The online registration for 2nd year BA students for Elective Courses will commence on Tuesday 16th February at 8.00 pm and will close on Thursday 18th February at 11.59 pm. In order to register students access the following website: usosweb.uni.lodz.pl.
Each student chooses one of six courses in 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.
Group A (Wed 10:00):
dr hab. prof UŁ Tomasz Dobrogoszcz, Postmodernism in Contemporary Anglophone Fiction and Film
The goal of the course is to provide students with a general understanding of the main tenets of postmodernism and demonstrate typical examples of contemporary postmodern fiction and film. After a brief theoretical introduction to basic philosophical and aesthetic assumptions of postmodernism, we will discuss the reading materials (short stories and fragments of novels by A. Carter, J. Barnes, P. Carey, J. Fowles, S. Rushdie, etc.) and films (by D. Lynch, P. Greenaway, S. Kubrick, etc.). We will critically approach the contemporary notions of language and identity, examining such concepts as irony, metafiction, intertextuality and hyperreality.
dr hab. prof. UŁ Przemysław Krakowian, Practical and Technical Issues in ELT
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 course 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.
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 hab. prof. UŁ Krzysztof Kosecki, Translation,
The course focuses on basic concepts and strategies of translation from English into Polish and Polish into English. Issues such as the role of context in translation, equivalence on and above the word level., translation of idioms, culture in translation, pragmatics in translation, and cognitive and communicative aspects of translation will be discussed on the basis of short texts and individually assigned tasks.
dr hab. prof. UŁ Janusz Badio, Exploring Spoken English
The 30 h course looks at different aspects of spoken English. Students will listen to, read and analyse real-life data (McCarthy and Carter 1996) of stories, language in action, debates and other forms. They will learn about speech planning, production, comprehension, units of spoken English, ready made plans of scripts or schemas, monologues and conversations. The seminar class will encourage students to take part in discussions and to critically evaluate the sources they will read.
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.
Group B (Wed 11:45):
dr Agnieszka Rasmus, Understanding British Cinema: from Heritage to Brit-grit
Most students of English Studies are familiar with such acclaimed British films as Four Weddings and A Funeral, The King’s Speech, James Bond or the Harry Potter series. British cinema is thus often associated with costume dramas, iconic historical figures, great literature, stylishness, dead-pan humour and romance. However, there is more to British film than meets the eye and the aim of this course is to familiarise you with lesser known titles, movements and trends that over the years have shaped British film into its present globally recognised form.
dr Justyna Fruzińska, The American Short Story,
The course „The American Short Story” will be devoted to a discussion of American short stories from the 19th and 20th centuries. The course is designed to complete the students’ previous knowledge of American literary history, showing the development of American literature exemplified by the short story – a genre both easy and demanding, revealing major changes in American culture and ideas.
dr hab. Małgorzata Myk, Awww!—Cuteness, Popular Culture, Aesthetics and Power in 21st-century American Literature
The course is devoted to the ways in which certain literary works radically complicate our supposedly casual encounters with different aspects of popular culture. Formally innovative writings of this kind have been produced by, among others, authors associated with the New Sincerity (e.g. Miranda July, Rupi Kaur, Patricia Lockwood, Anne Boyer), the New Weird, or Flarf poetry. All these writers have been preoccupied with the impact of pop culture on our everyday experience, but their texts do much more than just include trivia or glorify banality. Instead, they engage us in the process of coming to terms with our own responses to the pervasiveness of popular culture. Seeing its impact through the lens of these authors’ works, we can begin to talk about the domain of aesthetics, discuss the category of aesthetic taste, and evaluate our responses to art and literature produced in different cultural contexts. Whereas, as cultural critic and literary theorist Sianne Ngai has shown in her theoretical reflection, our responses to pop matters tend to stop at such emotionally charged judgements as “cute!”, “crazy!”, or “interesting!”, these words’ careful analysis in fact reveals a lot about the entanglement of aesthetics and ideology.
dr. hab. prof. UŁ Krzysztof. Kosecki, World Englishes,
The course introduces the concepts of standard English, dialect, sociolect, and slang. It discusses varieties of English spoken around the world (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), focusing on their historical development, as well as selected phonological, lexical, syntactic, and semantic properties.
dr hab. prof. UŁ Janusz Badio, From text to discourse (not only for language teachers)
The course invites its participants to study forms, functions, contexts or topics (the list is not exhaustive) 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. The course participants will be encouraged to take part in group and pairwork. Critical evaluation of the texts will be promoted as well as focus on the use of English.
dr hab. prof. UŁ Przemysław Krakowian, Selected issues in EFL/ESL
In a similar, though somewhat more serious vein, this course is meant 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 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.
Group C (Wed 15:15):
prof. dr hab. Andrzej Wicher, Medieval and Early Modern English Literature Combined with Modern Fantasy
The course is based on the assumption that modern fantastic literature would have looked very different, or even would not have been there at all, if it were not for the inspiration derived, either directly or indirectly, from various works of Medieval and Renaissance literature. To give just two, rather obvious, examples. Is J.R.R.Tolkien’s dragon Smaug conceivable without the dragon that kills the heroic protagonist of the Old English poem Beowulf? And isn’t it rather natural to suspect that J.K.Rowling’s notorious and shape-shifting villain Voldemort owes something to John Milton’s equally shape-shifting Satan, both having a pronounced obsession with snakes? There are certainly also many other, sometimes less obvious, but perhaps no less interesting, analogies between the old and modern realms of fantasy. And we should not lose sight of the fact that by means of fantasy some very real and even burning issues are often raised and communicated.
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.
J. Kruczkowska, Northern Ireland in Cinema,
The course will focus on modern Irish cinema and films concerning the situation in Northern Ireland. It will involve the work of the most renowned directors in the field, such as Jim Sheridan, Neil Jordan, Alan Parker and Paul Greengrass. The themes relate to history and politics (with the emphasis on the Northern Irish conflict), social issues (emigration and immigration), etc. We will look at different perspectives on the events in Northern Ireland, discuss critical texts, film technique, write film reviews.
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 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
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 other selected 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 morphological analysis.
dr hab. prof. UL, Wit Pietrzak, Let’s go laughing to the tomb: British literature and the comic tradition
Although it is a truth universally acknowledged that every Brit is a pompous fart, regardless of the sex, you’d be surprised how many writers have realised this sad fact before. Realised and unleashed the razor of critique on the unsuspecting society. The course will therefore cast an enlightened look upon a vast array of utter retards brought to life in modern British prose and poetry: we will critically evaluate stupidity, vindictiveness, ruthlessness and untoward proclivities. As another year is being called off, we will take a jolly walk on the lighter side. Be advised, though, that the course contains content so explicit it might make a dog blush. Some regular suspects will include Edward Lear, W. H. Auden and Evelyn Waugh; some less regular ones will comprise Martin Amis (because @#$% Kingsley), Howard Jacobson and Paul Muldoon.
Group D (Tues 15:15):
dr Katarzyna Ojrzyńska, Reinterpreting Disability: An Introduction to Cultural Disability Studies
The course offers an introduction to cultural disability studies, an area of scholarship that has recently emerged in the humanities. We will investigate the changing perceptions of and attitudes to disability, various cultural representations of disability, as well as the subversive and transgressive potential of contemporary “crip culture”. In particular, the course will provide insights into:
- the historical development of various models of disability;
- selected problems related to the politics of disability representation (narrative prosthesis, inspirational porn, cripping-up);
- representations of disabled and atypical bodies in literature (B. Friel’s Molly Sweeney), film (D. Lynch’s The Elephant Man, S. Shainberg’s Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus), arts (classical portraiture, monuments, etc.);
- disability life writing (excerpts from books by Kenny Fries and Nancy Mairs);
- crip fashion and designer prosthetics.
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 hab. prof. UŁ Zbigniew Maszewski, The Gothic, The Irrational, The Bizarre,
The supernatural and the gothic have long exercised a powerful hold on the imagination of American writers; events which frustrate the demand for logical explanation have had a continuous presence in the creation of American literary tradition. The monstrous, the irrational, the shadowy, the unexpected and unexpressed, the bizarre and the unsettling touch sensitive places in the American psyche and American culture, and often remain related to issues of otherness, estrangement, marginalization, oppression, gender, sexuality and race. The seminar will focus on the elements evoking emotions of fear and anxiety in the texts of American 19th, 20th and 21st centuries from the perspective of contemporary critical theories. Among the writers whose works will be discussed are: E.A. Poe, Bierce, Lovecraft, Anaya, Robinson, King.
dr 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 hab. prof. UŁ, Iwona Witczak-Plisiecka, Speech acts and actions – how people do things with words
Students participating in the course explore the actional dimension of language. We will look at speech acts in a micro-linguistic perspective, i.e. how particular utterances are interpreted in terms of their social function (e.g. in conversation, in wider public sphere, in the classroom) in particular contexts and how in a macro-scale our identities and actions are shaped by linguistic messages in a broader social semiotic context (whether positive or negative: e.g. hate speech, slogans, billboards).
dr hab. Magdalena Cieślak, Playing Detective – Tracing Literary Sources in Contemporary Literature and Film
The course will look at a range of contemporary texts and films that draw inspiration from well-known and often canonical works of literature. Sometimes the inspirations are obvious, sometimes they’re quite obscure. Some “adaptations” take their sources seriously, others play with them, parody them, or simply take them to a very different dimension. The objective of the course will be to play detective, that is to trace the inspirations underlying the discussed texts and films and, more importantly, to figure out the logic behind those adaptation attempts. Ultimately, we’ll be trying to see what mysteries contemporary writers and and unveil when reaching out to older literary texts.
Check out the list below and see if you recognize the texts behind. The list is only a suggestion. I hope to set up a final reading/watching list with the group to best meet your interests.
John Gardner, Grendel (yes, some titles are a little too revealing): Philip Osment, This Island’s Mine (but not all of them); Caryl Churchill, Top Girls; Neil Gaiman, The Sandman; She’s the Man, dir. Andy Fickman (2006); Ten Things I Hate About You, dir. Gil Junger (1999); The King, dir. David Michod (2019); Warm Bodies, dir. Jonathan Levin (2013); And possibly a lot more…