Miłosz and America: Czesław Miłosz Conference

Friday, November 4, 2011 - 1:00pm to 5:30pm

Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Linsly-Chittenden Hall

The Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University is the home of Czesław Miłosz's archives. We will celebrate the centenary of the birth of the great poet on November 4-5, 2011.


Miłosz spent the first half of his life in Poland, then about ten years in France, and the second part of his life in the USA. The scope of Miłosz’s thought covers the whole of the twentieth century, and his works explore the most central questions of Western modernity, including the cultural and political intersections between Europe and America. His teaching at Berkeley, his friendships, and personal involvement in the issues of the day made him one of the central figures in American intellectual life. The Nobel Prize he received in 1980 honored his achievement both as a Polish and as an American writer.


Adopting an American vantage point, presentations will focus on bridging the intellectual, academic, and poetic sides of Milosz’s work that in significant ways shaped the cultural landscape on this side of the Atlantic.


An exhibition on Miłosz (based on the Beinecke collection of his papers), poetry readings, and film screenings will accompany the conference.


This symposium has been made possible by the generous support of Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, The European Studies Council, with a Title VI National Resource Center grant from the US Department of Education, The Edward J. and Dorothy Clarke Kempf Memorial Fund, The Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale, Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, Whitney Humanities Center, Polish Cultural Institute, The Adam Mickiewicz Institute, Poland, and The Institute of the Book, Poland.

Friday, November 4, 2011
Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, 121 Wall Street
2:30-2:45Welcoming Remarks
3:00-5:30Panel 1: Historical Perspectives
Moderator: Marci Shore (Department of History, Yale University)
 Milosz in America: an unfinished story
Slawomir Sierakowski (Krytyka Polityczna, editor-in-chief)
 California as a failure of Milosz, incurable European
Marek Zaleski (Institute of Literary Research, Polish Academy of Sciences)
 Milosz and America: the first encounter
Jerzy Jarzebski (Jagellonian University, Krakow)
5:30-6:30Keynote Address
Czeslaw Milosz: The Great Mediator
Professor Tomas Venclova (Slavic Languages and Literatures, Yale University)
8:00Whitney Humanities Center - 53 Wall Street - Auditorium
 I Had a Dream of Return (Przysnil mi sie sen powrotu), a documentary by Andrzej Milosz
 Czarodziejska Góra: Amerykanski Portret Czeslawa Milosza (A Magic Mountain: American Portrait of Czslaw Milosz) documentary by Maria-Zmarz Koczanowicz, 2001
Saturday, November 5, 2011
63 High Street, Linsly-Chittenden Hall, Room 211
9:00-9:30Light Breakfast
9:30-11:30Panel 2: Translating Milosz
Moderator: David A. Goldfarb
(Polish Cultural Institute New York)
 Found in Translation:  Czeslaw Milosz and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania in California's Heartland
Lillian Vallee (Modesto Junior College, CA)
 Milosz’s Implicit Assumptions about the Limits of Cross-Cultural Understanding: A Translator’s Perspective
Madeline Levine (The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
 Czeslaw Milosz: the Poet and the Translator
Bogdana Carpenter (University of Michigan)
11:30-1:00Lunch (on own)

Panel 3: Poetic Resonances
Moderator: Krystyna Lipinska Illakowicz (Slavic Languages and Literatures, Yale University)

 Czeslaw Milosz--Standing in the Center
Adam Zagajewski (University of Chicago)
 Signature Pieces
Bozena Shallcross (University of Chicago)
 Milosz and War
Irena Grudzinska-Gross (Princeton University)
3:30-5:30Panel 4: Intellectual Legacy
Moderator: TBD
 "I had no right to talk of you that way, Robert” – Czeslaw Milosz and American poets
Andrzej Franaszek (Editor of the Tygodnik Powszechny,Krakow)
 American Patmos of Czeslaw Milosz
Krzysztof Czyzewski (Director of Fundacja Pogranicze, Borderland Foundation)
Mark Danner (University of California, Berkeley)
9:00Whitney Humanities Center - 53 Wall Street - Auditorium
 Issa Valley (Dolina Issy), by Tadeusz Konwicki



Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library
121 Wall Street | New Haven, CT 06511
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Monday 10 am - 7 pm
Tuesday-Thursday 9 am - 7 pm
Friday 9 am - 5 pm
Saturday (Exhibitions only) 12 pm - 5 pm
Sunday (Exhibitions only) 12 pm - 4 pm

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