“Imagined Community:”Poetry and Poets in Polish Culture – A talk by Dr. Stanley Bill

December 16, 2021, 12 PM ET

"Imagined Community:"Poetry and Poets in Polish Culture - A talk by Dr. Stanley Bill

The lecture is part of the Studying Poland Today talk series presented jointly by the Kosciuszko Foundation and the Project on Poland Past and Present. Its purpose is to raise the level of expert knowledge about Poland in foreign countries and to strengthen Polish Studies in the universities of the English-speaking world.

This talk looks at the particular importance of poetry in Polish history, with a focus on the twentieth century and the “Polish school of poetry”. It will examine the significance of poetic works for ideas of national community in the face of external oppression, but also for the expression of more universal concerns. It will raise questions about directions of transnational cultural influence, looking at the international appeal of Polish poets (alongside filmmakers, theater directors, etc.) in the twentieth century. The talk will pay particular attention to the poets Czesław Miłosz, Tadeusz Różewicz, Zbigniew Herbert, and Wisława Szymborska.

The talk will also include the launch of a new book by the speaker entitled “Czesław Miłosz’s Faith in the Flesh: Body, Belief, and Human Identity” (Oxford University Press, December 2021).

Watch the webinar recording HERE

Stanley Bill works on twentieth-century Polish literature and culture, and on contemporary political discourse in Poland. He has particular interests in populist discourse, postcolonial interpretations of Polish cultural and political history, the poetics of the body, religion and secularization, and Polish-Ukrainian relations. He has written on the current Polish government’s approach to civil society; monism and pluralism in Polish politics (with Ben Stanley); postcolonial theory in the Polish context; legacies of Polish Romanticism; and the works of Czesław Miłosz, Bruno Schulz, and Fyodor Dostoevsky.

He is Director of the Slavonic Studies Section and Chair of the Cambridge Committee for Russian and East European Studies (CamCREES). In 2018, he received the Best Lecturer Award at the Annual Student-Led Teaching Awards from the Cambridge University Student Union.

He is the founder and editor-at-large of the news and opinion website Notes from Poland, where he also hosts the NfP Podcast.

Dr. Bill worked at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków before coming to Cambridge. He completed his Ph.D. in Comparative Literary Studies at Northwestern University in the United States. He originally hails from Perth, Australia.

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