The online registration for 3rd-year BA students for elective courses (‘zajęcia fakultatywne’) will commence on Friday, September 24, at 7.00 pm and will close on Sunday, September 26, at 11.59 pm. In order to register students access the following website: usosweb.uni.lodz.pl.

Each student chooses one course labelled A and one course labelled B (two courses altogether):

Zajęcia fakultatywne A
Zajęcia fakultatywne B

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. Please note than each group can be identified by the teacher’s name, with the exception of dr Shauna O’Brien’s groups (they are the ones without the teacher’s name). Course descriptions of available courses can be found below.

ELECTIVE COURSE A (Tuesdays 1.30 pm – 3 pm)

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.

dr hab. prof UŁ Iwona Witczak-Plisiecka, Speech acts and actions: What language is for
The course introduces a functional perspective on language in which acts of speech are seen as actions in the social world. We will shortly revise models of communication focused on functions of language (e.g. Aristotle, Jakobson, J.L. Austin’s speech act theory) and demonstrate though exercises how such models can be used in analysis of natural language (how people persuade and dissuade, make others believe or doubt things, how they compliment and intimidate). We will consider literal language and different types of suggested meanings (presupposed, implicated, etc. meanings).

dr Tomasz Fisiak, (Pop)Cultural Gothic
The aim of the class is to analyse selected aspects of Gothicism as a (pop)cultural phenomenon, with a particular focus on its impact on the widely understood visual and aural sphere (cinema, music/video). Students will be acquainted with the concepts of intertextuality, interpictoriality and transmediality, among others, to discuss a range of Gothic-inspired films and music videos. Assessment will be based upon two major tasks, i.e. a movie review and a presentation on a music video of one’s choice, as well as active participation in the discussions throughout the semester.

dr Małgorzata Hołda, The Phenomenon of Being-in-the-world in the Literary Works of British Modernism
The aim of this course is to reflect on how the most famous writers of British modernism explore the phenomenon of our being-in-the-world. The problematic under discussion will embrace such categories as beauty and truth, time, female/male dichotomy, authenticity, solitude, contemplative and calculative thinking. The reflection on the above-mentioned topics will be done from a phenomenological-hermeneutic perspective. Paying special attention to the intersections of literature, philosophy, and visual arts: painting and photography, the course program endeavors to sensitize students to liminal areas, points of indeterminacy, and that which is viewed as marginal.
The schedule will encompass the following, detailed topics: the relationship between beauty (kalon) and truth (aletheia), the coexistence and co-influence of the visual and the verbal arts, female artists and the disavowal of patriarchy (Virginia Woolf, Vanessa Bell, and the Bloomsbury group), the interconnections of literature and psychoanalysis (Virginia Woolf), creative competition and authenticity (Woolf and Katherine Mansfield), time, contemplative thinking, and the notion of epiphany in literature (James Joyce) and philosophy (St. Paul, Luther, Duns Scotus, Heidegger), existential void, loneliness, and confusion (the poetic narration of T. S. Eliot), and others. Since the course prompts the development of effective communication on a vast and diverse range of literary topics it will focus on tutor-to-student and student-to-student interaction with the use of British Library online readings and other resources as a creative stimulus. To receive a positive grade, students are obliged to actively participate in classes and to give a talk and/or write an essay on a topic selected from the list of proposals.

prof. dr hab. Piotr Stalmaszczyk, 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 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. Students will be required to submit an essay at the end of the semester.


ELECTIVE COURSE B (Thursdays 10 am – 11.30 am)

dr hab. Małgorzata Myk, Highlights of 20th & 21st century North American experimental women’s writing.
The focus of this course is present-day avant-garde writing by North American female authors. We will be analyzing a selection of representative texts that challenge literary norms and genre conventions in ways that interrogate different aspects of culture and politics. We will also re-examine the concept of form as always inextricably related to writing’s content. Apart from reading literary texts, we will also look at relevant excerpts from influential critical and theoretical pieces that help to situate writers in contexts from which their works have been evolving. Our reflection on the texts will be also enhanced by visual resources that help to grasp these works’ material aspect.

dr Anna Wieczorek, Studying meaning and persuasion
The purpose of the course is to familiarise students with semantic, pragmatic, and cognitive studies of meaning and persuasion. In class, students will be involved in hands-on tasks in which they will rely on Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA), an approach to studying language as a social and political tool. This course aims to acquaint students with current trends in semantic, pragmatic, and cognitive studies in language and the main trends in linguistic analysis of discourse.
The course will cover the following topics to investigate various persuasion strategies in discourse: semantics and semantic relations; pragmatics (speech acts, presupposition, implicature); cognitive linguistics (conceptual metaphor, conceptual mapping); Critical Discourse Analysis.

prof. dr hab. Wit Pietrzak, Monsters within, monsters without
Who doesn’t enjoy getting a glimpse into the workings of a terrifically twisted mind? The course will explore various portrayals of monstrosity, from a raging blood-thirsty vampire (NOT Twilight, because again @#$% Twilight), through a raging blood-thirsty sociopathic murderer, all the way to, you guessed it, a raging blood-thirsty physician. With scant attention to genres (there will be novels, both graphic and the old school, there will be poems, there will be films, there will be blood) or periods (though post-WWII is to be expected most of the time), we will investigate the trials of tribulations of all manner of lunatics on the rampage and sympathise with their helpless victims. And yet, despite the admittedly dreary climes that our sojourns will take us to, one can’t rule out a laugh or two.

dr hab. prof UŁ, Piotr Pęzik, Introduction to Corpus-based Authorship Attribution
This course is a gentle introduction to idiolect studies and corpus-drive authorship attribution. Idiolect can be defined as the language variety of an individual. Authorship attribution (AA) is “the process in which linguists set out to identify the author(s) of disputed, anonymous or questioned texts” (Coulthard et al. 2016). Authorship attribution and idiolect studies are an important aspect of forensic linguistics. As part of the course we will consider a number of qualitative, computational-quantitative AA methods and explore idiolect corpora in search of co-selection sets which can uniquely identify authors in online and casual communication.

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 Taylor-Norton’s The Colour of Justice, and Dennis Kelly’s Taking
Care of Baby among others. The course will be examined by an essay at the end of the semester