Theatre scholar Prof. Grzegorz Ziółkowski received the Tadeusz Kotarbiński Award of the First Rector of the University of Łódź for his book «A Cruel Theatre of Self-Immolations. Contemporary Suicide Protests by Fire and Their Resonances in Culture». The publication was considered the best monograph in the field of humanities in 2019.
The Kotarbiński Award is a distinction of national importance. The competition promotes research and publications in the humanities. It is the only award of this kind in Poland. Notably, the work of AMU’s Dr. Monika Bobako «Islamophobia as a technology of power. A study in political anthropology» was nominated in last year’s edition of the Award.
By awarding the prize to Prof. Ziółkowski, the jury recognised the author’s in-depth knowledge of the religious, historical, sociological, psychological, philosophical and cultural perspectives. While the monograph cites extensive literature, it also discusses the author’s own research. It is the first book in the world to describe self-immolation from a cultural perspective.
Prof. Grzegorz Ziółkowski, «A Cruel Theatre of Self-Immolations. Contemporary Suicide Protests by Fire and Their Resonances in Culture»: Self-immolation in protest is understood as a voluntary, demonstrative and radical persuasive statement made in the name of values that the protester considers worthy of ultimate sacrifice. They are watched and are intended as a statement in front of an audience, a representation of disagreement and/ or demand for change in the language of bodily suffering through fire.
“A Cruel Theatre of Self-Immolations...” was nominated for the award of the Polish Society for Theatre Studies as the best publication on drama, theatre and performance in 2018. In February 2020, an updated and abridged edition of the monograph was published by Routledge.