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May 4, 2015

Polish Studies program hosts European arts event

By Ashli Speed

Cleveland State University’s Polish Studies Initiative continues to explore Polish culture and enrich the university community.

In 2010, Cleveland State began a partnership with the University of Warsaw in Poland.

The college of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences committed to developing the relationship between the two institutions.

Most recently, on April 21, the initiative held “Central European Arts and Culture: 25 Years after Communism.”

The event, which was sponsored by Polish Studies, the History Department and Modern Languages, featured a panel and explored the changes in the arts and culture of central Europe since the fall of Communism.

Tomasz Markiewka, the 2015 Cleveland State Visiting Polish Scholar and Kosciuszko Fellow, was among the panelists, along with Rita Gardasil, visiting Hungarian professor, and Luka Zibelnik, of the modern language department.

“These types of events fit in with our overall educational mission,” said Gregory Sadlek, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences. “They also help us build ties to several important ethnic groups in Cleveland, and they help us build our ties to the local Cleveland community.”

Edward Horowitz, associate professor of communication, is the director of the Polish Studies Initiative.

“Polish Studies is an area at CSU that is continuing to grow and thrive,” he said. “We are continuing to fundraise for our program.”

Early fundraising efforts for the program brought in $27,400 from the Polish American community of Northeast Ohio.

The Polish Studies program plans to have more events that explore European and Polish culture.
Its calendar for the semester included the Polish Film Festival on April 24 and 25 that featured four Polish films followed by a discussion led by Markiewka after each film.

“I think there is a great interest, both in the Polish community of Cleveland and among film students on campus,” Horowitz said. “Many film classes at Cleveland State show Polish films.”

According to Horowitz, Markiewka’s presence at Cleveland State has been well received by students and staff.

Markiewka, who is visiting from Katowice, Poland, has been at Cleveland State for the spring 2015 semester.

While visiting, Markiewka has been teaching a course in the history department on Polish history as well as a course in Polish literature in Cleveland State’s continuing education program.

“It has been a thrill to have him here,” Horowitz said. “His teaching is dynamic, and I know the students in his classes have learned so much from him.”

As of now, the program is able to host a visiting scholar every other year. Horowitz said he hopes fundraising efforts will help change this schedule and allow a visiting professor to come every year.
Sadlek said he is pleased with the program and is certain similar programs will continue for the next few years.