The aim of this short report is to show the activities and achievements that have been accomplished by the Academia Europaea Knowledge Hub Wrocław. The actions were mainly focused on:
- arranging and co-ordinating scientific conferences, with the participation of members of Academia Europaea,
- participation of Polish members of Academia Europaea and project coordinators in international meetings and conferences in both Poland and abroad.
The most significant activity of the Academia Europaea Knowledge Hub Wrocław is organisation of scientific events. The conferences which we organise are addressed both to experienced researchers and members of AE, and to young researchers (PhD students, young PhD graduates who have already started their academic career). The aim of these conferences is the support of young scholars through sharing and popularizing the newest research results in a wide range of fields.
‘The Wrocław Seminars’ #
‘The Wrocław Seminars’ are an initiative of the Academia Europaea, the University of Wrocław and the Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, established as a three-year project of three international seminars. The whole project has been targeted at mainly young researchers (before the doctorate or right after it) from Central and Eastern Europe. The AE Board will try to transform this initiative into a multiannual program, to develop scientific and research bridges between Western Europe and Central and Eastern Europe.''Central Europe and Colonialism: Migrations, Knowledges, Perspectives, Commodities'', took place in the Institute of Romance Philology of the University of Wrocław between 21-23 September 2016. The circumstance of the Seminar taking place in Wrocław was also an occasion for organising a meeting of the History and Archaeology Section of the Academia Europaea in the same venue on 20 September (with Renate Pieper (Graz) and Aleksandra Nowak (AE Hub Manager) as organisers, and Siegfried Huigen acting as a host). Several participants of this meeting also took part in the Seminar during the subsequent days.
Seven keynote speakers and 27 junior scholars took part in the Seminar. The Seminar was co-ordinated by Pieter Emmer (Leiden) and Siegfried Huigen (Wrocław), assisted by an organising committee consisting of Michael North (Greifswald), Dorota Kołodziejczyk, Aleksandra Nowak (AE Hub Manager) and Katarzyna Majkowska-Kołyszko (AE Project Coordinator). Live streaming of the conference was provided, which is still available on You Tube.
Conference themes were covered in four panels:
- Commodities - examined the exports of manufactures from Central Europe to the New World and the imports of products from the Americas and Asia to Central Europe,
- Knowledges - explored the genesis of various discourses that developed in relationship with the colonial world, to which actors from Central Europe made important contributions, such as geography, social and cultural anthropology, physical anthropology, Oriental studies, (world) history, and thinking on cosmopolitanism and globalism,
- Within Perspectives, insights from (post)colonial studies were applied to the history and culture of Central Europe, with a special focus on ambiguities ensuing from complex situations of dependence and domination,
- Migrations - dealt with both permanent migration from Central Europe to (erstwhile) colonies of the West European powers and Russia, and with temporary labour migration of colonial soldiers, missionaries, technicians, and colonial civil servants.
As a result of the popularity of this trial series, we will develop plans for a new series of seminars that will expand the focus to further topics of relevance to young scholars and that will also provide links into the European Research Council priority activity on ‘Widening Participation’ (to include emerging scholars in Central and Eastern countries). A request for financial support will be submitted by the Board of Trustees of the Academia Europaea to the Riksbankens Jubileumsfond.
A further meeting which is worth mentioning, is Paths Towards Scientific Independence: Young Scientists’ Careers in Europe. This was organised within the COST Targeted Network “Sci-Generation”. The meeting took place on 14 April 2016 and its aim was to present various career paths for young scholars in Europe, their advantages and disadvantages.
ERC Day#ERC Day on 14 November 2016.
The European Research Council (ERC) grants are highly prestigious. They are intended for research which deepens the knowledge about the world and its aim is to support innovative research projects which will lead to disruptive discoveries and conclusions. They are highly competitive across Europe and three Polish scholars managed to obtain them this year. The participants of the ERC Day discussed why it is so difficult to obtain a grant and how to improve the effectiveness of application for grants. Among the participants there were:
- Prof. Jerzy Duszyński, President of the Polish Academy of Sciences,
- Prof. Eva Kondorosi, Chair of the ERC Scientific Council working group on Widening European participation,
- Prof. Michał Karoński, Chairman of the Council of the National Science Centre,
- Prof. Jerzy Langer, Polish Academy of Sciences and
- Prof. Karol Życzkowski, Jagiellonian University.
Moreover, the ERC Day was an occasion to become acquainted with current and planned competitions within ERC programmes, and with regulations and procedures of assessment of applications. For this purpose, Dr Agnes Kulcsar, Call Coordinator ERC and Marta Kowol from the Excellence Department of the Polish Academy of Sciences came to Wrocław. The meeting’s additional value was the presence of the ERC grantee, Dr Alban Kellerbauer from the Heidelberg University, who discussed his experiences connected with obtaining the ERC grant.
The Wrocław Hub actively supports a range of local initiatives; such as summer schools, conferences and debates. In terms of merit (through inviting the AE members to participate) and promotion (through mailing and newsletters), the Hub supported:
- “With the View on the Horizon 2020” debate – 8 April 2016
- “Wrocław and Lower Silesia vs. Mediterranean Culture” conference organised by the Institute of Romance Philology – 8-9 June 2016
- the fourth summer school within the series Summer School on Democracy: European States towards Migration Crisis – 20-29 June 2016 (lecture of the Harvard University Professor Klaus Zimmermann).
Moreover, the guest lectures of visiting professors are important to the Hub. These lectures are the opportunity to exchange thoughts and experiences between Wrocław scholars and foreign guests.
Their aim is also internationalization of Wrocław’s scientific environment. In 2016 five guest lectures took place.
- In January 2016 we finished the series of lectures Europa Una. The organisers of this series were the Jan Nowak-Jeziorański College of Eastern Europe, the Regional Centre for International Debate, the Institute of Political Science and the Academia Europaea Wrocław Knowledge Hub. Professor Donatella Della Porta from the European University Institute (EUI) gave a lecture on Participation and Deliberation in Civil Society and Public Institutions which focus was on the issues of participatory budgeting and social participation in the time of the crisis of public institutions.
- The effect of cooperation with the Willy Brandt Center of the University of Wrocław was a series of lectures (jointly entitled: Challenges of Contemporary Migrations). The aim of the series is to present various dimensions and challenges of contemporary migrations. The first lecture took part at the beginning of April. Profesor Dagmar Coester-Waltjen presented the law aspects of the subject (Immigration, cultural identity and the applicable law). A month later, Professor Pieter Emmer gave the lecture on historical aspects of the subject (The expansion of Europe and intercontinental migration). Finally, a lecture of Professor Maria Paradiso is planned for the winter. The December lecture will be focused on the discussion on traditional system of social integration/segregation in the light of new trends and new political situation (Mediterranean mobilities: the moral geographies of encounters and daily life).
- In the middle of October, Professor Peter Raspor gave an inaugural lecture for the postgraduate studies on the Brewing Technology of the Wrocław University of Environmental and Life Sciences. This field of studies appeared in Poland for the first time.
The Wrocław Hub actively organises and takes part in internal meetings of Academia Europaea, for example;
- the Regional Meeting of Members of the Academia Europaea which took place in Wrocław on 19 March 2015 and during which the framework agreement for 2015-2016 between AE and the Municipality of Wrocław was signed
- annual conferences of Academia Europaea in Darmstadt (2015) and Cardiff (2016) and
- the meeting of AE Hubs in London on 14 March 2016 and in Barcelona on 21-23 November 2016.
Due to the efforts of Professor Tadeusz Luty (our Hub Academic Director), in June 2016 the Academy of Young Scholars and Artists of the AE Knowledge Hub Wrocław was affiliated. We believe that this affiliation and further co-operation with the academic environment, will have a positive influence on the international recognition of the Academy of Young Scholars and Artists, including recognition among the prominent scholars who are the members of the Academia Europaea, and will bring many opportunities of undertaking joint activities of international character.
- PDF is available here.