The renowned poet Adam Zagajewski gave a reading at Indiana University on April 2, and it was one of the highlights of the year in literature here, a year that also included the Nobel Prize awarded to Wislawa Szymorska last fall.
Zagajewski's visit was sponsored by the Polish Studies Center, the Departments of English, Comparative Literature and Slavics, the REEI, and Horizons of Knowledge. He also gave a reading at Butler University on April 2 in tandem with Czeslaw Milosz.
Like many Polish poets, Zagajewski is a master ironist, and is deeply attentive to the workings of history, which he addresses on both a personal and public level in poems of great compression, wit, and imaginative complexity, poems which Milosz describes as "a searach in a labyrinth where mediation on the flow of time brings together the historical and the metaphysical."
Adam Zagajewski has been writing poetry, essays and fiction since the 1960s. Since 1983 he has lived in Paris, and in recent years, he has spent the spring semester at the University of Houston. His books in English include two volumes of poetry, Tremor (1985) and Canvas (1991), from which we print the title poem.Canvas
Zagajewski had a chance to meet with many friends of the PSC while in Bloomington, and he was guest of honor at a reception held at the Polish Studies Center. He also met a number of students and faculty from the Creative Writing Program at a discussion session held there on April 2; an account follows.
On April 2, the Bloomington IU community enjoyed a conversation with Adam Zagajewski - one of the best-known contemporary Polish poets. Zagajewski presented his views on French, Polish and American poetry. According to him, French poetry traditions have chosen a very narrow path. It resembles only one ingredient of modernism - Mallarme's ingredient. Many poets follow this tradition, which forbids putting reality into poems, and therefore there is no reference to the political world or to history. Zagajewski underlined that this viewpoint is, of course, a generalization, but nevertheless represents the main stream in present French poetry. Poets concentrate on the act of writing itself - it is poetry on poetry - a self-centered act of self definitions, which is very narrow and not nourishing.
Zagajewski described himself as an Polish poet. He also doesn't consider himself an international poet. The fact that he lives in three countries (France, USA, Poland) is the result of circumstances that directed his life this way. For him, Polish poetry is his tradition. It is the opposite of French poetry. One can see in it another component of modernism--Rimbaud's component, which sets the challenge to alter the world. This poetry is living in history and reality, and seeks to expand the world.
Zagajewski recognizes similarities between Polish and American poetry. American poetry is also very rich, based on reaching out, vigor, and amending the special dialogue between language and the world. And this, according to Zagajewski, is the main purpose of poetry. It serves as an engine of understanding. Poetry which tries to understand the globality of the world, and the moment in which we live, has references to the spiritual moment of the world.
I interviewed Adam Zagajewski with Bozena Shallcross at her home on Thursday morning April 3. Here are some highlights from our conversation.
Zagajewski talked about Chopin, Paris, Dutch painting, Abstract Expressionism, Roman Ingarden, and Rainer Maria Rilke. He likes to talk about his perception of objects.
Robert Hass said: "One reading of the history of European art is that it's the history of men looking at women and thinking about light." Zagajewski is one of these men. He uses the metaphor of light in his poems, and probably thinks of the white space on the paper being like the white space on the canvas.
His book Canvas is also deeply flowered with philosophical observations from Heraclitus to Parmenides. I believe that his next book, Metaphysics for Beginners will further explore his love of music, light, and philosophy.
Zagajewski is very critical of poets he reads and of observations or ideas he once held but no longer holds. He will take himself aside and say: "Now, I didn't really mean it when I said...." He is like the brave resume writer in Wislawa Szymborska's poem who "always kept himself at arm's length."
A year earlier, if I had asked him about Rilke, he would have been overflowing with praises, Zagajewski told me, but on that Thursday morning, he told me that now he thinks "Rilke sells mysteries at a discount price." He is quiet and reserved and hates being interviewed. He signed my copy of Canvas with: "To Sean who tortured me in an interview in Bloomington---very amicably."
He is very gracious and precise. All of his words are meaningful and he never repeats himself. He lives in a harmonious world of art, and it colors all his poems with a sacred paintbrush. And since he is a Polish exile living in Paris, he takes on a quality of Chopin, hearing raindrops and thinking they are tears of the Creator. Feeling deeply about the objects of the world is his business.
I came away from the interview happy that I met him, and his observations about our world still make me think, every day.
Wlodzimierz Siwinski, the Rector of Warsaw University met with President Myles Brand and the staff of the International Programs and Polish Studies offices to discuss this year's exchange schedule. He was joined by Janusz Grzelak, the Vice Rector of International Programs, who is also a Professor of Social Psychology at WU. In that capacity, Professor Grzelak visited the IU Psychology Department as a Short-Term Scholar in Residence this semester, and he gave a talk titled "Me, We, They ... A conflict between individual and public interest" to social psychologists and graduate students.
Rector Siwinski was a guest of Myles and Peg Brand during his stay February 23-25, and the Brands were very pleased to return some of the great hospitality extended by Warsaw University during their visit to Poland last summer.
Rector Siwinski is well-known in Bloomington for his terms in office at WU as the former Vice Rector of International Programs and before that, the Director of the American Studies Center. He also taught at IU in the School of Business from 1984-86 and served as the Associate Director of Polish Studies. Siwinski recalled several of these experiences at an award ceremony over which he helped preside, with Dean of International Programs Patrick O'Meara, at the Polish Studies Center on February 25. The occasion was the bestowing of the award of merit "Amicus Poloniae" to Center Director Timothy Wiles and Emeritus Professor of Polish Literature Samuel Fiszman, which was awarded to them last year by Jerzy Kozminski, Ambassador of the Republic of Poland.
Rectors Siwinski and Grzelak attended meetings and a dinner with President Brand at Wylie House, and took the occasion to meet a number of area studies directors and other administrators and faculty who are active in Central European exchanges. They also met with Howard Mehlinger, Director, Center for Excellence in Education, and toured the distance learning facilities at the School of Education. Rector Siwinski and President Brand approved a proposal from the Polish Studies Center to use interactive video to link the two universities, either for joint classroom sessions or for meetings of international programs administrators and other senior administrators. The Polish Studies Center is scheduled to produce one distance learning project with Warsaw University during next academic year.
Janusz Grzelak stayed in Bloomington for an additional week of meetings with administrators and staff of the International Programs Office. Indeed, Grzelak met practically everyone, and he is the first Vice Rector of International Programs from Warsaw University or from Central Europe to have a thorough orientation to our unit. Of course, he was also our first Polish administrator in residence to tour all our newly-renovated facilities, attending a function at Dowling International Center, going to meetings and a reception at the new Polish Studies Center location on Atwater Avenue, and giving a talk himself at the newly-renovated International Programs building at 201 Indiana Avenue. Grzelak gave a talk there on March on the topic of "Changes in Higher Education in Poland since 1989," and a report on the talk appears on page 6.
In addition to several meetings with Dean O'Meara, Program Associate Susan Carty, and PSC Director Timothy Wiles, Vice Rector Grzelak met with Kenneth Rogers, Associate Dean and Director, Office of International Services, and his staff, to discuss ways to meet the needs of the large international student populations at their two universities (both of which have over 30,000 students at the main campus, of whom a few thousand are international students). He discussed study opportunities for American students at WU with Richard Stryker, Associate Dean and Director, Office of Overseas Study, and his staff. He met with Charles Reafsnyder, Associate Dean and Director, Office of International Research and Development, and visited CIEDA (Center for International Education and Development Assistance). Vice Rector Grzelak toured the Indiana Center on Global Change with Center Director Brian Winchester and learned about the innovative programs in international relations which are being developed there. One proposal being considered is to hold part of a Global Center summer institute European study tour in Warsaw. He also visited with Christopher Simpson, Vice President for Public Affairs and Government Relations, whom he had first met in Warsaw last summer during President Brand's visit to Rector Siwinski.
In addition to thoroughly surveying the workings of International Programs
at the Bloomington campus, Janusz Grzelak accepted our offer to visit the
Indianapolis campus and meet our internationalists there. He spent two days
as guest of Giles Hoyt, Associate Dean and Director, Office of International
Affairs, Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis, toured some
of the new facilities including the IUPUI library, and met with International
Affairs staff. He also had a breakfast meeting with Leon Rand, Chancellor
This was an excellent visit on both the professional and personal levels, and our international offices at IU and WU have a much better understanding of each other's operations --and aspirations--as a result.
Representatives of Polish Studies and International Programs hosted a small gathering of Chicago business leaders and Polish American organizations in February, to inform them about IU's involvement in Polish cultural studies and professional projects. Accompanying PSC Director Timothy Wiles were Warsaw University Rectors Wlodzimierz Siwinski and Janusz Grzelak. They were joined by Shawn Reynolds, Director of the International Resource Center, a division of the Office of International Programs. Our Chicago host for this meeting was Consul General Michal Grocholski, Consul General of the Republic of Poland in Chicago.
The briefing was held at the International Club of the Drake Hotel, thanks to Michal Grocholski's invitation, and another session was held at the Consulate after lunch. Wiles and Siwinski talked about the opportunities at their tow universities, and Reynolds explained the workings of IU's new International Resource Center, which was established this year to help make partnerships between the university and outside organizations and businesses which have need of IU expertise in the international arena.
Guests included several business and organization leaders who have made major contributions to Polish American affairs, and cultural and educational activities involving Poland. They included Donald V. Versen, Sr., President, Columbia National Bank of Chicago and a member of the Board of Directors of the Polish-American Enterprise Fund; and John Pikarski, Jr., of Gordon and Pikarski Law Firm, who was Chairman of Polonia for Clinton/Gore and is a member of the Board of the Polish American Association. The Executive of the Polish American Association, Karen Popowski, also attended the meeting; this is a social welfare organization for newly arrived Poles and Polish Americans in Chicago, which coordinates a number of medical, therapeutic, and educational services. (See the related story about Lucjan Mis, a social work educator from Krakow, who visited the PAA on Karen Popowski's invitation the following month.)
We were pleased that a distinguished educator and internationalist from DePaul University in Chicago also attended our meetings, Ambassador John Kordek, Director, International Programs and Government Relations at DePaul. John Kordek moved from diplomatic service to international programs administration at DePaul University, and he has brought a career diplomat's experience and perspectives to this job. One of his chief accomplishments from our perspective was presiding over the foundation of the American Studies Center in Warsaw in the late 1970s as the ranking USIA officer for Press and Cultural Affairs at the U. S. Embassy; this was the same time at which IU's Polish Studies Center and exchange with Warsaw University were established.
Several developments promise to emerge from our talks with Chicago leaders in the Polish circles. John Kordek and Timothy Wiles agreed in principle to co-sponsor some visits to the midwest by Polish academics and leaders of public affairs. Donald Versen, who is an alumnus of DePaul and a strong supporter of his alma mater's international programs, will be one of our consulting partners in this endeavor, and he has already paid a visit to Rector Wlodzimierz Siwinski at Warsaw University while in Poland this month. And having learned about the important social support services provided by the Polish American Association, we managed to send a Polish sociologist to observe the organization for two days this spring, and we suggested that the PAA take part in some of the meetings between IU and Polish university social work educators in the joint project which is underway, sponsored in Indiana by the IU School of Social Work and the Center on Philanthropy.
On a personal note, we send out thanks to Consul General Grocholski for helping organize this meeting, and our appreciation to Michal and Julitta Grocholski for their help and support at several meetings in Chicago and in Bloomington over the years. Michal Grocholski's term as Consul General will end later this summer, and we wish them both a happy return to home and career activities.
After our business briefing in Chicago, Timothy Wiles accompanied Wlodzimierz Siwinski to South Bend, where the Rector visited Notre Dame University and conducted talks about the WU-ND exchange program. This also gave us the opportunity to have a short visit with several internationalists on the faculty of Indiana University South Bend, including people who have interacted with Warsaw University faculty. To host this affair, Gabrielle Robinson very kindly arranged a delightful reception at her home. She is Director of International Programs at IUSB, and among her guests were some members of her Board of Directors, South Bend businesspeople with particular interests in Central European cultural and business affairs, Gunther W. Jordan, President, Exacto, Inc. in South Bend, Ed Perkins, former Managing Editor of the South Bend Tribune, and Kyle Payne, Vice President for Investments at A.G. Edwards & Sons, Inc..
A former Associate Director of Polish Studies returned to Bloomington this spring, Jacek Holowka, along with his wife Teresa paid their first reunion visit to Indiana in a decade. Both philosophers at Warsaw University, the Holowkas visited colleagues in the Department of Philosophy at IU and were guests of honor at receptions hosted by Myles and Peg Brand (both Philosophy) and by Chair of Philosophy Michael Dunn. Holowka also gave a talk about the Polish health care system at the Polish Studies Center.
Jacek Holowka is a member of the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology at Warsaw University. This year he is visiting Professor of Philosophy at Notre Dame University. He also taught at IU and served as Associate Director of the PSC in 1982-84, and during the last three years, he served as Vice Rector of International Programs at Warsaw University.
Holowka's fields include moral philosophy and analytical philosophy. He has also done research in medical sociology for the Polish Academy of Sciences, and worked on a project of World Bank assistance to Polish health care institutions, channeled through the Ministry of Health in Poland.
On April 17th Holowka spoke about "Health Care in Poland: Dilemmas of Transformation." He gave a brief overview of the history of the health care system, its current state, and suggestions about how it could be improved in the future. Until 1989, Poland had a national and universal health care system which reflected a philosophy that health care is a basic human right. This system, however, was very bureaucratic, inefficient, and patients would sometimes have to wait more than an hour to receive care. The positive part of this system was that it was free and accessible to all.
Since 1990, private clinics have been opened throughout Poland which base health care delivery services on the market principle. Private clinics provide prompt service and make the patients feel more comfortable, but they also cost a lot of money and sometimes produce chronic patients. Alternative medicines have also rebounded in Poland since the fall of Communism.
Thus, at the moment, there are several forms of health care services currently co-existing in Poland, all of which highlights a general dissatisfaction in the Polish population. For this reason, Holowka suggests a new type of system called the third party system which will be able to combine the positive aspects of both private and public heath care institutions. The third party system would not be run by doctors, but rather by an intermediary body which is organized by health managers. The third party system would be based on four overriding principles: social satisfaction, moral commitment, economic feasibility, and scientific soundness. Although Holowka feels strongly that the third party system would solve the problems in Polish health care, he is not optimistic that steps will be taken in this direction, because of the divisiveness in Polish national politics.
The Polish Studies Center and the Office of International Programs sponsored a talk titled "Changes in Higher Education in Poland since 1989" presented on March 4 by the Vice Rector for International Programs at Warsaw University Janusz Grzelak.
During his talk Grzelak presented the main aspects of Polish education by comparing it in the years 1989 and 1997. In 1989 all universities were run by the state, and the Ministry of Education had to approve all curricula; rectors of the universities were also appointed by the ministry. Presently these choices can be made by the universities alone. Changes were also made in the internal structure of the universities to make them more democratic--major decisions now have to be accepted by the Senate. Universities have become apolitical. After years of isolation, now the field is open for international collaboration. Poland is receiving a lot of help from the USA and EU, consisting of money, competence, know-how and special programs for East European countries.
Many private schools have been opened in the past few years as well. There are presently in Poland about 100 public university level institutions and almost the same number of private universities; most of these are highly specialized in teaching economy, business and languages.
Polish education is facing many problems and threats. The biggest problems are financial. Three quarters of the money for education comes from the state, 10 % from tuition, and the rest from services and another sources. Right now the money earmarked for education is about 72% of the level education received in 1989, but in this same time period the student population had doubled.
Education in Poland needs new legislation. Right now there are suggestions to change the structure of education in Poland into a more flexible model, responding closely to the needs of the employment market.
The number of the vocational and technical high schools would be limited, and many more choices would be added to the university level curricula.
Another problem of Polish education is its incompatibility with the European and US systems. The credit system is not yet widely in use. In the current year Poland will enter the Erasmus program which was created in the EU and is based on the European Credit Transfer System (which is also transferable to the American system as well).
We have broadened our exchange agreement with Warsaw University to enable top university administrators to visit their counterparts and learn how administrative services function in the partner institution. This year, the first person to visit on the WU Senior Administrator Practicum was Stanislaw Piotrowski, Bursar of Warsaw University. In Poland, the university bursar is the chief financial officer of the university. This was Mr. Piotrowski's first visit to an American university, although he has inspected the financial operations of several universities in Europe. He spent two weeks at IU and met with our top financial officers, sometimes returning to talk with an IU officer for several hours about comparative issues of budgeting and management. He spend two weeks at IU in January 1997, and he felt that it was an excellent visit, in depth and in detail about technical matters which should be of concrete use to Warsaw University as the institution evolves in directions more parallel to ours.
These changes would come as a shock to many American administrators (or students), such as the fact that a large portion of Warsaw University's 50,000+ student population pays no tuition--a major income deficit, from a bursar's perspective. Transformation to a fee-paying system is envisioned, however. Another shock in the incredible changes in Polish life since the fall of communism: since 1989 enrollment at Warsaw University has practically doubled, with many lectures taught to classrooms full of hundreds of students, and a full battery of night courses and weekend courses. However, government funding for the university actually decreased in that period (the "night school" students do pay tuition, however). Besides coping with these challenges, Piotrowski noted that the university has moved to a highly-decentralized system whereby each of the 19 main faculties is responsible for its own budget and keeps a large proportion of its earned income, including tuition. It's no surprise that Piotrowski wanted to discuss IU's innovative Responsibility Centered Management system with every officer he met here.
Stanislaw Piotrowski's schedule of meeting was truly daunting. Probably only another senior administrator would know all the lines of reporting for the IU officers he saw here, and describe the hierarchy correctly. Piotrowski met with President Brand and PSC Director Timothy Wiles to establish the framework of the visit. Proceeding by topic: he met with the IU Chief Financial Officer, Vice President Judith Palmer, and her department heads, Art Lindeman, Executive Director, Financial Management Support; Steven Miller, Treasurer; and James Perin, Director, University Budget Office. He also met with Maynard Thompson, Vice Chancellor and Dean for Budgetary Administration and Planning.
Part of Piotrowski's time was devoted to visiting the offices of some IU units that have program links or projects with Warsaw University. He met Dean for International Programs Patrick O'Meara; Judith Rice, Director of Finance and Program Administration; and Susan Carty, Program Associate. Piotrowski also visited the Library and discussed the exchange of librarians with WU as well as library budgeting with Suzanne Thorin, Dean, University Libraries, and Patricia Steele, Associate Dean. Pat Steele will spend a week at Warsaw University Library this month on our exchange. He also met with Donald R. Hossler, Executive Associate Dean, School of Education.
In addition, he held meetings with Christopher S. Peebles, Acting Associate Vice President for Information Technology (Piotrowski himself is an information specialist), and with J. Terry Clapacs, Vice President Administration. Piotrowski met with several officers whose domain includes the marketing of university properties and insignia and faculty expertise to the public sector, revenue sources which Warsaw University is also beginning to explore. These included meetings with Douglas Wilson, President, Advanced Research and Technology Institute, and Gregg Floyd, Director, Auxiliary Enterprises.
Some of the most wide-ranging discussions were held with the heads of IU units which coordinate the raising of additional revenues and in the process, link the university with faculty and alumni initiatives, both creative and philanthropic ones. Stanislaw Piotrowski felt that these were some of the best meetings he had, because they linked a philosophy of the institution with some means of providing revenue for its operations. These meetings included talks with George Walker, Vice President for Research and Dean of the University Graduate School, and Curt Simic, President, Indiana University Foundation.
Along those lines, Piotrowski also found it very useful to visit the Center on Philanthropy in Indianapolis, where his host was Miroslav Ruzica, Assistant Director for European Partnership. He spent two full days on the campus of Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis, to explore the management linkages and financing of the second-largest campus in the IU system, our major urban campus, with a population of over 20,000 (by analogy, Warsaw University's sole regional campus, at the provincial city of Bia Piotrowski was the guest of Giles Hoyt, Associate Dean, Office of International Programs. He met with Trudy Banta, Vice Chancellor for Planning and Institutional Improvement; Robert Martin, Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance; William Plater, Executive Vice Chancellor and Dean of Faculties; and Gene Tempel, Vice Chancellor for External Affairs. In addition, in Indianapolis, Piotrowski paid a visit to the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, and had a discussion with Kent Weldon, Deputy Commissioner. (The analogous Polish institution would be the higher education division of the Ministry of Education.) Piotrowski also met with the Higher Education Commission's Manager of Information and Research Jeff Weber while in Bloomington.
Piotrowski had the opportunity to see the top of the chain of command at IU when he attended a meeting of the Indiana University Board of Trustees, and in particular, the Finance and Audit Committee, in Bloomington on January 24. Not all the visit was devoted to administrative consultation, however because Stanis attended an IU Men's Basketball Game (vs. Michigan, on January 21), and he was the guest of honor at a reception held at the Polish Studies Center that afternoon. On departure, he assured us that many of his findings would be welcome information at Warsaw University, and he urged administrators from IU to visit Poland and inspect its university system during this exciting time of transformation.
This year, the Fulbright Program has established five new Distinguished
Lectureships in Poland, Hungary and Russia. In Poland the opportunities
for faculty are:
- Distinguished Chair at The American Studies Center, University of Warsaw - this position is reserved for historians or political scientists, with priorities for cultural or intellectual history, 20th-century American history, or American politics.
- Distinguished Lectureship in American Studies or American Literature, in the city of Lublin, Poland, at the Maria Curie-Sklodowska University. Priorities in literature or American cultural studies are in areas of 20th-century, women's, ethnic, modernist, and postmodern literature, also popular culture.
Both positions are for one or two semesters in academic year 1998-1999. Compensation includes housing, local salary, travel allowances based on number of dependents, and salary of $3500 per month.
The Fulbright campus contact for faculty is Roxana Newman, Office of International Programs, Bryan Hall 205, 812/855-8476, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Application deadline is August 1, 1997.
During 1996-97, Dr. Daina Bara, a political scientist at the University of Latvia, was affiliated with the Polish Studies Center while a recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship to conduct research at Indiana University. Her chief affiliation at IU was the Department of Central Eurasian Studies, under the mentorship of Professor and Chair Toivo Raun. In her particular field, the process of democratization in Latvia and in the Baltic and Central European post communist states, Bara worked with Professor of Education John J. Patrick, who is Director of the Social Studies Development Center, a major American center for study and assistance of democratization projects in countries in political transition.
One of the major projects which Daina Bara and John Patrick coordinated this year was to bring a delegation of Latvian educators to IU and to several other midwestern locations for a five week seminar and work group project. The educators also developed a number of curricular materials on democracy building while in America, assisted by the IU Social Studies Development Center, materials for school children and high school and university students; all of these were eventually translated into Latvian. Work between Latvia and IU will continue: John Patrick plans to visit the University of Latvia this summer, and it is expected that another Latvian educator will affiliate with him next year as a Fulbright Scholar.
In fact, John Patrick first worked on democratization for East Central Europe in Poland. In 1991 he was a senior advisor and consultant to the Polish Ministry of National Education, where he helped plan a new citizenship curriculum for Polish schools. He lectured on this topic at the Polish Studies Center after his visit, and results of the project were eventually published in Building Civic Education for Democracy in Poland, ed. Richard C. Remy and Jacek Strzemieczny (National Council for the Social Studies, 1996--see John J. Patrick, "Principles of Democracy for the Education of Citizens in Former Communist Countries of Central and Eastern Europe," 1-22).
Daina Bara spent a very productive year at Indiana University, where she completed several articles and chapters and also gave talks at conferences in Washington, Boston, and Chicago. Meanwhile, her daughter Linda completed the freshman year at Bloomington North High School. Daina received office space and clerical support from the Polish Studies Center this year, and moral support too, she happily informed us. The Polish Studies Center was pleased to invite a Latvian scholar to make use of the Center and take part in several talks and seminars, because the Baltic area is a natural partner and cultural cousin and neighbor for Poland. With our new Polish house we hope to do some comparative and regional projects, and the study of democratization in Latvia (for which Poland has been a considerable influence) gave us an excellent way to start that initiative.
Daina Bara came to IU from the University of Latvia, where she holds the title of Doctor of Political Science. Her fields of specialization include Political History of Latvia and of the Baltic Sea Region States, Comparative Baltic Studies, Political Parties, and Development of Democracy in Latvia. In addition to earning her doctorate at the University of Latvia, she had done research in Norway, Denmark, and Great Britain. Recent publications include Political System of Latvia and Ideas of Democracy in Latvia.
In February 1997, Daina Bara and John Patrick helped organize the five week study tour "Civitas: an international civic education exchange program" for seven visiting educators from Latvia. They attended seminars conducted by faculty from the School of Education and area studies programs, visited public schools, made visits to Purdue University and the University of Illinois, and they were also the guests of the Polish Studies Center at a special reception we held for our Latvian friends. After three weeks at IU, the Latvian team attended conferences and seminars in Chicago and Washington for two more weeks.
Along with Daina Bara, the Latvian educators included Guntars Catlaks, President, Democracy Advancement Center (the project's co-sponsor); Marija Freiberga, Senior Editor, Zvaigzne ABC Publishers; Arjis Orlovskis, Professor, Liepaja Pedagogical College; Vija Rudina, Deputy Principal, Aizkraukle Secondary School; Valts Sarma, Principal, Sala Primary School; and Lolita Spruge, Vice Prorector, University of Latvia. Working with John Patrick on this project from the Social Studies Development Center were Robert Leming, Director, Indiana Program for Law-Related Education; Laura Pinhey, Co-Director, Adjunct ERIC Clearinghouse for International Civic Education; and Candace Boyer, Information Specialist at ERIC.
Dr. Lucjan Mis, a visiting scholar from the Institute of Sociology of Jagiellonian University visited the Polish Studies Center in April. Lucjan works as the assistant in the Institute of Applied Sociology and Social Work which was created and is supervised by Professor Krzysztof Frysztacki, who lectured last year at the PSC.
Lucjan's main work in the institute consists of teaching social work (Jagiellonian University is the first university in Poland to include social work studies in its Sociology Department). The main subject of Lucjan's research is the problem of unemployment which is currently the biggest social problem in Poland. His devotes particular attention to youth unemployment, coping methods, adaptation strategies, and the problem of a growing underclass in Poland.
During his stay in Bloomington, Lucjan took part in classes at the School of Social Work: Social Services Delivery Systems - taught by Kathy Byers and Theory and Practice of Social Work II taught by Glenn Stone. Additionally he had the opportunity to visit the Polish-American Association in Chicago thanks to an invitation from its Executive Director Karen Popowski and the Director of Clinical Studies Agnes Kowalewicz. He visited their learning center and observed various services available there for the Polish community: an AA group, homeless relief, immigration services, and a youth program.
He also visited the School of Social Work in Columbus, Ohio and discussed social problems with Professors Denise Bronson, Richard First, and Beverly Toomey.
In the past few years Central and East European Countries (CEECs) have launched comprehensive reform programs designed to reorient their economies from central planning to market-based systems. Notwithstanding these reforms, the CEECs are not yet fully integrated into the world trading community.
Problems associated with fast integration are deeply rooted in the complex past of the region. History still matters. As a result of political decisions made after the end of World War II the CEECs became a part of the so-called "Soviet Block" and were forced to follow the Communist-Russian industrialization model. This implied creation of self-sufficiency without international investment, achieved by constructing all stages of the industry at home with priority on heavy industries such as steel, coal, iron and armaments.
The communist industrialization approach turned out to be very inefficient and proceeded very slowly. Capital had to be almost entirely generated from internal sources, which was equal to the great and unnecessary sacrifice in terms of living standards and consumption. Such a development strategy led to creation of an independent subset of autarkic economies in the world economy, and consequently also led to a reduction in the international division of labor, resulting in huge welfare loss for the world as a whole.
A similar scenario of developments had already been predicted by Rosenstein-Rodan in his seminal paper (written in 1943) on the problem of industrialization of Eastern Europe. Nowadays, more than fifty years later, liberalization and opening-up of the former centrally-planned economies make an alternative development scenario possible. Re industrialization of the CEECs so as to integrate them back into the world economy would benefit from the advantages of an international division of labor, and therefore produce more wealth for everybody. Theoretically, this could be based either on capital lending or international investment. However, in practice the former option does not seem feasible since all CEECs have inherited a debt burden from the previous period. Therefore, foreign direct investment (FDI) is often seen as a potential catalyst for the restructuring of their antiquated industrial base. However, the total volume of FDI and especially FDI in high-tech manufacturing, usually associated with technology transfers and a high quality of production, is still very low in the region. Foreign investors may be reluctant to locate production facilities in low cost areas due to existing beliefs that their products would then be of inferior quality when compared to goods manufactured at high cost locations. Therefore, instead we should expect an emerging pattern of FDI to be characterized by investments in production of intermediate goods as well as low technical complexity products. These predictions seem to be confirmed by empirical findings observed during the first years of Poland's transition to a market economy.
Office of International Programs PCIP Awards were won by several faculty whose research involves Poland this year. Jack Bloom, Sociology/Anthropology, IUN, who spent 1990-91 as Associate Director of the American Studies Center at Warsaw University, won an award for work on his book in progress on "Seeing through the Eyes of the Polish Revolution."
Peg Brand, Philosophy, IUB, published an essay this spring in American Studies, Vol. XV (Warsaw University Press), "Feminism and Aesthetics in Contemporary American Art." This was the subject of the lecture which Peg gave to the American Studies Center during her visit to Warsaw University in May 1996.
The editing is complete for a book of essays derived from last year's
PSC conference on Environmental Protection in Poland, report editors Daniel
H. Cole, IU School of Law, Indianapolis, and John Clark, Hudson
Institute. The book is titled Enviromental Protection in Transition:
Economic, Legal, and Socio-Political Perspectives on Poland.
Samuel Fiszman, Professor Emeritus of Slavic Languages and Literatures has completed the editing of the book Constitution and Reform in Eighteenth-Century Poland: The Constitution of 3 May 1791. This collection of essays is published by the Polish Studies Center and the Indiana University Press, and it will be available in July.
This book is the first attempt in English to present a comprehensive view of political and social reform and also cultural life of Poland in the Age of the Enlightenment. The main focus of the book is on the Constitution of 3 May 1791, but it also documents the history of Polish parliamentarism and connections between the American, Polish and French democratic states at the end of the 18th century.
The book contains 22 chapters written by scholars from many disciplines from Poland, the United States, England and Germany. Hundreds of illustrations, engravings, and maps further strengthen the work. This book represents an essential contribution to Polish history and to all scholars interested in the origins of Polish democratic traditions.
Steven Franks, Slavics/Linguistics, IUB, received the IU Short-Term Faculty Research grant for a month's residence at Warsaw University this year. Steve will spend May 1997 in affiliation with the Institute of English Literature and Linguistics, where he will give talks about comparative linguistics topics and discuss research with the students of Professor Jerzy Rubach, a noted linguist at the institute. Jerzy Rubach has lectured at IU on several occasions (he holds a joint appointment at the University of Iowa). Steve also won OIP overseas conference support for a conference presentation in Pottsdam this spring.
William Hojnacki, SPEA, IUSB, published "Linking Political Systems Variables to Economic Development" in Yearbook of Polish Labour Law and Social Policy, Vol. 8 (Krakow, The Jagiellonian University Press, 1996).
Professor Hojnacki was also awarded the Lundquest Fellow for 1997, an award given by the IUSB campus for distinguished public service.
Bill Johnston, Visiting Professor of Linguistics, has accepted a position as Assistant Professor of ESL at the Institute for Linguistics and Asian and Slavic Languages and Literatures, at the University of Minnesota. We will miss Bill a lot. This year Bill's translations of two fictional works were published: The Sins of Childhood and Other Stories by Boles and The Shadow Catcher, by Andrzej Szczypiorski, Grove Press, 1997.
IU Political Science Alumnus (1994) Patrick O'Neil, now Assistant Professor in the Department of Politics and Government at the University of Puget Sound, edited a special issue of The Journal of Communist Studies and Transition Politics, Vol. 12, No. 4 ( December, 1996) titled "Post-Communism and the Media in Eastern Europe." The issue includes articles on the Polish, Czech, Slovak and Bulgarian media and a comparative article on the region as a whole.
We welcome an established scholar and educator in the field of communication to the Polish Studies network, John Parrish-Sprowl, Communication, IPFW, and congratulate him on his PCIP award for research on the topic of "Communication and Transformation: Case Studies in the Post-Communist Polish Transition." Some of this work involved research interviews on communication and transformation which he has been conducting in Poland with executives, business leaders, and workers. John Parrish-Sprowl is Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Communication, IU-PU Fort Wayne, a position he assumed in 1995. Before coming to Indiana, he taught at several universities in Connecticut, and in 1994 he worked for several months in Wroc A.I.D. to develop the first two Communication degree programs in Poland; he also taught several courses at Wroc University during that stay, and he returned to Wroclaw University during that stay, and he returned to Wroclaw this spring to do research on his PCIP project. He is the author of a number of papers and studies in communication, several of which involve Poland.
Associate Director of PSC Bozena Shallcross received a Teaching Excellence Recognition Award from the College of Arts and Sciences this spring. She is also the recipient of a grant from the American Council of Learned Societies for the conference proposal "Home/Less: The Polish Experience" submitted with Sven Spieker (University of California, Santa Barbara). Shallcross published "Eastern European Literatures," an article for the Encylopaedia Britannica Book of the Year 1996.
During the Spring semester Professor Shallcross also took part in several conferences: "Reflecting Cross Culturally" (IU, Bloomington, February 1997 - discussant), The Southern Conference on Slavic Studies (University of Kentucky, Lexington, March 1997 - chair of the panel), and II Conference on Polish Studies (SUNY, Buffalo, April 1997 - participant).
Shallcross also was invited to the Jagiellonian University in Kraków for a two week residence in May, where she will do research and discuss exchange projects with the Institute of Philology and other departments of interest to the PSC.
Patricia Steele, Associate Dean, Indiana University Libraries, spent a week at Warsaw University in May 1997, on the IU-WU Librarians Exchange. She is the first person from the IU Libraries to take part in this particular exchange, which was inaugurated last fall with the visit of Director of Warsaw University Library Henryk Hollender to Bloomington and Indianapolis. Several visits by library systems specialists may follow. There are opportunities to learn about both universities' creative responses to problems such as lack of space, and the need to move parts of the collection to other facilities. Warsaw University recently began pouring the foundations for a new library facility, a large, state-of-the-art building located on the edge of campus. IU librarians will consult with Warsaw counterparts to make recommendations about how various library systems can be designed into the new space.
Jeffrey A. Wolin, Professor of Photography and Director of the School of Fine Arts, IUB, published his collection of photographic art depicting Holocaust survivors this spring, in conjunction with a major exhibition of the work which will travel to New York, Washington and Chicago. The book, Written in Memory: Portraits of the Holocaust, is published by Chronicle (San Francisco, 1997), and it contains over forty plates which depict Holocaust survivors today, along with inscriptions of portions of their stories and memories, hand-lettered in silver ink on the photographs in the background spaces. Each photographic portrait is a remarkable combination of image, word, memory, and present-day testimony in the subject's aging body.
A number of the survivors whom Jeffrey Wolin interviewed and depicted were native to Poland, and many of them survived Polish concentration camps, or survived in hiding. All of theses people now live in America. The cover photograph depicts Miso Vogel (Mike Vogel) of Indianapolis, a survivor who has frequently given talks at IU and in Indiana schools about the memory of the Holocaust and his own experiences--as an inmate at Auschwitz and Landsberg-Dachau, and then as a refugee who was sheltered by the U.S.Army of occupation, until his immigration.
The Polish Studies Center is attempting to arrange an exhibition of Jeffrey Wolin's photography in Warsaw and Krakow for the year after next.
The editors of the Polish Studies Newsletter sent out the usual note to students and faculty last month, in which we urged our readers and PSC community members to send in items to announce in the current issue. Our readers obliged us with news about many excellent projects pertaining to Poland. If we missed your news, we're sorry we missed you, and we're sorry that you didn't write us back in time. In that case, send news for the Fall issue! Meanwhile, it's pleasing to share the nice words which Anna Adamczyk send in response to our appeal:
A note from Anna Adamczyk: "I am very happy to be part of the Polish community at IU. It is like having 'a home' away from my home. I've enjoyed meeting all the wonderful individuals. Although during the second semester I was not able to attend many events due to time conflicts with classes, I always thought of everybody. It is great to see such a dedication to our heritage and culture. I am looking forward to the Fall Semester events and I hope everyone has a good summer."
Andrzej Cieslik, doctoral candidate in Economics at Warsaw University, spent Spring Semester 1997 in resid-ence at IU as the junior scholar on exchange from WU. He gave a talk at the Polish Studies Center on April 8 titled "Trade and Direct Foreign Investment in Poland--catching up or falling behind?" Andrzej also attended a full battery of graduate courses in the Economics Department and the School of Business, which he reported were excellent. He studied with Professors von Furstenberg, Pedroni, Raff, Saunders, and Shaffer in Economics, and in the School of Business, he attended courses by Professor Michele Fratianni on Global Monetary Environment, and the European Union: A Study in Integration. He also helped Frank Nierzwicki, Polish Studies Center, develop a grant proposal to INDOT on comparative financing mechanisms for highway construction, for which Andrzej did research on the Polish model.
Danusha Goska, doctoral student in Folklore, recently published a review essay about the controversial documentary film Shtetl in 2B/To Be: A Journal of Ideas No. 9-10 (Vol. IV, 1996), "The Polish Ogre on Frontline" (186-94). The film, a documentary by Israeli filmmaker Marian Marzynski, recounts the history of the liquidation of the Jewish shtetl in Bransk, a rural Polish town, as narrated by several survivors and as examined by a local town historian and student of Jewish culture in Bransk, Zbigniew Romaniuk. Issues of Polish anti-semitism are raised but not aired in a very balanced fashion in the three-hour film, which was shown nationally in America on PBS in spring 1996, and then was the subject of an national symposium held in April 1997 at the U. S. Memorial Holocaust Museum in Washington. Danusha Goska's essay, which uses an ethnographic perspective to address the ill-will felt on both sides of this historical memory (some of which has been exacerbated by Marzynski's film), was distributed as background reading at the spring meeting of the National Polish American-Jewish American Council, held immediately after the symposium on Shtetl at the Holocaust Museum.
Marek Jannasz, a doctoral student in History at Warsaw University and a specialist in modern American history, spent Spring 1997 in residence at Indiana University, conducting research on a Fulbright Scholarship. He teaches courses at the American Studies Center, Warsaw University.
Two graduate students from Poland who are doing work on environmental affairs at SPEA this year, Agnieszka Markowska and Bartlomej Wazniewicz, attended a conference at Indiana University South Bend in January on issues related to the brownfields movement (reclaming deteriorated industrial properties). The conference was part of a series devoted to issues of sustainable development, of which last year's Polish Studies Center conference on Environmental Protection in Poland was a main event. Host for the Polish environmentalists at IUSB was William Hojnacki, Assistant Dean, SPEA. Markowska is a doctoral student in environmental economics at Warsaw University, and Wasniewicz is a graduate of Jagiellonian University; they studied on IREX fellowships at SPEA this year.
Daniel Sargent received the PSC Graduate Student Study/Research Award to spend next academic year in residence at Warsaw University. He will conduct an in-depth study of domestic violence in contemporary Polish society, and investigate how this traditionally-taboo subject is entering into public discousre in Poland. The study is Daniel's Master's thesis topic at the Russian and East European Institute. Daniel has already made contacts with a number of Polish sociologists, leaders in the feminist movement, and directors of women's organizations and helping agencies. The selection committee for this award noted how innovative and potentially useful this study will be.
Mark Shemanski, Polish-American and Bloomington musician, sang "Three Polish Songs" by Chopin as part of a vocal recital he gave at St. Charles Church, April 6, 1997. He was coached on the Polish by Mrs. Alicja Fiszman. Mark is on the staff of the music worship program at St. Charles Church.
Nathaniel Wood, graduate student in History, presented a work in progress talk at the History graduate students conference on March 31, "Polish Culture, Polish Nation: Defining the boundaries of the nation in the Tygodnik Illustrowany, 1898-1914." Nathan also gave the inaugural lecture on the Student Workshop series at the Polish Studies Center in January--an account of it appears in the next column.
IU Students of Polish Studies would like to send a collective and heart-felt thanks to Bozena Shallcross, who organized a cultural meeting or conversation hour practically every week during the Fall and Spring semesters, and attracted a dozen or more American and Polish students to come to meet and converse on a regular basis. (Actually, several other citizenships and nationalities were represented, too.) We also thank the many guests who accepted Bozena's invitation to come and talk at these social gatherings/conversation hours--indeed, they provided a whole additional "informal lecture series" at the Polish Studies Center, parallel to our announced public lectures. Students and community members: please take this as an invitation to join us for these gatherings next year, at our Dom Polski on Atwater Avenue.
Nathan Wood, History graduate student, inaugurated the Polish Studies Center's Student Workshop series of research reports on January 30, with the presentation of a paper about the formation of national consciousness among the Polish peasantry, described below. Four Student Workshop presentations were held in Spring semester 1997 in this series. The talks were held monthly at the Center's headquarters at 1217 Atwater Avenue in the living room of our "Dom Polski," and a dozen or more people attended each presentation, with receptions afterwards. We invite graduate students to use the Student Workshop series as a forum for their research work in progress, or a place to present recently finished papers. If you are interested in presenting something next Fall, please inform Bozena Shallcross or Timothy Wiles now, or let us know when classes resume in September.
Nathan Wood's paper was titled The Formation of Polish National Consciousness among the Peasantry: A larger historiographical perspective on the writings of Jan Molenda. Wood argues that contrary to common belief, national consciousness, or an awareness of belonging to a nation, is not something inherent, but arises with the development of the modern nation-states. Those who comprise the nation-state, whether it is a legitimate political unit or not, do not all become members of "the nation" at the same time. Over time, defintions of the nation expand and contract. As less modern peoples become more modern, they learn of and then may choose to identify with a national ideology. It is only recently that scholars have begun to look at this development among peasants.
This paper explores the development of national consciousness among the peasantry in Poland, as described in the work of Jan Molenda. According to Molenda, there were two stages in this development for the peasantry of Poland. The first stage has to do with localized bonds to native language, parish priest, village and land, which contributes to a feeling of identity but has no larger implications for the existence of a nation-state. The second stage represents a more abstract understanding of "one's existence in an enslaved country and a desire to live in a free state." Historically, the peasants had never belonged to the Polish nation: only the nobility had citizenship in the former Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Molenda demonstrates how the spread of literacy, the spread of national-religious festivals, and the experience of conflict with the partitioning powers over language and religion, helped to develop a sense of national consciousness among the peasantry.
Seasonal work in western Europe and widespread immigration to centers of Polonia in the West also helped cultivate a more abstract sense of belonging to a national community. Service in imperial armies also convinced peasant men that it may be better to fight for fellow Poles.
Molenda's study is rather insular in its focus upon the Polish peasant and its use of only Polish sources, but it actually fits into some of the larger issues on the topic, especially the importance of literacy in cultivating modern political understanding. While the spread of literacy was so important for peasant understanding of more abstract political ideas it also suggests a major difficulty in researching peasant attitudes. It is difficult to speak of peasant attitudes when so few written sources exist. This underscores the difficulty of such research, something Molenda recognizes. In such a context, Molenda's conclusions on national consciousness among the peasantry illustrate both the value and difficulty of peasant studies in history.
In February, Elizabeth Lee Roby read an essay entitled "Blind Chance" and "Red" : A Change in Kieplowski's Existential Thought which investigated the possibility of a change in Krzysztof Kieplowski's existential thought from his Polish period to his French period through a close analysis of two films, one from each period. The two films considered, the 1981 Polish film Blind Chance and the 1994 French film Red, serve as a particularly good basis on which to observe this change due to their striking similarities on both the thematic and structural level.
Both films pose basic questions of existence: the nature of choice, fate, death, and chance and the possibility for communication with others. In both films these existential questions find their expression through the portrayal of several possible variations in a single individual's life. These multiple life variations structure the narratives as Kieplowski plays with non-linear time and space. The result is an overwhelming sense of the conditional mood, as the viewer is left to contemplate the answer to the question: what would have happened if....? Despite the striking similarities between the two films, the function of non-linear time and space and the development of the existential themes reveal different, even opposing, world views. Roby's paper presented Kieplowski's conclusions in his Polish film, Blind Chance, as having a definite nihilistic quality, reminiscent of early Camus or Sartre. Characteristic of Sartre, Kieplowski shows the impossibility of a functional self/other relationship while the film's narrative structure presents life "in the shadow of death," very much in the spirit of Camus. While Kieplowski borrows existential themes from Sartre and Camus, his film, closing linked with the socio-political reality of the time, moves the discussion from the realm of the metaphysical to that of the real. The absurdity of life presented in Blind Chance is not inherent in human existence, but is the result of the absolutist system.
While Blind Chance emphasizes the absurdity of life, stressing the limits of human freedom, Red suggests the power of an individual to overcome the forces which challenge human freedom (technology and nihilism). In Red, fraternity is offered as means to combat the absurd world and the nihilism of contemporary society, a conclusion characteristic of the platforms of theistic existentialists. While Blind Chance deals primarily with the impossibility of external freedom, Red presents a successful struggle for internal freedom. These conclusions are in keeping with Kieplowski's own statements (in Kieplowski on Kieplowski ) concerning the possibility for human freedom in the East and the West:
"I believe we are not free. We're always fighting for some sort of freedom, and, to a certain extent, this freedom, especially external freedom, has been achieved--at least in the West, to a much greater extent than in the East."
Blind Chance and Red can be read as representing Kieplowski's understanding of "being-in-the-world" as one moves from Poland of the early eighties to France of the nineties. Although none of Kieplowski's characters are ever entirely free, Kieplowski's French characters have the opportunity to struggle with their inner emotions and strive toward freedom. His Polish characters, on the other hand, will remain engulfed in a losing battle for external freedom. Only after external freedom is achieved will they have the opportunity to seriously consider the issues of internal freedom on the purely metaphysical level.
Tracie L. Wilson presented her essay The Church of Humanity: Divine Interaction in Gombrowicz's "Ferdydurke" and "The Marriage" at the PSC in March.
The modern era has brought with it a host of uncertainties. Foremost among these are questions about the individual and her/his relationship to society, the world, and the universe. Religion, which once purported to answer our quandaries, has been shown to be impotent. Humanity is left with nothing to fill this void; only the shells of human institutions remain. In short, we are left to ourselves. This is the position from which Witold Gombrowicz wrote his novels and plays.
Gombrowicz's first works were published in the 1930s. His second novel Ferdydurke (1937) is still considered his most important work. It is a farciful tale of a young (thirty-year-old) man who attempts to avoid conforming to social convention. His endeavors lead him into a number of absurd situations. The first occurs when he is abducted by a school master who leads him back to school under the pretext that he still has not mastered his Latin declensions. Despite the apparent absurdity of the situation, the protagonist Józio Kowalski is unable to protest against the school master due to the power dynamic of this social interaction. The school master succeeds, by addressing him with diminuatives and patronizing tone, in transforming him back into a schoolboy who is powerless to resist.
The mechanism which entraps Józio is Form. This concept of Form is central to Gombrowicz's works, and can be defined as culture or social order. In essence, Form is any of the structures or conventions which regiment our lives, and which dictate who we become.
Like Ferdydurke, Gombrowicz's play The Marriage (1953) is about Form and its influence on the individual. The play also exposes the predicament of humanity in the modern era, an age in which religion is dead, but people continue to be trapped by ritual Form. Gombrowicz reveals the horror of the individual who suddenly realizes that all authority comes, not from God, but from other people. This awareness leads the protanonists toward moral collapse. Untimately, the author reveals that although we are caught in the net of Form (convention), and it prevents us from realizing our authenticity, without it society would collapse.
In her essay, Wilson explored the ritualistic aspects of Ferdydurke and the The Marriage, including Gombrowicz's central maxim regarding the influence of Form on the individual. In order to better understand Gombrowicz's commentary on modern existence, she made use of the theory of Erving Goffman (and to a lesser degree Émile Durkheim and Victor Turner) on religion and human interaction.
In a research paper delivered at the PSC on April 25 by History graduate student Timothy Borden, The Challenge of Doing an Ethnic Labor History: Antoni A. Paryski's "Ameryka-Echo" and Toledo's Polonia, Borden argues that the scholarly challenge now goes beyond the assimilation and acculturation models of ethnicity that continue to dominate the field of American labor history. Instead of viewing ethnic workers through their affiliation with dominant American institutions, namely labor unions, Borden has investigated the debates over cultural and social constructions of ethnicity within one American Polish community itself.
Antoni A. Paryski's newspaper Ameryka-Echo presents an especially useful way of discovering and recovering these debates and the meaning they held for Poles and Polish-Americans. In particular, the Echo's coverage of one of Toledo's most bloody and divisive strikes, the Willys-Overland Strike of 1919, reveals that ethnicity was a conceptual flash-point in the contestation of issues such as unionization, political pluralism, and civil society. As Paryski attempted to define strike supporters outside the limits of what constitued the Polish community, he demonstrated that ethnic identity held profound implications for power relations not only within Polonia, but between it and the larger society as well.
Several IU administrators from Central European area studies offices attended a day-long business and trade conference in Hammond, Indiana, on May 12. The meeting was the Northwest Indiana World Trade Council's 1997 Central and Eastern Europe Conference, sponsored by the Council and by the Center for International Research and Education of the Purdue University Calumet Department of Management (a CIBER Center). The conference director was Professor Harry Lepinske, International Business Development, Purdue University Calumet.
The conference featured speakers from all the major Central European economies, including Poland, and also experts on trading with Ukraine and Russia. Presenting the topic of "Doing Business with Poland" were Zbigniew Kubacki, Consul-Commercial, the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Chicago, and Chicago attorney George Kovac of the Law Offices of Altheimer and Gray. Mr. Kovac gave an enlightening talk about how the Chicago firm of Altheimer and Gray opened offices in Warsaw in 1990 as it first venture outside the City of Chicago, because of the fall of communism and the great volume of work the firm already had there. On staff in Warsaw are 25 Polish lawyers, several of whom have academic affiliations, and one of whom is Warsaw University Professor of Law Marek Wierzbowski, who taught at IU on our interuniversity exchange in 1991. After the firm's success in Warsaw, Altheimer and Gray branched out and opened offices in several other East European cities, and even in China.
A Trade Mission from Poland with representatives from around six different firms also attended the conference and arranged individualized meetings with interested businessmen. One of the conference's principal sponsors had a Bloomington connection, the accounting company of Geo. S. Olive & Co., which has offices in eleven cities in Indiana and Illinois, including Bloomington--it is the main occupant of the newly-converted Johnson Creamery building. Representing Geo. S. Olive & Co. at the Hammond conference was Richard C. Wathen, a parent of two IUB students.
The conference gave a thorough and informative survey of business opportunities in the region, and it also underscored the need for better knowledge of local cultures and mindsets for doing business. Attending from IU were PSC Director Timothy Wiles, REEI Assistant Director and Outreach Coordinator Denise Gardiner, and Shawn Reynolds, Director, International Resource Center. They had good opportunities to distribute program information and business cards to business people and representatives of organiz-ations, and Tim Wiles and Harry Lepinske agreed to work together on related programs. This would give IUB international operations another good informal link with the business community in Northwest Indiana, our most heavily Polish region.
The correspondence and the literary writings of the Polish emigre anthropologist B. W. Andrzejewski have been donated to the Lilly Library by the scholar's widow, thanks in part to the efforts of IU African Studies specialist John W. Johnson (Folklore). Andrzejewski was was of the world's foremost experts on Somalian culture and Cushitic languages, and as an Africanist he was in frequent contact with IU's African Studies program. He was recognized for his achievement by Indiana University in 1983, when he was invited as the14th Annual Hans Wulf Lecturer in African Studies. During that visit, he had the occasion to inspect the Polish Studies Center, where he read from his poetry and gave a talk about the poetry written by Pope John Paul II ("Some Observations on the Poetry of Karol Wojtyla").
Although primarily an anthropologist, Andrzejewski also studied Somali folklore and poetry, and in his own literary career, he continued to write poetry in Polish throughout his life (he emigrated to England during World War II). As a result, there are now 37 files of his poems in the Lilly Library. A brief account of his contribution as an Africanist follows below, but first a word about his origins and his poetry. Bogumil Witalis Andrzejewski was born in 1922 in Poznan, and he was part of the Polish army in exiile in London during World War II, and wounded at the battle of Tobruk. As part of a British program to reeducate Polish intelligentsia after the war, he received a scholarship to study at Oxford University, where he received his B.A., after which he entered the University of London to work on his doctorate in the School of Oriental and African Studies, where he eventually became Professor and spent his academic career, finally as Professor Emeritus. He died in 1994.
As a poet, Andrzejewski published a volume entitled Na wszelki wypadek (London: Zwiazek Pisarzy Polskich na Obczyznie, 1952), and in 1970 he received the annual prize for poetry given by the London based Polish literary weekly Wiadomosci. He also published in the prestigious emigre monthly Kultura located in Paris. Andrzejewski's holdings at the Lilly Library include his already catalogued correspondence and 37 files of poems, drafts, notes, and fragments. His lyrical voice was best expressed in rhymed animal fables (which he called an "intellectual bestiary") and satires with didactic overtones.
John W. Johnston provided further information about his friend and mentor B. W. Andrzejewski, and for a fuller account, see the 23-page obituary essay John wrote, published in a recent issue of Northeast African Studies (Michigan State). As John noted, "his skills as a scholar and poet were world renowned, and his humor and character as a person made him the most beloved friend I have ever had." Known to friends as Goosh Andrzejewski, he was a student of J.R. Firth, who himself had Bronislaw Malinowski as his mentor. In 1948 the Brisih government sent him to the British Somaliland Protectorate to help render the Somali language into written form in a Latin-based script, and following this introduction, Andrzejewski devoted the next 45 years to studying the culture. His principal interests were in Somali linguistics and oral literature (folklore and poetry), and he also worked on other Cushitic languages and literatures of Eastern Africa. He was also involved for many years with the B.B.C., Somali Section, where he taught numerous Somalis how to translate from English-language news releases into Somali, on the air. His book Somali Poetry: An Introduction is an excellent introduction both to this culture and to Andrzejewski's work as an Africanist.
The PSC library now has a new computerized catalogue. Christianna Malocha, Courteney Herbert, Anthony Baker, Kevin Harrell and Beth Barich, students majoring in Computer Information Systems in the School of Business, developed the library system especially designed for the needs of the PSC library. This project was undertaken as part of the course S205 Visual Basic, taught by Associate Instructor Andrew Urbaczewski.
The project was formally presented on April 28 for the class and guests; Tim Wiles, Bozena Shallcross and Lois Plew were among those in attendance. Christianna Malocha, who studied Polish language and often attends Polish Studies events, initiated the catalogue project as a service activity for the Center. She is currently working on the installation of the system into the PSC computer. All books, tapes and other items will be listed there as well as records of items in circulation. The program is very clear, user-friendly, and the specially prepared user's manual helps users get acquainted with the program.
Polish Academic Information Center. One of the most important new projects to be created by American educators in Polish studies, in partnership with Polish university and government assistance, in the Polish Academic Information Center, located at the State University of New York at Buffalo. The Information Center started operations in October 1996, and it was formally unveiled at the Second Conference on Polish Studies in the United States, which took place in Buffalo on April 12-13, 1997.
These national conferences, which are held every other year, provide leaders in Polish studies an opportunity to exchange ideas and chart directions for the field in the near future. Bozena Shallcross represented the IU Polish Studies Center at the SUNY-Buffalo conference, at which the keynote speakers were Leonard Polakiewicz (Slavics - University of Minnesota), Wladyslaw Miodunka (Polonia Institute -Jagiellonian University), and Marek Szymonski (Vice Rector for International Relations, Jagiellonian University). The formal launching of the Polish Academic Information Center at SUNY-Buffalo, which was created in partnership with Jagiellonian University, represents the kind of national contribution to Polish studies education which has come to be associated with our national conference, and is its greatest achievement to date.
Mission of the Polish Academic Information Center: The Center's primary mission is to serve the academic communities of both America and Poland as an information clearing house for institutions and individuals interested in pursuing studies related to Poland, its culture, language, etc.. Secondarily, the Center's mission is to provide on line listings and data bases pertaining to resources, events, opportunities and individuals which could prove useful to people interested in Poland and Polonica.
Mode of Operation: The Center disseminates information mainly by electronic means, including the World Wide Web, e-mail and discussion lists, but also via the printed word. Located on the campus of SUNY at Buffalo in the Faculty of Arts and Letters, the Center has as its Director Piotr Pienkowski, who is a faculty member in the English Department at the Jagiellonian University, on assignment to SUNY Buffalo on a visiting appointment.
The Center's web site is designed to list academic offerings
for U.S. colleges and universities, and also for Polish universities and
institutions of higher education; calendars of visitors to U.S. institutions
(Polish scholars, artists, and other cultural leaders who will be giving
public talks and holding visiting teaching appointments); and also calendars
of major scholarly and scientific conferences in Poland and in the U.S.
(on Polish studies topics); and the web site will also link with major data
bases, for these purposes:
* identify and establish electronic pointers to major institutional holdings in the U.S. of Polish books, audio and video recordings art and film collections;
* develop a data base of Polish scholars fluent in English and able to participate in distance education;
* compile directories of stateside Polish and Polish-American institutions, non profit organizations, newspapers and periodicals;
* collect and maintain archives of study materials in English on Polish subjects.
Polish Academic Information Center
SUNY at Buffalo
825 Clemens Hall
Buffalo, NY 14260-4600
tel (716) 645 6569; fax (716) 645 3888
web site: http://wings.buffalo.edu/info-poland
Maintaining an ambitious data base like this one will take a dedicated effort by Polish studies folks all over North America (we assume Canada is included). IU-PSC will make an effort to keep our own data entered on an up-to-date basis, but we appeal to all readers who have web access to check into the Buffalo-based data base frequently--become informed--alert us about opportunities--and also forward whatever information you may have to Piotr Pie and the Polish Academic Information Center (and copy it to the PSC for our own web site please!).
The 454 microfilm reels of "The Archives of the Communist Party and Soviet State: Finding Aids" (opisi) are available in the Slavic and East European Library, University of Illinois Library and accessible to members of the CIC. The on-line version of the "Catalogue of Finding Aids and Documents" can be found on the Web at http://www-hoover.stanford.edu/archives/front.html
Intermarum, a new electronic journal on the Web. Columbia University and the Polish Academy of Sciences wish to announce a new electronic journal.
Intermarum provides an electronic medium for noteworthy scholarship and provocative thinking about history and politics of Central and Eastern Europe following World War II. The journal is meant to broaden the discourse about national histories that is undergoing change thanks to the availability of new documentation from recently opened archives. Its name, Intermarum, reflects East Central Europe's geographic location between the seas: Baltic, Adriatic and Black.
The editors' purpose is to facilitate interaction between scholarly communities
by making research, essays, commentaries, documents, and reviews from the
region available in English. It is a project of the Institute for Political
Studies of the Polish Academy of Sciences and Columbia University's Institute
on East Central Europe. The editors are:
Institute for Political Studies -- Polish Academy of Sciences
John S. Micgiel
Institute on East Central Europe -- Columbia University
The journal's internet address is
New literary publication for Central and Eastern Europe. A new
literary review for Central and Eastern Europe, Snow Wing Review,
will start publication soon. It will focus on the literature, art and culture
of Central and Eastern Europe, and the premiere issue will feature Poland.
Submissions are still being invited for the first issue, and the editors
are interested in translations of fiction and poetry as well as essays and
creative non-fiction that explore Poland or Poland-related themes. The review
will be published in English. One of the editors, who sent us this announcement
signed simply Sarah, has this email address:
More information is available on-line:
The Snow Wing Review
Guide to affordable accommodations in Poland: We have received an announcement for a useful guidebook for travelers to Poland, POLAND: Directory of Affordable Accommodations, authored by Ray Kulvicki and Iwona Cholewa. It is a guide to cheap hotels, private rooms for rent, B&B's, farm houses where you may rent a room and hang out with the country people ("agro-tourism," one of the nice spinoffs of the transforming farm economy), and more. The price range for rooms is $5 to $35 per night, per person, most with breakfast.
Tim Wiles has met Ray Kulvicki and he is a true original. He traveled
all over Poland and discovered most of these 600 listings (located in 350
cities, towns and villages) on his own. The book may be ordered from him
for $17 which includes shipping, from:
Polskie B & B
P.O. Box 4197
Covina, CA 91723-4197
We received the following information about a Polish bookstore in Ottawa:
Zapraszamy na Strone Internetowa Ksiegarni Polskiej w Ottawie: http://plbooks.siwired.com/ Znajdziecie w niej Panstwo: -glowny katalog ksiegarni w ukladzie tematycznym (kwiecien 1997) -katalog polskich CD-
-katalog polskich filmow na kasetach -
-formularz zamowien Dla osob nie majacych dostepu do WWW, mozemy wysylac katalogi poczta e-mail (text, MS Word lub PDF) lub zwykla.
Prosze nas zawiadomic jezeli chcecie Panstwo byc regularnie informowani o zmianach na naszej stronie lub skresleni z naszej listy wysylkowej.
Ksiegarnia Polska w Ottawie email@example.com
This year the Center for Studies of East Europe and Central Asia at Warsaw University in Poland has organized the VI East European Summer School, designed to help young scholars to become acquainted with the latest research, new schools of thought and research methodologies in East European area studies. The school assembles annually 30 students, who undertake research into the region's history and contemporary affairs in a variety of disciplines in the humanities. The Summer School's program consists of a series of lectures (with specialized sessions also held in Vilnius, Minsk and Lviv), field trips, visits to institutes, libraries and archives, as well as independent research. The languages of lectures of the East European School are Polish and English.