Weird Fictions Research Group proudly invites you to the next “Weird Medicine” event!

Anna Maria Grzybowska

The Algernon-Gordon Effect: Rethinking Human-Animal Relationships

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

You can get 3 OZN points for participating in this event.


Dobra 55, room: 0.256
(the building features some mobility accommodations: ramp and lift)

Register at:
Registration deadline: March 18, 10pm
Registration limit: 15 people


Feared, tamed, loved, hunted, protected, or slaughtered, nonhuman animals have always been central to human existence, exploited for food, work, and companionship. Yet despite their ubiquitous presence, nonhuman animals have been rendered selectively visible and pushed to the margins of human consciousness. With the recent flourishing of animal ethics, posthumanist approaches, and general attempts to challenge anthropocentric ways, the matter of nonhuman presence and agency has gained momentum, pressing scholars across disciplines to engage with other animals and acknowledge our interdependence. During this workshop, we will reflect upon the potentialities of Daniel Keyes’ Hugo Award-winning short story “Flowers for Algernon” (1959) to challenge—or not—our relationship with laboratory animals. Considered a classic, the narrative follows the journey of Charlie Gordon, a man with intellectual disabilities who undergoes an experimental surgery to increase his “intelligence.” As his cognitive abilities change in nature, Charlie’s perception of the world, including his lab nonhuman companion Algernon, undergoes a profound transformation. The workshop will delve into questions such as: How does “Flowers for Algernon” illuminate the ethical complexities of using animals in research? What insights does Charlie’s evolving understanding offer about our relationship with nonhuman beings? And, in what ways does the story challenge conventional notions of intelligence and agency, for both human and nonhuman animals?



Anna Maria Grzybowska is a PhD student at the University of Warsaw. With her dedication to understanding various (not-only-)human ways of experiencing the world, her research focuses on representations of the human psyche—her most recent article “Invisible Cuts: Psychological Violence and Hermeneutical Injustice in *Tau* (2018) and *Upstream Color* (2013)” explores the confluence of psychological violence and SF film—as well as its formation in collision with the complexity of nonhuman beings within the realms of speculative fiction. Her dissertation-in-progress examines speculative visions of human-animal futures, with a particular focus on narrative transformations (or consolidations) of the animal-industrial complex within literature, film, and video games.

Year 2023/2024

April 26: Bad Gays and They/Them Armies: Homonationalism and its Backlash

April 16, 2024

We are pleased to invite you to a lecture by Ben Miller and Huw Lemmey, the hosts of Bad Gays, “a podcast about evil and complicated queers in history” and the authors of Bad Gays: A Homosexual History.

Year 2023/2024

April 26-27: Status Quo/Status Queer

April 16, 2024

The aim of the conference is to create an opportunity for MA and BA students at the American Studies Center and Institute of Applied Social Sciences to present their research projects and facilitate an exchange of inspiring ideas.

Year 2023/2024

April 16: Screening of Nostalgia and Elegy in the Streets by Jim Hubbard

April 16, 2024

Join us for a screening of films by Jim Hubbard, who has been making experimental films about lesbian and gay activism and community building since the mid-1970s. The screening will be followed by an audience Q&A with the filmmaker.

Year 2023/2024

15 Kwietnia: Monstrualna Kobieta kontra Patriarchat: Czy “horror ciąża” to nowy wyraz kobiecej siły?

April 15, 2024

Drogie Osoby Studenckie, serdecznie zapraszamy na kolejne wydarzenie Sekcji Studenckiej Pracowni Gender/Sexuality! Na najbliższym spotkaniu dowiemy się, czy dekonstrukcja patriarchalnych wyobrażeń na temat ciąży jest możliwa oraz jak współczesna kultura audiowizualna odbiera dwoistość tożsamości, jaką dotknięte są ciężarne.

American Studies Colloquium Series

April 15: Film, AIDS, Activism: Culture Engagements that Move

April 15, 2024

We are pleased to invite you to a lecture in the American Studies Colloquium Series in the 2023/2024 Spring semester! This talk will look at the structures of feeling that guide notions of kinship in AIDS activist video works from the earliest years of the AIDS epidemic of the United States.