Closure of Conference project. Post-Conference Plans

Many many thanks to everyone who participated in the conference, to all those who presented papers, read their poetry or translations, contributed to discussions or just came to listen.

This blog will remain open as a record of the conference proceedings and will continue to include the programme, the abstracts of the presentations and the short biographies of the participants.

We have removed the conference papers from this site because we intend to include revised versions in a post-conference book. This book will not be a representation of the conference proceedings as such, however, but a volume of articles roughly reflecting the structure of the conference. The book will be edited by Ursula Philips, supported by a team of advisers (Urszula Chowaniec, Knut Andreas Grimstad, Kris Van Heuckelom and Elwira Grossman). It is expected that the volume will appear in 2013.

Should anyone wish to contact the authors of papers or read the original papers, please contact the conference organizer.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Błażej Warkocki (Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan)

               Strategies of homosexual/gay emancipation in Polish prose since 1989

            This paper will develop around the trope of „gay emancipation” in Polish literature of the last three decades. I will be particularly interested in coming-out narratives
            I will begin (briefly) with two authors of the early 1980s: Julian Stryjkowski (short story Tomasso del Cavaliere) and Marian Pankowski (Rudolf). The first one presents, I want to suggest, a “modernist” strategy, as opposed to the “Genet-like” strategy of the second author. And that is starting-point of emancipatory strategies in Polish prose.
            The beginning of the 1990s sees the addition of the new, “strictly emancipatory” strategy of authors like Marcin Krzeszowiec, Witold Jabłoński,  Tadeusz Antos, Tadeusz Olszewski. Novels written by these authors were not noticed by Polish critics.
            In this context I want to examine the „poetics of inexpressible desire” (German Ritz's term), which became the most famous analytical tool used to read Polish modernist prose (especially that of Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz)
            Finally, the latest turning-point came with Michał Witkowski's famous novel “Lubiewo” (English: “Lovetown” translated by William Martin) and five other novels published around 2007, which were a reaction to homophobia and the political situation in the country.
            I will analyse these writings from the socio-anthropological perspective, trying to weave the literary and the social fabric of these texts again together. Particularly, I am interested in the presence (or sometimes, absence) of “coming out” narratives, which have been identified in American literary scholarship as one of the key elements of so-called “lesbian and gay writing”. Will the lesson to be learned from an analysis of the named authors be the same as one present in the Western and longer-established tradition? Is it possible to write gay plots without coming-out structures? I intend to answer these questions.

Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań, Poland
Polish Studies
Department of Anthropology of Literature