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ALONE TOGETHER AGAIN (ATA) A Second International Pandisciplinary Symposium on Solitude in Community Szczecin 2020


Under the auspices of the Rector of the University of Szczecin and the Mayor of Szczecin, via the MS Teams platform, an exceptional scientific event took place: Alone Together Again (ATA): A Second International Pandisciplinary Symposium on Solitude in Community. That was the second edition of seminars initiated last year in York, UK, resulting from the collaboration of two loneliness researchers: Prof Julian Stern (Bishop Grosseteste University) and Dr Małgorzata Wałejko (University of Szczecin).

The conference was attended by almost 70 speakers from 17 countries and five continents, representing various scientific disciplines. During two days, three plenary lectures and 12 sessions in groups (50 presentations) and one poster session have taken place. You can find all the plenary presentations on a public YouTube channel:

Ben Mijuskovic (California State University, USA): Loneliness is not a medical disease nor a psychiatric disorder; it’s the existential essence of man:

Jarosław Horowski: The morality and the loneliness:

Julian Stern: Personhood, Alone and Together:łIwański

How symbolic the title – Alone Together Again – turned out to be, when we saw on one screen friends from all over the world, though alone, still together. During the opening (at Polish 9:00 am) we could meet researchers from the UK (their 8:00 am), Australia (5:00 pm), the US (3.00 am) or Hong Kong (3:00 pm) and many other countries. We are very grateful for all the talks presented, for undertaking the theme of solitude with such care and curiosity. 

It’s worth mentioning that during the ATA conference, the inauguration of the International Society for Research on Solitude, ISRS ( ) took place. The association, created by scientists from the University of Szczecin and Bishop Grosseteste University, will organize further conferences and publish publications devoted to various perspectives of approaching the problem of loneliness, but above all it will bring together researchers of loneliness from all over the globe – so far dispersed all over the world – according to the idea of “Alone Together”.

Scientific Committee

  • Prof. Anna Murawska, University of Szczecin, Poland
  • Prof. Julian Stern, York St. John University, UK
  • Prof. Ben Mijuskovic, California State University, USA
  • Prof. Zofia Dołęga, SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Poland 
  • Prof. Jaroslaw Horowski, Nicolaus Copernicus University, Poland
  • Prof. Tadeusz Gadacz, AGH University of Science and Technology, Poland
  • Prof. Sandra Bosacki, Brock University, Canada
  • Prof. Michael Buchanan, Australian Catholic University, Australia
  • Prof. Henrieta Serban, Institute of Philosophy and Psychology “Constantin Râdulescu-Motru” and Institute of Political Science and International Relations “Ion I. C. Brâtianu” of the Romanian Academy, Romania
  • Prof. Wong Ping Ho, The Education University of Hong Kong, China
  • Prof. Katarzyna Wrońska, The Jagiellonian University, Poland
  • Prof. Christopher Sink, Old Dominion University, USA
  • Prof. Anne Pirrie, University of the West of Scotland, UK
  • Prof. Eva Alerby, Luleå University of Technology, Sweden
  • Prof. Teresa Olearczyk, Andrzej Frycz Modrzewski Krakow University, Poland

Ben Mijuskovic (California State University, USA): Loneliness is not a medical disease nor a psychiatric disorder; it’s the existential essence of man:

Jarosław Horowski: The morality and the loneliness

Julian Stern: Personhood, Alone and Together:

Organizing Committee

CHAIRS: Prof. Julian Stern (York St. John University) and Dr. Malgorzata Wałejko (University of Szczecin)

The idea of the Alone Together symposium emerged from the meeting of Prof Julian Stern (UK) and Dr Malgorzata Walejko (Poland), both fascinated by the phenomenon of solitude.  Dr Walejko visited York St John University in 2018 thanks to the Erasmus+ programme, to meet and work with Prof Stern.  Their common research resulted in publications (e.g. Solitude and Self-Realisation in Education in the Journal of Philosophy of Education, 2019), and also in the idea of meeting with other researchers from around the world interested in solitude, silence and loneliness.  There are further publishing plans resulting from the first symposium (including a book and a journal special edition), and we hope for further publishing out of the second symposium.

Plenary speakers

Prof. Julian Stern, York St. John University, UK

Julian Stern is Professor of Education and Religion at York St John University, UK.  He is author of Loneliness and Solitude in Education: How to Value Individuality and Create an Enstatic School (Peter Lang, 2014), Let Me Tell You About Loneliness (Jessica Kingsley, 2017), and A Philosophy of Schooling: Care and Curiosity in Community (Palgrave, 2018), along with many other books and articles.  He is an educationalist specialising in schools as communities, and the role of both loneliness and solitude in those communities.

Prof. Ben Lazare Mijuskovic, California State University, USA

Ben Lazare Mijuskovic is Associate Professor in the Humanities Department at California State University, Dominguez Hills. A social worker and a psychotherapist since 1986 while continually teaching philosophy and the humanities. He is the author of many articles and books, e.g. Loneliness in Philosophy, Psychology, and Literature (iUniverse, 2012), Feeling Lonesome : The Philosophy and Psychology of Loneliness (ABC-CLIO, 2015), Consciousness and Loneliness: Theoria and Praxis (Brill, 2018)He was recently elected to the Montenegro Academy of Science and the Arts. Prof. Mijuskovic does research in applied philosophy, the history of philosophy, and theories of loneliness.

Prof. Jarosław Horowski, Nicolaus Copernicus University, Poland

Dr hab. Jarosław Horowski, Associate Professor in Faculty of Philosophy and Social Sciences of Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń, Institute of Education Sciences, Chair of Theory of Education, editor-in-chief of the scientific journal “Paedagogia Christiana”. Author of Moral Education According to neo-Thomistic Pedagogy (WN UMK, 2015). Main areas of interest: philosophy of education, moral and religious education, neo-Thomistic pedagogy, education for moral virtues, education for forgiveness.