In 2016 the Congress will also give the honorary award for the best Polish-language monograph on Belarus, published in the last five years (2011-2015). This award continues the tradition to mark the best foreign researchers who study Belarus, which was initiated in 2015. Last year, a competition of English-language monographs presented the honorary award to Margarita Balmaceda for the book “Living the High Life in Minsk. Russian Energy Rents, Domestic Populism and Belarus’ Impending Crisis “(CEU Press, 2014). The award is intended to mark the best works, and bring them to the attention of Belarusian researchers. This award is honorary and does not provide monetary prize.
One of the strongest centers of Belarusian Studies is Polish academic community, and this fact suggests a need for a separate award, which will be considering scientific publications in Polish.
According to Andrej Kazakievič, Chairman of the Organising Committee of the International Congress of Belarusian Studies, “Poland has a well-developed tradition of Belarusian Studies, perhaps better than in any other country except Belarus itself. Therefore, after awarding the Congressional Award for best English-language publication last year, in 2016 the experts will fairly choose the best book in Polish.”
Alieś Paškievič, editor of Arche journal, also agrees on the importance of Polish works for the study of Belarus: “Poles and Belarusians are linked by centuries of shared history, and it is no surprise that Poland, renowned for its highly developed historiography, regularly produces research on Belarus. One can say quite confidently that among all foreign languages it is Polish that holds the first place in number of publications on Belarus. Moreover, Poland holds leadership not only in the total number of publications, but also in the degree of their influence on historical science in Belarus. In my opinion, particular attention to the Polish-language publications, which resulted in the establishment of a separate award, is absolutely justified. Both quantitatively and qualitatively, this part of foreign Belarusian studies deserves a special place in the Belarusian academic space”.
The 2016 contest accepts monographs (books) published in Polish language in 2011-2015, the authors of which do not have Belarusian origin (nationality) and did not pursue academic career in Belarus. Nominations should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org until 15 April 2016.
Expert council of the award is composed of prominent Belarusian researchers, well-known both in Belarus and Poland.