Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Report from PAHA's Midyear Meeting at Cazenovia College, NY, June 2015

At its 72nd Midyear Meeting in Cazenovia, June 2015, Polish American Historical Association Promotes Publications and Recognizes Polonia Achievements in the State of New York


The PAHA Board at Cazenovia College: L-R (seated): Robert Synakowski, Pien Versteegh, 
Grażyna Kozaczka, John J. Bukowczyk, Maja Trochimczyk, (standing) Czesław Karkowski, 
Mary Patrice Erdmans, Iwona Drag-Korga, Anna Jaroszyńska-Kirchmann, James S. Pula. 


Los Angeles, June 22, 2015 – During its 72nd Midyear Meeting at Cazenovia College, NY, the Polish American Historical Association put forward proposals for future research and the promotion of studies of the Polish diaspora and strengthened its links to local Polonia. Established in 1942, PAHA is the premier international scholarly association dedicated to the study of Polish immigration experience in the Americas. The meeting’s program included deliberations on a strategic vision for the organization’s future; a visit to the Polish Legacy Art Collection at Le Moyne College in Syracuse, NY; a meeting with representatives of local Polonia organizations; and a lecture by Dr. Iwona Drag Korga, Executive Director of the Pilsudski Institute in New York City, about the Polish exhibition at the 1939 World’s Fair in New York City.

PAHA President, Grazyna Kozaczka at Polish Art Collection, Le Moyne College, Syracuse, NY.

PAHA’s Annual Meetings, held each January, include numerous scholarly papers and presentations as they are a part of the program of the conference of the American Historical Association. The midyear meetings focus on planning the organization’s future, as well as on enhancing contacts with local Polonia organizations in various parts of the country. During the Cazenovia meeting, the PAHA Board reviewed the program for the 73rd Annual Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia, (to be held on January 7-9, 2016) and discussed the expansion of PAHA-sponsored electronic and print publications and resources.

PAHA Board Meeting: Roberty Synakowski, Iwona Drag-Korga, Anna Jaroszynska-Kirchmann, 
Czeslaw Karkowski, and Grazyna Kozaczka

A separate topic was the marketing of PAHA’s Special Projects, including the Polish American Encyclopedia, edited in 2011 by Dr. James S.  Pula, and a proposed teaching resource on the Polish experience in the United States to be prepared by Dr. Pula and Dr. Anna Jaroszyńska-Kirchmann. Current publications of PAHA include its flagship scholarly journal, Polish American Studies (ISSN 0032-2806; eISSN 2330-0833), which has been published continually since 1944 and is now edited by Dr. Anna Jaroszyńska-Kirchmann. It appears biannually and is available world-wide through JSTOR, a database of full-text research journals. Its contents include articles, edited documents, bibliographies, and related materials dealing with all aspects of the history and culture of Poles in the Western Hemisphere as part of the larger Polish diaspora.
In Cazenovia: Pien Versteegh, Mary Patrice Erdmans, Iwona Drag-Korga,
 Anna Jaroszynska-Kirchmann, and Robert Synakowski

A greater recognition is due to the venerable Polish and Polish-American Studies Series of books published by the Ohio University Press, under the general editorship of Dr. John J. Bukowczyk. The book series now consists of 16 titles and will be expanded by adding another series of 10 books published with subventions from PAHA and from the Stanislaus A. Blejwas Chair at Central Connecticut State University.  Notable topics include both research studies and translations, e.g., studies of Polish women’s reproductive rights (The Politics of Morality by Joanna Mishtal), gender issues in theater (Taking Liberties by Halina Filipowicz), the Catholic Church in Poland (Rome’s Most Faithful Daughter by Neal Pease), and the translation of literary works, such as the Holy Week by Jerzy Andrzejewski and Testaments by Danuta Mostwin.

The Polish-American Encyclopedia (McFarland Publishing, 2011) should be found in every Polish home, as it comprehensively documents the history of the ethnic community, along with its organizations, leaders, traditions, and culture. Thanks to the financial support from the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Los Angeles, copies of the Encyclopedia recently found their way to Polish and American institutions, including the House of Poland in Balboa Park, San Diego; the Polish Art and Culture Foundation of San Francisco; the Millennium Polish Library in Los Angeles; the Polish Club of Denver, Colorado; and the library of the Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona.

 The PAHA Board meeting, June 9, 2015: Pien Versteegh, Anna Jaroszyńska-Kirchmann, 
Grażyna Kozaczka, Mary Patrice Erdmans and John J. Bukowczyk 

Copies of the Encyclopedia andeveral books authored by PAHA members were also donated to the library of the Polish Home in Syracuse and to the Noreen Reale Falcone Library of the Le Moyne College in Syracuse, New York, the location of an impressive Polish Legacy Art Collection.

On June 10, the PAHA Board toured the Le Moyne College’s Library to see the display of 11 monumental artworks c donated to the College after their display at the 1939 World Fair in New York. Their return to Poland was prevented by the outbreak of World War II.  The Seven Paintings depicting eight centuries of Polish history were created by a group of eleven painters that portrayed the most notable events in Polish history: the encounter of Bolesław the Brave with Emperor Otto III (1000), the Baptism of Lithuania (1386), Granting of the Charter of Jedlnia (1430), the Union at Lublin creating the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (1569), the Warsaw Confederation granting freedom of religion in the Commonwealth (1573), the Relief of Vienna by the troops of King Jan Sobieski III that defeated the Ottoman Army (1683), and the democratic Third of May Constitution granting rights to Poland’s lower classes  (1791).


Dr. Grazyna Kozaczka, Anna Jaroszynska-Kirchmann and Iwona Drag-Korga 
discuss the history of the Polish Legacy Art Collection at the Le Moyne College in Syracuse, NY.

The collection also includes the Four Sobieski Tapestries by Mieczysław Szymański, celebrating the Polish king’s  victory at Vienna that prevented the domination of Europe by the Ottoman Turks and preserved European Christianity from the attack by the Islamic empire (The Angel, Allegory of Victory, and The King with Emperor Leopold). The final tapestry celebrates the love of Sobieski for his queen, Marie Casimire d’Arquien of France, for whom he built the renowned Wilanów Palace near Warsaw. The four tapestries were first shown at the 1937 Paris exhibition; the seven paintings were specifically created for the 1939 New York World’s Fair. Students and visitors may see the artwork prominently and safely displayed throughout the library – thus teaching generations about Polish history.
    
Dr. Maja Trochimczyk admires a painting from Polish Legacy Art Collection at Le Moyne College.

The PAHA Midyear Meeting ended at the Polish Home in Syracuse, where Polonia gathered under the leadership of Robert Synakowski, to hear a fascinating lecture by Dr. Iwona Korga, on the history of the Polish pavilion at the 1939 World’s Fair in New York City. It provided the audience with an important historical context for the Polish Art Collection at Le Moyne College. PAHA’s President, Dr. Grażyna Kozaczka, commented:  “It was heartwarming to see so many young immigrant families who came to the Syracuse Polish Home to prove to us that we are still an ethnic group with a strong identity.” Dr. Kozaczka acknowledged Robert Synakowski, PAHA Board Member and President of the Polish Home, who introduced PAHA Board to this center of Polish American culture in Syracuse and organized a performance by children from the local Polish school.

As an additional event associated with the Board Meeting, Dr. Maja Trochimczyk gave a bilingual poetry reading for the Palace Poetry Group in Syracuse, focusing on her recent book of verse, Slicing the Bread (Finishing Line Press, 2014), filled with bitter family memories from World War II and its aftermath, the takeover of the country by the Stalinist regime.

Slicing the Bread by Maja Trochimczyk (Finishing Line Press, 2014)





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