Loyola University Chicago

Polish Studies

Conferences & Lectures


We congragulate the winners of the 2024 "East Central Europe between East and West Realism and Fantasy" FORUM! The first place winner is Shannon Artman, and tied for second place are Zuzanna Wojtasik and Charles Chengary. 


Professor Merchant's class enjoyed Professor Romanowski's lecture From left: John Merchant, Bozena McLees, Piotr Romanowski, and Victoria Granacki


To register and learn more about this FREE EVENT please follow this link!

Presented in partnership with the Polish American Historical Association and the Polish Museum of America, join us for an exciting symposium delving into Chicago’s Polish history!


The Koscuiszko Foundation scholar Dr. Maciej Olchawa organized a panel to discuss the outcome of the Russo-Ukrainian war, and how it will shape the security of all of Europe, and if the Kremlin succeeds in its genocidal war to subjugate the Ukrainian nation, Poland may be next. This concern is not new for Poland, and the roots of its ongoing support for Ukraine may be traced back to the concepts of prometheism and 20th-century Polish attempts at mobilizing nationalism against Moscow in the Soviet borderlands. What was prometheism, and how does it continue to shape Poland’s foreign policy? How was this doctrine pursued by Polish and Ukrainian émigrés during the Cold War? How does Putin’s regime react to efforts at mobilizing nationalism in post-Soviet states? Please join us as we address these questions during the webinar “Prometheism and Power: Mobilizing Nationalism to Confront the Russian Empire.”


The spring semester public lecture took place at the Ukranian Institute of Modern ARt located in the Ukranian Village. The Ukranian and Polish members of the audience were very genaged in the question and answer session with the presenter.


The Polish Studies Program introduces a new initiatve designed in collaboration with The Kosciuszko Foundation, where generous donors established in 2022 a fund to bring to Loyola scholars in varies disciplines. Our first Kosciuszko Foundation Scholar is Dr. Maciej Olchawa, who will teach a course about Polish, Ukranian, and Russian relations in the Department of Political Science. We are pleased to sponsor his inaugural public lecture at the Polish Museum of America. 


In-Class Guest Speakers

Professor John Merchant host speakers in his Polish American Literature classes. Click on the hyperlinked texts to be redirected to the lecture on Panopto.

Live conversation with Polish film director Ms. Agnieszka Holland

with Zbigniew Banaś, Małgorzata Pośpiech and Bożena Nowicka McLees

Polish Films and Discussion on "Corpus Christi"

Film discussion with Professor Zbigniew Banaś, LUC Polish Studies Instructor of Polish and European Cinema 



The Pucinski Conference has been featured in Dziennik Zwiazkowy, a Polish newspaper.

Please click here to read it!





Polish American Historical Association 75th Anniversary Conference

September 7-9, 2018

Members of Polish American Historical Association

On September 7-9, Loyola University Chicago hosted a conference to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the founding of the Polish American Historical Society (PAHA) - an institution whose mission is to research and promote the history and culture of the Polish Diaspora and Polonia. Participants in the conference included historians, sociologists and other researchers from both the United States and Poland, who presented lectures on topics ranging from research on the history of Polonia and immigration to achievements and challenges PAHA faces for the future.

PAHA Panel: Quo Vadis Polish American Studies

In addition to lectures and discussion panels, the conference’s participants had the opportunity to visit Loyola University’s Lake Shore Campus, watch the film The Fourth Partition and visit historically significant landmarks for Polonia in Chicago. 

The conference was organized in partnership with the Senate of the Republic of Poland, the Polish Academy of Learning, and the Institute of American Studies and Polish Diaspora at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow. Representatives of many Polish and American institutions and organizations including the Chicago Polish Museum, the Museum of Polish History in Warsaw, the Chicago History Museum, the Immigration Museum in Gdansk and the Józef Piłsudski Institute in New York also participated in the event.

PAHA Panel: Polish American History Museums

Half of the conference participants were researchers from Poland, which demonstrates the growing interest in the history of Polonia and the Polish diaspora in Poland.  

Professor Dominik Pacyga

Dr. Dominik Pacyga, an American historian of Polonia, summed up the significance of the conference saying “PAHA is a very important organization. Polonia needs to know their history to understand their present. For 75 years, the organization has been helping researchers who study the history of Polonia reach an American academic audience.

Professor Anna Mazurkiewicz, PAHA President

PAHA can boast of many achievements, and the organization, thanks to an influx of new members, especially young researchers from Poland, has a bright future ahead. New and fresh ideas come with young people. I am sure that PAHA will continue to develop dynamically, and in 25 years will be celebrating its 100th anniversary”‌

Bozena Nowcka McLees and Dean Fr. Thomas Reagan

The director of the Polish Studies Program at Loyola University Chicago, Bożena Nowicka McLees, highlighted that “In recent years, the organization has been able to consolidate studies devoted to the diaspora, and especially to Polonia in America, to attract a larger group of researchers from Poland and bring together their research with the work of researchers studying Polonia in the United States. For decades these two groups were separate, but over the last twenty years, the situation has changed radically. This change can be seen at PAHA’s anniversary conference - half of its presenters came from Poland. Thanks to this, there is an authentic exchange of opinions, research and observations, which is very valuable from an academic point of view.”

Quotes for this summary were taken from an article published in Polish by Dziennik Zwiazkowy on September 18, 2018.

Access the program here 

The Lira Ensemble concert in the evening of the conference


Tour of Polish Chicago for conference guests



Loyola Celebrates 10 Years of the Polish Studies Program

Professor Bozena Nowicka McLees and Vice Consul Piotr Semeniuk

Anthony Bukoski Visits Loyola

November 10th & 11th, 2017

Yuriy Serebryansky Visits Loyola

September 20th, 2017



Film screening of Jan Karski and the Lords of Humanity and Panel

April 8

Slawomir Grunberg’s documentary “Karski and the Lords of Humanity” presents an engaging, multifaceted portrait of the legendary Polish resistance fighter who tirelessly tried to open the eyes of the world to the atrocities perpetrated by the Nazis during World War II.  Grunberg deftly combines documentary footage of a Karski’s recollection of the events with other interviews, old photographs, and even animated sequences to create a cohesive and persuasive account of how the leaders of the most powerful nations chose to remain deaf to his pleas for an urgent intervention.  The nature of this documentary forcefully emphasizes the contrast between Karski’s selfless efforts and the indifference of those who were in a position to affect meaningful change.

Slawomir Greenburg, Tom Wood, Bozena Nowicka McLees, and Zbigniew Banas.


Film screening of The Fourth Partition and discussion with director

November 11

Chicago Catholic Immigrants Conference:
The Poles Program

CCIC The Poles Poster

November 13-14, 2015


When Do Reconciliation and Cooperation Matter?

November 18, 2015

 Past Events

Film Discussion with Marek Probosz ‌and Zbigniew Banas, photo by Bożena Nowicka McLees



April 15th

 Ida Film Screening and Discussion with Zbigniew Banas

March 19th

 Śmierć Rotmistrza Pileckiego The Death of Captain Pilecki with guest actor Marek Probosz

September 19-20th

 Jan Karski Conference



November 13th

 Film Screening and Discussion with Bożena Garus-Hockuba

November 12th

 Modern Language & Literatures Language Fair, Fall 2013



April 13th

 John Merchant Lecture - "Polish-American Poetry: Reading Between the Lines"

November 27th

 Anna Ferens documentary filmmaker Anna Ferens Film Screening "Co mogą martwi jeńcy/What Can Dead Prisoners Do"

October 29th


September 22nd

John Merchant Inaugural Lecture



April 21st and 22nd

Polish Language Certification Exam

April 18th

Polish Studies Scholarships and Awards Ceremony with Polish Student Alliance and Loyola's Polish American Alumni Network 

April 12th

Undergraduate Student FORUM Competition of Undergraduates Students' Papers on Central and Eastern Europe

March 24th

Plocieniak Polish Language Fluency Exam (for upcoming seniors)

March 22nd

Lecture on Jewish Culture in Poland

March 1st

4 Polish American Poets Reading Poetry



April 19th

 FORUM - Competition of Undergraduates Students' Papers on Central and Eastern Europe

April 12th

Polish Resistance AK Foundation Lecture

April 2nd

Plocieniak Scholarship Polish Language Exam

February 22nd

Shana Penn Lecture: Women in the SOLIDARITY Movement

November 17th

An Evening of Poetry and Music with Adam Zagajewski and Sarah Rothenberg

November 7th

Polish film screening and discussion with director Magdalena Lazarkiewicz



April 28th

Poland and its Performative Democracy

November 12th - 13th

CHOPIN & PADEREWSKI 2010 International Conference

September 27th

The Polish Resistance (AK) Foundation Endowed Scholarship



February 16th

Poetry with Teeth Lecture by Ewa Chruściel, Ph.D.