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Krakow, Warsaw, Ladek Zdroj

Past Events | 2008

The Files: A play by The Theatre of the 8th Day

Thursday, November 13th, 7:30pm
Friday, November 14th, 7:30 pm
Saturday, November 15th, 2:30pm (Polish language version) and 7:30pm
John Waldron Arts Center
122 S. Walnut
Bloomington, IN 47408

The Files, directed by Ewa Wójciak and Marcin Kęszycki, the founders and directors of the Theatre of the Eighth Day, premiered in Poznan, Poland, on January 10th, 2007, and was recognized by critics as one of the most important performances of the last few years.

The Files is a special and unusual performance for the Theatre of the Eighth Day (famous for fighting the regime only through art), because it uses Secret Police reports on the Theatre's actors written during the period from 1975 to 1983 (reports that by definition also covered the actors' contacts, friendships, and meetings), juxtaposed with the actors' private letters at the time the reports were written, as well as parts of old performances to which the reports referred. For the sake of clarity and because the reports were so voluminous, the company decided to narrow the action of the play to the 1970s, since that was when they were active only as artists. (Later, in the 80s, they began to be more directly active in politics.). The inspiration for this play was their discovery of a typical report on one of their earlier plays that was written by a Secret Police officer from Crakow, whose intellectually over-ambitious analysis of the play's subversive tendencies was so grotesquely uncomprehending that it was hilarious.

Sponsored by
The College of Arts and Humanities Institute
Polish Cultural Institute
Polish Studies Center

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Agnieszka Graff Lecture

“Our Innocence, Foreign Perversions: Gender and Sexuality in Polish Nationalist Discourse"

Thursday, November 13th, 4pm
Indiana Memorial Union - Persimmon Room

“Our Innocence, Foreign Perversions: Gender and Sexuality in Polish Nationalist Discourse.” This lecture will explore how nationalist discourse in contemporary Poland is not only gendered, but also overlaid with ideas of domestic purity threatened by a decaying West. Agnieszka Graff is one of the best-known writers on issues of gender and feminism in Eastern Europe, thanks to her ability to present them in clear and engaging – and provocative – prose. This talk will be quite accessible to students interested in questions of gender politics, as well as to students interested in Poland and Eastern Europe; both are quite numerous at IU.

Sponsored by
Institute of Advanced Studies
Polish Studies Center
Horizons of Knowledge
Russian and East European Institute
Gender Studies

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Michal Heller - Student Gathering

Thursday, November 6th, 9am
Polish Studies Center

The Polish Studies Center is entertaining Michal Heller, the physicist and theologian who is this year's winner of the Templeton Prize. We are hosting a breakfast encounter at the Center for students (undergraduate and graduate) ONLY. This is a rare opportunity to meet one of Poland's most distinguished thinkers in an informal setting. We'll provide bagels and coffee.

Robert Blobaum Lecture

Thursday, September 24th, 5pm
University Club of Indiana University - Faculty Room

Dr. Robert Blobaum, Eberly Professor of History, West Virginia University: “A Warsaw Story: Polish-Jewish Relations in the First World War”. Spy scares, accusations of profiteering and speculation, suspicions that the Jews had privileged access to ever-scarcer food and public assistance, and anti-Jewish boycotts: Warsaw in World War One seemed ripe for a pogrom, like the one that wracked Lwow in November 1918. Yet a pogrom did not happen - why not?

Sponsored by
Polish Studies Center
Robert A. and Sandra S. Borns Jewish Studies Program
Horizons of Knowledge
Department of History
Russian and East European Institute

Polish Studies Center Picnic

Saturday, September 13, 12-3pm
Bryan Park Woodlawn Shelter (intersection of Woodlawn Street and E. Southdowns Drive)

Our annual potluck gathering to welcome friends of the Polish Studies Center to a new academic year.

Please bring a dish to share: salads, meats (there will be a ready grill), side dishes, deli items, desserts, etc, as well as a non-alcohoic beverage. All picnicware will be provided, including cups, plates, forks, knives, napkins and ice. Polish dishes are highly appreciated if you are able.

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Polish Studies Conference

April 17-20

With a plenary speech by Clare Cavanaugh

For more information go to our conference page

Jakub Tyszkiewicz Lecture

“U.S. Policy Toward Gomulka’s Poland (1956-1970)”

Thursday, March 20th, 5:30pm
Faculty Room, University Club, Indiana Memorial Union

The Polish October of 1956, the political “thaw” started in Warsaw, was not only a turning point in the history of communist-ruled Poland but also the beginning of new times in Polish-American relations. United States policy toward Poland changed dramatically after that time. Washington stopped viewing Poland as a part of Soviet-related matters, as it had during the Stalinist period and launched completely new activities toward the new communist ruler in Warsaw – Władysław Gomułka. In the long term such a policy would make it possible to diminish Soviet supremacy and allow the Polish nation to live on the independent and free country. Jakub Tyszkiewicz will present the main aims of U.S. policy toward Poland and the attitude of the U.S. government toward situation in Poland in 1956-1970.

Jakub Tyszkiewicz is an adjunct professor in the Department of History at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He is also Professor of History at the University of Wroclaw, Poland.

Benjamin Paloff Lecture

“Intersubjectivity and Its Discontents, or: How to Make Fun of Witold Gombrowicz”

Thursday, February 28th, 5:30pm
Ballantine Hall, Room 242

This presentation, which draws on select issues from his current book manuscript, addresses Witold Gombrowicz’s emphasis on intersubjective relations as the basis of Being. A persistent concern throughout Gombrowicz’s prose, the ways in which one person or thing is inevitably bound to another, appears as a simultaneously comic and tragic consequence of existence and, in generic terms, the common foundation of comedy and tragedy.

Benjamin Paloff is Assistant Professor in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures and the Program in Comparative Literature at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Polish Film Series

All showings will be at 7:30 pm in Swain Hall East, Room 105, on the IU Bloomington Campus. All films are in Polish with English subtitles. Free and open to the public.

Warsaw (Warszawa)
2003, dir. Dariusz Gajewski (104 min.)
Winner of five Golden Lion awards at the Festival of Polish Feature Films in Gdynia, Warsaw is a film with many storylines, all of which play out during 18 hours of a single day in winter. In an attempt to renew and reignite their lives, a few strangers arrive in a cold, gloomy metropolis on the same day. They pass each other in the streets without noticing, until nightfall, when they are brought together…

2006, dir. Konrad Niewolski (85 min.)
The psychological thriller Palimpsest tells the story of Marek, a police investigator assigned to solve the intricate murder of his friend, a fellow detective. As the case unfolds, we enter the depths of Marek’s deteriorating mind, forcing us to ask: “What is real and what is illusion?”

I Am (Jestem)
2005, dir. Dorota Kedzierzawska (93 min.)
In this award-winning film of sparse dialogue and rich, evocative imagery, a resolute 11-year-old boy finds a “home” on a deserted old barge after running away from an orphanage and being rejected by his mother. Teetering between the realm of childhood and the often cold adult world, the runaway orphan meets a girl who helps him understand who he is.