President’s Column: Gdansk Conference Update

Spring has arrived in Gdańsk and that means it’s less than two months until the participants in the Seventeenth International Conference for Literary Journalism Studies (IALJS -17) will be arriving too.

Conference organizers are putting the finishing touches on a full program which promises to be a worthy successor to our successful meetings in Santiago (2022) and Copenhagen (2021).

Program highlights include panels on Polish themes such as the global legacy of  Ryszard Kapuściński and the representation of WWII in twenty-first century Polish reportage. 

This year’s Keynote Speech will be delivered by one of Europe’s most renowned and widely translated journalists, Mariusz Szczygieł. Mr. Szczygieł, who was named 2013 “Journalist of the Year” in Poland and whose book Gottland was the winner of the 2009 European Book Prize, will deliver a talk titled, “Let the facts dance: Polish literary reportage.”

The program will also reflect the ever-growing shelf of scholarly titles our members are producing. John Bak and Bill Reynolds will chair a session on their recently published edited volume, The Routledge Companion to World Literary Journalism. And, in recognition of the very first book series dedicated to our field, series editors Matthew Ricketson, Sue Joseph, and Willa McDonald will talk about Palgrave Studies in Literary Journalism and introduce presentations by the authors of the first three volumes to be published. 

Those attending the conference can also look forward to panels and papers on environment, pedagogy, comics, as well as the conference theme, “Literary Journalism and a Sense of Place,” and much more. 

Conference host Jan Miklas-Frankowski has assembled a full slate of hotels, which will appeal to a variety of tastes — from accommodations close to the conference site at the University of Gdańsk to options in the heart of the Old City and others near the beach. He’s managed to secure discount rates for conference participants, so don’t forget to mention IALJS when making your arrangements! For the full list, see “Hotel Information” on the IALJS website. 

And Jan says, he’s excited that we’re coming to his part of the world:

 “Gdańsk is not only a beautiful city wonderfully located between sandy beaches and hills covered by forests, it also has a fascinating history, reaching back more than 1000 years. Gdańsk is also the birthplace of the Solidarity movement.

“The actual site of the conference, Oliwa is today part of Gdańsk, but 100 years ago it was an independent city and had been for 800 years.

“So, if you have time, be sure to visit the Old City in Gdąńsk and the eighteenth-century Sopot resort. But don’t neglect to explore the old buildings, cobbled streets, the cathedral, park and Abbott’s palace in Oliwa.”

“I also recommend climbing to the observation  tower on Pachołek Hill  from which you will see a wonderful panorama of Gdańsk. From there, you will understand why the famous German philosopher and traveler Alexander von Humboldt named Oliva one of the most beautiful places in the world.

“Oliwa is my place in the world — my family has been living here for three generations. 

I can’t wait to see all of you in my Oliwa!”

Students who will be attending the conference to deliver papers are encouraged to apply for the IALJS Student Travel Fund Award. For full details, please see the Conference Updates page of the IALJS website.

Finally, everyone taking part in IALJS-17 is reminded that conference registration and association membership fees are due. Payments can be made through the IALJS website.

Watch for the full conference program in the coming weeks.

Rob Alexander

Previous Post

Next Post