Students choose three Proseminars. Registration will commence on Friday 7th October at 7pm and will close on Sunday 9th October at 11.59 pm. In order to register students access the following website: usosweb.uni.lodz.pl .
Please refer to the timetable in order to ensure that the classes of your choice do not overlap. Note that some classes may be held online.
There are limits to the maximum number of students in groups. If the group of your choice is already full, please choose another one.
You will find the course descriptions below.

Prof. dr hab. Andrzej Wicher, Proseminar on English Literature
The course prepares the students for a literary MA seminar, and for writing their MA theses. It deals also with interpretation of literary texts, particularly the texts belonging to medieval and Renaissance literature, and modern fantasy. Additionally, it concerns selected theoretical problems of fantastic literature.

Prof. dr hab. Wit Pietrzak, ‘These Violent Delights Have Violent Ends’:Contemporary Anglophone Literature and Culture in the Times of Crisis
In response to highfalutin ideas of the autonomy of literature and culture, one must needs face up to the fact that creative production happens in an actual world and that world is a violent place. Some embrace brutality, merrily praying ‘Send war in our time, O Lord!’, some brave it, spurring us into acts (sometimes feats) of reckless bravery (hey, wouldn’t you like to die beside your king, so we become the ‘happy few’?), meanwhile some despise and eschew it, beating swords into ploughshares. Whichever should be the case, though, if there is any time when literature and culture matter most, it is during crises, and since these days crises are all there is, the course will seek to explore various contemporary (the last forty years or so) forms of engaging the violent, the evil (the most evilest) and the insane. From reinventions of classical good-vs-evil motifs, through the Troubles and Apartheid, all the way to visions of post-crisis (post-apocalyptic) futures, we’ll have it all and will foresuffer all: prose, poetry, cinema and TV, and plenty of gratuitous violence from various Anglophone quarters; everything, needless to say, for our benefit and endless edification.

Dr hab. prof. UŁ Tomasz Dobrogoszcz, Representations of Trauma in Contemporary Literature
The natural human reaction to a traumatic experience is to remove it from consciousness, seeking escape from unbearable nature of the event and the unbearable nature of the survival. But the moment of the escape from death has endless impact on the victim’s life. The ghosts of the past will not rest and keep haunting the victim until their stories are told. Remembering and telling the truth about the atrocities is necessary for healing individual survivors and for restoring the social order. At the same time, the testimony of the trauma does not only outline the violent nature of events, but also the elements which resist comprehension. Because, as Freud claimed, a traumatic experience is not completely grasped when it occurs. In this way, the story of the trauma often becomes the story of a “belated experience”. This seminar will look at selected literary representations of trauma, both at the individual and the collective level, in contemporary fiction. Discussed writers will include: J.M. Coetzee, I. McEwan, T. Morrison, E. Donoghue, K. Vonnegut, J.S. Foer, H. Jacobson, G. Swift, and others. The course will also offer an overview of critical and theoretical approaches to the presentation of trauma in literature.

Dr hab. prof. UŁ Alicja Piechucka, Film and Feminism: The Condition of Women and the Women’s Movement in American Cinema
The aim of the proseminar is to examine selected examples of American films in terms of how they present the situation of women in the 20th and early 21st centuries. Chronologically speaking, the history of cinema coincides with that of the feminist movement, since both flourished in the 20th century. Nevertheless, American cinema – and cinema in general – is often accused of stereotyping, marginalizing and misrepresenting women and adopting the perspective of heterosexual men, who constitute the overwhelming majority of film directors. The proseminar is intended as an exploration of American films which do not exemplify such tendencies. The focus will be on cinematographic works which feature multidimensional female characters, depict women as fully fledged human beings and tell the viewer something  about the condition of women and the changes it has undergone in the last 100 years. Importantly, the films discussed will also be scrutinized with special reference to how they reflect the main postulates of the four waves of feminism.

Dr hab. prof. UŁ Kacper Bartczak, Nature, its disappearance, and its return – American literature in its material surroundings.
This is a proseminar in American literature designed as an intro to the subsequent MA seminar. The central purpose of this class is to focus on the representations of nature in American literature (and other areas of culture). Nature had been THE foundational topic of American literature, since the moment Americans had started to see their difference from Europe.  

In the first section of the class (the “proseminarium” phase), we will examine how American literature has approached the related concepts of nature, wilderness, desert, or simply the material world. Here, the purpose will be to think about the ambiguity of the material nature. American authors saw nature as a source of spiritual and physical resurrection – life itself. Alternatively, other American authors had distrusted nature, highlighting our alienation from it. In later phases, a number of contemporary American writers examined how late capitalist processes caused nature to disappear or merge with our technology, as technology became more pervasive. Finally, with new materialist approaches, we can speak about a return of nature.
The “proseminarium” class will feature works by H. D. Thoreau, Walt Whitman (poet), Herman Melville, Ernest Hemingway, W. C. Williams (poet), Cormac McCarthy, Edward Abbey, Jean Baudrillard, and Don DeLillo, Rae Armantrout (poet). To facilitate the discussion, we will consult other cultural areas – selected movies, works of visual art.

Prof. dr hab. Piotr Stalmaszczyk, Languages in Contact and Contrast
This course will focus on general patterns of language contact and it will discuss selected items in contrastive linguistics. Language contact will be exemplified mainly with the process and effects of English borrowings in Polish (or other native languages), with special focus on the most recent neologisms and borrowings in various domains of life and across different media (and also on possible structural influences of one language upon the other).

The analyses will also cover new vocabulary and word-formation processes connected with such recent developments as Brexit, pandemic, the war in the Ukraine.
Additionally, language contact will be investigated within the historical and contemporary processes in the British Isles (concentrating on the Celtic languages and Celtic Englishes).

Prof. dr hab. Łukasz Bogucki, Non-literary Translation, Concepts, Practices, Challenges

This course deals with all things translation, except for the translation of literature. Topics covered include:

  • audiovisual translation and media accessibility
  • simultaneous and consecutive interpreting
  • game localisation
  • machine translation
  • legal, medical and technical translation
  • sworn / certified translation
  • translation tools
  • translation and interpreting competence
  • cultural untranslatability in non-literary texts
  • translating humour

As translation typically involves two languages, sufficient knowledge of both English and Polish is required.

Dr hab. prof. UŁ Przemysław Krakowian, Modern orientations in ESL
While learner interest and involvement are crucial to achieving success in ELF/ESL, schools are having a hard time competing with the appeals of what life has to offer outside school. This orientation class looks at some persistent issues in ELT and offers practical and technical solutions to improve the attractiveness and appeal of classroom learning. Selected topics include the following: Kahoot, Socrative and visualization technology, Netflix, YouTube and other streaming services, Tik-Tok, podcasts and vlogs, authentic materials, WebQuests, language games, role-playing and simulations. This content is paired with a presentation of selected issues in the field of EFL/ESL in order to provide a comprehensive perspective on the learning/teaching process, with special 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 computerized/electronic portfolia in skill development and language assessment.

Dr hab. prof. UŁ Iwona Witczak-Plisiecka, Doing things with words in social contexts
The seminar focuses on language as a type of action in professional and other social contexts. The students will get familiar with a number of sociolinguistic variables and research methods that can be used in linguistics projects. Accepting that speech is a type of action we are naturally interested in the varied interactions between language and society, therefore the course will invite discussions of sociolinguistic issues, including the relationship between linguistic variation and social factors such as (national, ethnic or gender) identity, class and power, code choices in bi-dialectal or bilingual communities (e.g. Spanglish), attitudes towards language and culture. We will also explore selected aspects of communication in professional contexts (e.g. medical, legal or journalistic varieties) and try to find implications with regard to how sociolinguistic issues can be used in teaching English as a foreign language. Theoretical issues will be illustrated with sample research tasks.

The course is relevant for students interested in the nature of meaning in natural language, which includes face-to-face interaction, but also interaction found in fiction, literature, multimodal contexts, computer-mediated communication, and professional settings.

Dr hab. prof. UŁ Janusz Badio,

The pro-seminar is offered to students who would consider writing their MA projects on the way language forms reflect patterns of everyday thought in a variety of texts, both spoken and written, native and non-native, comprehension and production, real life vs literary. This is very broadly speaking the focus of Cognitive Linguistics. By way of example, the class will help you learn:
– how people classify things and events,
– that it is not important to draw a sharp dividing line between grammar and words,
– that the same situation can be described in alternative ways (for a reason),
– that the choice of abstract grammar rules (schemas) and lexis matters in presenting a situation or event,
– that meaning construction is a dynamic process driven by context, motivation, identity, culture, status of knowledge
– how knowledge structures are used during linguistic communication
– how meaning is constructed (mental simulation [not just pictures in the mind]) (e.g. How do you know which way you turn the key to open the door of your house? OR How do you prepare to describe your flat?)
– that metaphor and other types of non-literal language use are not just linguistic but that people actually think metaphorically ….
Students will better understand the relation between language and mind (psychology of language); they will be guided in the practical application of the theory to language data: internet chats, use of emoji, newspaper articles, stories, English language corpora, novels or short stories, real-life speech (conversations, lectures, stories). They will also be taught how to formulate a good research question (interesting, answerable, new).