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Nov 29 2023

Professor Michał Paweł Markowski in Conversation with Agnieszka Sobolewska (in English): Volume One of Markowski’s Three-Volume Collection of Essays (1988-2023)

November 29, 2023

5:00 PM - 7:00 PM



UH 1501

Join us for a conversation (in English) between Professor Michał Paweł Markowski and Agnieszka Sobolewska on Professor Markowski's recently published volume, Interpretation (2023).The volume gathers chronologically all published and unpublished essays, reports, articles, columns, reviews, conference papers, occasional speeches, and other texts (like theater monologue or a series of aphorisms) related to the question of interpretation the author penned in the last 35 years. Besides theoretical interventions crucial for developing literary theory in Poland, interpretations of Western philosophers (Nietzsche, Foucault, Derrida), the volume contains writings on the key Polish writers: Miłosz, Szymborska, and Schulz, and polemics with other literary critics. All texts included in the volume are reprinted in their published or composed form to maintain their documentary character. They are also all preceded by a commentary written today to confront two distinct time and intellectual perspectives.  With two other volumes to follow (Politics [2024] and Representation [2024]), the collection on interpretation provides a panorama of the author's literary theory and practice achievements and their thorough critical (and sometimes negative) reassessment. It serves as a dossier for a future history of the discipline or intellectual life in Poland after communism provided by a public intellectual whose books and articles helped shape the country's mental landscape in the past four decades.

Michał Paweł Markowski, the Hejna Family Chair in Polish Language and Literature, Head of Polish, Russian, and Lithuanian Studies at UIC, and tenured research professor at the Jagiellonian University (Kraków, Poland), has published over 30 volumes of academic monographs, literary and philosophical essays, and travel notes (with photographs). His books and essays, translated into a dozen languages, deal with European philosophers (Nietzsche, Derrida), Polish modern writers (Gombrowicz, Leśmian, Schulz, S. I. Witkiewicz), and such different issues as Brazilian soccer, American painting, French psychoanalysis, Polish theater, or German Romanticism. Between 2012 and 2022, he published three books on the political condition of contemporary humanities (The Politics of Sensitivity; The Wars of Modern Tribes; Poland, Bliss, University). In 2008, he created (in Kraków) The Conrad International Literary Festival, one of Europe's most significant literary events, and directed it till 2023. He is an academic expert for the European Research Council in Brussels, the biggest scientific institution in Europe, funding international academic projects.

Agnieszka Sobolewska, PhD, teaches at the Institute of Polish Culture, University of Warsaw. Currently, she is a visiting scholar at the University of Illinois Chicago under the Bekker NAWA Scholarship Program (2023-2024). She has authored articles and books dedicated to life writing and psychoanalysis, the cultural history of psychology in Poland, and German colonial imagination. Her most recent book, titled Theories and Practices of Psychoanalysis in Central Europe: Narrative Assemblages of Self-Analysis, Life Writing, and Fiction, was published in the History of Psychoanalysis book series by Routledge.


Izolda Wolski-Moskoff

Date posted

Nov 26, 2023

Date updated

Nov 26, 2023