Polish Studies Working Group


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The Polish Studies Working Group is a lively, welcoming space for those working on any aspect of Polish literature and culture – no matter their faculty affiliation or level of familiarity with the language.


Who we are

We are group of DPhil students trained in several disciplines: Classics, Geography, English Language and Literature, Modern Languages, and Translation Studies. We share an interest in the intersections of the fields of Polish Studies and Comparative Literature, pursuing research that spans various national literatures, languages, art forms and centuries. We believe that this diversity of backgrounds on the one hand and a preference for transnational and interdisciplinary approaches on the other will enhance our critical appreciation of the studied material.


What we do

One of our principal activities are fortnightly meetings (held each term in odd weeks) which involve text-based discussions, exchanging information about opportunities available in the field, and a chance for graduate students to receive friendly feedback on their work. Ahead of each session, we circulate a set of short readings to stimulate fruitful discussion. If you are interested in proposing a topic for discussion or in leading one of our sessions, do get in touch.


Why we do it

First, because the presence of Eastern European languages and cultures (with the exception of Russian) within faculties across British academic institutions is limited. It is particularly at this historical point, in the midst of Russian aggression in Ukraine, that we must put more effort into understanding the past and present of all European nations, both major and minor.


Second, because Polish is now among the mostly widely spoken languages in the United Kingdom, and the Polish diaspora constitutes a significant part of contemporary British society. As follows, a closer engagement with the topic will contribute to the study of both contemporary Polish culture and today’s Britain.


Third, because we wish to use our international and interdisciplinary experiences and training to rethink key concepts related to the study of Polish literature and culture. We want to test how comparative literary methodologies can help us to both gain a critical distance to the studied material and reconsider the place of Polish cultural production on the world map of literary and cultural exchange.

For any queries, please contact the convenors:

Olga Grochowska (olga.grochowska@lmh.ox.ac.uk), Marianna Leszczyk (marianna.leszczyk@balliol.ox.ac.uk), or Ola Sidorkiewicz (ola.sidorkiewicz@st-hughs.ox.ac.uk).


The Polish Studies Working Group (PSWG) is part of the TORCH Critical-Thinking Communities