Kolejna "Prelekcja Mistrza" na Wydziale Filologicznym UwB, tym razem po angielsku

Data wydarzenia 17-12-2021

Wydział Filologiczny UwB zaprasza na "Prelekcję Mistrza", którą 17 grudnia 2021 o 9:45 wygłosi Profesor Joel J. Janicki z Uniwersytetu Soochow w Tajpej w Tajwanie. Temat wykładu: KEATS AND KOSCIUSZKO: THE CULTURE OF RADICALISM

Prelekcja w języku angielskim będzie transmitowana na platformie blackboard: https://eu.bbcollab.com/guest

Profesor Joel J. Janicki jest pracownkiem Soochow University, anglistą, slawistą, zajmuje się literaturą polską późnego Oświecenia i XIX wieku.

Tadeusz Kosciuszko (1746-1817), the embodiment of republican virtue and a national hero of Poland, Lithuania, Belarus and the United States, espoused and fought for universal principles of freedom, equality and civic responsibility at the dawn of democracy. He is a genius and representative figure of the age of enlightenment and revolution. A remarkable aspect of his universal appeal is the emergence of a cult of Kosciuszko in the years 1794-1820 in Britain, the country and empire he fought against as an officer and military engineer in the American Revolutionary War.

The first poems inspired by Kosciuszko among British poets arose in the 1790s amidst an atmosphere of widespread anxiety and tension engulfing England and the European continent caused by the revolutionary events unfolding in France. The French Revolution undermined the long established authority of church and crown and elicited a strong reaction socially, politically and militarily in the conservative European monarchies in Vienna, St. Petersburg and London. Revolutionary fervor in enlightened English society gave rise to radical clubs and organizations seeking political and social reform. Their activities were largely met with a heavy-handed government response resulting in the arrest of leaders, followed by trials, convictions and imprisonment or exile.

The present undertaking attempts to take a closer look at one of these poems, the sonnet “To Kosciuszko” by John Keats (1795-1821), written in December 1816. The sonnet is an early work of Keats that appeared in the first published volume of his poetic works, Poems, which made its way into print in March 1817 when the English poet was just 21.

The study centers on Kosciuszko’s appeal for Keats as a poetic figure and on the particular influences on Keats that helped forge a culture of radicalism in a staunchly conservative society and shape a poetic sensibility and a political and moral outlook that created in the young Englishman an affinity for Kosciuszko and the values he embodied.  Specifically, Keats’s creative relationships with three somewhat older male contemporary figures, all close compatriots of his, are examined: Keats’s mentor, Charles Cowden Clarke (1787-1877), the critic and publisher, Leigh Hunt (1784-1859) and the essayist and critic, William Hazlitt (1778-1830).