Dr Stanley Bill, a comparative literature scholar dealing mostly with Polish works, will this October be launching a new programme in Polish studies at the prestigious University of Cambridge. This programme, available to students as part of the world-famous Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages, is opening thanks to an agreement between four private sponsors including the Foundation for Polish Studies, which will provide 110,000 GBP of funding to the project over the next four years.
The programme will give students of the Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages, and in particular of the Department of Slavonic Studies, the opportunity to study Polish language, literature, art and culture in the broadest sense, covering social, cultural and political issues. Dr Bill will take the position of Lecturer in Polish Studies for a four-year term, which may be extended provided there is sufficient interest from students and funding from sponsors allowing the Polish studies programme to maintain a permanent presence at the university.
“I’m Australian, although recently I’ve mostly been based in Krakow, so in a sense I feel between cultures,” explains Dr Bill. “I hope I will be able to present Polish culture to British students in an interesting way, from the point of view of an outsider with an insight. As well as teaching a year-long course on Polish literature, culture and language, I intend to put together a dynamic programme of diverse events, including meetings with authors, conferences, film showings and initiatives for Poles living in the UK.”
The Foundation regards supporting the establishment of the new Polish studies programme at the University of Cambridge as the first step towards creating an inter-university Polish studies network in the United Kingdom. This is the FNP’s second initiative involving setting up Polish studies departments at top academic institutions abroad. Since 2005 we have been backing the formation of the Polish Studies Department at Columbia University (USA), also due to get underway in the 2014/15 academic year.
Dr Stanley Bill was born in the United Kingdom and grew up in Australia. He earned his BA degree at the University of Western Australia and taught English in Poland for several years, before completing an MA in Central and European Studies at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow. In 2009-10 he held a scholarship at École normale supérieure in Paris. In 2013 he was awarded his PhD at Northwestern University (USA) after defending the thesis titled “Crisis in the Christian Dialectic: Czesław Milosz Reads William Blake and Fyodor Dostoevsky for a Secular Age”.