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JU honours eminent Polish studies scholar from Romania

JU honours eminent Polish studies scholar from Romania

On 23 May 2022 at a special session of the JU senate Prof. Constantin Geambaşu was awarded with the honorary doctorate of the Jagiellonian University for his outstanding contribution to Polish literature studies, impressive achievements as a translator of Polish literature into Romanian, and fruitful work in the area of teaching and promoting Polish language and culture.

The Jagiellonian University Senate decided to award Prof. Constantin Geambaşu with doctorate honoris causa following the motion put forward by the JU Faculty of Polish Studies.

In the laudatory address, Prof. Magdalena Popiel from the JU Chair in Anthropology of Literature and Cultural Studies stressed that the interest in Polish Studies as an academic discipline is not limited to Poland, but can be found all over the world, and its development often results from biographical and historical coincidence. It is thanks to Prof. Constantin Geambaşu that a centre of studies into Polish language, literature and culture has flourished in Bucharest, in a country without strong Polish cultural influence.

Prof. Magdalena Popiel pointed out that Prof. Geambaşu’s long-time work in the field of research, translation, and edition led to a substantial increase in the knowledge of Polish culture and language in Romania. One of his most notable achievements has been the translation of Czesław Miłosz’s Zniewolony Umysł (The Captive Mind) into Romanian, whose publication had a profound impact on Romanian intellectual circles. Prof. Popiel also pointed to Prof. Geambaşu's very active and fruitful collaboration with Polish academics from the Jagiellonian University and other Polish institutions of higher education and research.

Expressing his gratitude for the title, Constantin Geambaşu also referred to Czesław Miłosz, remarking that he considers discovering The Captive Mind an eye-opening moment, which made him understand how the totalitarian system worked and how a large part of intelligentsia had to adapt to such circumstances. He also referred to the years 1999-2004, when his ties with Kraków had strengthened as he taught Romanian language and literature at the Jagiellonian University. Prof. Geambaşu considers this period very important for his research interests and career.

Prof. Constantin Geambaşu is an eminent comparatist, historian of Polish literature, translator, and an ambassador of Polish culture in Romania. As a long-time director of the Institute of Slavonic Studies and the Department of Polish Literature he initiated a number of new courses devoted to literary and cultural comparative studies. He has authored over 150 papers on Polish literature and translated more than 80 Polish books into Romanian.

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