the Cold War era. In her IREX story Hicks, who did her doctoral work on Polish environmental politics and participated in the IU-WU Poland exchange, described changes in the research climate in Poland for western scholars due to the new freedoms there, but also the scarcity of time felt by many informants (they are too busy being gainfully employed now) and the fact that some people or organizations no longer want to share their information free of charge. Barbara Hicks is Assistant Professor of Political Science at UNC and author of the recently-published Environmental Politics in Poland (Columbia UP).
David Mason (Political Science, Butler University) was also featured in the IREX Fall 1998 Frontline issue with a full page story and photograhs--his photographs depicted Solidarity demonstrations in 1982, the year of his IREX grant, the source of Mason's research for his book Public Opinion and Political Change in Poland (Cambridge UP, 1985). Like Barbara Hicks a bit later, David Mason was among the first doctoral students of IU Political Scientist Jack Bielasiak, Director of PSC 1986-91. Connoisseurs of political iconography will relish this IREX newsletter issue, which features on its cover photographs of PRL milicja being confronted with a huge Solidarnosz banner, Berliners dancing on the Berlin Wall, and crowds in Romania waving a huge flag with a hole cut out of it (namely the communist insignia).
Philip Pajakowski, Professor at the History Department of Saint Anselm College (Manchester, New Hampshire) who received his doctorate in History at Indiana University, published in Nationalities Papers, Vol. 26, No. 2, 1998 an interesting article based on rich sources including his own entitled "History, the Peasantry, and the Polish Nation in the Thought of Michal Dobrzynski" about the eminent historian and politician co-founder of the "Krakow School" in Polish historiography.
The Rev. Chuck (Charles G.) Robertson, Jr. (B.A. Sociology, 1964; M.A. Religious Studies, 1981 Certificate in Russian and East European Studies, 1984) received the Doctor of Ministry (D.Min) degree from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary in May, 1998. Chuck, who was active in the Polish Studies Center from 1976 to 1984, focused some of his doctoral research on a historical study of the development and role of bishops in the Evangelical Reformed Church in Poland. He has served as pastor of Parkland Presbyterian Church in Flint, Michigan for the past fourteen years.
Adam Wodnicki (School of Music) has returned to his faculty position at University of North Texas, at Denton, after a busy summer of piano concerts in Poland, including weekly performances in Czestochowa. He recently presented the Center with a copy of his new recording of Paderewski piano music, and this CD will delight all listeners who wish to borrow it.
Sembrich vocal competition: The American Council for Polish Culture is pleased to announce the $2000 Marcella Kochanska Sembrich vocal competition for 1999. Contestants, male or female, must be U.S. citizens of Polish descent who have pursued or are currently pursuing higher education study in voice. Application deadline is April 30, 1999. The winner will perform a full recital at the 1999 convention of the American Council for Polish Culture at 7:30p.m. in Savannah, Georgia on July 8, 1999. Further information may be obtained from Professor Marian Krajewska, A.C.P.C. Music Co-chair, Conservtory of Music, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods IN 47876. Office (M-Th noon) 812-535-5293. Home (weekends) 812-332-1322.
Joint Baltic American National Committee Conference. This association's annual conference, on the topic of Baltic Security, will be held in Washington, D.C. on March 5-7 1999. A range of sessions on foreign policy, security, political developments, and economic and trade concerns has been announced. The development of the Baltic states in cooperation with Poland, including alliances and European integration, will be a part of many discussions at this important conference. For information, please direct e-mail to the JBANC conference: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kent State University - Warsaw University Twentieth Anniversary Conference. One of our oldest fraternal partners in WU exchanges from this region, Kent State University, will mark its own twenty year milestone with a conference on February 6, 1999. (The IU PSC celebrated its twentieth anniversary of Poland exchanges in Warsaw in 1996.) A day long symposium will be held, with visitors from the Warsaw University Rector's Office being anticipated. There is a call for papers, and information may be obtained either from the PSC director here, or from Dean of COAS Joseph Danks at Kent State (email@example.com). Deadline: December 30, 1998.
Holiday Gifts at Polish American Cultural Center Museum Gift Shop. This worthy institution maintains a web page and raises funds at the holiday through the sale of Polish craft items and other gifts. There is a brief list of 18 items available from the Gift Shop, which can be sent via UPS or Priority Mail. Access the web site to learn about the Polish American Cultural Center, and then click on the gift shop animation to pursue this gift shopping opportunity: http://www.polishamericancenter.org
IREX Introduces New Electronic Announcement Mailing List. Activities of the International Research & Exchanges Board in Central and Eastern Europe, the U.S. and other regional centers are posted on the IREX announcement list, including conferences, grants, programs, and a monthly calendar of events. Its editor Anne Hvid states: "This mailing list is moderated, which means you will only receive messages from the editor of the list and you will be receiving only a limited number of messages. To subscribe, send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org with anything in the subject line and a message body containing only: subscribe irex-1
Online Polish Slang Dictionary. This extensive electronic resource, with over 4,000 terms, is the first online dictionary of Polish slang. It was compiled and is maintained by Dr. Maciej Widawski, who wrote to us from Gdansk to announce it. Access it yourself and see what it contains, and also correspond directly with Dr. Widawski on e-mail at email@example.com Web address for the Online Polish Slang Dictionary: http://www.univ.gda.pl/slang
The Polish Studies Center continues to be active and visible in several national organizations, as well as taking part in service activities within the university and community. As examples of local service, Polish Studies Program Assistant Lois Plew performs duties beyond the Polish perimeter in her additional assignment as receptionist for the Global Speakers Service, whose coordinator is Deb Hutton. PSC Director Timothy Wiles was the speaker for the Bloomington Book Review Club in December on the invitation of two of the Center's most active community supporters, Stan and Rose Thomas. He reviewed Lech Walesa's autobiography. In some related international programs work for secondary education in the state, Wiles joined several area studies administrators in May 1998 to present a day-long Seminar on Indiana University's International Resources for social studies faculty of Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School, at the Center for the Study of Global Change. Likewise, Wiles has been working with an IU School of Business student organization, AIESEC, which organizes internships for Americans and students from abroad, to develop an internship exchange with Poland culminating in a conference about business culture in the two countries, targeted for next September.
The Polish Studies Center is a member of several noteworthy national organizations. One is the American Council of Polish Culture, a fifty-year-old coordinating council of Polish cultural organizations located around the country. The PSC belongs as a Supporting Organization, a status reserved for museums, university programs, and other cultural organizations that are not membership-driven (as are community-based Polish cultural organizations, such as the Chopin Fine Arts Club in South Bend, the only other Indiana ACPC affiliate). Activities stemming from our membership in ACPC have included several news stories about PSC conferences in the ACPC newsletter, an opportunity for Timothy Wiles to deliver the Council's keynote convention lecture in Las Vegas in 1995 (on Polish-American cultural contributions), and the participation of Bloomington musician and Professor of Voice Marian Krajewska (Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College) and Co-Chair of the Music Committee.
Polish Studies is also a voting member of the national scholarly organization in our field, the Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences in America, and a number of Center members take part in its chief scholarly outlets, the annual PIASA Conference and the Institute's journal the Polish Review.
Timothy Wiles also serves as a member of The National Polish American-Jewish American Council, an organization devoted to improving relations and understanding between the two communities through educational means. The Council interacts with national organizations devoted to Polish affairs in the U.S. and with Jewish organizations in Poland and America, as well as making direct appeals to the two governments. Recently, the Council supported the production of a documentary film about the Żegota organization (Council for Aid to Jews in Occupied Poland, 1942-1945). The Center was given a copy of this 30-minute documentary video by the filmmaker Sy Rotter, and it is available to individuals and to groups. We will screen it next April in conjunction with the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.
Finally, Polish academic institutions occasionally contact the Center about affiliations with Indiana University. All would be welcome, as the poet said, "if there were world enough, and time [and funding]"--but some unique ventures are definitely worth the pursuit here. Last summer, the Rector of the Wyzsza Szkola Biznesu, Krzysztof Pawlowski, visited the Center and SPEA to discuss possible linkages between the two schools. His institution, the Higher School of Business in Nowy Sacz, is a new private school founded during the postcommunist reforms of higher education early in this decade, and it is the highest-rated school of business in Poland at present.