Olga Tokarczuk, The Nobel Prize in Literature

Olga Tokarczuk, Nobel Prize in Literature

Books by Olga Tokarczuk

UBC Library:

Vancouver Public Library:

Upcoming lectures with Dr Eunice Blavascunas (October 10 and October 11, 2019)

Mark your calendars!

Dr Eunice Blavascunas
Peasants and Cosmopolitics in Poland’s Białowieża Forest: Historical and Ethnographic considerations

Thursday, October 10, 2019 at 4:15 pm
Simon K.Y. Lee Global Lounge and Resource Centre (GLRC)
(Polish Discussion Club | Global Lounge | CENES)

Until Poland joined the EU in 2004 the country had a larger number of small family farms, a legacy of a much longer historical development that this lecture will explore. But what does this legacy of small farms mean for how “Europe’s last primeval forest” would develop in the post communist period? This lecture explores two competing versions of the peasantry and how they interact with cosmopolitan ecotourist development and nature conservation practices as farming has becoming obsolete in the hamlets of the ancient woodland.

Dr Eunice Blavascunas
The Forester as a Figure: Between Communism and Nationalism in Europe’s “Last Primeval Forest”

Friday, October 11, 2019 at 12:00 pm
FSC 1221 | 2424 Main Mall, Forest Sciences Centre
(Faculty of Forestry)

The Białowieża Forest in north eastern Poland is frequently touted as” Europe’s last primeval forest.” The forest complex is split between a strictly preserved national park and a larger timber producing forest. In an ethnograhic and historical analysis this lecture explores the figure of the forester, a figure that is entangled in both nationalist and communist pasts. As a figure, the forester is more than a civil servant working neutrally for the common good or the state. In a part of the world which experienced violent twentieth century histories, forest aesthetics and historical truths appear to emerge when regional inhabitants conjure the forester.

Please note that the first lecture is organized by Polish Discussion Club and Polish language students (Global Lounge and the CENES department). The second lecture is a guest lecture at the Department of Forestry.

If you have any questions, please contact: Helena G. Kudzia at hkudzia@mail.ubc.ca

Polish Language Lab – Practice Polish language!

Join us at the Polish Language Lab!
eet UBC students and practice
Polish language.

Open to current UBC students who are or were enrolled in Polish language classes.

Tuesdays, 5:00 to 6:00 pm
ENES Lounge, Buchanan Tower 910

Dates and updates: twitter: helenagka | cenes.ubc.ca/events

Helena G. Kudzia | hkudzia@mail.ubc.ca | twitter: helenagka



Please note that some meetings will be replaced by lectures, film screenings or might be canceled.

Polish Film Club: Gods by Łukasz Palkowski – Feb 26, 5 pm

UBC Polish Film Club & Polish Student Club presents:


FEBRUARY 26, 2019, 5:00 PM


Storybooks Canada – Polish translation available!

Storybooks Canada – Polish translation and audio recordings are now available!


Storybooks Canada is a website for teachers, parents, and community members that aims to promote bilingualism and multilingualism in Canada. It makes 40 stories from the African Storybook available in the major immigrant and refugee languagesof Canada, in addition to the official languages of English and French. A story that is read in English or French at school can be read in the mother tongue by parents and children at home. In this way, Storybooks Canada helps children to maintain the mother tongue in both oral and print form, while learning one of Canada’s official languages. Similarly, the audio versions of the stories can help beginning readers and language learners make the important connection between speech and text.


Dr. Ewa Wampuszyc: From Rubble to Rhetoric

A Report by POLS 300 Students (Polish / English)

W dniu 6-go Marca, 2018 roku UBC Polski Klub Dyskusyjny miał przyjemność gościć Panią Dr. Ewę Wampuszyc, profesor języka polskiego z University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Pani profesor Ewa Wampuszyc przedstawiła wciągającą lekturę w eleganckiej sali instytutu Liu. Tematem spotkania było ,,Od Gruzu Do Retoryki, czyli: Jak Warszawa Powstala Po Wojnie”. Wykład fizycznie i teoretycznie nakreślił odbudowę Warszawy po jej całkowitym zniszczeniu pod koniec II wojny światowej. Pani Doktor Ewa Wampuszyc wyszczególniła role komunistycznej propagandy, która istniała w tamtych czasach na rzecz przebudowy miasta i skąd ona powstała. Równowaga wiedzy Dr. Ewy Wampuszyc i stymulujących wizualizacji Warszawy pozwoliły stworzyć przyjemny i akademicki wieczór. Na spotkaniu byli studencii i absolwenci uniwersytetu UBC, jak również ludzie niezrzeszeni z uczelnią. Publiczność była mile zaskoczona i imprezę zaliczono do udanych. Pan Norman, czlonek Polskiego Klubu Dyskusyjnego, powiedział, że: ,,był szczególnie pod wrażeniem eksperckiego portretu polskiej historii, kultury i języka dla zróżnicowanej i globalnej publiczności”. Studentka, ktora przeprowadziła się z Polski do Vancouver, jako dorosła juz osoba, zdradziła, że dorastając w Polsce, historia odbudowy Warszawy była w szkole ledwie wymieniana, a wiedza Dr. Ewy Wampuszyc dodała znaczącą głębię do zrozumienia miasta, w którym dorastała. To wydarzenie zostało zorganizowane przez Polski Klub Dyskusyjny przy wsparciu Polskich Nauk, Global Fund, Global Lounge, UBC Tandem i Polskiego Konsulatu.

On March 6th, 2018 the UBC Polish Discussion Club was honoured to host the distinguished Dr. Ewa Wampuszyc, professor of Polish at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Ewa Wampuszyc led diverse audience through her engaging lecture In the serene surroundings of the Liu Institute Multipurpose room. The talk was titled “ From Rubble to Rhetoric: How Warsaw was reconstructed in Image and Word after the War”. The lecture physically and theoretically mapped out the rebuilding of Warsaw in the aftermath of its near complete destruction at the end of World War II. Dr. Ewa Wampuszyc outlined how the perceptions of the rebuilding of the city were framed in the states communist ideology of the time, and how these depictions of the cities rebuilding evolved. The balance of Dr. Ewa Wampuszyc’s expertise and the stimulating visuals of Warsaw combined to create a pleasurable and academically engaging evening. The audience included current and former UBC students, as well as numerous members of the community at large. The audience’s reception was overwhelming positive and everyone felt that the event was a success on numerous levels. Norman a member of the Polish discussion club said, “he was especially impressed by the speaker’s expert portrayal of Polish history, culture, and language to a diverse and global audience”. A student in attendance who moved from Poland to Vancouver as an adult shared that while growing up in Poland this history of Warsaw’s rebuilding was barely mentioned in school and the knowledge provided by Dr. Ewa Wampuszyc added meaningful depth to her understanding of the city she grew up in. This event was staged by the Polish Discussion Club with the support of Polish Studies, Global Fund, Global Lounge, UBC Tandem, and the Polish Consulate.



Translating from Leśmianesque into English (culture.pl)

Translating from Leśmianesque into English: An Interview about Polish Literature’s Mission Impossible

Bolesław Leśmian’s remarkable poetry may be a Polish favourite, but it’s been infuriating English-language translators for decades. Translation expert Marta Kaźmierczak talks to Culture.pl about why it’s so hard to translate Leśmian into English and what constitutes a good Leśmian translation.

Read more at culture.pl

World War II Survivor Testimonies

World War II Survivor Testimonies by Wojciech Oleksiak

Leicestershire Council has recently made public the recorded memories of the Poles and their families living in the county. Why have Poles been living there for over 60 years now? Would you believe that people who were deported to Siberia faced even worse hardship after the war?

Read and listen at Culture.pl


Discovering the Hidden Brilliance of Poland’s Poetry for Children

Discovering the Hidden Brilliance of Poland’s Poetry for Children

… Just think about what they do – the non-physical thoughts and emotions of the writer are converted into sound (the basic form of language), then pictures (letters started out as pictograms), then infinitesimally complex sequences of words, sentences and paragraphs, which are then printed on cut-down pulped trees so that countless others can use the light flying in from the nearest star, bouncing off the page and inside their eyeballs, to convert their reflection into the same thoughts and emotions the writer was feeling at the time of writing… or, as is often the case, the very opposite to what the writer wanted the reader to think and feel.

Ursula Phillips on Polish Author Zofia Nałkowska

Ursula Phillips on Polish Author Zofia Nałkowska (The Thornfield Review)

Read: https://thethornfieldreview.org/2017/04/08/ursula-phillips-on-polish-author-zofia-nalkowska/


Nałkowska was born in Warsaw. After World War II, Nałkowska was one of several established literary figures who remained in communist Poland. Twice elected as a member of parliament, she served on the Parliamentary Commission for Culture and Art.

Immediately after the war, she also served on the official government Commission for Investigating Nazi Crimes on Polish Soil, which resulted in the short-story collection Medallions (1946), one of the first literary witnesses to the atrocities, and certainly her best-known work outside Poland.

A. Wajda’s ‘Afterimage’ at the Vancity (April-May)

Vancity: dates and tickets

The last feature of the late, great director Andrzej Wajda, one of the titans of European cinema, Afterimage is a poignant and enraging story about injustice; about the destruction of an individual by totalitarianism. Set in post-World War II Communist Poland, it portrays a world in which beauty, art and artistic integrity are persecuted.

Painter and author Wladyslaw Strzemiński was a legend of modern art, the most famous of the Polish formalists before World War II, and a co-creator of a unique avant-garde art collection in Lodz. Afterimage (the title referring to one of his revolutionary theories) traces his outspoken resistance to the social realism sanctioned by the Stalinist regime as the only accepted artistic style and how he suffers for his principles.

„Blisko Miłosza” z Agnieszką Kosińską

Grupa Epizod we współpracy z Konsulatem Generalnym RP zapraszają na spotkanie zatytułowane „Blisko Miłosza” z  Agnieszką Kosińską, autorką książki Miłosz w Krakowie.

Z Agnieszką Kosińską rozmawiać będą Andrzej Busza i Roman Sabo.

Poniedziałek, 27 marca 2017 r.
Sala Stowarzyszenia Polskich Kombatantów
1134 Kingsway, Vancouver.
Początek godz. 19:30 pm. Wstęp: $5.00.



Feb 28th: “Ambassadors and Colonizers” & “East Meets West” by Piotr Florczyk

Polish Discussion Club, Polish Studies at the CENES, Global Lounge and UBC Tandem invite you to a lecture and workshop by Piotr Florczyk:

“Ambassadors and Colonizers:
On Translators in the Literary Marketplace”

February 28 th , 3 PM AT THE GLOBAL LOUNGE (2205 Lower Mall)


“East Meets West:
Polish and American Poets in Conversation”

February 28 th , 5 PM @ Buchanan B, Room 215

Event supervisor: Helena G. Kudzia: hkudzia@mail.ubc.ca
Student Coordinators: Janek Saunders and Cynthia Dobroszek

Please note: Both lectures will be in English. Everyone welcome.

The first lecture will be of interest to students and faculty interested in translation regardless of the language they work in


Piotr Florczyk is a doctoral fellow at the University of Southern California. His research focus is on translators in the literary marketplace and the creative dialogue between Polish and American poets. His book publications include a volume of poetry, East & West (2016), a collection of essays, Los Angeles Sketchbook (2015), a poetry chapbook, Barefoot (2015), and eight volumes of Polish poetry translations. His work has been supported by USC Shoah Foundation’s Center for Advanced Genocide Research, the Polish Book Institute, the Anna Akhamatova Fellowship for Younger Translators, and the Delaware Arts Council. He has served as a judge for the 2015 PEN USA Translation Prize and as a manuscript reviewer for the National Endowment for the Arts translation fellowships. He has also been a fellow at the Czesław Miłosz Institute at Claremont McKenna College, and taught poetry and literature undergraduate and graduate courses at San Diego State University, University of San Diego, Antioch University Los Angeles, University of Delaware, Claremont McKenna College, and at University of California-Riverside. Piotr Florczyk lives in Los Angeles. www.piotrflorczyk.com

A Foreigner’s Guide to the Polish Alphabet (culture.pl)


“Polish is infamously intimidating to language learners. But never fear! We’re here to give you a few tips that will help you start to get the hang of one of the world’s hardest languages, all with listen-along pronunciation and simple step-by-step examples.”

Dr. Bożena Karwowska – Conference: The Very Beginning

Conference: Warsaw, 5-6.12.2016

The conference, “The Very Beginning: The Years 1944-1948 in Literature plakatfrom the Period of the Polish People’s Republic” provides an interdisciplinary forum for scholars to utilize modern-day analytical tools to bring to the fore the question as to how social phenomena of 1944-48 were recorded in Polish literature of the Polish People’s Republic, 1949-1989. Questions to be addressed include the ways in which both official and unofficial narratives of the Polish People’s Republic were shaped by social processes as recorded in literature of the period, and how these literary representations are socially and/or politically informed in their linguistic/textual structures.

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