The Day After: The Post-Crisis IASA and Daemons That Can Help

(A Farewell Address)


Amid the chaos of pandemics or wars, the conflict extends beyond mere human struggles with (their) commonsensically understood “demons”—fears, ambitions, traumas, desires, angsts, and all of other conditions and structures always-already in place even before we become aware of them. Although, beyond doubt, such “side effects” of being-in-the-world or being-with-others generate facts that are effect-producing, whether these facts prove to be morally actionable depends on if and how we engage them. Summing up the mission of the post-Crisis IASA, I build my argument around Friedrich Nietzsche's concept of personal responsibility in the face of the Daemon of Eternal Recurrence, Paul Ricoeur’s phenomenological hermeneutics, and leading Western existentialists to demonstrate that, at least in the Western perspective, the conflict also entails, perhaps more crucially, a fierce battle between the daimōn and the daemonium. Recognizing the eternal recurrence of such catastrophes such as pandemics or wars, the “Greek mindset,” embracing the daimōn, fosters an existential philosophy that emphasizes participation in the realm of immanence, shaping our ethical considerations and propelling actions. In contrast, the “Latin approach,” in constant fear of the daemonium, seems to foster self-perception as constantly plunged in “fear and trembling,”  despairingly “sick unto death,” and prone to attributing malevolent forces to the “evil spirits,” thereby generating configurations that shift the narrative towards self-absolution, and ultimately legitimize refigurations that, diluting personal responsibility, delegate it to transcendence. Embracing Greek thought, we engage in an ongoing quest with facta-ficta, revising language critically (Gr. κρίνω), without expecting finality in our categories, acknowledging that our imperfect language is essential for defining our existence within immanence. Conversely, “Latin thinking,” in which demons are seen as elements of a transcendent realm—unreachable without relinquishing the self, or as part of a faith-based narrative, and in which human is potentially lacking tangible impact—involves the risk of rendering us indifferent to historical lessons, legitimizing a fatalistic nihil novi as a self-fulfilling prophecy. 


demon; pandemic; Nietzche; IASA mission; Ricoeur; Camus; Existentialism; Daimōn; Daemonium; Crisis; International American Studies Association

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Published : 2023-12-29

JędrzejkoP. (2023). The Day After: The Post-Crisis IASA and Daemons That Can Help. Review of International American Studies, 16(2), 5-15.

Paweł Jędrzejko
University of Silesia in Katowice, Faculty of Humanities  Poland

Bio: Paweł Jędrzejko, PhD. D.Litt. is an Associate Professor at the University of Silesia in Katowice, Poland, and Faculty Member of the PhD Programme in Studies in English Literatures, Language, and Translation of the “Sapienza” University in Rome. President of the International American Studies Association in the years 2021–2023; Co-Founder and Co-Editor in Chief of the Review of International American Studies. Associate Editor of Er(r)go. Theory–Literature–Culture. Ocean-Going Yachtmaster. Musician and lyricist. Former Director of the University of Silesia Press. By ministerial appointment, in years 2015–2016, he served as a member of the Advisory Committee for the Implementation of the Strategy of the Open Access to Academic Contents at the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education. In the same years, he served as the representative of the President of the Conference of the Rectors of Academic Schools of Poland (CRASP) in an international contact group at the European University Association at the EU. His research interests include literary and cultural theory, history of literature, comparative cultural studies, translation theory and philosophy. Departing from the assumption of the aporetic (ontic/discursive) character of reality, Jędrzejko fosters research penetrating the common grounds of human cognitive experience and creative activity, focusing upon the complex interdependencies between individual awareness of the worldmaking power of language and the shape of daily interpersonal and intercultural relations. The areas of his particular interest include the philosophy of friendship, the philosophy of existence, the history of 19th century American literature, the literary philosophies of the “American Renaissance” the oeuvre of Herman Melville, postcolonial and post-dependence theories, as well as translation theories. His full CV is available at


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