The Conrad Festival, the annual Krakow, Poland-based literary event directed for the last 10 years by Michał Paweł Markowski, the Stefan and Lucy Hejna Family Chair in Polish Language and Literature at UIC, took place Oct. 22-28. This year’s edition of the event, which is considered among the top international literary festivals, will “ask critical questions related to ‘pop,’ which is considered the core of our current cultural and political experiences.”
In addition to his role as event director, Markowski will be heavily involved in the proceedings as a panelist (about the role of elites); a host (with Jan-Werner Mueller about populism); a teacher (a guest class for high schoolers about a novel by a Romanian author); a film critic (introducing a film by a Romanian director), and the chairman of two juries: for the Conrad Award for the best literary debut in Poland in the previous year and for the Prix de l’Ambassade de Luxembourg for the best essay about European Union.
Walter Podrazik, UIC adjunct lecturer in communication, was a featured participant in Nixon Debates Kennedy 1960, a participatory reenactment of the first televised presidential debate hosted by Illinois Humanities and The Arts Club of Chicago. Podrazik joined artist Jesse Malmed, journalist Laura Washington, and former chair of the Federal Communications Commission Newton N. Minow to deliver commentary that underscored the significance of this televisual, journalistic, and political moment.