George Grabowicz, born in Cracow, Poland, in 1943. Ph.D. from Harvard University, Cambridge. Professor of Ukrainian Literature at Harvard University, Cambridge.
Fellow (1 February 2000 – 30 June 2000)
br/>The bulk of my time was spent working on the research project A Comparative History of the Literary Cultures of East-Central Europe.
When I began I had – from my present perspective- but a preliminary sense of the scope of my topic. The work I did at NIAS has expanded my understanding considerably. The project itself is progressing apace and the NIAS phase culminated with a successful three-day conference. I am confident that the book that will emerge from our collective efforts will be an important contribution to scholarship in this area. In general, I found my stay at NIAS immensely stimulating and productive for my growth as a scholar and researcher. Specifically, my own work on our project’s section Writers as national icons has led me to broader lines of inquiry which -I very much hope- will eventually lead to a larger comparative study of national poets, their reception and “creation”, and their all-important role in the formation of national identities.
I participated in two seminars, on Values, Relative and/or Universal? and on Languages in Contact and Conflict. During this time I also participated in a number of conferences and academic activities .
The National Poet which I wrote while at NIAS will form the basis of my introduction to the section Writers as National Icons of The Comparative History of the Literary Cultures of East-Central Europe; a different, shorter version of this paper will appear in the proceedings of the conference on Myths and Political Symbols in Central Europe to be published this year in France. During my stay at NIAS my essay on the Ukrainian writer Ihor Kostecskyj appeared in the Jan/Feb issue of Krytyka (Kiev, Ukraine); I also wrote the last version of my introduction to a volume of essays on the poet Taras Shevchenko which is due to appear in Kiev later this summer.