Closure of Conference project. Post-Conference Plans

Many many thanks to everyone who participated in the conference, to all those who presented papers, read their poetry or translations, contributed to discussions or just came to listen.

This blog will remain open as a record of the conference proceedings and will continue to include the programme, the abstracts of the presentations and the short biographies of the participants.

We have removed the conference papers from this site because we intend to include revised versions in a post-conference book. This book will not be a representation of the conference proceedings as such, however, but a volume of articles roughly reflecting the structure of the conference. The book will be edited by Ursula Philips, supported by a team of advisers (Urszula Chowaniec, Knut Andreas Grimstad, Kris Van Heuckelom and Elwira Grossman). It is expected that the volume will appear in 2013.

Should anyone wish to contact the authors of papers or read the original papers, please contact the conference organizer.

Monday, November 07, 2011




Evening event 9 November 5.30 -8.30 pm


Venue: UCL Institute of Archaeology Lecture Theatre, 31-34 Gordon Square
London WC1H 0PY
5.30-7.15 pm,  followed by Drinks Reception in the Masaryk Room, UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies, 16 Taviton Street, London WC1H 0BW

Cynthia Haven (Stanford University): Miłosz: The Moment After Death
Mindaugas Kvietkauskas (Lithuanian Institute of Literature and Folklore, Vilnius): Poet as Mediator: Miłosz and Local Memory
Mira Rosenthal (Stanford University): Czesław Miłosz as a Translator of Contemporary Poetry
Richard Reisner: The World of Czesław Miłosz. Bombus Terrestris in the Authorial Honeycomb of Translators and Translated
George Gömöri (formerly University of Cambridge): The Captive Mind 60 Years Later [TO BE READ IN HIS ABSENCE]

Chair: Robin Aizlewood, Director UCL SSEES

MAIN CONFERENCE 10-11 November
Venue: Rooms 431-433, UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies, 16 Taviton Street, London WC1H 0BW

9.00 – 9.30am: REGISTRATION

9.30-11.00 am:
Introductory remarks: Ursula Phillips (UCL SSEES)

Hanna Gosk (University of Warsaw): Notions of “Homeland” in Recent Polish Prose (twenty years after the country regained sovereignty)
Jerzy Jarzębski (Jagiellonian University, Kraków): The Conflict of Generations in Contemporary Prose
Urszula Chowaniec (University of Tampere/ Andrzej Frycz Modrzewski University, Kraków): The Ruined Bodies of Travellers and Foreigners in Contemporary Polish Women’s Writing (Mapping Melancholy as a Revolutionary Gesture)
Discussant: John Bates (University of Glasgow)
Chair: Ursula Phillips
11.00 am Coffee

11.30am – 1.00 pm:
Błażej Warkocki (Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań): Strategies of Gay Male Emancipation in Polish Prose Since 1989
Dirk Uffelmann (University of Passau): Wrong Sex and the City: Polish Migration and Masculinity
Monika Świerkosz (Jagiellonian University, Kraków): Marianna in the House of Bluebeard: Tropes of Female Authorship in Izabela Filipiak’s Absolute Amnesia.

Discussant: Roberto Kulpa (Birkbeck)
Chair: Tuesday Bhambry (UCL SSEES)

1.00-2.00 pm LUNCH

2.00-3.30 pm:
Joanna Michlic (Brandeis University): Into the Well of Memory: Michał Głowiński’s Jewish Childhood during the Holocaust
Knut Andreas Grimstad (University of Oslo): Revisiting the Other Side: Mnemonic Strategies in Piotr Paziński’s The Boarding House
Katarzyna Zechenter (UCL SSEES): “Matka Żydówka”: Jewish Women and Memory
Paul Vickers (University of Glasgow): Constructing the Memory of a Polish Jewish Community in Tadeusz Słobodzianek’s Nasza klasa/Our Class (2008/2009)

Discussant: Izabela Filipiak (University of Gdańsk)
Chair: François Guesnet (UCL Dept of Hebrew and Jewish Studies)

3.30-4.00 pm Coffee

4.00-5.30 pm:
Agnieszka Mrozik (Institute of Literary Research, Polish Academy of Sciences): Women’s Archives – Storage Pantries: Identity Politics in Women’s (Auto)biographies After 1989
Kris van Heuckelom (Catholic University of Leuven): Itinerant (Wo)Men: Migration and Inter-Ethnic Coupling in Recent Polish Prose
Uilleam Blacker (Memory at War Project, University of Cambridge): Recovering the Memories of Lost Others in Contemporary Polish Literature

Chair: Katarzyna Zechenter (UCL SSEES)


9.30-11.00 am:
Grzegorz Niziołek (Jagiellonian University, Kraków): Ressentiment as Experiment: Polish Theatre and Drama After 1989
Bryce Salisbury Lease (University of Exeter): Hidden in the Theatre? The New Archive of Queer Performance Activism
Elwira Grossman (University of Glasgow): Transnational or Bi-Cultural? Challenges in Reading Post-1989 Drama Written ‘Outside the Nation’

Discussant: Paul Allain (University of Kent) 
Chair: Paul Vickers (Glasgow)

11.00-11.30 am Coffee

11.30-1.00 pm:
Catherine Grosvenor: Translating the Moment: Experiences of Translating Contemporary Polish Theatre
Antonia Lloyd-Jones: Translating Children’s Books
Bill Johnston (Indiana University): The Peasants are Revolting, or Szymek from the Village and Joe from Missouri: Problems of Voice in Translating Wiesław Myśliwski’s Stone upon Stone
Elżbieta Wójcik-Leese (University of Copenhagen): Rewritten Poems and Anthologized Presences: A Sequel

Discussant: Knut Andreas Grimstad (Oslo)
Chair: Dorota Hołowiak (UCL SSEES) 

1.00-2.00 pm LUNCH

2.00-2.45 pm:
Izabela Filipiak in discussion with Ursula Phillips and Urszula Chowaniec – about her own work and on recent writing by women

2.45-5.00 pm [break for coffee 3.45-4.00 pm]
Presentation of developments in recent Polish poetry accompanied by readings:
Marek Kazmierski:  Polish Poetry Since1989 – A Brief Reconnaissance
Wioletta Grzegorzewska: Looking for Real Poetry with Czesław Miłosz [followed by readings; translations by Marek Kazmierski]
David Malcolm (University of Gdańsk): Memory and Diction in Jerzy Jarniewicz's Poetry
Katarzyna Zechenter: Readings from her W cieniu drzewa (2011) [translations by Bogdana Carpenter]
Translators - Richard Reisner, Elżbieta Wójcik-Leese, Bill Johnston, Mira Rosenthal, Antonia Lloyd-Jones: readings selected from their own translations of Ewa Lipska; Marcin Świetlicki, Marzanna Kielar, Wojciech Bonowicz, Krystyna Miłobędzka; Eugeniusz Tkaczyszyn Dycki; Tomasz Różycki; Tadeusz Dąbrowski and Jacek Dehnel)

Chair: Ursula Phillips

Chair: Elwira Grossman (University of Glasgow) 

Ursula Phillips, 7 November 2011

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Urszula Chowaniec

Urszula Chowaniec is a specialist in Polish Literature and language. She is an editor of the online cultural journal Women’s Writing Online ( She gained her PhD in literary studies at the Jagiellonian University in 2004 and is the author of In Search of Woman: On the Early Novels of Irena Krzywicka (W poszukiwaniu kobiety. O wczesnych powieściach Ireny Krzywickiej, 2007). She co-edited Mapping Experience in Polish and Russian Women’s Writing (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2010), and Masquerade and Femininity: Essays on Polish and Russian Women Writers (Cambridge Scholars Publishing 2008). She has published articles and book chapters on women’s writing, literary theory and literary and cultural history (e.g. in Gender and Sexuality in Ethical Context: Ten Essays on Polish Prose, edited by Knut Andreas Grimstad and Ursula Phillips, Slavica Bergensia 5, 2005). She is currently working on a book as part of her research undertaken at the University of Tampere on Polish women’s writing within the perspective of body theory and the notion of nomadism. Email:

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Richard Reisner

The World of Czesław Miłosz: Bombus Terrestris in the Authorial Honeycomb of Translators and Translated

This paper proposes that Czesław Miłosz in his numerous literary guises epitomises the cross-pollinatory nature of the creative literary process where texts are generated polytemporaneously in the authorial process of readers and writers.  One such illustration, his early war-time cycle The World, can be shown to demonstrate the generative nature of literary creation in the intertextual plane, translation being a prime vehicle in the cross-pollination of the initial text, known as the original. 
In this regard one poem from Miłosz’s cycle ‘The World’ will be taken as an illustration, where two English versions are discussed in terms of the roles of readers and writers in the authorial process across time. In this particular context, Miłosz as both author/translated and author/translator plays a vital role in exemplifying the making of authorial progression and the related creativity of the translation text in the formative process of literature.
It is therefore argued that Czesław Miłosz, working across a number of literary genres as well as assuming a number of various guises in the course of being reader and writer, serves as a good illustration of the making of the author and the attendant creative tensions between readers and writers.  It is therefore both as translator and translated that one of Poland’s most influential literary figures in the recent past has underscored the authorial presence of translation in the re-generation of literature.

Richard Reisner

Ryszard J. Reisner is a translator and researcher of Polish literature who has published on the role of the translation process in literature and has taught translation at a number of universities, including The University of Warsaw.  He has also completed bilingual publications and readings including The City of Home (an English-Polish anthology of Australian poetry with co-editor Thomas Shapcott), The Holy Order of Tourists by Ewa Lipska and The Seasons by Dariusz Pacak, English versions for the theatre, such as Stefan Mrowiński’s The World of Monodrama, as well as contributions to Six Polish Poets, edited by Jacek Dehnel, and Contemporary Writers of Poland, edited by Danuta Blaszak.  He collaborated with Father Jan Twardowski on a representative selection of his work that included his first volume of 1937. He has also translated poems by Zbigniew Herbert as well as the cycle Świat. Poema naiwne (The World) by Czesław Miłosz. As part of a multi-lingual project in Vienna, he had also completed translations of Marek Grechuta’s interpretations (and musical settings) of well-known painters Obrazy śpiewane.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

David Malcolm, University of Gdańsk

Memory and Diction in Jerzy Jarniewicz’s Poetry
Jerzy Jarniewicz is a widely-published and highly-regarded poet, translator, and literary scholar. He has published nine volumes of verse since the early 1990s, his best-known collections being Niepoznaki (2000), Dowód z tożsamości (2003), Oranżada (2005), and Makijaż (2009). This paper examines the degree to which Jarniewicz’s work departs from the major concerns and technical features of pre-1989 poetry. Motifs of isolation, paralysis, and passing time (and impotence in the face of transience) will be considered, as will the poet’s deployment of blank verse and informal language. Special attention will be given, however, to the author’s determination to resist the effacing of a world (largely a pre-1989 world) both physically and in memory. Jarniewicz will be discussed – as he discusses Seamus Heaney – as a poet “pomiędzy,” that is “between” times and worlds.

David Malcolm, University of Gdańsk

David Malcolm is Professor of English Literature and Chair of the Department of Literary Studies in the English Institute at the University of Gdańsk. He is also Vice-Director of the English Institute. He is co-author (with Cheryl Alexander Malcolm) of Jean Rhys: A Study of the Short Fiction (Twayne, 1996), and author of Understanding Ian McEwan (2002), Understanding Graham Swift (2003) and Understanding John McGahern (2007, all University of South Carolina Press). He is co-editor of The British and Irish Short Story, 1945-2000, volume 319 of the Dictionary of Literary Biography (Thomson-Gale, 2006). The Blackwell Companion to the British and Irish Short Story, which he edited with Cheryl Alexander Malcolm, was published in autumn 2008. He has also co-edited collections of essays on Ronald Firbank, Sylvia Townsend Warner and T.H. White (Mellen 2004, 2006 and 2008). The Blackwell Handbook to the British and Irish Short Story is due for publication in February 2012. His translations of Polish and German poetry and prose have been published in Britain, the USA, Poland and Austria. He writes reviews for the Times Literary Supplement

David is also co-organizer of BACK 2: An International Literary Festival/Conference; the second BACK 2 festival/conference was held in Sopot, Poland, in May 2011.

Bryce Lease, University of Exeter

Bryce Lease joined the Drama Department at the University of Exeter in 2010, having lectured previously at the University of Bristol. In 2009, he completed his PhD Fantasy or Symptom? The Political in Polish Theatre at the University of Kent, where he worked with the European Theatre Research Network (ETRN). Bryce is currently completing a monograph entitled Breaking the Covenant: The New Left in Polish Theatre. His main areas of research concern the intersections between political, feminist and queer theory and contemporary European performance practice. Memberships include the Irish Society for Theatre Research (ISTR), Performance Studies international (PSi), Deutsche Gesellschaft für Theaterwissenschaft, Theatre and Performance Research Association (TaPRA), and he is a founding member of the Queer Studies Working Group within the International Federation for Theatre Research (IFTR). Recent publications have appeared in The Drama Review, The International Journal of Žižek Studies and Journal of Adaptation in Film and Performance.