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Farewell to Professor Krzysztof Gawlikowski

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Farewell to Professor Krzysztof Gawlikowski

It is with deep sorrow that we announce the passing of Professor Krzysztof Gawlikowski, a researcher of China, educator, enthusiastic promotor of East Asian cultures, and the founder of the Center for East Asian Civilization at SWPS University.

Passionate Researcher and Founder of Asian Studies Program at SWPS University

Krzysztof Gawlikowski was born in 1940. He was fascinated with Asia since childhood and his early interests became his life-long passion.

Krzysztof Gawlikowski graduated from the University of Warsaw with a degree in psychology. He went to China for the very first time in 1964. Two years later, the outbreak of the Chinese Cultural Revolution forced him to return to Poland. For many years he was Researcher at the Polish Academy of Sciences (PAN). When the martial law was imposed in Poland in December 1981, Professor Gawlikowski was abroad, and he continued living in Italy until 1995. After returning to Poland, he devoted all his efforts to the popularization of Asian cultures and history. In 1997, he founded Towarzystwo Azji i Pacyfiku (the Asia and Pacific Society) and a year later, he published the first issue of the journal “Azja-Pacyfik” (Asia-Pacific).

Professor Gawlikowski had been involved with SWPS University since its inception. Gradually, he was introducing classes on the Asia-Pacific region to the curriculum. In 2003, he established the Center for East Asian Civilization (currently the Department of Asian Studies), which launched its own undergraduate “Asian Studies: China and East Asia” program in 2012. The interdisciplinary and innovative character of this study program was the result of Professor Gawlikowski’s long-standing ambitions of educating experts who would specialize in the current and practical knowledge on the culture, society, politics, and the economy of the whole Asian region.

Broad Scientific Interests

Professor Gawlikowski was a rare example of an academic with very broad scientific interests and high cultural sensitivity. He moved with ease between both, the historical and the current aspects of sinology, political science, sociology and cross-cultural psychology. One of his greatest professional achievements is co-authorship of the monumental publication Science and Civilisation in China (Cambridge 1994), edited by Joseph Needham, where Professor Gawlikowski wrote about his favorite research topic: Chinese strategic thought of the Warring States Period, in particular Sunzi’s The Art of War (Sunzi bingfa).

Professor Gawlikowski was a tireless educator, a charismatic speaker, and a well-loved academic teacher. He remained professionally active until the last days of his life. We have lost a true ambassador of Asian civilizations in Poland.

Marcin Jacoby, Associate Professor
Head of the Department of Asian Studies

Expert on East Asia

Professor Gawlikowski was a fountain of knowledge not only about China, but also about many other countries of Asia, in particular Myanmar, which had enticed him when he was still a student. Professor Gawlikowski strongly believed that the Eurocentric view of the world must be rejected, and that it was necessary to educate Poles in both, the foundations of Asian civilizations, and the current issues of the region. Professor Gawlikowski was actively engaged in numerous Asia-focused publishing and educational initiatives, also beyond SWPS University. He was a tireless educator, a charismatic speaker, and a well-loved academic teacher. He remained professionally active until the last days of his life. We have lost a true ambassador of Asian civilizations in Poland.

Register for our September 20th free webinar 
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and meet our Ambassador Chenay