On Friday, November 16, the Copernicus Program in Polish Studies (CPPS) at the University of Michigan will present “Poland’s Centennial: An Evening of Reflection and Celebration.” The event brings together scholars who will reflect on the significance of the 1918 Polish independence, and the legacy of modern Poland’s founders. A panel discussion will be followed by a brief piano recital.

November 11, 1918 is recognized as the official date of modern Poland’s independence. As World War I ended, the Second Polish Republic was established as an independent state for the first time in 123 years. CPPS Director Geneviève Zubrzycki organized the event, and commented on the importance of this anniversary: “Since Poland regained independence in 1918, the country has endured wars and political oppression, but its people have shown tremendous dedication to rebuild the country, promote education, expand the reach of the arts, and develop science. Perhaps most significantly, through adversity it has built a strong civil society, which a century later is showing its power. We want to recognize the challenges Poland faced then and now, and celebrate its important accomplishments.”

The CPPS celebration will include historian Paul Brykczyński, who will discuss the political turmoil surrounding the election of the first President of the Polish Republic; Benjamin Paloff, who will talk about the significance of the Młoda Polska (Young Poland) literary movement; and Matthew Bengtson, who will bring to life the music of Ignacy Jan Paderewski, pianist and statesman. The discussion will be moderated by Geneviève Zubrzycki, CPPS director and professor of sociology.

Fri, Nov 16, 6-7:30 pm
Poland’s Centennial: An Evening of Reflection and Celebration

1010 Weiser Hall, 500 Church Street, Ann Arbor
Free and open to the public

Contact: Marysia Ostafin / T: 734.764.0351 / E: copernicus@umich.edu / ii.umich.edu/cpps


The Copernicus Program in Polish Studies (CPPS) at the University of Michigan was established in 2014 after 40 years of activity and programs offered by the Nicolaus Copernicus Endowment. To celebrate the 500th anniversary of the great Polish astronomer’s birth, the endowment and a Polish program were launched in 1973 in cooperation with students, faculty, and the Polish Americans of Michigan who contributed generously with their time, energy, and financial assistance. CPPS continues the tradition today by enabling faculty appointments, programming, and student fellowships in Polish studies. It also organizes the Annual Copernicus Lecture—established in 1980—which brings prominent academic, cultural, and political figures to campus to offer the public a deeper understanding of Poland’s people, culture, and history, as well as its growing influence in world academics, arts, and affairs. For more information, visit ii.umich.edu/cpps.  

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