1999 Conference: Nationhood and Citizenship

Organizing September workshop-conferences for young scholars from former Eastern Block countries becomes a bit of a tradition in the Department of American Literature and Culture at Maria Curie-Sklodowska University. Titled “Nationhood and Citizenship,” this year’s meeting
masterminded by Prof. Jerzy Durczak, the Department chair, and invaluably supported by American Embassy’s USIS again took place in Pulawy between 22 and 25 September.
The conference organizers were again honored to host Prof. Heinz Ickstadt (J.F. Kennedy Institute, Berlin) and Prof. Rob Kroes (University of Amsterdam), the current and former executive officers of European Association for American Studies, whose lectures were so much liked last year. This time both speakers discussed various concepts of national identity in contemporary American literature and culture. The guest lecturers from the United States, Prof. Eric Sandeen (University of Wyoming) and Prof. Roy Rosenzweig (George Mason University), pondered over the perceptions of space and history in American culture. Prof. Piotr Skurowski (University of Warsaw), the only Polish lecturer, analyzed the national identity of Afro-Americans in Europe. The conference participants represented universities and colleges from Belarus, Ukraine, Estonia, Russia, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia, and Hungary. Additionally, we hosted a few young scholars from Germany and Poland. It was really good to see some of those who participated in the 1998 conference return, which may only be taken as a good sign. Traditionally, apart from lecture and panel discussions, we also had an opportunity to exchange views and impressions in a more informal environment of a hunting lodge near Pulawy.