International conference "Some people like poetry...", or the international reception of Wisława Szymborska's work

Małgorzata Szajbel-Keck's picture
Call for Papers
November 16, 2023 to November 18, 2023
Subject Fields: 
Cultural History / Studies, Eastern Europe History / Studies, Linguistics, Literature, Popular Culture Studies

International academic conference
"Some people like poetry...", or the international reception of Wisława Szymborska's work

Date: 16-18 November 2023
Place: European University Viadrina in Frankfurt (Oder) (Germany) and Collegium Polonicum in Słubice (Poland)
Deadline for abstract submission (cfp): 30 April 2023
Conference languages: German, Polish and English
Conference fee: organizers applied for funding, pending approval

Wisława Szymborska rarely travelled, yet her work has reached the furthest corners of the globe, as evidenced by foreign-language translations of her poetry and numerous foreign awards, including the most important one in 1996, the Nobel Prize in Literature. Her texts continue to intrigue and engage. In 2023, Wisława Szymborska would have celebrated her 100th birthday. This is a good time to revisit poet’s work, to reflect on her view on and perception of the world, as well as the language and imagery she used in her poetry to describe and express the reality surrounding her.

Professor Michał Rusinek, a literary scholar and writer, Szymborska’s long-time assistant and the president of the Wisława Szymborska Foundation has accepted the invitation to address the conference as a plenary speaker.

Call for papers

The conference has interdisciplinary character. We invite contributions from literary and cultural studies, linguistics, translation studies, history among others, but also for instance from practicing translators and translation critics, addressing issues such as (but not limited to) the following:
- the literary work of Wisława Szymborska and its translations,
- the reception of Szymborska’s poetry in Poland and abroad,
- the significance of Szymborska’s work in the context of intercultural dialog,
- Szymborska’s poetry in translation collections,
- the presence Szymborska’s literary work in primary, secondary and higher education in Poland and abroad, as well as in the teaching Polish as a foreign language,
- Szymborska’s “wycinanki” (collages) as the poet’s creative activity and an innovative genre of communication,
- Szymborska’s relations with Polish and foreign publishers, translators and other writers, 
- the impact of the Nobel Prize for Literature, as well as other prizes and awards, on the reception of poet’s work and the international reception of the Polish literature.

Abstracts (500-1000 words) can be submitted until 30. April 2023 through following forms: (English) (German) (Polish)

Further information

  • The conference is organized in cooperation between the Karl Dedecius Foundation and the Center for Interdisciplinary Polish Studies at the European University Viadrina in Frankfurt (Oder) as well as the Department of Translation Studies and Glottodidactics at the Institute of German Studies at the University of Wrocław. Wisława Szymborska Foundation is the honorary patron.
  • A peer-reviewed publication is planned after the conference in the series “Interdisciplinary Polish Studies” (Harrassowitz) and in open access on the server of the European University Viadrina.
  • The conference organizers applied for external funding (approval pending) to finance the publication and cover the costs of holding the conference.
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