H/Story. Ph.D. student research circle and research group at the Institute of English Cultures and Literatures University of Silesia

H/Story https://knhstory.wordpress.com/

  1. Who are we?

There is no history, without a story. With this premise in mind, back in 2013 we decided to set up a group whose meeting ground would be the field of history overlapping with literary studies. Since then, having organized three successful international conferences and numerous meetings and workshops, we have grown into a circle of young (and young in spirit) scholars whose research interests revolve around, broadly speaking, the issues lying at the intersection of these two areas, with occasional incursions into historiography, literary history and theory, cultural studies, psychology, sociology, but also biology and medicine. What connects us, then, are the interests in the ways in which history is narrated, disseminated, gendered, en- and decrypted, re-worked and re-used (as well as abused), and in the ways in which narratives of history can be treated and analysed as literary texts. Put simply, we believe that history is full of good stories and that their meanings not only lie at the heart of various identities and cultures, but can also benefit from being juxtaposed with other areas of research.

  1. What is the format and idea of our meetings?
    As H/Story we typically organize several meetings/workshops in each term of an academic year. They are very broadly, although not exclusively, devoted to the issues mentioned above. One of the overarching ideas with which we hope to invite younger researchers (including undergraduate students) goes under the title of “History Goes Pop: Deal with It”. Within this scheme, in 2016 we listened to and discussed presentations devoted to such varied themes as pseudo-histories in the novels of H. P. Lovecraft, the uses and abuses of history in video games, and the Vietnam War as reflected in American film comedy. The presentations are typically given by both undergraduate and post-graduate students.

In 2017/2018 we will also organize film screenings related to our fields of interest, preceded by introductions and followed by discussions.

We also organize full-blown, international academic conferences attended by scholars from various disciplines and from all over the globe.

Our meetings are typically, though not exclusively, held in English.

  1. Our research: what have we organized and published so far (aside from our meetings)?

Since the inception of the circle in 2013, we have organized three large, international, academic conferences:

“Cryptohistory / Kryptohistoria” (22-23 Nov. 2013) 

“HistoRISUS. Histories of Laughter / HistoRISUS. Śmiech w historii” (21-22 Nov. 2014)

"CorpUS HistoricUS. The Body in/of History” (30 June – 1 July 2017)

You are welcome to visit their websites and read through their programmes.

So far we have also published four books (beginning with the most recent):

Rafał Borysławski, Justyna Jajszczok, Jakub Wolff, Alicja Bemben eds., Histories of Laughter and Laughter in History. HistoRisus (Newcastle Upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2016), pp. 1-245.
Rafał Borysławski, Justyna Jajszczok, Jakub Wolff, Alicja Bemben red., HistoRisus. Historie śmiechu / śmiech [w] historii (Katowice: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Śląskiego, 2016),  pp. 1-188

Alicja Bemben, Rafał Borysławski, Justyna Jajszczok, Jakub Gajda eds., Cryptohistories (Newcastle Upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2015), pp. 1-165

Rafał Borysławski, Alicja Bemben, Justyna Jajszczok, Jakub Gajda red., Kryptohistorie. Ukryte i utajone dyskursy historii (Katowice: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Śląskiego, 2014), pp. 1-192.


  1. What are our plans for the nearest future?

In 2017/2018 we are going to hold more “History Goes Pop: Deal with It” sessions. Without disclosing too much, let us say that some of the initial meetings will be devoted to war and disfiguration in history and art, and to histories of food.

In 2017/2018 we are also planning to hold screenings of films which use and abuse history preceded by introductions and followed by discussions.

We are taking part in Śląski Festiwal Nauki (Silesian Festival of Science) which will be held on 1-2 December  2017 in MCK Katowice.

In 2018 we are planning to organize another international conference under the working title of “Emotions: Engines of History.”

We are also in the preliminary stages of our editorial work on a new book of scholarly papers devoted to the idea of the body in/of history. The book (or two) should be published in the autumn of 2018.

Our meetings will be advertised on our facebook profile, on the website of the Institute of English Cultures and Literatures and as flyers and posters in the Neophilology building in Sosnowiec (ul. Grota-Roweckiego 5). This is also the venue where the meetings are held.

  1. Who can co-operate with us?

Anyone who is willing to share with a wider audience their research interests, or, simply, their passions related to the fields of enquiry listed above is welcome to join us and to join our sessions. We most heartily invite also those students who, the way we do, think that the (historical) truth can be stranger than (literary) fiction.

  1. How to contact us and who are our members?

Please, feel free to contact any of us via email or simply approach us during our office hours:

Nina Augustynowicz, M.A.
Alicja Bemben, M.A.
Rafał Borysławski, Ph.D., D.Litt, (academic supervisor)
Marta Gorgula, M.A.
Justyna Jajszczok, Ph.D.
Agnieszka Podruczna, M.A.
Aleksandra Musiał, M.A.
Patrycja Sokołowska, M.A. (the chairwoman of the circle)

Alternatively, you may contact us via our H/Story email address:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Also, please visit our website https://knhstory.wordpress.com/.

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Wydział Filologiczny Uniwersytetu Śląskiego
ul. Gen. S. Grota-Roweckiego 5
41-205 Sosnowiec