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Krakow, Warsaw, Ladek Zdroj

Past Events | 2003

September 6:
Annual Get Acquainted Potluck Picnic

At Bryan Park
Located in the large shelter nearest the pool
(5 blocks south of campus on Woodlawn at Southdowns)

Saturday, September 6, 2003
Noon – 3:00 p.m.

This will be a potluck picnic. Please bring a main dish or dessert to share, and your own beverages. Polish dishes are most welcome but not mandatory. If you do not cook, please come anyway! Chips, cookies or deli items are welcome also. Cups, plates, napkins, utensils and charcoal will be provided. Please note: Alcoholic beverages are NOT allowed at Bryan Park.

Nathan Wood
Tuesday, September 23rd
4:00 PM Ballantine Hall 233

“We’ll make ourselves into Europe!”
The Creation of “Wielki Kraków” and the Discourse of “European” Modernization

Popular press coverage of the creation of Wielki Kraków (Greater Cracow)—the incorporation of outlying communities into a single administrative unit that took place from 1910 to 1915—reveals that the fundamental issue was the creation of a modern, “European” city. As one suburban mayor put it: “Bedzie z nas Europa!” (We’ll make ourselves into Europe!). Notwithstanding Cracow’s storied reputation as the “Polish Athens,” nationalist rhetoric proved less convincing in justifying Greater Cracow than the discourse of “Europeanization”—with its attendant consideration of practical urban amenities like paved roads and streetlights. While there was certainly popular support for its creation, the mass circulation press also demonstrates that there were strong feelings of resentment and discontent regarding Greater Cracow, especially among the citizens of the suburban communities who stood to lose their independence.

In its rhetorical marshalling of the term “Europe” and in the array of attitudes toward incorporation, the discussion of the creation of Greater Cracow a century ago has a strange resonance with the debate over European Union expansion today. Wood’s talk, based on a chapter of his dissertation, will acquaint the listener with the salient issues of the creation of Greater Cracow. He hopes that his presentation will spur a discussion with members of the Polish Studies Center and IU community about parallel attitudes today regarding EU expansion, the ideal of “European civilization,” local, national, and pan-national identities, and the vicissitudes of modernity in Eastern Europe. Witajcie!

Memorial for Tim Wiles
Saturday, October 11, 2003
2:00 PM
Ruth N. Halls Theatre in the Theatre and Drama Center

This summer, the Polish Studies Center community was shocked and deeply saddened by the news of Tim Wiles' tragic death. Tim had a long and memorable history with the Center; he served as Director from 1983-1986 and 1991-1999, and he continued to be a member of the Advisory Committee.

On October 11, 2003, a memorial service will be held to commemorate Tim's remarkable life. The service will be held at 2 pm at the Ruth N. Halls Theatre in the Theatre and Drama Center on the Bloomington campus.

Speakers will include Professor Wlodzimierz Siwinski, former Rektor of Warsaw University, as well as Tim's colleagues and students from Indiana University and the Bloomington community.

Play Reading
Wednesday, October 22, 2003
7:00 PM
Polish Studies Center

The Polish Studies Center invites you to an evening of Polish comedy!

Please join us in an informal reading of two of Slawomir Mrozek's short plays: The Police and The Martydrom of Peter Ohey; participation is optional, but enjoyment is guaranteed.

Mrozek was one of Tim Wiles' favorite writers; this reading will be dedicated to Tim, who first came up with the idea of Polish play readings at the Center, and who was a staunch supporter of our previous meetings.

We'll meet at the Center on Wednesday, October 22 at 7 pm; tea, coffee and cookies will be provided.

This is a great way to get to know Poland's most outstanding contemporary playwright and satirist, and also to meet some of the Polish Studies Center community. Come along!

Through Foreign Eyes:
An American Photographer in 1980's and 1990's Poland
A talk and slide show by Dennis Chamberlin

Thursday, November 6
Ballantine Hall 109
7:30 PM

Photojournalist Dennis Chamberlin will talk about and show some of his photographs made during the 1980's and 90's in Poland.

Dennis first visited Poland during Martial Law and began work on a documentary photo project that turned out to be more involved than he first thought. In 1986 he made a decision to move there, sold all his belongings (except for a bagful of cameras) and immersed himself in the culture of the country. Six years, and many rolls of film later, ZNAK publishers in Kraków published his photographic album depicting life in Poland during the last decade of Communism in the country. He continued to photograph and document the changes in the country for 15 years until he and his family moved to Bloomington last year.

Jacek Wozniakowski wrote that Dennis photographed Poland "through eyes that are sympathetic, often friendly and even affectionate, but always observing us with the same degree of perceptiveness, sometimes with amusement, and as it were with discretion." His work "is a marvelous document which may tell us today - and increasingly in the future- far more about the times we are living in than miles and miles of historians' and journalists' reports."

The Polish Studies Center presents:
Poets and Time: An Unhistorical Approach Towards Polish Poetry

a lecture by Krzysztof Koehler

Thursday, December 4th
7:00 PM
Faculty Club in the University Club of the Indiana Memorial Union

Krzysztof Koehler will present a talk on an unhistorical approach towards time in Polish poetry during different eras and by different authors. Polish poetry is often only evaluated for its involvement in historical perspectives. Koehler will focus on the lyrical, autobiographical, philosophical and anti-historical attitudes towards time in the work of some of the most important Polish poets, including Kochanowski, Potocki, Lubomirski, Mickiewicz and Herbert.

Krzysztof Koehler is one of the leading figures of the younger generation in Polish writing. A poet, critic, scholar, film maker, and librettist, he has played a central role in the emergence of a new literature since 1989. His most recent book of poetry is Trzecia czesc (Krakow 2003).

The Polish Studies Center warmly invites you to our traditional potluck


to be held on Thursday, December 11, 2003
5:00 - 7:00 pm
at the Leo R. Dowling International Center 111 S. Jordan Avenue

Come and celebrate Boze Narodzenie in Polish style, complete with the singing of Polish Christmas Carols and the sharing of the oplatek (Christmas wafer). Everyone is welcome!

Please bring a dish to share; those who are able are urged to bring something traditional, although all food is welcome. The Center will provide turkey, ham, soft drinks, silverware, napkins and so on.

Please note too that we have obtained a liquor permit for this event. Please feel free to bring alcoholic beverages to share that will be distributed by the bartender.

Ongoing Events:
Every Thursday:

7:30 pm at the Polish Studies Center (Starting September 4th)
Polish Coffee Hour

Spring 2003

Festival of Films of Stanislaw Lem.

February 6, 2003
The Investigation (directed by Marek Piestrak, 1973, 34 minutes) is a Kafka-esque metaphysical puzzler about mysteriously disappearing bodies that test the mettle of a young Scotland Yard officer who has a determinedly prosaic view of the world.

And in the futuristic half-hour comedy Roly Poly (Przekladaniec), directed by Wajda from a screenplay by Lem (1968, 35 minutes), Poland’s legendary comic actor Bogumil Kobiela plays a racing-car driver who has had so many body-part transplants that he can’t keep up with his debts to the donors.

February 7, 2003
In Test Pilot Pirx (Marek Piestrak, 1979, 90 minutes), the commander of a space flight does not realize his crewmembers are humanoid robots being tested by the U.N. space agency to see how they respond to human company. (Variety called it “a breath of fresh air… beautifully done.”)

February 8, 2003
The Hospital of the Transfiguration (Edward Zebrowski, 1979, 90 minutes) takes place in an insane asylum during the German occupation and pits incurable schizophrenics and slightly strange staffers against the Gestapo.

Following soon after the release of Steven Soderbergh's film adaptation of the science fiction classic, Solaris, by the world-renowned Polish writer Stanislaw Lem, (a novel originally brought to the screen by the Russian master Andrei Tarkovski), we present a short festival of four Polish films based on Lem's stories that nicely capture the intellectually provocative humor so characteristic of his writing. The only Polish films based on stories by Lem, until recently they had never been shown publicly in the United States; showings in New York City in Fall 2002 received rave reviews. At least two of the films were co-scripted by Lem himself, and one-Roly Poly--was directed by Andrzej Wajda.

The four films are: The Investigation; The Hospital of the Transfiguration; Test Pilot Pirx; and Roly Poly.

Best known to Americans for his 1961 novel, Solaris, Lem's books have appeared in 36 languages. Addressing profound philosophical issues, his work has been compared to that of Italo Calvino and Jorge Luis Borges. Solaris, His Master's Voice, and The Cyberiad belong to the most famous science-fiction works of the twentieth century. Newsweek has called Lem "the best science-fiction writer working in any language today."

For more information on Stanislaw Lem and the forthcoming Solaris by Steven Soderbergh, visit

All films will be shown in the Whittenberger Auditorium
in the IMU at 3:00 PM free of charge.
All films are in Polish with English subtitles.

February 21, 2003:
The Polish Studies Center, Russian and East European Institute, West European Studies and Horizons of Knowledge present:

"Polish Society in the Perspective of its Integration with the European Union"

A lecture by Janusz Mucha of Nicolaus Copernicus University.

Poland's entry into EU is scheduled for 2004, and will undoubtedly be another momentous process in the country's history. While Poland is often compared with its more economically developed neighbors such as Germany and France, Janusz Mucha argues that former European "peripheries" such as Greece and Portugal form a more apt comparison. Janusz Mucha will also address such points as: the EU and Polish aspirations; civilization backwardness in a historical perspective; agriculture problems: adaptation and contestation; the convinced, the uncertain, the opponents; political system and its dynamics; the Church and the youth of the pre-access period; the "decalogue" of the Polish assets; and a few words on the future.

3:00 p.m.
Ballantine Hall 109

March 27

Fine Arts Building, room 102
7:30 p.m. (there will be no Polish coffee hour)

Dzien Swira (Day of the Wacko) (Marek Koterski, 2002, 90 minutes) "A black comedy from the director of the highly accclaimed Nothing Funny (Nic smiesznego). A day in the life of a 49 year-old teacher who is completely disillusioned with his reality. As he looks for the causes of his unhappines, he blames his neighbors, his former wife and his own mother. However, any attempts to improve his life will be unsuccessful until he first begins to change himself." Najlepszy film XXVII Festiwalu Polskich Filmow Fabularnych w Gdyni (2002). The best Polish Film of the Year 2002.

Ongoing Events:

Every Thursday:
7pm at the Polish Studies Center
Polish Coffee Hour

Every Friday:
4:30 at Bear's
Polish Table

April 3
IUPUI 4:00pm, University Library RM 1126

April 4
4:00pm, Ballantine Hall 103

The Institute for Advanced Study Presents

"Polish Macho and the Myth of the Supermother. Towards a Diagnosis of Gender Relations after Communism"

A lecture by Agnieszka Graff of the Gender Studies Program,
University of Warsaw.

In her controversial book Black Macho and the Myth of the Superwoman (1978), Michele Wallace wrote: The American black woman is haunted by the mythology that surrounds the American black man. It is a mythology based upon the real persecution of black men. (...) Every time she starts to wonder about her own misery, to think about reconstructing her own life, the ghosts pounce.' You crippled the black man. You worked against him. You betrayed him...'

An analogy with gender relations in contemporary Poland may seem risky, but it is nonetheless striking. There is a real history of suffering, and a myth of the 'castrating' power of communism, from which women are thought to have unjustly benefited. There is also a general sense that women's patriotic duty is to return to traditional roles, so that a 'natural' order can be restored along with male dignity. Basing my analysis on articles in popular magazines and images of men and women in popular films, I will argue that the gender dynamics in Eastern Europe may require a theory departing from models developed in mainstream (white) feminism in the West. The central issue here is structurally similar to that of African Americans, and perhaps women in other colonized societies: how to overcome a mythology of excessive female power, and the image of oppression as castration; how to be emancipated without being seen as traitor to one's community or nation.

An audio recording of this lecture will be available on the Institute website ( after April 15, 2003.

April 7th: 7pm Georgian Room, IMU
A visit and lecture by His Excellency Przemyslaw Grudzinski, Ambassador of the Republic of Poland.

"Poland and the Future of Transatlantic Relations"

April 8th: 4:00pm, The Hudson Institute, Hermahn Kahn Center, 5395 Emerson Way, Indianapolis (please RSVP for this event by contacting Debbie Price at 317-549-4103 or, seating is limited)

"Poland and The United States, Strange or Natural Partners"

April 22: 12:00 noon, Radio & Television Center, Room 245
The Russian and East European Institute, the Department of History, the Department of Political Science, the Polish Studies Center, and the Borns Jewish Studies Program present a lecture by Professor Timothy Snyder

"The Causes of Ukrainian-Polish Ethnic Cleansing, 1943"

Timothy Snyder is an assistant professor of history at Yale University, specializing in the political history of ideas in modern Eastern Europe, He is the author of Nationalism, Marxism, and Modern Central Europe: A Biography of Kazimierz Kelles-Krauz (Harvards University Press, 1998), and the co-editor of Wall Around the West: State Power and Immigration Controls in Europe and North America (Rowman and Littlefield, 2001). His lecture draws from his most recent book, The Reconstruction of Nations: Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus, 1569-1999 (Yale University Press, 2003).

May 4: 7pm, First Christian Church, 205 East Kirkwood Avenue, Bloomington (concert to be held in Sanctuary), Tickets: Students $3, General Public $5

We are proud to present one Poland's most unique accordion trios, Motion Trio. This internationally recognized group combines elements of motion1jazz, rock and folk to create a sound that challenges traditional boundries of accordion music. Formed in 1996 by Janusz Wojtarowicz, the trio is completed by Marcin Galazyn and Pawel Baranek. Please join us in welcoming these laureates of the Krzysztof Penderecki International Contemporary Chamber Music Competition in the beautiful Gothic styled sanctuary of First Christian Church.