The Roaring 20s in Poland Hosted by the Hejna Chairs in the History of Poland and in Polish Language and Literature, University of Illinois in Chicago

April 7th and 8th - The Polish 1920s were a period of both tremendous promise and profound dislocation. After years of devastating war and over a century of partition, Polish society embarked on a bold project of self-creation, a process of reunifying what had been divided and projecting broad outlines for future development that came to be seen as a kind of resurrection.

This international conference on The Roaring ‘20s in Poland brings together scholars of the interwar period to explore this pivotal decade in an interdisciplinary context.


Schedule below.

04/07/14 - 04/08/14


Monday, April 7

8:30a        Registration and Breakfast (Downstairs Lounge)

9:00a       Welcome - Keynote: Kate Lebow (Main Stage Theatre)

                “The Polish Scholar in Europe and America: Znaniecki, Chicago, and the Invention of Polish 

                Society in the 1920s”

10:15a     Panel 1, New Stagings of Witkacy - Moderator: Karen Underhill (Main Stage Theatre)
                Presenters: George Gasyna,“The Culture Industry of Iconoclasm: Witkacy’s Portrait-Painting Firm

                (UIUC);  Jacob Juntunen,“’How Can We Tell a Human from a Brute?’ Tumor Brainiowicz as Witkacy’s

                Post-Colonial Nightmare” (Southern Illinois University);  Michał Paweł Markowski, “Idle Talk:

                Witkacy, Heidegger, and the Void of Existence” (UIC)

10:15a     Panel 2, Poland’s Youth - Moderator: Keely Stauter-Halsted (Downstairs Studio Theatre)
                Presenters:  Melissa Hibbard, “Nurturing Newborn Poland:  Infant Health and Maternal Authority in  the

                Early Second Republic” (UIC);   Magdalena Kozłowska, “’Arayn in Tsukunft!’ Building the Future of Jewish

                Youth in Interwar Poland” (Jagiellonian University, Kraków);  Sean Martin, “The Modernization of Jewish

                Child Welfare in Poland” (Western Reserve Historical Society)

12:00       Lunch (Downstairs Lounge)

1:00p      Panel 3, Senses of the Avant-Garde - Moderator: Michał Paweł Markowski (Main Stage)
               Presenters:  Agnieszka Jeżyk, “The King and His Vassal. The Paradox of Tadeusz Peiper’s Erotic Poetry”

               (UIC);  Aleksandra Kremer, “Materiality of Polish Avant-Garde Verse” (University of Warsaw);             

               Karen Underhill “The Devil in Warsaw: Interwar Roots of Aleksander Wat’s Aesthetics of Empathy”(UIC)

1:00p     Panel 4, Gender - Moderator:  Małgorzata Fidelis (Downstairs Studio Theatre)
              Presenters: David Petruccelli, “The Polish Women’s Police and the International Fight against the Traffic

              in Women” (Yale);  Meghann Pytka, “Poland’s Prohibition: Teetotaler, Antisemites, and Rightwing

              Feminists in their War on Liquor in the 1920s” (Southern Illinois University); Błażej Warkocki, “Roaring

              from the closet?  Crisis of homo/heterosexual definition in Polish literature at the beginning of XX century” 

             (Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań)

3:00p    Stefan and Lucy Hejna Annual Lecture - Keynote: Beth Holmgren (Main stage)
             “From the Legs Up: The Fall and Rise of the Chorus Girl in Warsaw’s Roaring ‘20s”

4:15p    Panel 5, Places, Homes, Institutions - Moderator: Nathaniel Wood (Downstairs Studio Theatre)
             Presenters:  Winson Chu “’They are now sitting in their own homes’: Newly Independent Poland through the

             Works of Joseph Roth and Alfred Doblin” (University of Wisconsin-Madison); Tony Lin, “The Institution of

             the International Chopin Piano Competition and Its Social and Political Implications” (University of California,

             Berkley); Adrian Smith, “Navel of the World:  Zakopane as a microcosm of Poland’s blossoming national life in

             the 1920s”

4:30p    Film Screening 1: - Cud nad Wisłą (1921), Dir. Ryszard Bolesławski (Main Stage)

6:00p    Film Screening 2: - Mogiła nieznanego żołnierza (1927), Dir. Ryszard Ordyński (Main Stage)

7:30p    Dinner Reception (Downstairs Lounge)

Tuesday, April 8

8:30a     Breakfast (Downstairs Lounge)

9:00a     Keynote: Marcin Giżycki - "‘The Tenth Muse’: Polish Cinema of the 1920s” (Main stage)

10:15a   Panel 6, Nation in the Making - Moderator: Winson Chu (Main stage)
              Presenters:  Paul Brykczynski, “Reconsidering Polsudskiite Nationalism at the Dawn of the Second 

              Republic” (University of Michigan); Kyrill Kunakhovich, “Staging the Nation: Krakow’s Slowacki Theater

              under the Second Republic” (Harvard);  Agnieszka Pasiek, “Making an ethnic group. The case of Rusyns

              in Interwar Poland” (Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw)

10:15a  Panel 7, Economies of Movement, Movements of Economy - Moderator: TBA (Downstairs Studio)
             Presenters: Michał Kłosiński,“’The sphere of money’ or the Problem of Economy in Polish Poetry of the 1920s”

             (University of Silesia, Katowice);  Przemysław Strożek, “America – the Mill of Life.  The Roaring Twenties 

             and the Polish Leftist Avant-garde” (Institute of Art Polish Academy of Sciences, Warszawa);  Nathaniel

             Wood, “From ‘Love of Machines’ to ‘Automobile Orgies’: Motoring in Interwar Poland” (Univ of Kansas)

12:00    Lunch (Downstairs Lounge)

1:00p   Panel 8, Boundaries of Polishness: Incorporating the Other  - Moderator: Karen Underhill (Main Stage)
             Presenters:  Rachel Brenner, “Stansilaw Rembek’s Interwar Fiction: The Role of the Jew in the Romantic Ethos

             of Polish Heroism and Messianism” (University of Wisconsin-Madison);  Kathryn Ciancia, “Poland as a

             Civilizing Power?  Polish Encounters in the 1920s Eastern Borderlands” (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

1:00p   Panel 9, Here and There - Moderator: Katherine Lebow (Downstairs Studio Theatre)
            Presenters:Andrzej Michałczyk, “Governing Upper Silesia in the 1920s” (Ruhr-University Bochum)

            Petro Nungovitch “Wawel in the Twenties:  The National Pantheon in the First Decade of National

            Independence” (New York University);  John Radzilowski, “Orphans of the ‘New Poland’ Polish Americans,

             the Second Republic, and the Creation of a Diasporic Identity, 1919-1929” (University of Alaska Southeast)

3:00p   Keynote: Piotr Rypson - “Tadeusz Peiper - from Madrid to Kraków: the Making of the Pope of the 

            Avant-garde” (Main stage)

4:15p  History Roundtable - Topic: New Directions in Historical Research on Poland’s 1920s. (Studio Theatre)
           Chair: Keely Stauter-Halsted
            Discussants: Winson Chu, Kate Lebow, Sean Martin, Nathaniel Wood

6:00p  Literature Roundtable - Topic: Why the 1920s?  The Beginnings of Independent Culture in Poland.  

           (Studio Theatre)
           Chair: Michał Paweł Markowski
           Discussants: Marcin Giżycki, Beth Holmgren, Piotr Rypson

7:30p Closing Reception (Downstairs Lounge)

Keely Stauter-Halsted and Michal Pawel Markowski

Rachel Brenner (University of Wisconsin-Madison); Paul Brykczynski (University of Michigan); Winson Chu (University of Wisconsin-Madison); Kathryn Ciancia (University of Wisconsin-Madison); Małgorzata Fidelis (UIC); George Gasyna (UIUC); Marcin Giżycki; Melissa Hibbard (UIC); Beth Holmgren (Duke University); Agnieszka Jeżyk (UIC); Jacob Juntunen (Southern Illinois University); Michał Kłosiński (University of Silesia, Katowice); Magdalena Kozłowska (Jagiellonian University, Krak√≥w) ; Aleksandra Kremer (University of Warsaw); Kyrill Kunakhovich (Harvard); Kate Lebow (Cornell University); Tony Lin (University of California, Berkley); Michał Paweł Markowski (UIC); Sean Martin (Western Reserve Historical Society); Andrzej Michałczyk (Ruhr-University Bochum); Petro Nungovitch (New York University); Agnieszka Pasiek (Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw); David Petruccelli (Yale); Meghann Pytka (Southern Illinois University); John Radzilowski (University of Alaska Southeast) ; Piotr Rypson; Adrian Smith ; Przemysław Strożek (Institute of Art Polish Academy of Sciences, Warszawa); Karen Underhill (UIC); Błażej Warkocki (Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań); Nathaniel Wood (University of Kansas)

Tags: Literary, Polish, , 2014