Adam Mickiewicz (1798-1855) is a towering figure in Central and East European literary history. You'll find monuments to him in three national capitals--Warsaw, Minsk, and Vilnius--as well as the Ukrainian city of Lviv. In Krakow, he's buried in the Wawel, alongside Polish kings. Haven't heard of him? Me neither, not till long after I finished my Ph.D.
Brian Reed's blog
I've recently returned from an American studies conference on "transnational poetics" at Ruhr-University Bochum. Many of the papers were first-rate, but there was a recurrent problem, namely, a lack of certainty regarding the meaning or value of the word "transnational." What differentiates a "transnational" approach to a literary topic from an "international" or "comparative" one?
I've just finished my third year as Director of Graduate Studies for my university's English department. I've read a couple thousand applications for our MA/PhD program and spoken in person or on the phone to who knows how many prospective students (and to unsuccessful applicants). I thought I'd share a few of the common mistakes that people make, in the interests of perhaps improving the process for everyone involved.
Recently I gave my first poetry reading. Since I am not a poet, this presented a problem.
While I am, in theory, a big proponent of the digital humanities, I'm also frequently underwhelmed by projects sold under that label. That's why I was excited recently to find a low-key, creative, straightforward example of how the internet can contribute substantively to humanities scholarship.
In 2009, I visited Kraków for the first time. One day I bought a book by Wysława Symborska (1923-2012) and carried it around with me for a few hours. Everywhere I went people stopped me to ask what I thought about her poetry. I spoke at length with a hotel clerk and a grandmother on a bench in a park. I can't imagine anything similar happening in the United States.
Okay, I've turned forty. On my birthday I celebrated my obsolescence by translating a sonnet titled "To a Corpse."
It's been a while since I posted to Arcade. So many deadlines! Several times a day I find myself mumbling, "But at my back I always hear / Time's winged chariot hurrying near."
As Director of Graduate Studies for the University of Washington English Department, I am responsible for reading every application to our MA/PhD program. I just finished file number four hundred sixty five and am allowed a few days' rest.
Last year I wrote a "best of 2009" post for Arcade. This year I want to do something different. I want to share someone else's list. Part of it, anyway.