The Polish Studies
Indiana University • Bloomington, Indiana • Spring 2011
By Padraic Kenney
“Partnership” was the common theme first trip to the United States.
at the Polish Studies Center this past Writer and translator put on a
year. Reaching across campus and great show to a packed house
across the Atlantic, we are building in April. In October, I teamed
and strengthening the ties that keep up with Solidarity legend Wi-
Polish Studies at the center of inter- told Łuczywo (pictured at
national activity at Indiana University. right) to teach a course on
No program better encapsu- underground printing. Read
lates these efforts than our Artists- about these two events in-
in-Residence scholarships. For the side.
second year in a row, we’re support- The most important
Witold Łuczywo teaches students underground printing
ing three young musicians from the partnerships are at home. methods.
Jacobs School of Music at IU. If you I’d like to thank Vice Presi-
New but familiar sounds can be heard
have not been to an AIR concert in dent for International Affairs Patrick
at the Center. In one room, the Ar-
Bloomington or Chicago, learn about O’Meara, and his office, for their
chive of Historical and Ethnographic
the group in these pages. For an ama- continued support of PSC initiatives.
Yiddish Memories project explores
teur in the world of classical music The College Arts and Humanities In-
hundreds of interviews with Yiddish
like me, seeing three musicians come stitute has been instrumental in sev-
speakers recorded in Eastern Europe
together to develop a concert pro- eral recent projects, especially the
(including Poland and the kresy);
gram is quite inspiring. underground course. Here at 1217
across the hall, IU students are learn-
Two personal partnerships en- E. Atwater, Bill Johnston has steered
ing Yiddish. Sometimes you can stand
ergized Polish Studies this past year. the PSC for most of the last decade.
in the corridor and hear Yiddish and
Bill Johnston has been translating the Thank you, Bill, for making the Center
Polish simultaneously, reviving the
work of acclaimed novelist and essay- such a lively place! We are lucky that
great multilingual tradition of Poland
ist Andrzej Stasiuk for a decade. To our Graduate Assistant Raina Polivka
here in Bloomington.
celebrate their latest success, the es- could return for a second year, and More partnerships are in the
say collection Fado, Stasiuk made his that Gosia Swearingen could come offing. Watch for news about other
back as Administrative Assistant and East European visitors this summer,
IN THIS ISSUE: help me ease into the director’s chair. and a project with the Polish Embassy
By the time you read this, Gosia will this fall. And consider how you can
Artists in Residence 2
Trade Union Exhibit 3 have left us again, but we’ll be seeing partner with us! Your support of our
Solidarity in the Classroom 4-5 her and her family at PSC events. Stop programs is vital to our future. Come
Alumni Profile: Franciszek Lyra 6-7 by the Center and greet our new as- to an event, make suggestions for new
Literary Corner 10-11 sistant, Kate Whipple. Kate was once programs, and please donate to the
Faculty & Student News 12-13 active in the Polish Student Associa- PSC. I look forward to your continuing
A Year in Photos 14-15 tion here, so she’s also an old friend. membership in the community.
2 Polish Studies Center at Indiana University
2010 Artists in Residence Celebrate Polish Composers
by Raina Polivka
In Spring 2010 beautiful melodies and soprano Laura Waters sweeping Fryderyk Chopin’s birth.
from some of Poland’s most famous audience members off their seats Concluding the concert was
composers befell the ears of audi- with beautiful arias and graceful a performance Edward Auer, Pro-
ence members from as far away as librettos, the performace was an fessor of Piano at Jacobs School of
Chicago to IU’s own Auer Hall. homage to the contributions made Music, IU, who is the first American
The Polish Studies Center by Polish musicians to the musical to win a prize in the Chopin Inter-
Artists-in-Residence gave two ex- world. The musicians then went on national Competition of Warsaw.
cellent instrumental and vocal per- to perform
formances to highlight Polish classi- at the Cho-
cal music from Chopin and beyond. pin Theatre
The event, co-sponsored by in Chicago,
the Office of the Vice President of where they
International Affairs and the Jacobs participated
School of Music, featured music by in a musical
Chopin, Moniuszko, Lutosławski, celebration
Szymanowski, Bacewicz, and commemo-
Karłowicz. rating the
With Alexandre Tsomaia on 200th an-
piano, Rafał Zyskowski on viola, niversary of Pianist Alexandre Tsomaia accompanies Soprano Laura Waters on
Moniuszko’s aria “On tu przybywa.”
Introducing the 2010-11 Artists in Residence
by Raina Polivka
This year, the Polish Studies Center region as representatives of the She is currently pursuing her D.M.
awarded $500 to one artist each in Polish Studies Center. with Emilio Colon as his Assistant
voice, cello, and piano to serve as Soprano Alyssa Cox recent- Instructor, and she holds a M.M. at
Artists in Residence for 2010-11. ly completed a five year program IU and a B.M. from the University
As ambassadors of Polish music, with a B.M. in Voice and a M.M. in of Texas at Austin.
these students are asked to partic- Opera at the Oberlin Conservatory Michael Pecak, a native
ipate in two events per semester of Music. In Fall 2009 she began Chicagoan, began playing the pi-
in Bloomington or elsewhere in the post-graduate studies at Indiana ano at age five. In 2008, Michael
University, where she graduated from Northwestern Uni-
currently studies with versity where he earned his B.M.
Carol Vaness. degree specializing in both Piano
Jinhee Han, a cellist Performance and Orchestral Con-
and a native of South ducting. He is a laureate of the
Korea, was a principal prestigious Kosciuszko Foundation
cellist of the Philhar- Chopin Piano Competition in New
monic Orchestra and the York, NY where he earned special
Symphony Orchestra at recognition for his performance of
IU under the batons of Szymanowski’s music.
Leonard Slatkin, David
Left to Right: Alyssa Cox, Jinhee Han, and Michael Pecak.
Effron, and Cliff Colnot.
Spring 2011 Newsletter 3
Exhibit Showcases The History of the Workers’ Movement Collection
Curated by Wookjin Cheun
Communist regimes placed a high priority on commu- tions from two diametrically opposed political enti-
nicating with the population. They needed to convey ties of modern Poland, the Communists and the Oppo-
aspects of Communist ideology to ensure that people sition. The exhibit featured the recent acquisitions of
could identify important leaders, understand social the Library of the History of the Workers’ Movement
and economic trends, recognize internal and exter- (Biblioteka Historii Ruchu Zawodowego, or BHRZ) in
nal enemies, and know about upcoming celebrations Warsaw. Materials displayed are part of The History
or other mass events. Workers—whether they were of the Workers’ Movement Collection, found only at
members of the Party (in Poland, the Polish United Indiana University—Bloomington (see The PSC News-
Workers’ Party, PZPR) or not—were the most impor- letter, Spring 2010 for more details).
tant target for this information. For this reason, the
Party, the government, and the trade unions published
daily, weekly, and monthly papers in print runs of tens The Solidarities of Communism
or hundreds of thousands. They were not intended to
turn a profit, but to saturate the workers’ environ- The thirtieth anniversary of Solidarity, Poland’s
ment, becoming the total source of information. greatest contribution to the toppling of commu-
The Polish Opposition that emerged in the late nism, coincided with the arrival in Bloomington of
1970s recognized this. Even before they could ask the Library of the Trade Union Movement. These
people to imagine a different political or economic two events provided the context for a symposium,
system, they had to provide alternative sources of in- “The Solidarities of Communism: Trade Unions and
formation. These news sources (like Biuletyn Infor- Social Policy in Eastern Europe.”
macyjny, first published in the underground in 1976) Four scholars presented papers related in
promised readers the plain truth about the Communist some way to the new trade union collection and to
regime and its repressive policies. When the opposi- the Solidarity anniversary. Brigitte LeNormand, a
tion blossomed in August 1980, producing a massive historian from IU-Southeast, spoke on “The House
independent social movement/trade union, Solidar- that Socialism Built: Reform, Consumption and In-
ity, it brought the underground press into the light. equality in Postwar Yugoslavia,” a talk that dove-
However, December 1981’s declaration of martial law tailed neatly with that by Professor Małgorzata
sent Solidarity and its press underground again. Fidelis of the University of Illinois-Chicago, on
The October 2010 exhibit presented publica- “Trade Unions And The Question Of Gender Equal-
ity In Postwar Poland, 1945-49.” These papers re-
minded us that Communism’s success and failure
rested above all on its ability to provide goods to
In the second panel, Tomasz Inglot of Min-
nesota State University-Mankato considered the
fate of this welfare state, in “Trade Unions And The
Polish ‘Emergency Welfare State’—A Critical Reas-
sessment.” Finally, Gerald Beyer of Saint Joseph’s
University reminded us of Solidarity’s ambitions
to remake the social order, in “The Discourse and
Left."Let's Protect Our Eyes at Work." Work safety and
Ideals of Solidarity: Beyond Communism Towards a
hygiene was a common theme of Communist trade union
publications. Republic of Equals.” Commentary was provided by
Right. A worker reading a Solidarity publication during a Professors Padraic Kenney and Jack Bielasiak of IU.
sit-in strike at a repair shipyard in Gdańsk (August 1988).
4 Polish Studies Center at Indiana University
Solidarity in Action:
Revolution, Printing, and the Student Experience
By Raina Polivka
As if you could sense the watchful ties Institute, brought activ-
eyes of Communist informants or ist and founding Solidarity
hear the wail of police sirens rush- member, Witold Łuczywo to
ing to surpress the Uprising, stu- the IU campus.
dents in Professor Padraic Kenney’s
“Technology of Revolution” class Return to the Underground
spent a sunny Saturday afternoon Born the 23rd of Sept., 1946 in
in October in the murky Polish Dąbrowa Górnicza, Łuczywo
Studies Center basement building became an active participant
printing presses to print materi- in Polish protests and demon-
als detailing revolutions past and strations against the Commu-
present. nist regime from a young age.
As part of a university-wide While he was involved with
initiative to commemorate the university strikes and worker
founding of Solidarity, the Polish walkouts in the late 1960s-
workers’ opposition movement early 1970s, he discovered
that brought down communist rule that he could reach a wider Łuczywo teaches students how to build screen-
in the 1980s, Kenney’s class com- audience and have a louder
tions and police interference: he
bined seminars in historical revo- voice through publishing and dis-
was arrested 25 times for 48 hours
lutions with hands-on experiences. tributing leaflets and newspapers
each, and his house was searched
To accompany the students on advocating solidarity among the
as many times by the secret police.
their journey to the underground, public and an end to communism.
Łuczywo went into hiding un-
the Polish Studies Center with help From 1977-1980 Łuczywo was
der a false name when Martial Law
from the College Arts and Humani- co-founder and publisher of the
was declared on 13th December
independent biweekly paper
1981. In the years 1982-1984 he
Robotnik (The Worker). In
resurfaced and became co-founder
order to conceal publishing
and publisher of a weekly Tygodnik
activities from the authori-
Mazowsze (The Mazovia Weekly),
ties, he invented and per-
which would become the largest
fected underground printing
paper of the underground Solidar-
methods such as adapting
the technique of silkscreen
Since the fall of communism in
printing for the underground
Poland, Łuczywo continues to stay
serials and using shoe polish
active in politics and journalism,
instead of the expensive and
but finds he is most drawn to the
conspicuous ink jars. Thanks
innovative techniques designed to
to the innovations circulation
facilitate communication and the
grew from several hundred to
spread of information. He has since
60,000 in August 1980. In the
made a living through electrical
years 1977-1980, Łuczywo’s
Setting the print.
life was riddled with disrup-
Spring 2011 Newsletter 5
The Underground Comes to we can say things like
Bloomington censorship, but often we
While IU students didn’t face the don’t understand what
threat of incarceration or inter- that really entailed for
rogation, they did construct and the people experiencing
use the tools from the period of it.”
restrictions and government prohi- The class consisted
bitions. of both undergraduate
Mixing ink with oil soap to and graduate students of
make it suitable for silk screen- disciplines ranging from
ing, washing screens between Journalism to Interna-
print runs in the upstairs shower, tional Studies. For many,
and even muffling typewriters with this was the first they Designing the publication by hand.
towels to avoid outsider detection, heard of underground Palestinian conflict of today.
students experienced what it was printing and the power these low- In keeping with the spirit of
like to live and publish in an era tech presses had on changing pub- the Polish underground press, stu-
of extreme and oppressive govern- lic policy and social structure. dents distributed newspaper cop-
ment censorship. ies clandestinely, by
Mary Werden, a Sometimes we tend to take history for granted, not suprising unsuspect-
graduate student in appreciating the choices and circumstances that ing passersby out-
History commented, “I shape the actions and decisions of those people we side of Ballantine
study the communist study. I think the most important aspect was the Hall and People’s
period in Poland, so immediacy the course brought to the idea of history. Park with a flurry of
it’s important to un- —Mary Werden revolutionary mate-
derstand the circum- rials. Students also
stances ordinary peo- gave a public pre-
ple faced everyday. In the West, Indeed, when not construct- sentation of underground printing
ing their own press, students techniques after a viewing of the
were learning about demo- film, Strike, by Volker Schlondorff.
cratic social movements and Łuczywo’s visit to IU came
the role of dissident jour- on the tail end of his first trip to
nalism in movements from the United States. His participa-
around the world. tion and instruction in the course
Students applied these certainly made an impact on the
lessons to their final project: students. Łuczywo told one Her-
using their own presses, stu- ald Times reporter, “I’m very sur-
dents published leaflets, a prised they are so enthusiastic.
newspaper—entitled Solidar- This seems to be a great adventure
ni—and a poster detailing the for them.”
complexities and historical
significance surrounding op- Want a copy of Solidarni, a souvenir
position movements from as of the new Polish underground?
far back as the Haitian Revo- Contact the Polish Studies Center,
The work table.
lution at the turn of the nine- and we’ll send you one!
teenth century to the Israeli-
6 Polish Studies Center at Indiana University
Alumni Interview: Franciszek Lyra
by Raina Polivka
Arriving in Bloomington, Indiana in August, 1959, to
begin graduate work in bilingualism and American
literature, Franciszek Lyra would become the first
Polish citizen to earn an advanced degree from Indi-
ana University. In 1962, Lyra was awarded a Ph.D. for
his work in the Linguistics Department and has since
then gone on to teach and mentor students at the
University of Warsaw interested in American studies.
This spring, I spoke with Dr. Lyra about his time in the
United States and how it impacted his life back in Po-
land. From a small college town in the Midwest to the
hometown of WiIlliam Faulkner in Mississippi, from Ginsburg’s visit for a poetry reading with rock ‘n roll
the halls of the White House to a small Polish town in the background, to what appeared to me a bashful
in Texas, Mr. Lyra’s adventures led him through the audience. No symptoms of the soon to follow social
heartland of the United States in order to understand upheaval, the Civil Rights movement, feminism, etc.
some of his favorite writers and to discover parts of During my three years at IU I never met an
himself. American of Polish descent in town. In the university
setting, however, I was immediately introduced to
When I learned that I was the recipient of a scholar- several colleagues of Polish descent. All told, there
ship to attend any American university of my choosing, were four of us—a small Polish community indeed, but
I went to a large map of the United States and looked one that would survive to this day.
for a university that was near the heart of the country. It was precisely through one of these friend-
You see, ever since I was in high school, following the ships that I was led to the oldest Polish community in
horrid events of World War II, I was captivated by the the United States: Panna Maria, Texas. The town is so
vision of a united Europe—embedded in the oxymoron small that it did not even show up on the Rand McNally
“e pluribus unum.” Later, I learned of its presence in Road Atlas!
the seal of the United States. By choosing a Midwest- In the summer of 1960, I traveled to Panna Ma-
ern location for my transient life in America, I thought ria, Texas to collect linguistic material for my disserta-
I would be able to appreciate the nature of unity in tion on Polonia, or the Polish diaspora, by interviewing
the myriad ingredients that make up the United States fourth and fifth generation residents of the small vil-
of America. lage who were still speaking the Silesian dialect.
In retrospect, the IU community back then, Even though Polonia, the outcome of depo-
largely remained untouched by the swelling counter- lanization, is a phenomenon most prevalent in urban
culture that was sweeping the nation. The community areas where large communities of Polish immigrants
seemed oblivious to the fact that it was still living in gather, Panna Maria, Texas and other surrounding
the shadows of the most bucolic decade in American Polish-named hamlets, provided a unique insight into
history: a time of moral and social conformity, a doc- the roots of Polonia through the perspective of a
ile style of living reflected, for instance, in the white hundred-year history and the transition from Polish-
bobby socks and neat bow ties worn by students in the ness to Americanness via bilingualism and bicultural-
lecture halls, or the boys cruising in behemoth cars ism brought about by the radio, tv, the car, and the
with stately fins. The only evidence of the simmering withdrawal of the Polish language from schools and
anti-establishment movement I witnessed was Allen churches.
Spring 2011 Newsletter 7
From today’s perspective, the waves of post-
WWII Polish immigrants hardly fit the paradigm of Pol- A Message of Thanks
ish immigration of the last quarter of the 19th century by Iwona Dembowska-Wosik
and the beginning of the 20th. Many of today’s Polish
immigrants to America are highly cultured refugees I bet this is how getting an Academy Award must
and are averse to being identified as Polonians, par- feel—you’re there, on the top of the world, still
ticularly as hyphenated Americans, or as Americans not believing in what’s just happened but starting
though they often accept American citizenship. Such to feel that you have just accomplished something
was the case, for example, with Czesław Miłosz and great and…you’re speechless.
Maria Kuncewiczowa. My last semester in Bloomington is passing
Studying and living in the United States fueled by and it is hard to believe I have been here for
my interest in American literature. Among my favor- two years and must now return to Poland.
ite writers are Ralph Waldo Emerson, Emily Dickinson, I am so grateful that I could come here to
and Flannery O’Connor. I am particularly interested in teach Polish. It has been a dream come true and
the works of William Faulkner and during a summer every minute of it was worth leaving home. Each
vacation, I traveled to his hometown in Oxford, Missis- day I wake in the morning and the thought that I
sippi to tread in his footsteps—to live up to Goethe’s am going to teach in 2 hours makes me happy. Be-
famous motto: “Wer den Dichter will verstehen, muss ing with my students is awesome on many levels:
in Dichters Lande gehen” (Who would the poet un- they ask me questions that blow my mind, they
derstand,/Must visit in the poet’s land). The visit to speak Polish better and better every week, and
Faulkner’s Yoknapatawpha County/Jefferson County they amaze me with their dedication. I teach them
contributes substantially to a better understanding vocabulary, grammar, and I try to show them what
of his work. In teaching American literature I have it means to be Polish. They in turn make me dis-
always drawn students’ attention to the geography of cover something new about Poland, our language
the authors’ lives and contents of their work when- or the world in general almost every day.
ever applicable. In the fall, for example, thanks to my stu-
Apart from having had the opportunity to col- dents, I found out how much fun it is to direct a
lect material for my future book on Faulkner (pub- commercial for the Polish language course, while
lished after my return to Poland; it had two editions they turned into actors and TV and radio present-
in the 1960s), I also came face to face with America’s ers for the Slavic Department Talent Show.
greatest evil—segregation. Indeed, I am fortunate to Earlier, Natalie Misteravich, a student, or-
have been in the United States during a time that was ganized a workshop in decorating pisanki-- tradi-
so loaded with the onset of change and charged with tional Easter eggs. Isn’t it funny that I had to come
the challenges and anticipations of reform. I even got to the other side of the world to learn a Polish
to shake hands with President John F. Kennedy in No- tradition! (Thank you, Natalie!)
vember 1961 to help commemorate International Stu- There were also moments of pride, espe-
dents Day. cially during the master class and the spelling
bee organized by Professor Jolanta Tambor from
Franciszek Lyra has written about Polish-American the University of Silesia in Katowice, who was our
literature and helped to found the English Depart- guest in October.
ment at Maria Curie-Skłodowska University. He has While I anticipate my return home to Poland
taught classes in American Studies at University of will bring transition and change, it fills me with joy
Warsaw, and since his retirement has been working to to know how much I grew to love my home here in
create an alumni association for other Polish Indiana Bloomington.
University graduates and friends. Dziękuję!
8 Polish Studies Center at Indiana University
Smolensk Tragedy Brings Polish Studies Film Series
People Together Goes International
Few moments in recent memory brought Poles and Po- Following on the heels of a successful film series
lonophiles in Bloomington closer to their friends and from last Spring, the Polish Studies Center continues
relatives in Poland than the tragedy of April 10, 2010, to provide viewing opportunities that take audience
when an airplane carrying Poland’s president, his wife, members beyond Poland, into the Hungarian, Roma-
and 94 others crashed near Smolensk, Russia, killing all nian, Bosnian and even Russian cinematic landscape.
aboard. Some attended a mass held in a Bloomington FIlms range from mordant comedy with the agonies of
church to remember the victims. Many gathered for a a mother-daughter relationship in Budapest as repre-
discussion of the tragedy and its consequences, led by sented in Fresh Air (dir. Ágnes Kocsis and Andrea Rober-
Professor Bill Johnston and Padraic Kenney. The Polish ti, Hungary, 2006) to the devastating story of atrocities
Studies Center received many notes of condolence. committed against women in the 1990’s Bosnian War
as revealed through As If I Am Not There (dir. Juanita
Wilson, Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2010). There is ample
opportunity to watch recent Polish film releases, too,
such as: Rewers (2009), Dom zły (2009), and 33 sceny z
Co-sponsored with REEI and the Inner Asian and
Uralic National Resource Center, films will be shown at
the Student Building on IU Campus at 7:30, two Thurs-
day evenings a month until the end of the Spring se-
mester. Check out our website for more details.
Memorial display prepared by Iwona Dembowska-Wosik
Auction Raises $2000 for Polish national Affairs for sponsorship; and to those who do-
nated items: Mary McGann, Steve and Karen Franks,
Studies Iwona Dembowska-Wosik, Izabela Ziółkowska-Kenney,
The bidding was lively at an auction fundraiser at the
Nita Levison, and Magda Sokolowski. We hope this is
home of Ivona and Ray Hedin earlier this month. Pol-
the start of a new tradition.
ish folk art, paintings, photographs, and other items –
To donate to the Polish Studies Center, please
even an IOU for loaves of fresh bread – attracted a lot
make checks payable to the “IU Foundation” and be
of interest. This event, the first in memory among the
sure to write “Polish Studies Center” or “The Polish
friends of Polish Studies in Bloomington, raised over
Century Fund” in the memo portion of the check.
$2000 for the Center and for the new Polish Century
Checks should be sent to:
Thank you, everyone, for your generosity! Spe-
Polish Studies Center
cial thanks to our hosts, the Hedins; to auctioneer Bill
Post Office Box 500
Johnston; to the Office of the Vice President for Inter-
Bloomington, IN 47402
We thank you for thinking of us in these difficult economic times.
Spring 2011 Newsletter 9
Endowment to Fund Polish Studies Students
by Raina Polivka We would like to thank
Founded in 1987 by Edward J. Ze- Fund in recognition of the impor- the following people
browski, the Polish Century Club of tant contributions made to the for their generous
Indianapolis, Indiana worked “to study of Polish culture by Indiana donations to the
translate from Polonia and trans- University’s Polish Studies Center.
Polish Studies Center:
mit to the public the basic spiritual The fellowship funds IU students
characteristics of Polish Culture.” pursuing Polish studies and faculty
With the active support of and students involved in Warsaw Mirka & Michael Berkvam
its members and allies in the com- University exchange programs.
munity, the Polish Century Club Thanks to continued sup- James P. Czechanski
hosted an eclectic assortment of port from the Polish Century Club
events including dinner and dance and from our generous donors, the Mary & Richard Hermanowski
nights celebrating “Bigos,” the fellowship has reached endow-
meat stew considered Poland’s na- ment status surpassing $10,000. Suellen Hoy & Walter Nugent
tional dish, and “Dyngus,” or Eas- This money will not only
ter Monday, as well as Super Bowl help the Polish Studies Center con- Olga Kalentzidou & Stephen Ball
Parties, International Polka Festi- tinue to provide resources and ser-
vals and the annual pig roast. vices to its affiliates, but will also James Krysiak
In 1994, the Polish Century further the opportunities available
Club, under the presidential lead- to those interested in Polish lan- Matthew L. Lillich
ership of Danielle Korson, admin- guage and culture.
istered The Polish Century Club of Maria M. Michalczyk-Lillich
Indianapolis, Indiana Fellowship
A New Way to Support Polish Studies
by Padraic Kenney Alice & Edward Meros
The Polish Studies Center is striv- Century Club Endowment. Please Felicia Smigiel
ing to find ever new ways to con- consider contributing to the en-
nect with students, with the com- dowment. Contributions to this Charlene Soby
munity, and with our colleagues fund will go to support students
in Poland. We hope to present the interested in Poland and research Dorothy Sudakoff
latest in knowledge about Polish on Poland.
history, literature, arts, politics, The Polish Studies Center Nathaniel Wood
and society, and to encourage new also welcomes donations to sup-
explorations and create the next port the many activities we spon-
generation of Polish scholarship. sor during the year. Please con- Our events and
We believe those goals are sider adding your support to our programs are made
the ones shared by everyone in work.
our community. We know they are For more information
the ones that motivated the Polish about ways you can give to the
Century Club of Indianapolis, more Polish Studies Center, please visit the friends of the
than 15 years ago, to create a new our website at: Polish Studies Center.
scholarship fund, now the Polish www.indiana.edu/~polishst/
10 Polish Studies Center at Indiana University
From the reek of cabbages to the world of plastics:
Andrzej Stasiuk reads to a packed audience at IU
In Spring 2010 Andrzej Stasiuk, one of Poland’s most already undergone the shuffling of power and the
important contemporary writers and public intellec- repartitioning of borders. Heralding the onset of the
tuals, made his American debut at Indiana University twenty-first century, Stasiuk leaves the reader with
where he gave a talk and bilingual reading with IU this: “from the reek of cabbages, you’ve entered the
Professor Bill Johnston. A gifted travel writer, Stasiuk world of plastics.”
has journeyed widely in Central and South-East Eu- The Polish Studies Center event was made pos-
rope and has been a notable voice in recent debates sible by The Horizons of Knowledge Lecture Series and
about regional identity and the post-1989 experiences was co-sponsored by the Creative Writing Program and
of the postcommunist states. REEI. Stasiuk and Johnston read to a packed house
He and his wife Monika Sznajderman togeth- of students, fac-
er run one of Poland’s leading publishing houses, ulty, and Polish
Wydawnictwo Czarne, which has served as a major enthusiasts from
venue for up-and-coming writers and for translated all disciplines.
fiction and non-fiction. Stasiuk himself, has become Following the
one of the most widely translated Polish authors of reading, Stasiuk
his generation. Four of his books have appeared in traveled to New
English, including two—the novel Nine and the book York City where
of essays Fado—translated by Johnston. he participated
Known for his perceptive wit and discerning in open readings
eye, Stasiuk’s work ushers the reader into the heart with Patti Smith
of Central Europe, where the countries’ rich tradi- and Salman Rush-
tions and cultures are permanently inscribed on the die at the 2010
landscape and its inhabitants. Revealing “the face of PEN World Voices
a continent”, Stasiuk explores the effects of Festival.
capitalism and consumerism on a coutryside that has
Anna Niedźwiedź’s The Image and the Figure
An anthropologist teaching at the Institute of Ethnology image served as one of the most popular symbols
and Cultural Anthropology at Jagiellonian University, of resistance—combining religious and national
and and IU Visiting Scholar alum, Anna Niedźwiedź’s dimensions. Nowadays, countless copies of the original
latest book looks at contemporary representations of image can be seen not only in churches but also on
Our Lady of Częstochowa, streets, above building gates, in shops, cafeterias, in
the most famous and the public places like offices and libraries, or in public
most venerated holy image transportation as well as in private cars where drivers
in Poland. Characteristics often hang it above the steering wheel. Niedźwiedź’s
of the image – the outline The Image and the Figure examines the popular
of the Virgin with Child on symbolic and mythological meanings embodied by
her lap, the dark face of this figure.
Mary, and the scars visible
on her right cheek – are all
very well known in Poland. Niedźwiedź, A. The Image and the Figure: Our Lady of
During the communist Częstochowa in Polish Culture and Popular Religion
period (1945-1989) the (Jagiellonian University Press, 2010).
Spring 2011 Newsletter 11
Bill Johnston translates Myśliwski’s Stone upon Stone
by Raina Polivka
“The war will be won not by bullets, but by feet,” mus- nitude and unique complexity, I am only now qualified
es narrator Szymek in Wiesław Myśliwski’s novel Stone to take on this project.”
upon Stone, newly translated by IU’s Bill Johnston. Set As the title suggests, the book builds from
in the rural landscape of the Polish countryside, Stone one story to the next, carefully constructing a narra-
upon Stone tells the story of one man’s journey from tive that is as close to the land as it is to the speak-
impetuous youth to the many roles and adventures er, our narrator Szymek. It is precisely this attention
that befall him in a small village through wartime and to language that brought Johnston back to the book.
the tranquility of old age. Considered Myśliwski’s most “This book is erroneously categorized as ‘peasant lit-
celebrated work, Stone upon Stone is a meticulously erature.’ While it is true that Myśliwski links language
crafted epic story with place, dialects and locations are left intentionally
taking the author ambiguous. It is in this indistinguishable pan-peasant
over ten years Polish landscape, that the novel takes on mythical fea-
to finish. Though tures—where Szymek is the everyman suffering and liv-
Johnston’s trans- ing in the everywhere.” Indeed, the language itself, at
lation did not once pithy and earthy, almost seems to come from the
take nearly as land—as if the stories shared with the reader will be
long, he does ad- passed on and, like the earth that bears markings and
mit that he first memories of human folly and delight, endures.
encountered the Johnston shared his translation with a packed
book over twenty house early this year. A book signing and Q & A followed
years ago. “Trans- the reading.
lating is a craft.
I feel that for a Stone upon Stone is available in paperback from Archi-
book of this mag- pelago Press.
An Adventure in Polish Reference Sources: 2010-2011 Faculty Exchange
by Wookjin Cheun
I had no complaints about my stay in Warsaw, beginning with Józef Andrzej Załuski of the 18th
well, except for the unusually early winter. Three century. Although his magnum opus, Bibliotheca Polona
consecutive days at -15 C with 10 cm of snow everyday magna universalis, was never published and its original
forced some stores to close earlier than usual. But manuscript destroyed in late 1944, he evidently set the
the university library (BUW), an impressively modern curve for future Polish librarians and bibliographers.
six-story building on Dobra Street, did not seem too The 19th and 20th centuries witnessed a continued
concerned about these “adversities” of nature, stream of magnificent, grand-scale reference works
and for that I was immensely grateful because the in Poland. Clearly towering over all these great works
dependence of my project on the library was almost was Karol Estreicher’s (1827-1908) Bibliografia polska,
total. While in Warsaw, I planned to examine de visu at the 34-volume encyclopedic national bibliography,
least 50 “landmark” reference works (encyclopedias, consisting of more than 200,000 entries. The author, a
dictionaries, bibliographies) of Poland, with the Slavic trained lawyer who worked at the courts of Warsaw and
Bibliography class that I teach every other year in Lwów, spent his entire adult life on this bibliography.
mind, and to gather sources on the history of Polish How he made it and, most of all, what drove him to
bibliography for journal publication. Poland is a nation pursue such a grand national project under foreign
with a long list of significant reference works, usually rule, would be an interesting story.
12 Polish Studies Center at Indiana University
Faculty News the Chopin Theatre, Chicago, March Lem’s classic science fiction novel
20, 2010 (see p. 2). While Goldberg Solaris.
continues to contribute to schol-
Justyna Beinek (Slavic) published
arly discourse on Chopin and Polish Padraic Kenney (History) present-
an article in The Effect of Palimp-
composers through publication and ed a paper entitled “Electromag-
sest, Bozena Shallcross and Ryszard
conferences, she has also served netic Forces and Radio Waves, or,
Nycz, eds., 2011. A collected vol-
as consultant and interviewee for Does Transnational History Actu-
ume co-edited with Piotr Kosicki,
three different documentaries on ally Happen?” at a conference on
Re-mapping Polish-German Mem-
Chopin. Transnational History and 1989.
ory: Geographical, Cultural, and
A Polish translation of that paper
Intellectual Space since World War
Owen Johnson (Journalism & His- was published in the inaugural is-
II, is slated for publication in the IU
tory) wrote 4 articles for Slovak sue of “Wolność i Solidarność,” the
Slavica series this summer. Beinek’s
Spectator, the English-language journal of the Europejskie Centrum
second monograph proposal on the
Bratislava weekly and contributed Solidarności in Gdańsk. In July, he
idea of “The West” in Russian and
to “The Crisis in American Journal- became Director of the PSC and
Polish cultures won her a Senior
ism,” lecture at Institute of Poli- concluded his term as President of
Fellowship at Harvard University
tics, Wrocław University, in January the Polish Studies Association.
for the academic year 2011-12. She
2011. In the August 2010 he partici-
has given many talks pertaining to
pated in the 93rd Annual Conference Hiroaki Kuromiya (History) co-
Polish literature and cinema and
of the Association for Education in authored an article with Andrzej
continues to serve as Director of
Journalism & Mass Communications Pepłonski entitled “The Great Ter-
Graduate Studies (Literature) in
and went on to present a lecture in ror: Polish-Japanese Connections,”
the Department of Slavic Languages
Los Angeles at the Association for published in Cahiers du monde
Slavic, East European & Eurasian russe. He also co-authored a book,
Studies convention in November. He Między Warszawa a Tokio: Polsko-
Wookjin Cheun (Slavic Librarian)
continues to host an occasional edi- Japońska współpraca wywiadowcza
was busy this year compiling and
tion of Profiles, on WFIU. 1904-1944.
organizing the exhibit at the Wells
Library which featured items from
Bill Johnston (Comparative Litera- Maria Mastalerz (Geology) contin-
the new History of the Workers’
ture) In April and May, Bill Johnston ued her research on the energy from
Movement Collection acquired in
helped host author Andrzej Stasiuk fossil fuels by evaluating the Illinois
Spring 2010. Cheun also participat-
on his debut visit to the United Basin coal bed and CO2 emissions.
ed in the Faculty Exchange Program
States, giving joint readings with She was a keynote speaker at the
with the University of Warsaw (see
him in Bloomington and Chicago. North American Coalbed Methane
In July Johnston stepped down as Forum in Pittsburgh and at the An-
director of the Polish Studies Cen- nual Meeting of the Geological So-
Halina Goldberg (Musicology) co-
ter and took over as chair of the ciety of America in Denver. In 2010,
organized the Chopin Bicentennial
Department of Comparative Lit- she published two chapters in books
Concerts and Symposium “Chopin
erature. In December, Archipelago and twelve research papers in inter-
at the Piano: Modern Performance
Books published Johnston’s trans- national journals on energy-related
Informed by Period Practices” at IU
lation of Wiesław Myśliwski’s novel issues. Recently she has been invit-
in July 2010 and prganized and lec-
Stone upon Stone. Forthcoming ed to be a scientist on the Interna-
tured at a concert of Polish music
translations include Andrzej Sta- tional Ocean Drilling Project off the
celebrating the 200th anniversary
siuk’s Dukla and the first translation coast of Japan to study deep bio-
of Fryderyk Chopin’s birth present-
directly from the Polish of Stanisław sphere 2500 m below the sea floor.
ed by the Jacobs School of Music at
Spring 2011 Newsletter 13
Nikodem Poplawski (Physics) re- writing of her dissertation on a film entitled Chopin Letters, a
searches theoretical gravitational Czesław Miłosz as a translator for meditation on exile, nation, and
physics and cosmology, in which he the Department of Comparative music. The film juxtaposes Cho-
studies the origin of the Universe, Literature. She has given several pin’s exile from Poland in 1830
the nature of black holes and the ori- talks on Miłosz and translation in with the author’s own departure
gin of elementary particles. Summa- both the U.S. and abroad, and from martial law Poland 150 years
ries of findings can be found in The will participate this summer in the later, linked by Siwko-Bajon’s per-
Washington Post, Science Now, and seminar, “Miłosz 365,” thanks to a formance of key Chopin works. See
on the Discovery Science Channel. fellowship from the Polish Book In- www.chopinletters.com.
stitute. Her own poetry collection,
Student News The Local World, won the 2010 Alumni News
Wick Poetry Prize and will be pub-
Jolanta Mickute presented a pa- lished by The Kent State University Phil Goss lives in Warsaw and works
per on Zionism and Jewish women Press later this year. as a voice-over artist for television
nationalists in interwar Poland at and film, and has his own radio
the AAASS /ASEEES conference in Mary Werden completed a four show. In 2010 he had an acting role
LA last year and gave a talk on the week intensive language course at in Skolimoski’s film entitled Essen-
same topic at the National Bodies in The School of Polish Language and tial Killing, for which he also did
Eastern Europe conference at Vic- Culture at the Catholic University two voice-only roles.
toria University in Wellington, New of Lublin. She also did archival re-
Zealand. search in Lublin and Warsaw, inves- Anna Niedźwiedź teaches at the
tigating the early post-war years in Institute of Ethnology and Cultural
Anna Muller successfully defended both cities. Anthropology at Jagiellonian Uni-
her Ph.D. dissertation in November versity. She is researching the sym-
2010 titled, “If the Walls Could Talk: Visiting Scholars bolic dimension of urban space in
Women Political Prisoners in Stalin- East-Central European cities and
ist Poland, 1945-1956” and will par- Łukasz Przybysz is visiting the IU changing notions of heritage and
ticipate in the translation seminar, School of Journalism this semester historical memory in post-commu-
“Miłosz 365.” Since last summer, from the Institute of Journalism at nist societies. Her new research
she has been working at the WWII the University of Warsaw. He stud- examine religious experience in
Museum in Gdańsk, where she is in ies methods and techniques of con- popular Catholicism in West African
charge of the exhibition devoted to temporary campaign management, societies.
Nazi concentration camps. especially the ones performed in
the 2008 American presidential Magda Sokolowski has moved to
Raina Polivka received a Master’s campaign. He compares strategies Montana where she and her hus-
degree in Comparative Literature from the 2008 American campaign band are using innovative designs
and will complete a second Master’s to other countries, especially Po- and natural materials to home-
in Rare Books and Special Collec- land. Przybysz gave a talk to jour- stead. When she is not writing po-
tions this summer from the School nalism students about contempo- etry or building, she is recording
of Library Science where she is fo- rary political communication in the her experiences in the Montana
cusing on early printed Slavic and United States and Poland as part of wilderness on her blog, which you
French texts. the School of Journalism Research can find here: squarefootshortage.
Colloquium series. blogspot.com.
Mira Rosenthal received a 2010
ACLS Fellowship to complete the Paul Siwko-Bajon has released Are you an alumnus? Drop us a line!
14 Polish Studies Center at Indiana University
Photo Review of the Year
Sharing delicious Polish food at the Polish Studies annual picnic. Discovering treasures in the book give-away at the Polish picnic.
Teaching the art of pisanki. Invoking the muse: decorating the pisanki egg.
Iwona Dembowska-Wosik catching up with Polish Studies stu-
Students gearing up for the Polish Spelling Bee dents at the holiday party.
Spring 2011 Newsletter 15
Photo Review of the Year
Student types on a muffled trypewriter to reenact publishing
Łuczywo demonstrates printing techniques to the public.
conditions in Poland during the period of Solidarity.
Guests join hands in a traditional Polish dance. Let the judging begin! Guests feasting at the holiday party.
Holiday guests gather around the piano to sing Polish Christmas Breaking Opłatek and sharing holiday cheer.
Padraic Kenney Phone: 812-855-1507
Gosia Swearingen & Kate Whipple Fax: 812-855-0207
Jakub Wosik Visit our website:
Graduate Assistant www.indiana.edu/~polishst
Address Service Requested
Bloomington, IN 47401
1217 E. Atwater Avenue
campus mail Polish Studies Center