2015: Muses, Mistresses and Mates. Creative Collaborations in Literature, Art and Life. Edited by Izabella Penier and Anna Suwalska-Kołecka. Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
The publication was inspired by Stefan and Franciszka Themerson, Polish intellectuals and avant-
garde artists, whose collaborative and ambitious ventures serve as a paragon of a long-standing and mutually enriching partnership. The authors examine intellectual (and sometimes) erotic currents flowing between the Muse and the man or woman she inspired, and often dissect mythologies that have so far surrounded this relationship and offer a corrective view of widely circulated biographies. As such, the essays collected in this volume prove that, in many cases, these fascinating women lived not only in the shadow of their partners, but also cultural stereotypes.
2016: Art, Ethics and Provocation (Dis/Continuities – Vol. 14). Edited by Izabella Penier and Anna Suwalska-Kołecka. Peter Lang – International Academic Publishers.
The main purpose of this volume is to look into a wide spectrum of artistic ventures which cross
boundaries and challenge habitual thinking, consequently involving an element of provocation. While it is true that not all great art is provocative, the most memorable artefacts are these which have confounded our aesthetic expectations or stirred our moral imagination. However, with increasingly shocking artistic gestures of provocation, the question arises if there are any limits to artistic freedom. The essays collected in this book offer a truly interdisciplinary perspective and deal with creative acts of transgression from a broad range of fields: literature, theatre, visual art, film, anthropology, and others.
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2017: Dimensions of Violence (Special chapter in the scholarly journal SEJ: Society. Education. Language Vol. 5). The Publishing House of the State University of Applied Sciences in Płock.
The articles contained in this volume are dedicated to violence and aggression in two complementary worlds: the sacred and the profane. The former refers to the terrain of artistic expression, whereas the latter is the realm of our commonplace and material existence. For Stefan Themerson aggression was also an important topic, but he was first and foremost interested in the moral and ethical dimension of violence. In his philosophical essays he claimed rather provocatively that gentleness is an inborn human quality, whereas aggression is a cultural overgrowth. Not only political systems (the profane), but also culture and religious systems (the sacred) create mechanisms that condone and justify violence. Our civilization has made us forget, as Themerson argued, what our moral priority should be – the decency of means, which is more often than not sacrificed in the name of decency of aims. Drawing our inspiration from Themerson’s philosophical and moral reflections, we invited researchers representing different disciplines to contribute to the discussion on aggression in the contemporary world in order to fathom the role violence plays in our everyday, spiritual and creative lives.
2018: In Exile (Special chapter in the scholarly journal SEJ: Society. Education. Language Vol. 7). The Publishing House of the State University of Applied Sciences in Płock.
The publication focuses on literature, art and thought created by exiles – historic and contemporary writers, artists and intellectuals moving across borders in multiple directions for reasons ranging from fear for their lives to a self-imposed condition. The artists’ experiences are as varied as their reasons for abandoning their homelands and insisting on staying away from them. For some emigration acted as a catalyst for their creative powers that were released from the cage of their compatriots’ habits and expectations while for others it was a cause of solitude and an acute sense of alienation. Living in exile implies not only living “someplace else” but also facing the cultural and linguistic challenges of an alien environment, which inevitably alters the artists and their works, as well as affecting the societies and cultures of the host countries. The diaspora experience and the ensuing condition of estrangement promote acute perceptions and more incisive inquiries into the habits and prejudices that form the identity of both the artist’s native country and their new homeland. The concept of exile can also be viewed as an existential or psychological condition. It is, according to Theodor Adorno, a refugee from Nazi Germany, a distance from the “administered world” of modernity that has gone awry, leading to mass destruction and mass society.
2018: Word. (Special chapter in the scholarly journal SEJ: Society. Education. Language Vol. 8). The Publishing House of the State University of Applied Sciences in Płock.
The articles contained in this volume analyse in an interdisciplinary perspective the complex
phenomenon of WORDS that can be perceived as both seductively fascinating and overly threatening. The agency and potency of words allows authors to actualize their creative, artistic intentions by constructing immersive, fictional worlds, exploring the potential of language to express what seems to be inexpressible or inconceivable as well as making us aware of the implications of the constraints inherent in interpersonal communication. However, what raises understandable suspicion is employing WORDS as the tools of social or political manipulation to exert influence or propagate ideologies.