6 March 2024

Event series ‘Ukrainian-Jewish Perspectives’

Spirited Borderlands: Bruno Schulz and the Polish-Jewish-Ukrainian literary legacy



Wed, 6 Mar 2024 18:00 – 20:00 GMT

Speakers: Stanley Bill, Vira Tsypuk

Chair: Uilleam Blacker

Face-to-face event: UCL School for Slavonic and Eastern European Studies

Masaryk room

16 Taviton Street London WC1H

Institute for Polish-Jewish Studies, UCL Institute for Jewish Studies


Bruno Schulz is one of Europe’s greatest modernist prose writers, but he is also a cultural figure deeply embedded in the cultural context from which he emerged. He lived almost his entire life in Drohobych, a small town that is today in western Ukraine but was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire when Schulz was born and in Poland when he became a writer. The city and the region were defined by their multicultural society, made up of Ukrainians, Poles and Jews. Schulz is, today, celebrated as a Polish writer, a Jewish writer, or as a writer native to Ukraine; sometimes, these categories overlap, and can be the basis of intercultural dialogue; at others, they come into conflict with one another. Prof. Stanley Bill and Dr Vira Tsupyk will join Dr Uilleam Blacker to discuss Schulz’s origins in the multicultural context of Galicia and the complex ways in which he is viewed in Poland, Ukraine and beyond. The event will also celebrate the publication of Stanley Bill’s recent translations of Schulz, Nocturnal Apparitions, published with Pushkin Press.


Stanley Bill is Professor of Polish Studies at the University of Cambridge. He works on twentieth-century Polish literature and culture, and on contemporary political discourse in Poland. He is the author of Czesław Miłosz’s Faith in the Flesh: Body, Belief, and Human Identity (Oxford University Press, 2021) and co-editor of The Routledge World Companion to Polish Literature (2021) and Multicultural Commonwealth: Poland-Lithuania and Its Afterlives (2023). He has published translations of Czesław Miłosz’s novel The Mountains of Parnassus (Yale University Press, 2017) and a selection of short stories by Bruno Schulz entitled Nocturnal Apparitions: Essential Stories (Pushkin Press, 2022). He is also founder and editor-at-large of the news and opinion website Notes from Poland.

Dr Vira Tsypuk is British Academy Research Fellow at The Courtauld Institute of Art. She works on Ukrainian-British cultural relations in the late nineteenth – first half of the twentieth centuries. She is researcher in history (art history) and sociology, art curator. She is the author of the project and curator of a permanent exhibition in the Drohobych Museum “Bruno Schulz and his city”.

Moderated by Dr Uilleam Blacker.

The event is co-organised by UCL SSEES Centre for the Study of Central Europe, the UCL Institute of Jewish Studies and the Institute for Polish-Jewish Studies.


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