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Conference: 1968 in Poland and Czechoslovakia in Comparison
August 31, 2018 - September 1, 2018
The year 1968 was a momentous one in many spots on the globe, perhaps no more so than in Poland and Czechoslovakia. With a few exceptions, however, 1968 and its aftermath in these two countries largely have been studied in isolation from each other. This conference seeks to compare each “1968” while exploring transnational linkages that connected events, people, cultural expressions, and processes in Poland, Czechoslovakia, and beyond. Our goal is to explore a number of themes, including but not limited to Jewish history, the history of emigration, and the intertwining of performance, the arts, and politics.
The conference will also include public conversations with Communist-era dissident turned editor-in-chief of Gazeta Wyborcza Adam Michnik and celebrated scholar of Jewish life in Communist Czechoslovakia and 1968 émigré Alena Heitlinger. The first day will also include a screening of “Dworzec Gdański”, named after the train station from which many Polish Jews departed the country amidst the anti-Semitic campaigns of 1968. The conference will conclude with a cabaret performance in Person Recital Hall about the family, memory, and 1968 entitled “Rendezvous in Bratislava.” All events associated with the conference are free and open to the public.