Jolanta Wrobel Best received her Ph.D. in the Humanities (Literature, Philosophy) from the Jagiellonian University in Cracow, Poland. The Jagiellonian University was opened in 1364 in Poland as the second oldest university in Central Europe after Charles University in Prague (1348). During her studies at the University, Jolanta Wrobel Best was chosen to receive the award to study individually with a distinguished scholar/professor (Prof. Dr Hab. Jan Blonski) who created her challenging program of academic study. During that time, she also received a scholarship at Charles University in Prague. Furthermore, she participated in a university scientific exchange program in Tel Aviv, Israel, and was given the Jagiellonian University award for scientific research.
While living in Cracow, she worked as a tenure-track Assistant Professor at the Jagiellonian University where she taught literature and philosophy. Her doctoral dissertation was interdisciplinary and probed Bergson’s impact on European literary (post) modernity. It examined time in literature as a thematic category related to Bergson’s ideas of the open/closed “self,” heterogeneous duration, and intuition. The dissertation received awards and was published as a book by the Universitas Publishing House in 1999. The second edition/reprint of this book on Bergson and literature was published in Poland in October of 2012. During her work at the Jagiellonian University, Jolanta Wrobel Best researched European literature, comparative literature, hermeneutics, and phenomenology. She led seminars on Philosophy, the Polish symbolist movement, Bergson’s concept of time, and investigated Barthes as well as Eco’s works. Because of personal reasons, she resigned from the Jagiellonian University in Cracow and moved to America.
She taught philosophy and literature at the University of Houston and Houston Community College (HCC) in USA. In addition, she worked as a literary correspondent for CKCU Literary News at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. Working at the University of Houston, she examined philosophy, ethics, philosophy of religion, and world literature. She probed Ricoeur (The Symbolism of Evil, 1960) and Levinas (Time and the Other, 1948). She also contributed to the conference on Husserl. While at HCC, Jolanta Wrobel Best taught humanities and philosophy (from Plato to Derrida) including ethics, political philosophy, logic, and the philosophy of religion. She won faculty awards, designed/led online courses, and did course/book development, tutoring, and computer training. She also presented conference papers on Levinas, Nietzsche, and Scheler. At Carleton University in Ottawa, she reported on European culture and literature. She examined the festivities of the “Milosz Year” in Europe, Warsaw’s theater, and Zagajewski’s poetry. Furthermore, she worked with an online voice editor and was selected to cover European studies in America. Finally, she wrote publications for The Sarmatian Review (Rice University, Houston, TX) and Polish publications for Przeglad Polski (New York City, NY).
Jolanta Wrobel Best’s current experience includes a faculty appointment at Houston Community College in Houston, Texas, a correspondent position for CKCU Literary News at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, and cooperation with "Ruch Literacki" of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Cracow, Poland. She is the author of a book (two editions) and over twenty scholarly articles. Works in progress include a book on comparative literature and a book on Levinas’s philosophy. She participates in academic societies such as the American Philosophical Association (APA), the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES), the International Institute for Hermeneutics (IIH), and the Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences of America (PIASA). She presented her paper on Polish literature and chaired a panel discussion on Slavic studies at the 2013 ASEEES Convention in Boston, MA. She gave her presentation (envisioned as part of an interdisciplinary panel discussion) on Czeslaw Milosz, "Facing the River," and links between literature/philosophy and history during the 2014 ASEEES Convention in San Antonio, TX. She appears in the 2013-2016 Edition of Who's Who in America by Marquis.
Current research areas:
Continental philosophy, foreign language pedagogy, literatures in Europe, Polish language/literature/translation, Slavic studies.
• Book: The Mystery of Time, Cracow: Universitas, 2012.
• Book Chapter: Obraz Nowego Jorku w powieści Szaloma Asza 'East River: A Novel of New York' (The Image of New York City in Sholem Asch's East River: A Novel of New York). [In:] Daniel Kalinowski (ed.) Szalom Asz zapomniany? Lektury na dziś, nadzieje na jutro (Sholem Asch Forgotten? Readings for Today, Hope for Tomorrow), Kutno, 2017, pp. 105-124, ISBN 978-83-937792-9-1, (in Polish).
• Book Chapter: Historia (osobista) jednego wiersza w Ameryce. Poetycka rozmowa z Julianem Kornhauserem. In: Rzeczy do nazwania. Wokół Kornhausera, Wyd. WBPiCAK, 2016.
• Book Chapter: The Idea of Vitalism in Waclaw Berent's Living Stones, Jagiellonian University Press, Cracow, 2016.
• Book Chapter: Palimpsest pamięci lub Wiera Gran... (in Polish), U. of Bialystok Press, 2015.
• Book Chapter: Levinas on Human Existence, International Conference in Jewish Studies, Bialystok, Poland, 2015.
• Book Chapter: Miciński’s Philosophy of Dance. In: Poetry of Tadeusz Miciński, Cracow, 2004.
• Scholarly Article: The Other Heroine Is Memory. A Conversation with Agata Tuszyńska, The Polish Review, Vol. 60, No. 1, 2015, pp. 85-95, University of Illinois Press.
• Scholarly Article: The Idea of God and Religion in the Poetry of Anna Frajlich, Religion and Sacred Poetry: An International Quarterly of Religion, Culture, and Education, No. 4, 2013. Recognized by Columbia University.
Works in progress. Book on comparative literature. Book on Levinas's philosophy.