Seventh International Joseph Conrad Conference at Maria Curie-Skłodowska University

Between 20-23 June 2022, Seventh International Joseph Conrad Conference "Joseph Conrad’s Polish Footprints" was held. It was organised by Institute of Modern Languages and Literatures of Maria Curie-Skłodowska University as part of The Maria Curie-Skłodowska University - Columbia University Press Conrad Project. The initiative was held under the honorary patronage of the European Parliament.

The conference was dedicated to Prof. dr hab. Wiesław Krajka (Professor Emeritus and scientific editor of the monograph series entitled Conrad: Eastern and Western Perspectives, published by Maria Curie-Skłodowska University and Columbia University Press) on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of his academic work and publication of thirty volumes of this series.

Professor Wiesław Krajka explained his fascination with J. Conrad as follows: (...) When I was a student I was greatly moved by this writer. He caused my intellectual, moral and emotional catharsis. He fascinated me more than any other author and I decided to devote a major part of my professional life to him. (...) Conrad came from our nation, he spent his first 17 years in Poland. And there is strong substance of Polish mentality, culture, tradition and ethos successfully transformed into universal messages of his texts. (...) I was inspired by the depth of his thoughts and axiology, and by the fact that, although very Polish, (...) he was at the same time a global writer. The whole world reads and studies him and finds something interesting in his literary works.

The official inauguration of the event took place on June 20 at the Crown Tribunal. The Rector's Authorities were represented by Vice-Rector of Maria Curie-Skłodowska University Prof. dr hab. Dorota Kołodyńska, Dean of the Faculty of Languages, Literatures and Cultures, Prof. dr hab. Barbara Hlibowicka-Węglarz, and the Director of the Institute of Modern Languages and Literatures, Dr hab. prof. of Maria Curie-Skłodowska University Renata Bizek-Tatara.

- (...) Traces of Joseph Conrad are the subject of Professor Wiesław Krajka's research. The whole series of monographs Conrad: Eastern and Western Perspectives increased popularity of his works among scholars and students. (...) Joseph Conrad’s connections with Lublin should be an inspiration for us, and passing this knowledge on to next generations of students is extremely important. Professor Krajka has connected many Conrad scholars because at this conference we have over 60 participants who have come to us from 14 countries from all over the world. - Professor Dorota Kolodyńska said.

The other conference sessions were held in the building of Faculty of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures of Maria Curie-Skłodowska University. The event was accompanied by the participants’ study tour in the footsteps of Joseph Conrad and the characters of his short story "Prince Roman" (Lublin, Lubartów, Kozłówka). Professor Wiesław Krajka's jubilee was celebrated in the Kościuszko Mansion House in the Botanical Garden of Maria Curie-Skłodowska University.

The conference participants came from Canada, China, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Iran, Italy, Japan, Poland, Turkey, Ukraine, United States of America and United Kingdom. There presented, in English, 47 scholarly papers on various aspects and contexts of Joseph Conrad's works.

The issues debated at the conference are connected with the scientific research conducted at Institute of English Studies and later at Institute of Modern Languages and Literatures of Maria Curie-Skłodowska University. Conrad's literary output is a successful global transmission of Polish national ethos and mentality. His works are read and studied all over the world, and his ethical and political visions (concerning, e.g., the mechanisms of power and corruption of imperialists and politicians, the aberrational psychology of anarchists and terrorists, or the pathological essence of Russian mentality and political tradition) were relevant throughout the last century and are still relevant today.

The Maria Curie-Skłodowska University - Columbia University Press Conrad Project, is truly international in scope, as testified by the list of scholars who deliver papers at this conference, as well as those who presented them at previous conferences organised within this Project. The phenomenon of Joseph Conrad's literary works consists, inter alia, in their extraordinary openness to interaction with various works of literature, cultures, and systems of thought, which, from the perspective of comparative studies, brings about interesting and original intellectual constructions.


    Date of addition
    30 June 2022

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