Doctoral Candidates from Jagiellonian University
Ewa Drygalska and Joanna Kulpinska, both Ph.D. students at Jagiellonian University’s Institute of American Studies and Polish Diaspora in Krakow, Poland, are visiting Dickinson this spring as guest researchers. Ewa and Joanna represent the a special agreement between Dickinson and Jagiellonian University which has brought students from Poland to our campus since Fall 2007. The program is supported through the generosity of Erik and Helen Nelson and the Copernicus Society of America.
The focus of Ewa’s research is depiction of race in film. Prior to beginning her Ph.D. program, Ewa earned a Bachelor’s degree in American Studies, a Master’s degree in Film Studies, and a Master’s degree in Latin American Studies from Jagiellonian University. Part of her interest in coming to the US to continue her research is based on the depiction of African Americans on television shows such as The Wire, a drama series set in Baltimore.
Joanna’s research centers on Polish migration to United States, specifically from a village called Babica in southern Poland. Her research includes both general mechanisms of migration, as well as more particular issues concerning the lives of migrants and their families and the importance of migration for the life of the community from which an emigrant derives. Joanna’s research reflects her specialization in Ethnic and International Migrations Studies within Cultural Studies, which was her major field at the Bachelor and Master’s level at Jagiellonian University.
Although Dickinson does not offer doctorate degrees, candidates from Poland pursue this exchange program in order to utilize Dickinson’s well-resourced library and to benefit from our dedicated and accessible faculty. Guest researchers also use resources in the community and the region, such as the US Army War College library and special collections in regional cities like Washington, DC. This semester represents the fifth year Dickinson has hosted one or more students from Jagiellonian, Poland’s oldest university, founded in 1364.
Dickinson’s unique relationship with the Institute of American Studies and Polish Diaspora at Jagiellonian University was initiated through the efforts and generosity of Erik and Helen Nelson, whose son John graduated from Dickinson in 2005. The Nelsons have sought to create unique and innovative ways to bring the Dickinson community closer to Poland, and the visiting researcher program is one such effort. Each spring, academic year students from the Dickinson programs in Bologna, Italy and Bremen, Germany also benefit from a week-long study tour in Krakow and Warsaw supported by the Nelsons. These excursions engage students in lectures on Polish history and contemporary society while incorporating academic site visits to many locations including the Royal Castle in Warsaw as well as the US Embassy.