Monday, June 23, 2014

PAHA at the Fifth Congress on Polish Studies in Warsaw

Palac Kazimierzowski, University of Warsaw

The Fifth World Congress on Polish Studies was held at the University of Warsaw on June 20-23, 2014 and has shown a remarkable collaboration between the Polish American Historical Association and its parent organization, the Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences of America (PAHA was co-founded by Oskar Halecki, who also co-founded PIASA).  From the opening ceremonies to the banquet with awards for some of our most important "people" - PAHA had a very prominent presence at the Congress.

PAHA Board Meeting: Front LR: Iwona Korga, Pien Versteegh, Grazyna Kozaczka,
Jim Pula. Back L to R: Angela Pienkos, Tom Napierkowski, Stephen Leahy, Donald Pienkos
Anna Jaroszynska-Kirchmann,Ann Hetzel-Gunkel, Neal Pease, Anna Mazurkiewicz, 
Tom Duszak, and Mieczyslaw B.B. Biskupski

On June 19, 2014, we held our Mid-Year Board Meeting at the Museum of Polish History on Senatorska Street.We had a very fruitful meeting that was very well attended by Board members and guests, such as Angela and Donal Pienkos. Poles were surprised that we had a meeting on that day, as exactly at 5 p.m. the streets of Warsaw filled with a multitude of processions celebrating the Corpus Christi with flags, icons, the Host carried under a canopy, and preceded by rows of girls scattering flower petals on the way...The long weekend for Warsaw's residents was starting; our Congress was getting under way.

Prof. Biskupski opens the plenary session on Jan Karski. Aula Adama Mickiewicza, UW.

On Saturday, June 20, 2014, the opening plenary session on Jan Karski was chaired by PAHA Board Member and PIASA President Prof. Mieczyslaw B. B. Biskupski.  PAHA sponsored three sessions and our members participated in many other sessions on a variety of topics. Many PIASA members talked about Polish-American relations, emigration, and Polonia issues.  All together, I counted 54 papers on Polish-American topics.

Prof. Walaszek opens the session on Kosciuszko in America.

The three PAHA sessions were dedicated to: Disapora Reactions to World War and Cold War, chaired by Renata Vickray, PIASA Secretary (Saturday, June 21, with papers by Gabriela Pawlus Kasprzak, Jan Lencznarowicz, Robert Szymczak and Mary Erdmans); Commemoration in Exile, chaired by Dorota Praszalowicz from Jagiellonian University (Saturday, June 21, with papers by Anna Jaroszynska Kirchmann, Anna Mazurkiewicz, Patryk Pleskot, and Iwona Korga), and Reflections of the Polish Diaspora, chaired by Harriet Napierkowski (Monday, June 23, with papers by Arnold Klaczynski, Anna Brzozowska-Krajka, Thomas Napierkowski and Grazyna Kozaczka.

Many other PAHA Members gave papers at different sessions, including, in addition to those mentioned above: Jim Pula, Neal Pease, Stephen Leahy, Silvia Dapia, Ann Hetzel Gunkel, Piotr Wrobel, Adam Kozaczka, Joanna Wojdon, Adam Walaszek, and Maja Trochimczyk.

Award Ceremony at the Banquet at the National Library.

L-R: Neal Pease, Tom Napierkowski, Anna  Jaroszynska-Kirchmann, Robert Szymczak


At the closing banquet, representatives of the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs presented medals to the following scholars:  Commandor Cross of the Order of Merit to Prof. Mieczyslaw B.B. Biskupski, Cavalier Cross of the Order of Merit to Prof. James Pula (PAHA Treasurer and outgoing editor of the Polish American Studies) and Prof. Neal Pease (PAHA Past President and Board member); Officer Cross of the Order of Merit to Prof. Anna Jaroszynska Kirchmann (PAHA Past President and incoming editor of the Polish American Studies), Prof. Thomas Napierkowski (PAHA President), and Prof. Patrice Dabrowski, and additional medals to Prof. Robert Szymczak. Congratulations to one and all! It was a wonderful day for PAHA!

Jim Pula and Anna Jaroszynska-Kirchmann with their new medals.

Neal Pease, Tom Napierkowski, Anna Jaroszynska-Kirchmann. 
Photo by Pien Versteegh.

Mieczyslaw B.B. Biskupski. Photo by Pien Versteegh.



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Report by Maja Trochimczyk with photos by Anna Mazurkiewicz and Pien Versteegh.


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