Performing Arts Assistant Professor Magda Romanska recently won the 2011 Aquila Polonica Prize for her 2009 Theatre Survey article “Between History and Memory: Auschwitz in Akropolis, Akropolis in Auschwitz.” The article is about Polish director Jerzy Grotowski’s film adaptation of playwright Stanisław Wyspiański’s 1904 play Akropolis. The award was announced during the Polish Studies Association meeting at the National Convention of the Association for Slavic, Eurasian, and East European Studies.
Selected by a three-person committee with one representative each from the social sciences, literature/culture, and history, the award is given to the author of the best article written in English during the previous two years on any aspect of Polish studies.
According to the award committee: “[Romanska’s] article succeeds taking a relatively difficult and opaque subject, Grotowski’s 1962 re-staging of Wyspiański’s Akropolis against the background of Auschwitz, both accessible and rewarding for readers who are not specialists in Polish theatre. While Romanska’s analysis remains grounded in theatre, and her conclusion is ultimately about theatrical production, she raises many questions about history, memory, and national mythology that most readers will want to learn more about. What is particularly impressive is the scope of the article, which ranges over the entire twentieth century. [..] Romanska’s work makes a convincing argument that we need to be paying more attention to theatre in Poland.”
The award carries a $500 honorarium donated by Aquila Polonica Publishing.