Friday, February 17, 2017

Call for Submissions - Stories about Polish American Experience Due July 1, 2017

Folk bird-whistlels from Krakow, Poland, photo by Maja Trochimczyk

In 2018, the Polish American Historical Association (PAHA) will celebrate its 75th anniversary. As part of the celebration, PAHA plans to publish an illustrated volume on the immigrant experience of Polish Americans, people who travelled across the Atlantic to establish a new life in North America.

Polish folk Dances - Krakowiak and Kujawiak by Zofia Stryjenska

Everyday objects play an especially important role in the life of any immigrant. They remind of significant moments and experiences, and testify to the various paths taken, and the aspects of heritage the immigrants want to pass on to the next generations.

Historical photo from the Polish Home in Rochester, NY

Such objects can tell a story of their past, emotional involvement, aesthetic preferences, ethical life choices, and leisure activities. They provide insight into the material culture, diverse ways of living, and pasts that they wish to either remember or forget. The materials objects carry both local and global dimensions; they can define us directly or indirectly through associations. Finally, the decision to keep certain objects not only speaks about our past life, but about us in the present as well.

Dance of the Krakusy Ensemble in Los Angeles in Lowicz costumes, 1980s

The Polish American Historical Association is announcing a wide, American search for material objects that speak about and to the Polish American experience, an experience of the life of an immigrant: its plurality and complexity, including fear and longing, joy and excitement, and the desire for and the fluid nature of stability. We are looking for photos and description of objects that traveled across the Atlantic along with their owners as symbols of lives and homes left behind as well as those acquired during the journey and after the arrival to the new place, as something that symbolizes individual activities and identity shaped here; for example, clothing, household items, toys, musical instruments, and various small or large self-made objects that tell a piece of a family’s history. We are especially interested in the history that a given object carries, its individual story, values, joys, and tribulations it symbolizes; and particular events or people from the past it commemorates.

Polish medal pinned to bread, photo by Maja Trochimczyk

Appreciating the importance and value that given objects play in personal life, we are NOT asking for objects themselves, but rather for a photo(s) (even a photo made with phone cameras) of a given object. The quality and setting of the photo is not relevant at the time of submission. Along with the photo itself, we are requesting a description of the object itself along with a family story for which the object is relevant. We especially appreciate objects and stories that underline the importance of the Polish American experience. The photos we receive will be submitted to a committee, which will select some to be included in the publication. If needed, we will organize a professional photo session of a given object.

Szopka krakowska (Nativity Scene) and bird-whistles, photo by Maja Trochimczyk

Please submit your photo(s) and short description of the chosen object, together with your names, address, and the best way to contact you to Anna Muller at or via mail to

Anna Muller
Department of Social Sciences
4901 Evergreen Road
Dearborn, MI 48128, USA

The deadline for submission is July 1, 2017.

St. Casimir Society in Rochester, NY - Photo from Society of Poles's Polish Home.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Call for Papers for International Conference at the Museum of Emigration in Gdynia, Poland

II International Interdisciplinary Scientific Conference 
of the Emigration Museum in Gdynia, Poland
"Poles and Polish Diaspora in North America"
21-22 September 2017

Emigration Museum in Gdynia is a local government cultural institution. It gathers and facilitates collections on the history of Polish emigration and aims to disseminate knowledge about the processes of migration over the centuries. The Museum's mission is to reconstruct the fate of emigrants and to speak about them. This applies both to the stories of well-known and famous people, whose names appear in the context of scientific, sport, economic or artistic achievements, as well as to millions of anonymous emigrants leaving their homes in search of a better life. The ambition of the museum is to popularize knowledge about various aspects of migratory movements, their conditions, consequences and the impact on the formation of Polish Diaspora clusters, as well as the mutual relationships between these clusters and their country of origin. We would also like to create a forum for researchers and those interested in the issues of migration and Polish communities abroad.

The first project in the science and popularization area was last year's conference inaugurating activities of the Museum in this field. It was devoted to the issues of Poles and the Polish community in Latin America. The event was attended by nearly 40 researchers representing more than 20 research centers and institutions from Poland, Brazil, Argentina, Austria, Israel and the United States. Continuing this activity Emigration Museum in Gdynia, together with its partners: the Migration Research Committee of the Polish Academy of Sciences, The Polish Institute of Arts & Sciences of America, Polish American Historical Association and the Polish Association for Canadian Studies, are pleased to invite you to the second international conference. It will be dedicated to the Polish presence in North America.

During the conference, we would like to focus on issues such as: the history of emigration from Poland to North America; social, legal and political conditions of the transatlantic migration; the formation, development and transformations of the Polish community in the US and Canada; the contribution of Poles in the political, social, cultural and scientific life of the US and Canada; cooperation and contacts of the Polish diaspora with Poland and its impact on relations between Poland and the US and Canada; language and identity of the Polish communities in North America; literary and cultural aspects of the Polish presence in the US and Canada; functioning of the Polish organizations and media; activities of the Polish clergy on the American continent; the image of Poles in the American and Canadian societies, etc.

The above list is only a suggestion of issues that can be presented at the conference.
The conference will be of interdisciplinary character and therefore we invite experts specializing in issues of the Poles and the Polish communities in North America representing various disciplines, including historians, specialist in American Studies, Canadian Studies, political scientists, sociologists, culture experts, literary scholars, cultural anthropologists, etc. We hope that, as it was the case last year, the Emigration Museum in Gdynia will provide the conference participants with an inspiring space conducive to creative and critical exchange of views and the latest research findings. The conference will be summarized with a monographic reviewed publication in a printed format.Conference languagse: Polish / English

Application form attached to the present invitation shall be sent until 30 April 2017 to the following e-mail address: Information on the paper acceptance will be sent no later than on 15 May 2017. Participation in the conference is free of charge for the participants.

Conference organizers provide presenters with:
 one stay on the night of 21 September for participants from Poland; three stays on the nights of 20, 21, 22 September for participants from abroad,
 catering (breakfasts, lunches, coffee breaks and a formal banquet),
 upon having obtained a positive review, print of the text in a post-conference publication.

NOTE: The number of participants is limited. The final selection of those qualified to participate in the conference will be made by the Scientific Committee of the conference on the basis of the submitted abstracts.

 up to 30 April 2017 – receiving applications,
 up to 15 May 2017 – confirmation of qualification to participate,
 21-22 September 2017 – conference in the Emigration Museum in Gdynia,
 up to 15 November 2017 – deadline for submittal of texts for publication.

 Prof. Adam Walaszek, Ph.D. – Institute of American Studies and Polish Diaspora Studies, Jagiellonian University (chairperson),
 Prof. Katarzyna Jerzak, Ph.D. – Institute of Modern Languages, Pomeranian University in Słupsk,
 Magdalena Lesińska, Ph.D. – Centre for Migration Research, University of Warsaw,
    Prof. Bożena Leven - The College of New Jersey, director of The Polish Institute of Arts
& Sciences of America,
    Anna Mazurkiewicz, Ph.D. – Institute of History of the University of Gdańsk, president
of the Polish American Historical Association,
    Prof. Anna   Reczyńska, Ph.D. - Institute of American Studies and Polish Diaspora
Studies, Jagiellonian University.

    Sebastian Tyrakowski
    Rafał Raczyński, Ph.D (conference coordinator)
    Katarzyna Morawska, Ph.D.

The Migration Research Committee of the Polish Academy of Sciences
The Polish Institute of Arts & Sciences of America
Polish American Historical Association
The Polish Association for Canadian Studies

Rafał Raczyński, Ph.D. phone: +48 58 67 04 171

The Museum is a member of the Association of European Migration Institutions (AEMI).