Volume 19 Number 2 February 1997
In 1996 the Nobel Prize in literature went to the Polish poet Wis awa Szymborska. The Polish Studies Center celebrated this event on December 5, 1996 when Professor Bozena Shallcross, who teaches Szymborska regularly in her survey course, gave a lecture on Szymborska's poetry. The lecture, entitled Writing in Mittens': The Artistry of Wislawa Szymborska was very well attended and was followed by a lively discussion.
The title of the lecture was a quotation from Vocabulary in which the poet ironically plays with the image of Poland as a remote, albeit cold country whose obscure poets have to put on mittens before they put pen to paper. Although the purpose of the talk was manifold and included certain biographical information, its main thrust was to discuss -- from a purely formalistic point of view --the artistic means employed by the poet. Or, to paraphrase Szymborska, what kind of "mittens" she has to wear to archive artistic perfection in her poems. To answer this, Prof. Shallcross showed by way of example, accumulation, syntactic parallelism, ekphrasis, and double negation, to name but a few of the poet's favorite devices. The lecture was also buttressed by Prof. Shallcross' reading some of the poet's works aloud both Polish and English.
Wislawa Szymborska belongs to the same generation as such renowned Polish poets as Tadeusz Rózewicz, Zbigniew Herbert, and Miron Bialoszewski. She was born in 1923 in the small town of Bnin, in what is known as the Greater Poland province, but has spent almost her entire life in Krakow. Like many children, she received an underground education during WWII; after the war she studied at Jagiellonian University, though she never received a degree. In 1945 Szymborska made her debut in the literary press with the poem I am seeking a word... From that time forward, she has published nine slim volumes of poetry; the last tome, entitled The End of the Beginning, contains only 18 poems, each of them a masterpiece in its own right.
Szymborska's first two volumes followed the dogmas of socialist realist aesthetics, while those that followed present a very undogmatic and diverse poetic universe. Her poetry is often categorized by critics as philosophical -- either existential, deconstructionist, or even positivist. But Prof. Shallcross considers her as an agnostic, as a poet who vocalizes doubt and ambiguities. In sum, she questions our world of seasonal fashions, pseudo-important cultural habits, and automatic behavior by focusing her attention on peripheries, be it the back side of a famous painting or the death of the beetle. Finally, she is a masterful weaver of numerous existential possibilities which she addresses in the following manner in the poem entitled Could have :
You were saved because you were the first.
You were saved because you were the last.
Alone. With others.
On the right. The left.
Because it was raining. Because of the shade.
Because the day was sunny.
Once again, Wislawa Szymborska's poetry resonated well with the public because
of its diversity, sense of humor, and immediacy.
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In Praise of Polish Poetry
- by Sean Singer
Reprinted by permission of the Indiana Daily Student (from Jan.'97)
A feeling like being choked has entered our throat. There is a certain decadence in American culture today, that has had an effect on our literature. The work Americans are putting out today is not as interesting as the work being produced in the rest of the world.
Perhaps this is because we are too satisfied with cable television and having ice cold milk right at our fingertips. We are a nation where we have the absurd luxury of rejecting the gift of milk from nature and using Veganism as an excuse to protect the emotional life of the honeybee or the cauliflower. We are a nation of quick fixes, of drive-throughs, the Internet, and dream interpretation. We are a nation that uses "diversity" to veil the ignorance we all have about each other's cultures. We are a nation of poetry that makes up in sensitivity what it lacks in humanity. The "melting pot" we were told, or perhaps warned about in grade school has become processed fast-food in an environmentally-safe package. The pleasure of all this is followed by a bellyache, and it is America's literature that is causing much of the indigestion.
The poetry and novels of a country are its dogtags, in a sense. When the land and the people are lost to time and cultural evolution, literature is a record of what happened there: what a nation's people were feeling and thinking about before their decline and fall. This happens in the way the cave paintings in the caves in Lascaux, France are a record of the prehistoric Gauls who had war and love there forty thousand years ago: a painting of a man killed by a bison is a news story with a beginning, middle, and end. Literature provides the desire to work out the difficulties of being a nation, imperfect and seduced by itself. Robert Frost, in "Servant to Servants," said "the best way out is always through," and this is what literature of a country should do. It pushes us through, guides us like a ceaselessly drunk Virgil through the dark passages.
The best we have is someone like Robert Creeley, an aging, one-eyed minimalist poet who writes about loneliness and pain as if they were flowers; or perhaps Robert Hass, our current Poet Laureate, who said "The history of European art is that it's the history of men looking at women and thinking about light." Both Creeley and Hass make me proud to be an American. But we are losing the sense of ground, and are enduring a slippage of the importance of literature, in comparison to the rest of the planet, and that lost ground worries me.
Poets from other countries are writing things that put Americans in an envious and somewhat regrettable position. Poland, for example, which has a difficult time in history texts, has created the most extraordinary poetry of this century. The winner of the 1996 Nobel Prize for Literature is a 73 year old woman who lives in Cracow in a small, three-room apartment. Her name is Wislawa Szymborska (pronounced vees-WAH-wah sheem-BOR-ska) and she is beautiful. She is witty, wise, sensitive, sensual, thoughtful, rapturous and despairing. She makes a reader feel less alone.
Szymborska comes from a tradition, not only of Polish (beginning with Jan Kochanowski in the late 16th century) but of Slavic poetry including Anna Akhmatova, Aleksander Pushkin, Czeslaw Milosz, Zbigniew Herbert, Adam Zagajewski (who will be reading here in April), and so on. Szymborska should set an example of the ability of the word to make things happen, to do magic, and to create the illusion of beauty or the beautiful thing itself. Americans have never achieved, I don't think, the kind of important work Szymborska produces. She faces the Abominable Snowman she writes about and tells it who is the boss.
Poland is a place where unspeakable genocide happened. The Nazis killed millions of Jews there and Poland itself lost six million more of its own. She does not treat language as something that did not also survive the war. Her language is simple, without ornaments or unneeded sounds, it is clean and holds on to precious things: buttons, photographs, stars, paintings by Brueghel and Rubens, diary entries, water, stones, dreams, and love. She says "we're extremely fortunate not to know precisely the kind of world we live in," probably because the most beautiful experience we have as a species is the mysterious, but also because the precision we are unaware of is too terrifying. Poetry cannot save the world, but it will let us feel with our own hearts what we have been missing.
Szymborska is the best gift Poland could offer the world. On the other hand, American poetry has not done what Polish poetry has done; in a way it still feeds off illusions, forces that are not important, and is only in a rudimentary, skeletal sense concerned with suffering and joy. What can we do about it? Perhaps we should just keep practicing, writing, rewriting, and reading people like Milosz and Szymborska, who help us with the hopeless task of our century's problems. Just a few months ago, Szymborska was in one of the three rooms in her apartment, and there was yellow light in the room, and she wrote this about three odd words: "When I pronounce the word Future / the first syllable already belongs to the past. / When I pronounce the word Silence, / I destroy it. / When I pronounce the word Nothing, / I make something no nonbeing can hold." (See page 1 for Polish text of "Three oddest words.") It seems we are the one not holding that thing. To crawl out of this literary hole, we must, as W.H. Auden said, "believe our pain." We must know we are not in a bubble, but we look out the window on a planet, of 4 billion others who know nothing about America, and who have the same historical memories of the choked man in the cave painting in France, who discovered fire and told others about it.
Sean Singer is a senior majoring in English from South Florida. His research interests are avant-garde jazz, Twentieth Century poetry, and the artists Paul Klee, Stuart Davis, Willem DeKooning, and Romare Bearden.
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The Polish Studies Center has initiated a cooperative project with Department of Transportation specialist Frank Nierzwicki in tasks involving education outreach and transportation planning. The latter subject connects with Poland, because one of Nierzwicki's research projects will be the Polish motorway system, which is expected to be greatly upgraded in the next two decades. Investment opportunities for Indiana businesses and for State of Indiana transportation consultants are some of the expected benefits from Nierzwicki's study.
Frank Nierzwicki is no stranger to the Polish Studies Center. For several years, he has served as the Center's Long Range Planning Director on a part-time basis. While this is an after-hours job for Frank, having him be located in a spare office at the Polish Studies Center for several days a week on his INDOT assignment makes it easier to coordinate these duties. As one example of a consulting trip which Frank recently made to Washington, to work on PSC business and lay grounds for discussion of the Polish motorway project, see a photo of Frank Nierzwicki with the Polish Ambassador and with a senior consultant at IREX.
A transportation planner for the southern Indiana region, Frank Nierzwicki holds an M.P.A. degree in Transportation from the IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs. While he is assigned to the office at the Polish Studies Center, he will work on research concerning the upgrade of Poland's highways, which will be rebuilt as modern expressways in the first decade of the next century. A grid of superhighways is planned for Poland, crossing the country in four directions (with access to ports to Scandinavia in the north), and also as a beltway paralleling the western and southern borders, for the crucial German and Czech markets. As a cynical American friend once remarked after driving on the old Polish road system, with this new superhighway system, "Finally the traditional Polish traveler's expression of 'Happy trails' will come true." (In Polish the expression is 'Szerokiej drogi,' literally, we wish you wide roads, or a broad pathway.) For readers' interest: the Polish Studies Center has available a short planning paper in English, "Polish Motorway Program," issued by the Agency for Motorways Construction and Operation, Warsaw.
While assigned to Bloomington, Frank Nierzwicki will work on several projects
involving local and regional highway developments, in areas of district level
planning, coordination, and economic development. At IU, he has been assigned
to do educational outreach, particularly with SPEA; there he will discuss innovative
transportation planning techniques with faculty experts and see how they could
be used at INDOT. Faculty and graduate student research possibilities are part
of this project. At Polish Studies, he will meet with our staff and the Dean
of International Programs to examine East European countries' transportation
projects, and he will produce a report on innovative European transportation
planning techniques and evaluation of a pilot education outreach program in
this area, to be conducted by IU and INDOT.
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Marian Krajewska of Bloomington attended the 48th annual national convention of the American Council for Polish Culture as the Polish Studies Center's delegate. Her particular duty at the convention was to serve as Co-Chair of the Music Committee, with Camille Budarz--an appropriate respon-sibility, because Marian is Professor of Voice at Saint Mary of the Woods College in Terre Haute. These duties involved supervision and adjudication for the music competition which accompanies the national convention. In addition, Marian reported on convention activities to the Polish Studies Center, and copies of the ACPC's annual report and convention program are available at the Center.
Officially, the Polish Studies Center is a Supporting Organization of the American Council for Polish Studies. This gives us the right to send delegates and cast one vote at Council conventions. Most of the member organizations in this Council have Affiliate status: they are state and city cultural organizations dedicated to Polish culture and Polish-American cultural relations, such as the very strong Polish Arts Club of Buffalo, or the Polish American Arts Association of Washington, DC. The Affiliate organization in Indiana attached to the ACPC is the Chopin Society of South Bend. The IU Polish Studies Center is the only academic program to be affiliated with ACPC, and the only other group to hold the status of Supporting Organization is the prestigious Polish Arts & Cultural Organization of San Francisco (Wanda Tomczykowska, president).
At the 1995 ACPC convention held in Las Vegas, PSC Director Timothy Wiles was a featured speaker. He gave a talk to the convention about Polish-American cultural and artistic achievement, including a special section on Liberace, well-known adopted son of Las Vegas, at whose home and museum two of the conference's music recitals were held last year.
In 1996, Marian Krajewska joined a distinguished program at the ACPC conference, which took as its theme "Poland, a Tapestry of Sight, Sound and Color." There were several presentations and honors in areas of culture and the arts. The Consul General of the Republic of Poland in Chicago, and Minister Plenipotentiary Michal A. Grocholski gave the keynote speech. Guest speakers included Don Gardner, a Park Director in Savannah, Georgia, where the monument and grave of General Pulaski is in process of reconstruction; noted Professor of Polish Studies Leonard A. Polakiewicz (University of Minnesota), speaking on "Polish Studies in America," and Dr. Thaddeus Radzilowski, President of St. Mary's College in Orchard Lake, Michigan, a college with significant ties to Poland and with the only B.A. program in Polish Studies in America. He is a historian of Poland and Polish-American culture.
In arts and culture, some of the people singled out for awards included Jacek Galazka, Publisher of Hippocrene Books (which published the Sienkiewicz Trilogy, among numerous titles related to Polish culture), and Leonard Vincent Kosinski, who received the ACPC Founders Award. Three leading young writers gave readings at a literary symposium which was dedicated to new prose and poetry by American writers of Polish descent, Tony Bukoski and Suzanne Strempek Shea, fiction writers, and poet John Minczeski.
It was in the music category that Marian Krajewska's special talents and perceptions really bore fruit. As winner of the ACPC Marcella Kochanska Sembrich Scholarship Award, Minnesota soprano Mary Heston received a scholarship and also gave a solo recital at the conference. Her award is named for the great Polish-American vocal artist Sembrich who was a contemporary of Szymanowski and Paderewski. Guest artists at the conference this year also included dance artists. A modern dance performance was given choreographed by Twin Cities dance luminary Mathew Janczewski, who has created dances both in Minneapolis and in Poland. And completing the array was the Dolina Polish Folk Dancers, a performing group based in Minnesota, dedicated to promoting Polish culture through song and dance.
A national newsletter of the American Council for Polish Culture, Polish
Heritage, chronicles activities of the more than thirty affiliated organizations.
Copies are available at the Polish Studies Center. We urge you to read it, and
we also urge people to get involved with activities related to the ACPC. More
information about this will be found in the next PSC newsletter.
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Polish Studies has occupied its new house at 1217 Atwater Avenue for a full semester and we have begun our second term here. Late last fall, Polish Studies received several substantial gifts of furnishings, and we are grateful to the donors, Marian Krajewska, Lois Plew and Bozena Shallcross, for making our house much more of a home. Everyone who attended our Christmas party noticed the set of living room furniture which Marian Krajewska contributed to us. The room looks very homey now, and we have already held several meetings of student groups and small discussion sessions there. The bookshelves are also filling up with a number of Polish books donated by Bozena Shallcross. And the PSC kitchen now holds a good used electric stove thanks to Lois Plew, who reports that it is all ready to use at our next party. Thanks again to Marian, Bo ena and Lois.
The Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, the Polish Studies Center, the Russian And East European Institute and Horizons of Knowledge sponsored a lecture by Jerzy Jarzebski, Professor of Polish Literature at Jagiellonian University on October 10, 1996. The speaker, a specialist in modern Polish literature, discussed the topic "Witold Gombrowiczs Operetta as Wardrobe of the Soul," basing his research on a recently discovered early first version of Gombrowicz's final comedy Operetta.
Jarzebski is one of the leading critics of modern literature in Poland. He has published four books and is the author of 240 articles, reviews, and prefaces; he edited 20 books and participated in 70 conferences in Poland and abroad. He came to IU from Harvard University, where he had a short visiting appointment at Stanislaw Baranczyk's chair of Polish Studies last fall. Jerzy Jarzebski's visit was initiated by Bozena Shallcross, who studied with him in one of the first seminars he taught in Polish literature at the Jagiellonian University.
Prof. Jarzebski enjoyed a large audience of fans of Witold Gombrowicz's work when he lectured on this topic at IU last fall. This is because almost two dozen students and friends of Polish Studies took part in a play reading of Gombrowicz's Operetta a week before Jarzebskis talk. The play reading was held at the Polish Studies Center and libations and snacks were provided by Bozena Shallcross, Lois Plew, and several actors. We had Brits, Bulgarians, Poles, Russians, and several Yankees reading Gombrowicz's witty repartee in English - and sometimes in Polish - most of the grad students affiliated with our programs took part. Tim Wiles, who first was drawn to Poland because of the country's lively theatrical scene, organized this reading. It was one of the first events to inaugurate our new Polish House, and several of the performers requested that we hold another play-reading. We are open to some suggestions!
On October 24, 1996, Jagiellonian University social anthropologist Annamaria Orla-Bukowska presented a lecture titled "Frysztak: Polish Town, Jewish Shtetl" introducing her studies of Polish-Jewish relations in the rural towns of Poland in the period between the World Wars. Frysztak was one such town, and she treats the population there as one local cultural unit. Her approach, which she describes as sociocultural and ethnographic, is aimed at analyzing the interworking of these peoples rather than emphasizing their differences. She argued that stereotypes of Polish-Jewish relations, so typical to the big Polish cities, are not present in small towns where people know each other and members of another religion group are treated individually.
Orla-Bukowska used a detailed interview technique with Poles who lived in Frysztak since the early Twenties and never left their town. To reconstruct the Jewish counterparts, she employed memoirs, biographies, and books based on oral accounts such as From a Ruined Garden, ed. Jack Kugelmass & Boyarin (Schocken), and Life is with People, ed. Mark Zborowski & Elizabeth Herzog (Schocken)
The lecture was enthusiastically received by professors and students who afterwards raised several interesting questions. Many people were concerned with why relations between Poles and Jews could be different in big cities and small towns. Some people wanted to know how Poles interacted with other ethnic groups in small towns as well. Several questions inquired into the fate of Jewish survivors from Frysztak after World War II. Some professors raised issues about the research methods Orla-Bukowska used for her study.
On December 12, 1996 several dozen friends of the PSC gathered in the new
Polish House at 1217 E. Atwater to celebrate the traditions of Wigilia. Students,
faculty, family, and friends took part to experience Christmas Polish style.
Many individuals volunteered to prepare traditional Polish Christmas and holiday
dishes; dinner was held in a pot-luck fashion. It was especially nice to sing
traditional Polish Christmas Carols as a group, which was organized by Bozena
Shallcross, and thereafter to share oplatek.
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Henryk Hollender, the Director of Warsaw University Library, and Anna Cwilag, an Academic Research Assistant at the library visited IU in September 1996. Their visit was as a result of the exchange agreement between IU President Myles Brand and the Rector of Warsaw University, which will support the modernization of the Warsaw University library system and assist WU in the design of a new, 5 million volume capacity library to open in the year 2000. Hollender and Cwilag came here to study the IU's library automation system and to gather information which will help Warsaw University to manage extensive automation of the library functions. They also studied areas of fundraising and philanthropy, budgeting, human resources management, access services, electronic and network resource, and several others. Hosts for the visit at the IU Library included Dean of the Libraries Suzanne Thorin, Associate Dean Patricia Steele, and Howard Shaffer, Director of Access Services.
Hollander and Cwilag visited the IU Library departments of Automation, Electronic Resources and Services, Serials, and Monographic Processing, the Music Library and the Kinsey Institute Library.
For the next round, a staff member of the IU Library is scheduled to pay a visit to Warsaw University later this year.
Marcin Zaremba, a doctoral student in Politics at Warsaw University, spent Fall Semester 1996 at the Polish Studies Center, where he did research on his Ph.D. thesis about national legitimation during the Communist time in Poland. He came here to study three major questions: the process of legitimization of political systems with a special emphasis on communism, questions associated with nationalism, and critical reviews of Marxist philosophy with respect to national issues. In the Indiana University Library Marcin found many materials that helped him to look at this topic in new ways. It was especially helpful for him to consult journals such as Soviet Studies and Nationalities Papers particularly issues from the early years of Polish Communism that are not found in Polish libraries. Marcin also took advantage of courses offered at IU like "Nationalism in the Soviet Union in Gorbachev's Period" (Prof. Firmin) and "Transformation in Postcommunist Countries" (Prof. Bielasiak). Using these resources, Marcin wrote an article titled "Privileges of Communist Authority" which will soon be published in the history journal Mówia Wieki. He also wrote another article about the revolutionary atmosphere among workers in 1967 in Poland.
This was Marcin's first visit in America. He was very interested in American culture which beforehand he had only encountered through popular books and movies. He wrote an article Dzieci hipisów nie chca wybierac (Hippies' children do not want to choose) in which he recorded his observations of the behavior and voices of IU students in the pre-election atmosphere. This article was published in one of the November issues of Rzeczpospolita.
Hippies' Children do not Want to Choose by Marcin Zaremba
This article appeared in Rzeczpospolita No. 256, 2-3 November, 1996. Article abbreviated by Ewa Callahan.
The author based his analysis on a survey he conducted among students of Indiana University in the days prior to the presidential election in October 1996.
From the 30 people interviewed for the purposes of this article only two said that they were "very interested" in the election. The rest shared the opinion that the election is not important to their lives. Most people said they would vote, but they would have difficulty choosing a candidate because neither is worthy to become president. Most of the students surveyed could not determine specific differences between the programs of the competing political parties. Some of them pointed out that the candidates should be more precise in describing what changes they plan to make instead of constantly criticizing their opponents.
The author attempted to find an answer to the question why young Americans don't want to participate in politics. One reason can be found in the book The Closing of the American Mind by Allan Bloom, in which Bloom criticizes the American education system for its ability to absorb diverse lifestyles and value systems. Bloom argues that when all values become equally valid it is impossible to determine what is the public good. For Bloom, it comes as no surprise that young people educated in this system are not sensitive to the values of American democracy.
Zaremba presents a more optimistic picture than Allan Bloom. He does not regard a lack of youth participation in political life as alarming. Instead, it is a sign of the stabilization of the political system in the U.S. and evidence of the disappearance of some social conflicts.
Marcin was joined here by his wife Jolanta Zarembina, a journalist for the Polish newspaper Rzeczpospolita. Jolanta spent time in America gathering materials for a series of articles about the United States. One of her articles will be about the Polish Studies Center, its role and programs. Jola was especially interested in the cooperation between the PSC and Warsaw University, and in her article, she analyzed the history of the exchange and the incentives which different sponsoring programs at IU have in supporting Polish Studies. Besides traditional partners for Polish Studies like the Slavics Department and the REEI, some of the professional schools have began to cooperate with the Center, including Business and SPEA.
Jola also wrote an article about the Department of Slavic Languages and Literature at Indiana University. She was especially interested in the motivations of American students to study the Polish language and culture and the activities of the professors of Polish.
Jolanta also interviewed American students who had lived in Poland at different time periods. She is now preparing a publication about their impressions and experiences with Poland.
A theme she will continue to develop in Poland is the visit of a Polish librarian from Warsaw this past September. She will look at how features of the IU Main Library may now be adapted to the Warsaw University Library.
Jola had the chance to travel during Christmas break. She visited Chicago
and Florida; these trips gave her new themes for future articles. Her article
about the Degas exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago has already been
published. Other articles will present to Polish readers the J.F. Kennedy Space
Center and the Universal Film Studio as a new kind of entertainment and Palm
Beach which is regarded by Poles as a symbol of American luxury.
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During October and November 1996, Marta Mroczek, a psychologist from
Gdansk, Poland, visited Bloomington and Indianapolis at the
invitation of the School of Social Work. Marta works as a trainer
for the Regional Information and Support Center for NGOs in Gdansk,
and she traveled to this country to learn more about the American
non-profit service sector, with particular focus on programs and
services for elderly people. While in Bloomington, Marta visited
social service agencies, observed social work classes and discussed
curriculum and training issues with faculty, and participated in
several Polish Studies Center events. In Bloomington, she was
affiliated with Katherine V. Byers, Coordinator of BSW Program,
School of Social Work. Upon departing, Marta expressed her
appreciation for the hospitality she experienced and the knowledge
she gained about the voluntary sector in the U.S.
Associate Professor Steven Franks, Slavic Languages and Literatures, has been chosen as the IU faculty participant in our short-term exchange with Warsaw University for this year. Steve Franks is a Slavic linguist with a joint appointment in the Linguistics Department. In addition to considerable research, he has organized a number of conferences related to Slavic linguistics, some involving specialists from Poland, and some of this activity has been co-sponsored by the Polish Studies Center. Steve will visit Warsaw University for several weeks this spring, where he will lecture in the Linguistics section of the English Institute, and consult on research projects with his Polish partner, Professor Jerzy Rubach, a noted linguist who has been a guest of the Polish Studies Center on several occasions.
Bill Johnston, a visiting faculty member in the Linguistics Department, traveled to Poland in November as a recipient of a PSC faculty travel grant, to present a paper at the IATEFL conference in Poznan (International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language). His presentation, "Do EFL Teachers in Poland Have Careers?" summarized Bill's doctoral research, based on a number of life history interviews with English teachers in Poland. He investigated ways in which these teachers constructed their professional lives and careers in the rapidly changing postcommunist society, and the relationship between teacher careers and the changes in the Polish educational system since 1989. These changes include the widespread replacement of Russian with English in schools and the establishment of language teacher training colleges to train large numbers of teachers. While in Poland, he also contacted some of his informants to begin to make arrangements for a follow-up study, which will chart a spectrum of teachers' careers and examine their aspirations as teachers in the early years of the reborn Polish Republic.
Michael Parrish (SPEA, IUB) published a book The Lesser Terror, Soviet State Security 1939-1953. One of the chapters is devoted to the mass killing of the Polish POW officers in 1940, recounting the operation from the side of its Soviet perpetrators as well as the subsequent attempts at a cover-up.
Bozena Shallcross (Slavic Department) gave a presentation "Intimations of Intimacy: Adam Mickiewicz's Poetry on the Home" at the National AAASS Convention in November 14-17 1996.
Timothy Wiles was recently appointed to the Board of the National Polish American-Jewish American Council, which has its headquarters in Washington. The next council meeting will be held on April 14 and will have as a subject of deliberation the recent documentary film Shtetl, aired last spring on PBS. Part of the session will include a screening of this film at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and a discussion with film director Marian Marzynski (of Israel) and responses from American historians and political analysts Stan Blejwas and Abraham Brumberg. See the next issue of this newsletter for a report on debate about this controversial film.
Gerald E. Lowther, O.D., IU School of Optometry has developed extensive contacts with the optometry program of the Medical School in Poznan, Poland, in recent years. He filed this report with us, and it illustrates IU's growing involvement with professional schools in Poland and Central Europe. By the way Dr. Lowther is also the optometrist whom Lois Plew sees - the program assistant at the Polish Studies Center - and it is thanks to Lois that we have this story.
Report from Gerald E. Lowther, O.D., Ph.D.: "I have been working with the Karol Marcinkowski University of Medical Sciences in Poznan, Poland where they have started an optometry program. I visited Pozna five times over the past five years, most recently January 1997. The university president, vice-president and head of the optometry department have visited us in the U.S. and I have met with them in Poznan. On a number of my visits I have taught in two different courses for practicing ophthalmologists who want to learn contact lens fitting and contact lens related patient care. The students attended two-day weekend classes 10 times over a year. Contact lens wear has been relatively rare in Poland but is increasing and this is an emerging market.
"Professor Boleslaw Kedzia is the head of the optometry department in Poznan who has been the force behind starting the program. Halina Manczak, an ophthalmologist, teaches in the program. She spent a year studying under me as a post-doctoral student in 1991-92 when I was at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She has also been a major part of the new program. Professor Kedzia, along with Granzyna Tondel, a pediatrician who teaches and does research in the optometry program, will be visiting Indiana University in April.
"On March 1, I will be returning to Warsaw to give a paper in one of the first
large major contact lens educational and research programs in Poland. Between
300 and 400 ophthalmologists will attend the meeting."
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IU faculty and researchers from the School of Social Work and the Center on Philanthropy took part in a conference held in Kraków on September 26-28, 1996, titled "Education for New Challenges and Problems for Social Work and Nongovernmental Organizations." The conference was held at the Jagiellonian University and organized by the Institute of Sociology, whose Chair, Krzysztof Frysztacki, acted as director.
This conference was part of a cooperative effort between Indiana University, the University of Gdansk, the University of Silesia, Warsaw University, and the Jagiellonian University. Social work educators from the four Polish partner universities have visited the School of Social Work at IUPUI and in Bloomington on several occasions on this exchange, and they have consulted at the Center on Philanthropy, IUPUI. Conference contributions from the Poles in this field who have visited Indiana University are listed below.
The conference also provided several IU people an opportunity to return to Poland and expand on projects they had initiated last year. For Kathy Byers, School of Social Work, IUB, this was a second visit--she also gave a paper at the first conference in this cycle, held in Gdansk in 1995. Representing the IU Center on Philanthropy, Division of Research and Academic Programs, were Dwight Burlingame, Director, and Miroslaw Ruzica, Assistant Director for Eastern European Partnership. Their involvements in Poland and Central Europe have included consulting and providing intensive courses on philanthropy, and a long-range effort to develop a center of philanthropy studies in a Central European country. In addition, the Social Work and Philanthropy staffs are making plans for the concluding conference in this cycle, to be held in Indianapolis next year.
Among other participants at the conference, two sociologists from Poland have visited IU in recent years to give lectures and consult with faculty partners here: Annamaria Orla-Bukowska, a social anthropologist at the Jagiellonian University, who lectured at the Polish Studies Center last semester (see related story), and Janusz Mucha, Nicholas Copernicus University, Toru , who has taught at IU-South Bend, where he worked with William Hojnacki, Assistant Dean, SPEA.
Here is a list of talks and sessions given by the IU delegation, and by Polish scholars who have visited IU campuses, mainly as part of the Social Work/Philanthropy exchange:
Ewa Callahan (SLIS) joined the staff of the Polish Studies Center as PSC Research Assistant. She has a Master's Degree in History from the Jagiellonian University, Kraków, and is currently in the MLS program at the IU School of Library and Information Science.
Rebecca Pasini (Political Science) defended her dissertation "The Roman Catholic Church in Post Communist Poland" on August 2, 1996. Jack Bielasiak was the Chair of her Committee. Rebecca Pasini and Langdon Healy are the happy parents of Anne Pasini Healy, who was born on December 23. Our congratulations!
Nathan Wood (History) received a FLAS for 1996-97 in Polish. On January 31 he gave the first paper to be presented in our "Student Workshop" series titled "The Formation of Polish National Consciousness Among the Peasantry: A Larger Historiographical Perspective on the Writing of Jan Molenda."
Michael Katula entered the REEI MA program this year. He spent two and a half years as an English language instructor at the Pedagogical University in Krakow. His interests focus on Poland and Eastern Europe.
Daniel Sargent also entered the REEI MA program this year. He spent two years in Poland with the Peace Corps from 1991 to 1993, and stayed an additional year as an English teacher and translator. He is interested in Polish culture, literature and history.
The Polish Cultural Association, a student group whose president is Derek Johnson, has been meeting regularly for the last two semesters. The organization's sponsor is Bozena Shallcross. Activities include the Polish Table, a conversation club at which we practice Polish language, and Polish cultural discussions and presentations. This includes the Student Workshop, an interdisciplinary series of papers on Polish Studies topics which are given by IU students. The Student Workshop sessions meet at 4:00 p.m. on the last Friday of the month. The other meetings take place in the evening--see our e-mail posting for details--or call the Center at 812-855-1507.
People interested in linguistics should check the new book written by Kevin Hannan Borders of Language and Identity in Teschen Silesia, published by Peter Lang Publishing Inc. in the series Berkeley Insights in Linguistics and Semiotics. This book presents a multidisciplinary study of the borderland that intersects the territory of the Polish, Czech and Slovak languages. The author examines the complex historical development of this region and describes the diachonic and synchronic development of the traditional dialect. This work explores the complex relation that links language, culture, social networks, and ethnic consciousness in a Slavic borderland.
The International Broadcast Productions Inc. has developed a CD-ROM titled Poland. A copy is available for use at the Polish Studies Center. Polish history, geography, culture and tourist information are introduced on 400 screens and pop-ups, and supplemented by over 700 photographs and pictures and 30 minutes of digitalized films, maps, natural sounds, music and more.
The Polish Studies Center received a copy of this CD-ROM on Poland last fall, as a gift from the Embassy of the Republic of Poland. We are grateful to Scientific Counselor Andrzej Rabczenko at the Embassy for presenting us with the new CD-ROM, which he described as being the first encyclopedic resource on CD-ROM about Poland to be produced in English. "It is a colorful and well-written presentation about Poland," commented PSC Director Tim Wiles who has viewed it with his family, " and the graphics, pictures, and sound sources are exceptional." He hopes that people will use this CD-ROM at the Polish Studies Center. Tim Wiles and the staff of The Center are also grateful to Andrzej Rabczenko and the Polish Embassy for another important donation, a large flag of the Republic of Poland. This spring our new Polish flag will be displayed at cultural events at the Center.
For more information - the CD-Rom Poland is being advertized on IBP Inc. Web site: http://wdenetwork.com/CD_ROM.htm
Paul Marer and Krzysztof Cichocki are co-editors of a new book on aspects of postcommunist transition, Education for Transition to Market Economy in Countries of Central and Eastern Europe, published in 1996 by the Polish-U.S. Fulbright Commission and the Polish Fulbright Alumni Association. Copies of this book are available from the Polish Studies Center free of charge. Paul Marer, Professor of International Business at IU, completed the editing process in Warsaw last year as a participant in the IU-Warsaw faculty exchange. Krzysztof Cichocki, who is Professor of Economics at the Systems Research Institute, the Polish Academy of Sciences, is also the Vice-Chairman of the Polish Fulbright Alumni Association; he visited IU to consult with Paul Marer some months previously.
Education for Transition to Market Economy is a substantial collection of 24 essays, along with discussions and commentary from the conference at which some of these papers were originally presented. A number of noted social scientists from Poland and other Central European countries contributed chapters, along with several Americans. Among the authors were Leszek Balcerowicz, Jerzy Dietl, Andrzej Krzysztof Wróblewski, Mira Marody, Janusz Grzelak, and Rett R. Ludwikowski--many of whom have lectured at the IU Polish Studies Center. REEI degree candidate Peggy Simpson, a reporter based in Warsaw, also contributed a paper on "Media Challenges in Covering the Transition to a Democratic Market Economy," as did Paul Marer (on "Inter-national Finance and International Financial Institutions").
The book is arranged in six sections, on Education for Transition: General Issues, Transformation in the University (including business departments and business schools), Mass Media and Societal Learning, Ethical and Psychological Aspects of Transformation, Legal Issues and Education, and Economic and Finance Issues. The book of 221 pages also contains a chapter of "Summing Up and Reflections" by Paul Marer. The whole collection makes for a useful resource or teaching tool in area studies courses, and the Polish Studies Center would be happy to provide it to educators at no charge. (We received over 100 copies from the Fulbright Com-mission.)
A number of old friends of the Polish Studies Center contributed to the planning
and putting-together of this project, and they are noted in the book's Foreword.
They include Andrzej Dakowski, Executive Director, the Polish-U.S. Fulbright
Commission (and formerly a staff member of the American Studies Center, Warsaw
University), Wlodzimierz Siwinski, Chairman of the International Program
Committee and Rector, Warsaw University (and formerly, Director of the WU American
Studies Center and Associate Director of the IU Polish Studies Center), and
Janusz Grzelak, Vice Rector for International Programs, Warsaw University.
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Pew Charitable Trusts/ Mellon Foundation Democracy Fellowships - The East and Central Europe Program of the Graduate Faculty of Political and Social Science, New School of Research, New York, announces an opportunity for East European scholars to apply for Democracy Fellowships. This is a fellowship for young faculty from Central and East Europe to spend an academic year at an American institution. If IU people would like to assist such colleagues in East Europe contact Heshan de Silva-Weeramuni at e-mail: email@example.com. The fellowship pays $14,000. Fields of interests: economic policy, political institutions/con-stitutionalism and international affairs. Deadline: March 1, 1997.
1997-98 Graduate Student Exchanges - The Office of International Programs maintains exchange agreements which provide a variety of opportunities for University graduate students to conduct research, study and teach at selected partner institutions abroad. One of them is a graduate student opportunity for study or research in any academic field at Warsaw University. Warsaw University will cover the costs of attending the university plus room and board; a travel stipend will be provided by the Office of International Programs. For more information and application materials, contact Susan Carty, Franklin Hall 311, Bloomington, phone (812) 855-6452, E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Application deadline is March 3, 1997.
Summer 1997 International Internship Program - The IU International Internship Program seeks to provide IU graduate students with practical experience in government and in private agencies specializing in international development, education, training and research. Awards provide a stipend of $2,500. Interns are expected to work for a period of ten weeks in one of the participating agencies. For more information and application materials, contact Susan Carty, Franklin Hall 311, Bloomington, phone (812) 855-7557, e-mail scarty@ indiana.edu. Deadline is March 3, 1997
Library of Congress-Mellon Foreign Area Fellowships - The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded the Library of Congress $330,000 for three years to enable it to seek applications for the Mellon Foreign Area fellowship research awards, designed for U.S. citizens with Ph.D. degrees who are interested in pursuing research in the Library's unrivaled foreign-language and area studies collections. The fellowships will last from five to eleven months and may begin no sooner than Aug. 1, 1997. Stipends $3,000 per month will be awarded and may be used to extend the research period supported by other funds. More information can be found at the Library's home page at http://www.loc.gov/ Application forms can be obtained from the Office of Scholarly Programs, Library of Congress, 101 Independence Ave., S.E., Washington, DC 20540-4860; telephone (202)707-1517; fax (202) 707-3595, e-mail email@example.com Deadline for 1997 is March 15, 1997.
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