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Public Conference-Related Events Begin Friday, April 8th:
Krzysztof Czyżewski, “Borderland as Koinos Logos”, Annual Stefan & Lucy Hejna Lecture

Film Showing & Panel Discussion: “Jan Karski & The Lords of Humanity”
Please see details under Special Events

Conference Program Heading link

Sunday, April 10th

5:30-7:30pm — Author Reading and Discussion with Olga Tokarczuk

Venue: Regents Hall, Lewis Tower, 16th Floor, Loyola University

  • Opening Event: Literary reading and conversation with Olga Tokarczuk, 2015 Nike-award winning author of Księgi Jakubowe / The Books of Jacob

Monday, April 11th

9:00-9:30 am — Breakfast and Coffee at Daley Library, UIC Campus

9:30-9:45 — Welcome Remarks from the Organizers

9:45-11:30 — PANEL 1 – Re-Imagining POLIN

“Yiddishland”,“Borderlands”, “Polin” and the Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth  in Contemporary Discourse / Post-National, Transnational and Postcolonial Approaches
  • Marcin Wodziński, University of Wrocław, POLIN Museum. Where is Polin? On Space and Place in Polish-Jewish Historiography.
  • Krzysztof Czyżewski, Borderlands Foundation, Sejny.
  • Eugenia Prokop-Janiec, Jagiellonian University.  The Postcolonial Paradigm in Research on Polish-Jewish Cultural Relations.
  • Karolina Szymaniak, ŻIH, Warsaw and University of Wrocław. Yiddishland – The Trouble with an Elusive Subject or How (Not) to Write the History of Yiddish Culture from a Polish Perspective.

11:30-12:00 — Guest Speaker: Mr. Sigmund Rolat, North American Council for the Legacy of Polish Jews

1:30-2:00 — Exhibition Opening: Jewish/Polish Avant-Gardes: Identity & The Artist in Interwar Poland – Łódź Museum of Art 2009

  • Discussants: Karolina Szymaniak, ŻIH  and Agnieszka Jeżyk, UIC

2:00-3:30 — KEYNOTE I – Andrzej Leder, University of Warsaw

“Dream-State Revolution: The Shoah, (Non)Memory, and the Social Unconsciousness of the Polish Middle Class”
  • Discussant: Michał Paweł Markowski, UIC

3:30-4:45 — PANEL 2:  Ethnography of Wounded Places

  • Roma Sendyka, Jagiellonian University.  Memorial Landscapes of Dispersed Holocaust: from Amnesia to Non-Memory.
  • Konrad Matyjaszek, Polish Academy of Science. Spaces of Monologue: Territorial Delimitations of Contemporary Polish Jewish Studies.
  • Małgorzata Bakalarz-Duverger, New School for Social Research. Owning Wounded Places: Jewish Communal Property in Contemporary Southeast Poland – Case Studies.
  • Yechiel Weizman, Haifa University. Sanitizing the Ruins: The Two Lives of the Synagogue in Dąbrowa Tarnowska.
  • Discussant: Erica Lehrer, Concordia University
  • Chair: Richard Levy, UIC

5:00-6:30 — PANEL 3:  Jewish/Polish Spaces of Encounter

  • Beth Holmgren, Duke University. The Polish II Corps in Mandate Palestine: Illusion and Escape.
  • Marc Caplan, UM Frankel Institute. A Disenchanted Elijah: Folklore, Conspiracy Theories, and Allegory in S. Ansky’s Destruction of Galicia.
  • Natalia Aleksiun, Touro College, GSJS. Female, Jewish and Educated: Jewish Women at Universities in the Second Polish Republic.
  • Discussant: Bożena Shallcross, University of Chicago
  • Chair: Keely Stauter-Halsted, UIC

7:45-9:30 — FILM SHOWING: “Raise the Roof” with Laura & Rick Brown

Venue: UIC Theater School, Lecture Hall

  • “Raise the Roof” – The Handshouse Gwoździec Synagogue Project
    Film showing followed by a panel discussion with special guests: Laura and Rick Brown, creators of the Handshouse Project, with Irene Kronhill Pletka and Agnieszka Rudzińska

Tuesday, April 12th

9:00-9:30 — Breakfast and Coffee at Daley Library, UIC Campus

9:30-11:15 — PANEL 4: Jewish Revival and Nationalism: Key Tropes & Open Questions

Roundtable Discussion led by Geneviève Zubrzycki, University of Michigan.
  • Irena Grudzińska-Gross, Princeton University. Polishness in Practice: A Language without Grammar.
  • Anna Bikont, Gazeta Wyborcza. What We Don’t Talk About When We Talk About Irena Sendler.
  • Shana Penn, Graduate Theological Union and Jagiellonian University. Of Jews and Genders: Mixing Metaphors in Discourses of Prejudice.
  • Jessie Labov, Ohio State University. The Central European “Jewish Revival”: Polish and Hungarian Negotiations of Jewish Cultural Memory since the 1980s.

11:15-12:30 — Keynote II:  Kenneth Moss, Johns Hopkins University

“Polish Jewish Political Culture in the Shadow of a Polish Jewish Condition: Renegotiating Minorityhood, Diaspora, Zionism, and Home in the 1930s”

1:45-3:30 — PANEL 5: Doikeyt and Diaspora Nationalism in Politics and Literature

  • Sam Kassow, Trinity College. Polish Jews, Know Your Land: Landekentenish in the 1930’s.
  • Mikhail Krutikov, UM Ann Arbor. Belarus in Yiddish  Modernist Poetry.
  • Michael Steinlauf, Gratz College. “Jews of All Lands and Peoples, Unite!…” Y.L. Peretz & Diaspora Nationalism.
  • Karen Underhill, UIC. “Bruno Schulz and E.M. Lilien: On Zionism, Jewish Renaissance and the Literature of National Indifference.”
  • Chair: Agi Legutko, Columbia University

3:30-4:00 — Coffee Break @ Daley Library

4:00-5:30 — PANEL 6:  Reconsidering Diaspora and Diasporisms

ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION led by Jonathan Brent, Director, YIVO Institute for Jewish Research
  • Julie Cooper, Tel Aviv University. A Diasporic Critique of Diasporism.
  • Daniel Kahn, Songwriter, Translator, Actor; Director, Maxim Gorki Theater, Berlin. Subversive Song Smuggling and Universal Golus.
  • Anita Norich, University of Michigan. Yiddish Translation Matters.
  • Nancy Sinkoff, Rutgers University.  How to Make Diasporas Meet: Pedagogical Approaches.
  • Andrzej Brylak, UIC. Exiled in the Promised Land: Marek Hłasko’s Israeli Writings.

Special Events Heading link

In Conjunction with the 2016 Polish Jewish Studies Workshop, several special events have been scheduled both at UIC and in the Chicago area in the days before and after the Polish Jewish Studies Workshop. For those who are in the Chicago area or able to extend your stay, we invite you to attend:

Krzysztof Czyżewski, Borderlands Foundation

Stefan & Lucy Hejna Annual Lecture
“Borderland as Koinos Logos
Friday, April 8th  – 4:15 pm – UIC Daley Library – Free & Open to the Public

“Karski & the Lords of Humanity”

with Director Sławomir Grünberg
— 2 Showings —

  1. Friday, April 8th  – 7:30 pm – Copernicus Center
    **Filmmaker – Author – Critics Special Event**
    The Friday film showing will be followed by a Panel Discussion with the Filmmaker Slawomir Grünberg, in conversation with author E. Thomas Wood (Jan Karski: How One Man Tried to Stop the Holocaust), and Special Guests: Andrzej Rojek (Jan Karski Educational Foundation), Bożena Nowicka McLees (Polish Studies – Loyola University), and Zbigniew Banaś (Film Critic – Loyola University).
    Copernicus Center – 5216 W. Lawrence Ave., Chicago, IL  (Blue Line Stop: JEFFERSON PARK) / TICKETS ($10) and Full Information Available at:
  2. Sunday, April 10th – 2:00 pm – Illinois Holocaust Museum
    The Sunday film showing will be followed by a discussion with the filmmaker.
    Illinois Holocaust Museum – 9603 Woods Drive, Skokie, IL
    TICKETS and Full Information at:

Nancy Sinkoff

SEE/NEXT Lecture Series, UIC Institute for the Humanities
Wednesday, April 13th – 6:00 pm – UIC Stevenson Hall, Lower Level

PJSW 2016 Organized by Heading link

  • Karen Underhill, Slavic & Baltic Languages & Literatures, UIC
  • Irena Grudzińska -Gross, Slavic Languages & Literatures, Princeton University
  • Jessie Labov, Slavic & East European Languages & Cultures, Ohio State University
  • Geneviève Zubrzycki, Dept. of Sociology, Copernicus Program in Polish Studies, University of Michigan Ann Arbor
  • Agnieszka Rudzińska, Adam Mickiewicz Institute, Warsaw
  • Bożena Nowicka Mclees, Loyola University Program in Polish Studies – IAM Campus Project • Sigmund Rolat • The Taube Foundation for Jewish Life and Culture • The Jan Karski Educational Foundation • Andrzej Rojek • Copernicus Program in Polish Studies, University of Michigan • UIC Fund for Polish Jewish Studies • Loyola University Program in Polish Studies • Stefan & Lucy Hejna Fund, UIC • School of Literatures, Culture Studies & Linguistics, UIC • Chicago YIVO Society • UIC Program in Jewish Studies • YIVO Institute for Jewish Research • UIC Institute for the Humanities • UIC Richard J. Daley Library