• January 7, 2015
  • 271

Good year for the Association of Polish Scholars in Lithuania

The representatives of the Association of Polish Scholars in Lithuania (SNLP) on Tuesday 6th of January held a small meeting in Cafe “Sakwa” in Vilnius. During this meeting they discussed the scientific achievements of the past year, outlined plans for the future, and  presented the latest volume of the “Yearbook of the Association of Polish Scholars in Lithuania” to the media. A festive atmosphere was created by the “Melody” band under the direction of Janina Stupienko.

– Last year was good for the Association – said Prof. Henryk Malewski, the President of SNPL, lawyer, criminologist, lecturer, and Professor at Šiauliai University and the Mieszko I College of Education and Administration in Poznań. – It was a successful conference, we published a yearbook, we made some changes to the statute of the Association.

Today the Society gathers scholars from various fields: engineers, economists, sociologists, historians, educators, lawyers and others. The association has 60 members, but in order to attract younger members, it has decided to make statutory changes. This will allow those who do not yet have serious academic titles to join, but these will be scholars, working at universities, engaged in scientific research and work.

–  This is very important because the level of education in the Vilnius Polish community is not too high. If we are talking about academic degrees: PhD degrees, professorial titles – there are serious deficiencies. We have 7-8 times less degrees to 200 thousand residents than the average in Lithuania. Our aim is to promote Science, and seek out young talented people, helping them choose the path of Science – said Prof. Dr Henryk Malewski.

As the chairman of SNPL said, young scientists can count on methodical help to find contacts and access to scientific sources.

We decided to organize competitions for the best undergraduate and doctoral thesis related to the Vilnius region to involve these people with scientific activity. Here we have the support of the Polish Embassy, and colleagues at the “Wileńszczyzna” Foundation. To exist, the national minorities in every country must have their own elite. The elite includes not only businessmen, entrepreneurs, but also scientists – said the chairman of SNPL.

As far as plans for the future, the Association intends to organize a multidisciplinary project that touches social, legal and economic aspects of the Polish minority in the Vilnius region and the Opole region.

– We want to start a big scientific and research project with our colleagues at the University of Wroclaw. Comparative studies will be carried out: under the aegis of SNPL studies on the Polish minority in the Vilnius will be a priority. On the Polish side it will be the German minority in the Opole region – said prof.  Henryk Malewski.

Doc. Dr. Barbara Dwilewicz from the Polish Language Center, Culture and Education at the Lithuanian University of Educational Sciences presented to the media the next volume the yearbook published by the Association of Polish Scholars of Lithuania. In 2014 a combined volume of 13/14 was published.

– The main part of the yearbook consists of articles prepared on the basis of papers presented at an international conference organized by the Polish Society of SNPL and Political Thought “Native Europe. European political thought and the challenges of the twenty-first century “, which took place in April 2014 in Vilnius. It was attended by scientists from the universities of Poland, Lithuania and other countries. The yearbook contains of some of these papers.

Part of the texts included in the yearbook refers to the Vilnius region: they touch the issue of multiculturalism, ethnic minorities. The article by Thomas Snarski, MA, “The European Union and multiculturalism and the protection of language rights of Poles in Lithuania”, dedicated to European standards and the Lithuanian legal regulations concerning the use of the state language and languages of national minorities in Lithuania can be found there. Text by Dr Irena Mikłaszewicz “Stereotyping of Poles in Lithuania and its consequences. On the issues of ethnic stereotypes “deals with stereotypes about Polish Lithuanians and Poles. A study done by the author shows how broadening of the knowledge about Poland and Poles affect a favorable change in the circulating stereotype of Poles in Lithuania among the Lithuanian society. An article by Dr. Elizabeth Kuzborska “Education reform of national minorities in Lithuania in 2011. in the light of international standards of protection.” is also included in the yearbook. This issue is complements the work of  Krystyna Moroz-Lapin, PhD, and Miroslaw Szejbak, PhD, “The Meanders of Lithuanian educational policy in the education of minorities”.

There are also articles about literature. Irena Fedorovich, PhD, in her work “About Wladyslaw Syrokomla in the context of his unknown letters” characterized the previously unknown letters of the  “lyrist of a village,” which were published for the first time. Valentina Krupowies, PhD, in her work presented a “mental image of the city” based on the memoirs of Vilnius residents. Two works in the “Yearbook” were written in relation to the work of Czesław Milosz. Barbara Dwilewicz, doc, PhD, in her work “Milosz read in Lithuanian” noted the inconsistencies that have crept into Lithuanian translations of poems. Tadeusz Sucharski, PhD, is the author of “The Lithuanian Michael Crispin Pawlikowski journalism and essays by Czeslaw Milosz,  how (not) to write about the Polish-Lithuanian relations.”

The text by Katarzyna Miksza, PhD, ‘State interest and the right to a name in the context of international and EU law’ covers the topic of the right to the correct spelling of names and surnames, as protected by international law. The SNLP yearbook contains other research papers and SNPL documents, including the rules of competition for the best scientific work, project, or work popularizing the Vilnius region (for young scholars) and for the best degree thesis (Bachelor’s or Master) on the Vilnius region. The position is available in the Vilnius bookstore “Elephas”.

Translated by Alicja Kępińska within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.

Related post

White-and-red march through Vilnius and a rally in schools’ defence. ‘Poles want normalcy’.

A two thousandth white-and-red march passed through the streets of Vilnius on Saturday, March 23. Participants…

Issues of Polish education have been raised in front of parents and teachers.

The discussion on current issues in Polish education in Lithuania was initiated by the Forum of…

Polish language teachers face new challenges. How to adjust learning Polish language to the needs of…

The Faculty of Philology of Vilnius University held a scientific and educational workshop for school youth…