Thursday, September 21, 2017

PAHA President's Fall Letter, Kosciuszko Lecture and Call for Stories


PAHA President, Dr. Anna Mazurkiewicz with Dr. Jim Pula and Dr. Piotr Drag 
at the Sixth Congress of Polish Studies in Krakow, Poland

Dear PAHA Members,

Thank you for taking the time to catch up with PAHA. We are truly glad to have you as a member.

Since the annual PAHA meeting  January 2017 in Denver, the PAHA Board met again in June – this time in Poland (see the text about PAHA’s participation in the Sixth World Congress on Polish Studies in Kraków in this newsletter). Our association is currently mobilizing its resources and focusing its energy on preparations for a double anniversary.

The 2018 marks the centennial of Poland’s regaining independence after 123 years of partitions, as well as the 75th Anniversary of PAHA. The Board confirmed there that the official celebration of PAHA’s 75th Anniversary will be held on 7-9 September 2018 in Chicago at Loyola University. A special Committee was established within our Board to coordinate this effort. It is co-chaired by Bożena Nowicka-McLees and Dominic Pacyga. In addition to the planned event, James Pula has been working on a special anniversary publication on PAHA’s history and achievements. We will let you know once it is available in print.

This may be a good opportunity to remind you about Polish American Studies. It has been published uninterruptedly since 1944! Please remember to have a look at the recent issue of our journal (74/1). It contains fascinating stories about Zbyszko – the all-time famous Polish wrestler in America, Polish-Americans’ ways and means of organizing. If you are our member you should have already received your copy of the journal – the subscription comes with the membership. Please renew, if you haven’t done so already!

Finally, please note that PAHA maintains its ongoing projects. We are continuously on the lookout for collecting Displaced Persons’ memoirs, documents, and oral histories. We also seek contributions to our “Objects that Speak” collection of personal artifacts dear to Polish-Americans. Before the end of this year we are planning to launch a modern version of our web page which shall contain special sections devoted to both projects.

The upcoming centennial of Poland’s regained independence may be the spark to reinvigorate your interest in all things Polish and Polish-American. Please stay tuned  for more information on PAHA planned events and publications – come to meet us in Washington (4-7 January, 2018) during our annual conference, see us on Facebook, read the blog, or visit our web page for more details. By maintaining your membership in PAHA you are helping us fulfill our mission to study and promote scholarly research and preservation of historical sources on Polish American history and culture.

Thank You!
Anna Mazurkiewicz
University of Gdansk, Poland
President of the Polish American Historical Association

PAHA Board in Krakow, June 2017

Lecture on Jefferson, Kościuszko and Hull in Philadelphia 
On September 23, 2017 at the Museum of the American Revolution, 101 South 3rd Street, Philadelphia, a lecture entitled “Friends of Liberty: Thomas Jefferson, Tadeusz Kościuszko and  Agrippa Hull”  will be given by Gary B. Nash, PhD, Distinguished Research Professor and Director Emeritus, National Center for History in the Schools, and Professor Emeritus of History, UCLA.  In “Friends of Liberty,” Dr. Nash explores the little-known story of General Tadeusz Kościuszko, Polish-born military engineer and freedom fighter in the American Revolution, and his role as a pioneer of abolition.* Kościuszko was an ardent advocate for the rights of European serfs, African slaves, Jews, women and other disenfranchised groups on two continents. Kościuszko’s relationship with Agrippa Hull, a freeborn black New Englander who served as his orderly during the Revolutionary War, provides poignant testimony to the bonds that form between freedom-loving people. As a pioneer of abolition, Kościuszko gave Jefferson instructions that upon his death, Kościuszko’s U.S. funds be used to liberate and educate as many of Jefferson’s slaves as the money allowed. The lecture tells of the tragic betrayal of Kościuszko’s trust. 

The lecture is free but reservations are required: https://Koś Additionally tickets at $80/person may also be obtained for a Reception following the lecture.  The event is sponsored by the Kościuszko Foundation, Philadelphia Chapter in cooperation with the Museum of the American Revolution and the U.S. National Park Service.  

This lecture marks Kościuszko’s legacy of freedom and the 200th anniversary of his passing. UNESCO and the Parliament of Poland have declared 2017 as the Year of Tadeusz Kościuszko.  The UNESCO press release stated: “Tadeusz Kościuszko lived at the turn of the eighteenth and nineteenth century. In recognition of his activity for the sake of peace, independence and democracy – the equality of people regardless of their skin colour or religion – he is considered a national hero in Poland and in the United States. He emphasized the role of both practical and citizen education, so that men and women who regained freedom should be aware of their rights, but also their duties with respect to the freedom and welfare of others.”

Anna Mazurkiewicz and Maja Trochimczyk at PAU Banquet at the Sixth Congress of Polish Studies.


by Ondrej Klipa

Looking for Polish women workers who migrated from Poland to the US from 1960s to 1980s.

I am a historian from Prague studying migration from Communist Poland. Currently I am a Fulbright visiting scholar at the Department of History of the University of Illinois at Chicago. One of my aims is to write an article titled “Escaping coercion and control. Polish female workers in other Soviet bloc countries”. For the sake of the article I would like to find Polish women who migrated in the studied period to Western countries in order to compare their experience. The interview will be mostly about their motivations to leave Poland as well as their employment after they arrived to the US as these two topics are of my primary interest. The interview could be conducted either in Polish or in English. I am ready to come anywhere in Chicagoland area.

If you could meet me and speak with me (about an hour) or if you know anyone who could, please send me an email or call me at (872) 214-9218. 

My email:

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