Dr. Krzysztof Majer specializes in North American literature, particularly contemporary Canadian prose. His scholarly interests include intermediality (especially the representation of musical forms in fiction), diasporic cultures in Canada (particularly the Jewish and the Arab diaspora), as well as adaptation, parody and translation studies. He is the editor of the world’s first monograph on the fiction of Rawi Hage, Beirut to Carnival City: Reading Rawi Hage (Brill, 2019), as well as the co-editor of Kanade, di Goldene Medine? Perspectives on Canadian-Jewish Literature and Culture / Perspectives sur la littérature et la culture juives canadiennes (Brill, 2018; with Justyna Fruzińska, Józef Kwaterko and Norman Ravvin) and Tools of Their Tools. Communications Technologies and American Cultural Practice (CSP, 2009; with Grzegorz Kość). He has also published on Mordecai Richler (including a contribution to the Richler issue of Canadian Literature, University of British Columbia, 2010), Vladimir Nabokov, Steven Millhauser, Patrick deWitt, Jack Kerouac, Mark Anthony Jarman, Thomas Bernhard, as well as on the films of François Girard and the Coen Brothers. He has also published interviews with Canadian writers such as Bill Gaston, Rawi Hage or Sherry Simon. Since 2014, he has collaborated with the journal Canadian Literature as reviewer of scholarly and literary publications. Since 2007 he has been a member of the Polish Association for Canadian Studies. Currently, he is preparing his postdoctoral dissertation on musico-literary intermediality in contemporary English-language prose.
Over the years, Dr. Majer has delivered a number of guest lectures. In 2011 he was a visiting scholar at the Institute of Canadian Jewish Studies, Concordia University, Montreal. He was also invited by, among others, the American Studies Center at the University of Warsaw (2015), the Adam Mickiewicz University’s Kalisz branch (2019), and the State Professional College of Higher Education in Konin (2014, 2017). He has also participated in several teaching exchanges as part of the Erasmus program, e.g. at universities in Antwerp, Szeged, Turku, Izmir and Giessen.
Krzysztof Majer also works as a translator of literature. He is a recipient of two Literatura na Świecie awards: for the translation of Allen Ginsberg’s Letters (2015) and Michael Herr’s Dispatches (2017). For the latter he was also nominated to the Gdynia Literary Prize and the Tadeusz Boy-Żeleński Translation Work Award. In 2016 his English renditions of selected stories from Andrzej Stasiuk’s collection Kucając won him the 2nd Prize in the John Dryden Translation Contest, organized by the British Centre for Literary Translation and the British Comparative Literature Association; in 2019 in the same contest he received honorable mention for his translation of excerpts from Andrzej Muszyński’s novel Podkrzywdzie. In 2015 he was awarded a three-week residency at the Banff International Literary Translation Centre in Canada, where he stayed with writers Rawi Hage and Madeleine Thien. He has also translated, among others, the Jack Kerouac / Allen Ginsberg correspondence (Czarne, 2012), Patrick deWitt’s novel Undermajordomo Minor (Czarne, 2016) and a selection of short fiction by Bill Gaston (Bogowie pokazują klaty, Marginesy, 2019; with Kaja Gucio). He has collaborated with the journals Literatura na Świecie and Art Inquiry, where he has published translations of fiction (e.g. Herman Melville, Steven Millhauser, Niall Griffiths or D.J. Enright) and of theoretical-critical essays (e.g. Chinua Achebe, Stuart Hall, Arthur Machen, Grzegorz Sztabiński, Ryszard Kluszczyński). He was the guest editor of the Canada-themed issue of Literatura na Świecie (3-4/2017 – 548-549), for which he also translated works by Rawi Hage, M. A. Jarman, Madeleine Thien and John Gould. For the research purposes of Goldie Morgentaler (University of Lethbridge, Alberta), he has also translated some hundred Polish letters exchanged by Chava Rosenfarb and Zenia Larsson. He has conducted translation workshops, among others at the University of Wrocław (2017) and at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań (2017). Since 2015 he has been a member of the Polish Literary Translators’ Association.
For more on dr Majer’s translation activities, please visit his PLTA profile: http://stl.org.pl/profil/krzysztof-majer/
PhD thesis: The Picaro Messiah and the Unworthy Scribe: A Pattern of Obsession in Mordecai Richler’s Later Fiction (2008, supervisor: prof. Krzysztof Andrzejczak)
MA thesis: The Antagonist in John Barth’s The Sot-Weed Factor and Giles Goat-Boy (2003, supervisor: prof. Krzysztof Andrzejczak)
Awards for academic achievements
Scholarship for young researchers (University of Łódź, 2011)
Over fifty MA and BA theses on US American and Canadian literature and culture, including the work of authors such as Alice Munro, Margaret Atwood, Michael Ondaatje, Rawi Hage, Timothy Findley, Margaret Laurence, Adele Wiseman, Hugh MacLennan, Raymond Carver, Herman Melville, Henry James, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edgar Allan Poe, Mark Twain, Abraham Cahan, Sarah Ruhl, Walt Whitman, Henry David Thoreau, William S. Burroughs or Alan Moore.
Other (grants, organizational activity)
Dr. Majer has been the head of several international conferences, including the 8th Congress of the Polish Association for Canadian Studies – Canadian (Re)Visions: Futures, Changes, Revolutions / « Les (Re)Visions canadiennes: Projections, Changements, Révolutions » (2019; with Dr. Justyna Fruzińska and Dr. Magdalena Marczuk-Karbownik), Kanade, di Goldene Medine? Perspectives on Canadian-Jewish Literature and Culture / Perspectives sur la littérature et la culture juives canadiennes (2014; with Dr. Justyna Fruzińska and Prof. Norman Ravvin) or Machines / Ravines: Negotiating the (Technological) Sublime (2017; with Mark Tardi, MFA). The keynote speakers for these events were outstanding scholars such as David Nye (University of Southern Denmark), Sherry Simon (Concordia University, Montreal), Aritha van Herk (University of Calgary, Alberta) or Goldie Morgentaler (University of Lethbridge, Alberta), as well as Canadian writers such as Bill Gaston, Régine Robin or John Gould.
Since 2009, dr Majer has supervised the United Students Society, an extracurricular reading group under the auspices of the Department of North American Literature and Culture. Meetings are held 3-4 times in a semester and are devoted to North American literature and culture – often to new and non-canonical works. In the past, the group has engaged with the work of, among others, Cormac McCarthy, Don DeLillo, Raymond Carver, William Faulkner, H. P. Lovecraft, Vladimir Nabokov, Henry James, Philip Roth, J. D. Salinger, David Foster Wallace, Margaret Atwood, Barbara Gowdy, William Gibson, or Joyce Carol Oates; we have also discussed feature films by illustrious directors (e.g. Sam Mendes, David Cronenberg, the Coen brothers or Jim Jarmusch), as well as seminal documentaries (e.g. Blue-Eyed, Devil’s Playground or I Am Not Your Negro) and comic books (e.g. Sin City, 100 Bullets, Blacksad).
The meetings are hosted by lecturers, doctoral students and excelling MA or BA students. In addition, we try to engage visiting scholars in the Society’s activities: in the academic year 2012-2013 our meetings were hosted by Prof. Pirjo Ahokas from the University of Turku, Dr. Mirjam Horn from the University of Giessen and Dr. Murat Erdem from the University of Izmir. In the academic year 2013-2014 two employees of the University of Giessen were our visitors: Leonie Schmidt and Alexander Scherr.
The Society is also the organizer of an annual student conference devoted to North American literature and culture, usually headed by dr Krzysztof Majer or dr Justyna Fruzińska. So far, eight such events have been held, under the following titles: Images of Conflict (2010), The Body (2012), Transformations / Metamorphoses: The Notion of Change (2013), Music in Literature / Literature in Music: North American Intermedial Exchanges (2014), Unum? Individualism and Community (2016), Pets & Beasts: Animals (2017), Questions of Travel: Journeys (2018), All Lives Matter? Tokenism, Universalization and Containment (2019). Keynote lectures were delivered by excellent scholars such as Prof. William Glass (American Studies Center, Warsaw), Dr. David Schauffler (University of Silesia, Katowice), Dr. Alexander Scherr (University of Giessen), Dr. Zuzanna Szatanik (University of Silesia), Dr. Justyna Stępień (University of Szczecin) or Prof. Richard Profozich (University of Łódź). In 2020, the conference will be held on May 30, the topic is Dialectics of Popular Culture and the keynote speaker is prof. Paweł Frelik (American Studies Center, Warsaw).
For more information, please visit USS’s Facebook website: