The online registration for 2nd-year BA students for Elective Courses will commence on Friday 28th January at 8.00 pm and will close on Sunday 30th January at 11.59 pm. In order to register students access the following website: usosweb.uni.lodz.pl.
Each student chooses one course in each of the following categories (four courses altogether):
Zajęcia elektywne A
Zajęcia elektywne B
Zajęcia elektywne C
Zajęcia elektywne D
There are limits to the number of students in the groups. In the case of denied access to the group, please make an alternative choice.
Course descriptions of available courses can be found below.
Elective courses A (Tuesdays 15:15)
dr hab. Piotr Spyra, The Protestant Reformation in Early Modern England
The course will be devoted to the English Reformation in its cultural, theological and historical contexts. We will discuss examples of religious propaganda (both literary and pictorial), study the intersections of religion with witchcraft and necromancy, and try to understand the Puritan mind. We will also look at the religious demographics of 21st-century Britain and discuss the connections between Protestantism and secularization.
dr Agata Handley, Intertextual Encounters: Interrogating the Presence of Art in Literature, Film and Music Video
Works of art have often been appropriated and repurposed by other artists, working in different art forms.
The course is designed to make you aware of the multiple relationships that exist between visual and literary/textual art forms, and to invite you to explore the turbulent and often subversive nature of those relationships. The main objectives of the course are to learn how to read works intertextually, i.e., to identify how artworks have been appropriated by other artists; to explore the interrelationship between different art forms; and to reflect on the nature of a creative process which is inspired by artworks ancient and modern.
We will focus primarily on the presence of visual arts (e.g., painting, sculpture, and photography) in 20th and 21st century literature, film and music video, engaging in an analysis of representative literary and visual sources, and selections from critical and theoretical texts. You will study work by W.H. Auden, Seamus Heaney, Tony Harrison, Beyonce, and more. You will be encouraged to adopt individual, creative approaches to works of art and literature; and to explore such concepts as intermediality and ekphrasis.
dr Magdalena Szuster, How Plays Work – contemporary American musical theatre and drama
In this course we will look, in very broad terms, at what makes a play and/or a performance work by investigating the various aspects that contribute to the commercial success of a play and its artistic merit. To do so, we will look at some of the most prominent works of American playwrights (mid 20th century to the present) and explore the negotiation between the particularities of the plays in a broader context.
The in-class discussions will be based on assigned readings (articles, plays) and various movie adaptations. The students will also have an opportunity to acquire practical knowledge in stage production (in cooperation with The Music Theatre of Łódź/Teatr Muzyczny w Łodzi). As the course focuses on creative thinking and no final exam is required, active participation and constructive contribution to classroom conversation are crucial.
dr Wiktor Pskit, Word-formation across languages
The aim of the course is to acquaint students with topics in word-formation in English, Polish and (selected) other languages and to equip students with research tools facilitating contrastive word-formation studies. The issues to be discussed include basic concepts in morphology and word-formation, simple and complex words, inflection and derivation, productivity in word-formation, a contrastive approach to word-formation processes in English, Polish and (selected) other languages, and selected contemporary theoretical approaches in morphology.
dr hab. Jerzy Badio, From text to discourse
The course invites its participants to study forms, functions, contexts or topics of a variety of English texts. The students will analyse British and American magazine articles, parts of modern British novels, academic texts, oral presentations, or jokes in order to uncover their structure, meaning, cohesion, coherence, units, background ideologies, goals, or constructions from the point of view of Pragmatics, Cognitive Linguistics and Critical Discourse Analysis. The course participants will be encouraged to take part in group and pair work. Students’ evaluation of the texts will be promoted as well as focus on the use of English during the classes. Some attention will also be spent on how the above topics could be developed into a BA project.
drhab. Katarzyna Ostalska, From SF fiction to digital literature
The following course is going to explore the path from SF literature (i.e. Gibson’s Neuromancer) to new types of digital forms of literary works. The aim of the course is to examine how the usage of the electronic media changes the understanding of what “text” is and how it expands possibilities of interpretations.
Elective Courses B (Wednesdays 10:00)
prof. dr hab. Andrzej Wicher, A Literary Tutorial in Anglophone Fantastic Literature
The tutorial is, generally speaking, focused on (mainly anglophone) fantastic literature (fantasy and science fiction) in its historical development, starting with the Gothic novel and ending with the late 20th c. fantasy literature. The planned semester papers should concern the above mentioned genres, including film adaptations. Longer texts will be discussed on the basis of selected excerpts.
prof. dr hab. Piotr Stalmaszczyk, Celtic Languages and Language Contact in the British Isles
The aim of this course is twofold: first, it will discuss and analyse patterns of language contact in general, and in the British Isles in particular; second, the seminar will present selected items in the linguistic history of the British Isles. Language contact will be investigated within the historical and contemporary processes in the British Isles (concentrating especially on the Celtic languages and the Celtic Englishes).
The following issues will be discussed in more detail: understanding language contact; Celtic peoples, their history, culture, literatures and languages; history of Celtic languages; decline of the Celtic languages; informal introduction to Modern Irish, Scottish Gaelic and Welsh; language revival (especially the case of Cornish and Manx) and recent developments; sociolinguistic issues in the history of Celtic languages; problems of defining and delimiting language and dialect; Celtic influence on English vocabulary.
The course provides an opportunity for comparing and contrasting languages and linguistic structures (English/Irish within the Indo-European context). The course is accessible to students intending to specialise in language/linguistics and literature/culture.
dr hab. prof. UŁ Przemysław Krakowian, Current orientations in language teaching
This familiarisation seminar is meant for students whose interest lie in the area of language teaching and who wish to write on a variety of topics within persistent issues in ELT in a modern school setting. The course is conceived as a presentation of selected issues in the field of EFL/ESL in order to provide a comprehensive perspective on the learning/teaching process, with some emphasis on the role of popular technology in language learning, new technologies and the Internet in teaching, mobile learning, distance learning, online learning environments and authoring tools, online assessment and computerised/electronic portfolia in skill development and language assessment.
dr Monika Sarul, Art and Trauma
The course takes a look at some examples of how art is used to present and discuss trauma. Particular attention is paid to how art depicts and/or supports the healing process after trauma. The majority of analysed works focus on war veterans of conflicts from the past (WW I and WW II) as well as contemporary ones (wars in Iraq and Afghanistan). Apart from that, there are a few examples of art depicting civilians dealing with trauma caused by military conflicts, as well as people facing sexual or family trauma. The classes will mainly focus on three broad categories of art: theatre plays, prose and poetry, and films, TV series and animated TV shows.
dr hab. prof. UŁ Krzysztof Kosecki, Fundamentals of Translation
The course focuses on basic concepts and strategies of translation from English into Polish and Polish into English. The following problems will be discussed and analyzed in numerous practical exercises: the role of context in translation; equivalence on word level; equivalence above word level; lexical and grammatical translation strategies; translation of idioms; culture in translation; pragmatics in translation; cognitive and communicative aspects of translation.
mgr Mark Tardi, Like Totally ’80s!: Exploring a Pivotal Decade
Big hair. Big cars. Embarrassing fashion. New Wave music and the 2nd British Invasion. The AIDS epidemic. MTV. This course is an exploratory seminar which will consider the lasting effects and influences of the 1980s in America through landmark work at the time. The work of prominent figures such as Michael Jackson, John Hughes, Madonna, Whitney Houston, Alice Walker, Prince, Bret Easton Ellis, Don DeLillo, Bill Cosby, and others will be examined critically and in a wider context. What do the various works reveal about prevailing concerns at the time? What fears persist? How are racial, ethnic, gender, sexual, and socioeconomic differences portrayed? What impact can be seen today?
Elective Courses C (Wednesdays 11:45)
mgr Mark Tardi, Contemporary American Women Writers & The Innovative Necessity
This is a once-in-a-lifetime discussion class that will feature several in-class visits by internationally-renowned American women writers. Innovation has been the pulse drum of American literary, artistic, and economic endeavors since the mid-19th century, and as such, we will consider the context that produces and the effects of innovation within contemporary American literature. How do contemporary innovative writers expand our view of earlier innovators and canonical figures, such as Dickinson, Hawthorne, Hemingway, Stein, or Whitman? How do innovative and hybrid literary works reflect contemporary concerns? What is the relationship between innovation and racial, ethnic, gender, sexual, and socioeconomic differences? How are technology, sexuality, humor, or emotional register conceptualized? The work of writers Nathalie Handal, Don Mee Choi, Sarah Mangold, E. Tracy Grinnell, Miranda July, Claudia Rankine Paula Vogel, and Sarah Ruhl and others will be discussed. Some sessions will be augmented by creative writing exercises, essays, films, and other materials as necessary.
dr Monika Kocot, Revolutionary Minds (from William Blake to Jim Morrison)
The course will look at selected British and American literary texts (both poetry and prose) to explore various aspects of revolution and (playful) subversion in culture. The emphasis will be placed on identifying intriguing inspirations and traces of influence between authors and traditions of (sometimes) distant periods in literary history (William Blake and Jim Morrison), as well as between representatives of literary canon and pop culture. We will be reading and discussing texts by the revolutionary Romantics (William Blake, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau) who exerted huge influence on the counterculture of the 1960s (Jim Morrison, John Lennon, George Harrison, Bob Dylan), and still influence those who promote geopoetic revolution (Kenneth White, Gary Snyder).
dr Shauna O’Brien, Documentary Theatre in Britain
Documentary Theatre is a genre of theatre that uses sources found outside a theatrical context (such as interviews, reports, or journals) as the raw material for a dramatic performance. In Britain, theatremakers have used the form to address some of the most divisive social and political issues in recent decades. Institutional racism in the police, the invasion of Iraq, serial killings, and terrorism have all been addressed by theatremakers using this documentary approach. At the same time, the use of documentary techniques can afford a degree of anonymity that can be used by playwrights to present more personal testimony on the stage. This course will explore a variety of these British documentary plays, from verbatim musicals to works that criticise and seek to
deconstruct the documentary form. Students will examine how documentary materials are collected, edited and staged by theatremakers, and interrogate the ethics of these different approaches. Works that will be discussed include Alecky Blythe and Adam Cork’s London Road, David Hare’s The Permanent Way, Richard Norton-Taylor’s The Colour of Justice, and Dennis Kelly’s Taking Care of Baby among others. The course will be examined by assignments and a quiz at the end of the semester.
dr hab. Martin Hinton, Fundamental Questions of Language
On this course, you will be asked to consider the most fundamental questions concerning language and its use. The class will be discussion based, and each week we’ll try to answer such questions as: Where does language come from? Can we think without language? How does language refer to reality? How is language linked to thought? Does language have rules and how would we know? Although these questions are philosophical in nature, we’ll be addressing them as linguists and particularly interested in the way that they impact on the practice of linguistics.
dr Przemysław Ostalski, Linguistic puzzles in SYNTAX and MORPHOLOGY (and different ways to solve them)
The objective of the course is to give students an overview of the syntactic and morphological variation across different languages of the world. The course analyzes linguistic puzzles/problems and provides a unique educational activity that combines analytic reasoning and linguistic/cultural awareness. Students learn about the richness, diversity and systematicity of language, while exercising natural logic and reasoning skills. Additionally students discover ways in which speakers of different languages approach reality.
dr hab. prof. UŁ Krzysztof Kosecki, World Englishes
The course provides an overview of world Englishes. It introduces the concepts of standard English, dialect, sociolect, and slang, as well as presents the history of dispersals of the language into various parts of the world. The following varieties are discussed in more detail: English in England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales; English in the USA and Canada; English in Australia and New Zealand; English in South Africa and South-East Asia; English-based pidgins and creoles; Estuary English; English and other European languages; English as a lingua franca.
Elective Courses D (Wednesdays 15:15)
dr Joanna Matyjaszczyk, Constructing the Other in English Literature
The course looks into how Otherness is constructed and deconstructed in various works of English literature, especially in medieval and early modern popular literature, but also in Victorian and post-modern fiction. We will discuss popular ballads and romances, short stories, tales, and fragments of plays and novels in order to investigate how different narrative and dramatic works structure their narrative voices, plots and characters around the figure of the Other, engaging in discourses of physical difference and monstrosity, ethnic and religious prejudice (including anti-clericalism, anti-Catholicism, anti-Judaism, Islamophobia), anti-feminism and witchcraft.
dr hab. prof. UŁ Kacper Bartczak, Nature in American Literature
This seminar class will focus on the presence of nature in American literature and thought. We will examine a variety of American literary texts, but also films and visual arts that thematize nature. Beginning in Romanticism, to naturalism, later to modernism and into the later 20th century – nature in its various guises and versions never ceased to fascinate the American mind. Do we belong to nature or are we alien within it? Are we able to create habitable environments in it? We will be looking at texts, but also films and visual arts materials that attend to those issues.
Selected texts: H. D. Thoreau, Walden, or Life in the Woods (fragments); Herman Melville, Moby Dick (fragments); Ernest Hemingway, “Big, Two-Hearted River”; Wallace Stevens “Sunday Morning”; Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire (fragments); Jean Baudrillard, America (fragments); Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian and The Road (fragments)
dr Marta Goszczyńska, Realism, Modernism and Postmodernism: Developments in 20th- and 21st-Century British Short Fiction
The course offers an overview of the three dominant twentieth- and twenty-first-century literary modes: realism, modernism and postmodernism. The aim will be to place these modes within larger historical, cultural and philosophical contexts, and to characterise their distinctive key features. Realism, modernism and postmodernism will be discussed on the basis of short stories by such writers as Thomas Hardy, Virginia Woolf, Katherine Mansfield, Elizabeth Bowen, Ian McEwan, Angela Carter, David Lodge, Kazuo Ishiguro, Graham Swift, Michele Roberts and A.S. Byatt. The average reading load is around 10-20 pages per week.
dr Przemysław Ostalski, Linguistic puzzles in SEMANTICS and PHONOLOGY (and different ways to solve them)
The objective of the course is to give students an overview of the semantic and phonological variation across different languages of the world. The course analyzes linguistic puzzles/problems and provides a unique educational activity that combines analytic reasoning and linguistic/cultural awareness. Students learn about the richness, diversity and systematicity of language, while exercising natural logic and reasoning skills. Additionally students discover ways in which speakers of different languages approach reality.
dr Shauna O’Brien, Global Shakespeares: Adaptations of Shakespeare’s plays in different global contexts
Shakespeare’s plays have been translated into over 100 languages and been performed for a variety of audiences across the globe. This course will examine a selection of these global adaptations, from literary reinterpretations of the plays to film adaptations. Students will explore the various routes along which Shakespeare’s plays have travelled across the world and how these routes have been shaped by social, political, and cultural influences. This course will seek to shed light on the complex interplay of local and global factors that have helped Shakespeare become the global phenomenon he is today. In addition to Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Othello and Macbeth, we will also look at a selection of stage and screen adaptations of these plays. Texts for this course include Sulayman Al-Bassam’s Al-Hamlet Summit, Tom Stoppard’s Dogg’s Hamlet, Cahoot’s Macbeth, and Paula Vogel’s Desdemona, a play about a handkerchief. The course will be assessed by assignments and a quiz at the end of the semester.
dr hab. prof. UŁ Kamila Ciepiela, Language in Use
This course is an introduction to how language is used in infinitely intriguing ways in different contexts, and how even a rigorous linguistic analysis of these areas can be fascinating.
While language is a particularly important part of communication, we accept that the context of language use (linguistic and non-linguistic) is crucial for understanding what meaning is being expressed. We adopt a functional approach to language and language analysis, an approach that starts with language in use rather than abstract theories. A function is a use to which something is put. Language is used for many purposes, which perhaps all have in common that meaning is conveyed. Therefore, the focus of the course is on how meaning is constructed and conveyed across contexts, and on what other goals interactants aim to accomplish in communication. In particular, the main topics of the course include: (i) Semiotic codes of communication (ii) Verbal and non-verbal communication, (iii) Spoken and written language, (iv) Talk in interaction, (v) Language variation across interactional contexts and cultures, (vi) Multilingualism, (vii) Language and identities.