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Poznan Interdisciplinary Seminars


Professor Piotr Piotrowski (Department of Art History, Adam Mickiewicz University), Dr Ewa Domanska (Department of History, Adam Mickiewicz University)

At the beginning of the academic year 2001-2002, together with Professor Piotr Piotrowski, Head of the Department of Art History at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, Ewa Domanska formulated the idea of Poznan Interdisciplinary Seminars - meetings with invited representatives of the contemporary humanities who transgress the boundaries of traditional disciplines, reaching for other methods and instruments of research.

..::The idea of the seminars::..

The purpose of the planned meetings is to promote the idea of a socially engaged scholarly discourse, which in the Polish context involves understanding the difficulties the post-Communist country has to cope with in its efforts to, on the one hand, rebuild its cultural and political identity and, on the other hand, reinterpret the individual and collective past. Therefore, the seminars will be devoted to discussing not only scholarly issues but also those related to the “heritage industry” as well as the public use of history and art in politics, education, mass culture, media, etc. What is also important in this context is the interest in the mechanisms of collective memory formation, the functions of stereotypes and myths as well as the formation of ideas of one' own nation and its history in general (the problem of the so-called “imaginary community” and “created tradition”).

The project also involves focusing on the awakened consciousness of ethnic and religious minorities as well as the activation of women's movement. The aim of the project is to allow for the multiplicity of perspectives on the past caused by the postmodern breakthrough and to abandon metanarratives in favour of local narratives as against the former concept of “one and only true” vision of present and past reality. Other general subjects of interest include social psychology and extreme situations; post-colonial studies; and twentieth-century museums.

The organizers intend to invite both famous professors with a well-grounded academic position and young promising scholars, both men and women.

..::The structure of the seminars::..
The guest prepares a 45 minutes introductory lecture; besides, the participants may be asked to read some texts related to the subject of the seminar so as to prepare for the discussion, which lasts about two hours. The meetings are open and attract the faculty and students of various Schools at AMU. The number of people participating in the seminars held so far oscillated between 50 and 120.

..::Past seminars::..

Anna Wieczorkiewicz
(Polish Academy of Sciences, Warszawa)
“The Museum Exhibition as a Cultural Statement
about Life and Death”
24 October 2001

Pawel Dybel
(Polish Academy of Sciences, Warszawa)
“The Gaze as Object in the Psychoanalysis of Jacques Lacan
(Introduction to the Theory of Painting)”
12 December 2001

Dorota Kolodziejczyk
(School of English, Wroclaw University)
“History Writing and the West:
A Post-Colonial Perspective”
9 January 2002

Krzysztof Pomian
(L'Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris
/Nicholas Copernicus University, Torun)
“The Role of Women in the Golden Age of American
Art Collecting 1870-1930”
8 March 2002

Chris Lorenz
(Free University Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
“Is one history as good as another?
(Some reflections on historiography and identity)”
22 October 2002

Caroline Walker Bynum
(Columbia University, USA)
„The Blood of Christ in the Later Middle Ages”
10 December 2002

Hayden White
(University of California, Santa Cruz
/Stanford University, USA)
“The Future of Utopia”
26 February 2003

Jaroslaw Lubiak (Museum of Modern Art, Lodz);
Ewa Domanska (UAM, Poznan)
“Architecture of Memory.
Daniel Libeskind's Jewish Museum in Berlin”
24 November 2003

Stephen Greenblatt
(Harvard University, USA)
„The Death of Hamnet and the Creation of Hamlet”
19 February 2004 (cancelled)

Tyrus Miller
(University of California, Santa Cruz, USA)
"Avant-Garde and Bohemia
In Early Twentieth-Century British Literature"
14 October 2004

Frank Ankersmit
(Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, Holland)
"Historical Representation"
3 March 2005

Hayden White 
(University of California, Santa Cruz /Stanford University)
"The History-Memory Problem"
11 October 2005 

Ian Hodder
(Stanford University)
"Archaeology, Anthropology, History: Some Issues of Method"
14 December 2005

Debra Castillo
(Cornell University) 
"Occupied Aztlán: Chicanos/as in America"
15 January 2008