Professor Katarzyna Marciniak from the Faculty of “Artes Liberales” has received a European Research Council Grant. This is the 11th time the prestigious award has been granted to a scholar from the University of Warsaw.

The European Research Council (ERC) awarded Professor Katarzyna Marciniak with the Consolidator Grant, designed to support researchers at the stage during which they are consolidating their own independent research team or programme. Professor Marciniak is the first person in Poland in the Humanities to have received this type of grant. The project which the ERC has awarded – “Our Mythical Childhood… The Reception of Classical Antiquity in Children’s and Young Adults’ Culture in Response to Regional and Global Challenges” – will be supported for five years. Professor Marciniak’s team consists of scholars from Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia. The project also involves collaboration with specialists in Reception Studies from various countries, including the US.


“We treat Classical Antiquity not as a distant and petrified past, but as a vital element of our times, one that has been undergoing constant metamorphoses that mirror social, political, and cultural transformations across the ages. We will study, among other matters, the reception of Aesop’s fables in various regions of the world, mythological references in the adventures of Harry Potter, and references to ancient history in computer games in the context of shaping young people’s identity” – Professor Marciniak explains.


“One important element of the project is its social dimension. We will elaborate materials on how to use ancient myths in work with disabled children. We will also prepare, in collaboration with the National Museum in Warsaw, animations based on Greek vases. Moreover, within the project, I am planning experimental classes for students of the Faculty of “Artes Liberales” – the laureate adds.


The award for Professor Marciniak is the second ERC grant for a scholar from the Faculty of “Artes Liberales”. In 2012 a Starting Grant was given to Dr. Justyna Olko, who reconstructs the mechanisms of cross-cultural transfer between Europe and America from the 16th century, through the colonial period, and to this day.


Professor Katarzyna Marciniak is a classicist and Italian philologist. She is the Director of the Faculty’s Centre for Studies on the Classical Tradition (OBTA), which is now celebrating its 25th anniversary. She belongs to the Young Scholars Academy at the Polish Academy of Sciences. Her research interests include Cicero and the reception of Classical Antiquity with particular stress on the 20th and 21st centuries. She is an Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Ambassador Scientist, a Young Ambassador of Polish Language, a laureate of the Research Award of the weekly “Polityka”, and the recipient of numerous grants and scholarships, among which are a Harvard University Loeb Classical Library Foundation Grant and the Humboldt Alumni Award.