Transatlantic Symposium in Corvallis, Oregon

The main goal of the whole trip was, obviously, the conference. The topic of the 14th Transatlantic Symposium was “The Politics and Culture of Resilience: Adapting to a Changing Environment.” The conference took place in one of the Oregon State University facilities, in the Asian & Pacific Cultural Center. The papers were divided into five panels: Resilience against Oppression, Nationalism and Resilience, Resilience in Identity, Community Resilience, and Cultural Resilience in Education. In the first panel students touched upon various aspects and fields where resilience plays crucial role and very often is a very problematic issue. A wide range of topics covered issues such as schizophrenia and Christianity. There, ASC student Agata Klichowska, delivered her speech entitled “The Power to Make Live and Let Die: Eugenics Movement and Resilience,” where she made some cogent points about the eugenics movement. The next panelists explored the issue of nationality, and our Polish group representative, Julian Horodyski, presented resilience as encountered from the Indian perspective, which he described in a very persuasive manner in his “Indian vs. Postindian: Some Reflections on Gerald Vizenor’s Discussion of ‘Manifest Manners’ and ‘Survivance’” paper. The third panel was disproportionally Polish, where two thirds of the presentations delivered in it were our students’. Natalia Ogórek explored personal and communal resilience, focusing on individual path towards overcoming trauma, and as an example she used the Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close movie. The next panelist, Aleksandra Barciszewska, analyzed American TV series True Blood in the context of resilience, arguing that vampires in the show are an allegory for LGBTQ groups. The last panel was dedicated to education, closely examining African American, first-generation, and Indigenous students. Overall, the conference was an amazing opportunity to see how broad the subject of resilience is. All presentations were enormously informative, and changed our perception of many issues. Having panelists from the United States, Germany, Poland, but also from Egypt, Nepal, Pakistan, or Sweden, enabled us to really tackle some problematic issues and to open our eyes (and ears) to differing opinions and perspectives.

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