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Historical Truth: Poland and the Politics of the Past

Warsaw

Saturday 21 October: 12:30pm - 1:30pm

Little Hall, Sidgwick Site, CB3 9DA

PART OF THE CAMBRIDGE FESTIVAL OF IDEAS

Dr Stanley Bill, Lecturer in Polish Studies, Department of Slavonic Studies, Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages

In the twentieth century, Poland became the laboratory for two violent totalitarian experiments, suffering massive destruction and harsh oppression from both Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. The unhealed wounds of this painful history are still strikingly present in both public debate and politics in Poland today. This talk examines different perspectives on historical ‘truth’ and the politics of history.

Stanley Bill is lecturer in Polish Studies at the University of Cambridge. He works largely on twentieth-century Polish literature and culture, with particular interests in religion, secularization theory, Polish-Ukrainian relations, and postcolonial interpretations of Polish cultural history. He has written on Czeslaw Milosz, Bruno Schulz, postcolonial theory in the Polish context, Polish Romanticism, as well as on religious problems in the novels of Fyodor Dostoevsky. He recently published a translation of Czeslaw Milosz's unfinished novel 'The Mountains of Parnassus' with Yale University Press.

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In the twentieth century, Poland became the laboratory for two violent totalitarian experiments, suffering massive destruction and harsh oppression from both Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. The unhealed wounds of this painful history are still strikingly present in both public debate and politics in Poland today. In this talk, Dr Stanley Bill, Cambridge's Lecturer in Polish Studies, examines different perspectives on historical ‘truth’ and the politics of history.

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