Department of Late 19th-Century Literature

Staszic Palace, 1st floor, Room 131; Tel. 22 657 28 76 (Wednesdays, 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.)

Members of the Department:
Chair: Associate Professor Marek Pąkciński 
Professor Grażyna Borkowska 
Dr. Agnieszka Bąbel 
Dr. Agata Grabowska-Kuniczuk
About the Department:
The Department – initially, a research team – has existed at the Institute of Literary Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences since March 1981. Between 1981 and 1998, its Chair was Professor Janusz Maciejewski (1930-2011), not only the formal director, but also the creator of important conferences and edited volumes, e.g. Przełom antypozytywistyczny w polskiej świadomości kulturowej końca XIX wieku, ed. by T. Bujnicki, J. Maciejewski, Wrocław 1986; Literatura południa wieku. Twórczość lat sześćdziesiątych XIX stulecia wobec romantyzmu i pozytywizmu, ed. by J. Maciejewski, Warszawa 1992; Przemiany formuły polskości w drugiej połowie XIX wieku, ed. by J. Maciejewski, Warszawa 1999.

From 1998 to 2019, the team was headed by Prof. Grazyna Borkowska. During this period, collective books related to the research conducted in the Department were published: Pozytywizm. Języki epoki, ed. by G. Borkowska, J. Maciejewski, Warszawa 2000; Pogranicza literatury. Księga ofiarowana Profesorowi Januszowi Maciejewskiemu na Jego siedemdziesięciolecie, ed. by G. Borkowska, J. Wójcicki, Warszawa 2001; Kwestia żydowska w XIX wieku. Spory o tożsamość Polaków, ed. by G. Borkowska, M. Rudkowska, Warszawa 2004; Dyskursy krytycznoliterackie 1764–1918. Wokół Słownika polskiej krytyki literackiej (1), ed. by G. Borkowska, M. Rudkowska, Warszawa 2010; Sekrety Orzeszkowej, ed. by G. Borkowska, M. Rudkowska, I. Wiśniewska, Warszawa 2012.

In 2019, a separate Research Group for Scholarly Editing of Late 19th-Century Literature emerged from within the Department, working under the direction of Dr. Iwona Wisniewska to edit the works of Eliza Orzeszkowa. Members of the Team include members of the Department: Dr. Agnieszka Bąbel and Dr. Agata Grabowska-Kuniczuk.

In 2020-2023 the Department was headed by associate professor Magdalena Rudkowska (Department member in 1998-2023).

Areas of activity:
The Department is engaged in a comprehensive analysis of the state of Polish culture during the years 1864-1914. The starting year requires no comment (the defeat of the 1863 Uprising). But shifting the boundary of the epoch as far as the outbreak of World War I results from a complex generation layout: the simultaneous presence of the positivists and the modernists in culture at the turn of the century and during the first decade of the twentieth century.

In the 2000s, the idea and project of the Dictionary of Polish Literary Criticism 1764-1918, carried out within the framework of grants affiliated with the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun (2009-20120 and the Adam Mickiewicz Literary Society (2018-2024), originated in the Department - its results are publications:

Research topics undertaken at the Department include:

  • the concept of nineteenth-century understood as a trans-epoch community and references to it in later periods
  • the multifaceted image of the epoch composed of various (not necessarily scientistic-realist) philosophical, ideological, artistic inspirations
  • biography and works of outstanding representatives of the era (Narcyza Żmichowska, Felicjan Faleński, Eliza Orzeszkowa, Bolesław Prus, Józef Ignacy Kraszewski, Henryk Sienkiewicz and others)
  • issues of literary criticism in the 19th century
  • changes in literary genres and conventions in the 19th century
  • private and public spheres in 19th century literature and culture

The Department is also the center of editorial activities related to the publication of the following scientific journals presenting the latest research results, also in the field of nineteenth-century literary studies:

In 2023, the Department, together with the Institute of Polish Literature at the University of Warsaw, organized a nationwide conference Piotr Chmielowski. Nineteenth century without borders. The materials will be published in "Wiek XIX" 2024.

In 2022, the Department organized a conference Towards the cultural history of the nineteenth-century novel. Some of the materials were published in "Pamiętnik Literacki" 2023, issue 2.

The Department organizes open scholary meetings online. Persons interested in participating are asked to contact the chair of the Department.

[act., 2023-12-31, by mr]

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