philologist, literary historian, and folklorist; b. 12th July 1928 in Sokal, d. 11th December 2003 in Wrocław. He began his education with attending secret courses during WWII, then completed the Sienkiewicz Secondary School in Łańcut, and after the war enrolled in Polish studies programme at the University of Wrocław. In 1960 he obtained a PhD for a thesis on Polish bugle calls written under the supervision of Professor Władysław Floryan, followed by a habilitation obtained 4 years later for a thesis on the origins of Polish folklore studies. He collaborated with the Institute of Literary Research, Polish Academy of Sciences (PAN), coordinating the work of the Old Polish Literature section (1964-70). In 1967-1968 he led the Department of Folk Literature Theory and History, and in 1969-1970 the Research Group on Old Polish Song and Silesian Hymn books. In 1971 he was promoted to associate professor, and in 1976 - to full professor by the University of Wrocław, where he led the Institute of Polish Studies in 1971-1985. He was a member of PAN's Committee on Literary Studies (serving as its head in 1990-93), the Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences (Polska Akademia Umiejętności), Society for Propagating Sciences (Towarzystwo Popierania i Krzewienia Nauk), PEN Club, the East Central European Institute (Lublin).
Czesław Hernas published more than a dozen of academic papers, edited works (e.g. J. Jurkowski's works published in the series Biblioteka Pisarzy Polskich, 1968), and writings on literary history (Old Polish literature) and folkloristics. His research focused on contemporary popular culture and relations between literature and folklore. He was the editor-in-chief of Studia Staropolskie (1965-93), Literatura ludowa (from 1972), Teksty (1974-80), and Wrocławskie Studia Wschodnie (from 1995). He was a member of the editorial teams of Odrodzenie i Reformacja w Polsce, Slavic and East European Arts (New York), and Teksty Drugie; he was also the leading editor of Literatura polska. Przewodnik encyklopedyczny (Polish Literature: An Encyclopaedic Guide) and a series of historical novels by J. I. Kraszewski. He coordinated a research programme on Polish national culture, its development tendencies and perceptions. In recognition for his academic, editorial and teaching achievements he was granted awards by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education (1964, 1966, 1973), the City of Wrocław (1970), Alfred Jurzykowski Foundation (1996), Medal of the Commission of National Education (1991), and the Zygmunt Gloger Award and Medal.
updated: January 2015 (mkk. ab)