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Data publikacji w serwisie: 29 kwietnia 2022 r.

Agnieszka Budnik’s internship at the University of Ilinois, USA

During a month-long research internship at the University of Chicago at Illinois (UIC), Agnieszka Budnik had the opportunity to work with Professor Michał Paweł Markowski, a juror of literary awards, initiator and artistic director of the Conrad Festival, the most important literary festival in Poland. The internship itself was financed within the framework of the NAWA STER project „AMU International Compass”, project number PPI/STE/2020/1/00007.

Thanks to Professor Markowski’s kindness I was able not only to consult my research (within the framework of my dissertation entitled Infrastructure of Values. Literary awards in Poland after 1989), but also participated in his classes and got acquainted with didactic methods used in work with a multicultural research group (doctoral and student community) in the reflection on European literature and comparative contexts. Consulting my dissertation consisted in discussing the shape and functioning of literary awards, festivals and literary life both in Poland and in the United States.

The aspect of popularizing science is also close to my heart, which is why in my podcast „Report from Literature” I discuss contemporary literature and interview festival and award organizers, publishers and editors, translators and interpreters: the last, 14th episode of the podcast is in a way a summary of my research internship. Together with Professor Markowski, we discuss global literature, the condition of the humanities, didactics, and the literary awards themselves. Link to the episode: https://open.spotify.com/episode/7znLow0Sxpa63CVZWJ6Eo0?si=2Sxsawt0SRKHT65TPJmmEQ  

I also carried out a library search (acquiring the latest research in the sociology of literature, literary studies and, more broadly, the humanities), which proved extremely helpful in constructing and critically examining the theses of my doctoral dissertation. No less important was also learning about the publishing and book market first-hand: reading the current literary press, visiting bookstores, or taking part in Chicago’s literary life.

The UIC campus itself is interesting not only as a place for specialists in many fields: the brutalist architecture of the individual buildings is also noteworthy. Initially inaccessible and even hostile, it turns out to be a well-organized super unit. It is Chicago that is a city full of Brutalist gems (the style was popular in the 1960s and 1970s), skyscrapers mixed with steel and glass, with live jazz and blues in the background.