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Jerusalem 2009

The Joseph Conrad Society of Poland

The foremost organization of Polish Conradian scholars, the Joseph Conrad Society fosters the development of academic research dedicated to the writer. Adopting a wide gamut of forms of activity, the Society cooperates with Conradians world-wide to warrant constant development of Conrad Studies and contriutes to the growth of  academic excellence in the field. With professor ZdzisĹ‚aw Najder in the lead, the Society is the central animator of the activities related to the Conrad Year of 2007 proclaimed by UNESCO.

Yet, the profile of the activities of the Joseph Conrad Society of Poland is not limited to academic scholarship alone. The central aim of the educational acivities of the  Joseph Conrad Centre at the Public Library of GdaĹ„sk (the Society’s Headquartes) is the popularization of the writer’s figure and his oeuvre. This goal is being realized, among others, by means of launching a series of open lectures dedicated to selected motifs of Joseph Conrad Korzeniowski’s works in the light of his biography, such as: Lord Jim: A Prisoner of Illusion? or The Heart of Darkness: At The Limits of Self-Knowledge.

Lectures are complemented by the regular Reading Conrad Meetings. The formula of such meetings consists in the presentation of selected works by the writer by the leading actors of the “WybrzeĹĽe” Theater. Till this date, four such meetings took place. Joseph Conrad Korzeniowski was raised within the system of values of the culture of Polish landed gentry with its particular focus upon the moral aspects of human conduct. Yet, irrespective of the fact that such a cultural legacy marked its presence in Conrad’s writing and contributed to the shaping of his own self, the writer has remained open to others and their own systems of values. Far from usurping the monopoly for truth and reliable knowledge of the world, he was fully aware of its multiculturality and would not limit his vision to the perspective of one nation only. Indeed, his foremost hero is the human, irrespective of his or her nationality, ethnic origin, denomination or race.

Bearing in mind the uniqueness of the writer’s Weltanschauung, the GdaĹ„sk Conradians strive to present their favorite to the public in a broad context, as a result of which they have worked out an educational offer addressing predominantly high-school students, and oriented towards the context of European culture, ethnicity and ethnic minorities, as well as local history.