Students choose three Proseminars. Registration will commence on Friday 1st October at 8pm and will close on Sunday 3rd 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. 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:
I MA students who do not have access to USOS yet should register via email. Please write an email to firstname.lastname@example.org on Sunday, October 3, between 7pm and 9pm. We suggest you name not only the three proseminars you like best but also three additional proseminars (that is, an alternative choice, in case some groups you wish to choose are full). Students will be assigned to particular groups according to the order in which we receive your emails. The email registration is now over. You can find the student lists here.
LITERATURE & CULTURE:
prof. dr hab. Andrzej Wicher, Fantastic literature (fantasy and science fiction)
The proseminar is, generally speaking, focused on fantastic literature (fantasy and science fiction) and its links with religious studies and medieval culture. The planned master theses may concern the above mentioned genres, but also other genres of early English literature (written, roughly speaking, before 1900) including drama and film adaptations.
dr hab. Magdalena Cieślak + dr hab. Tomasz Dobrogoszcz, prof. UŁ, Intersections of dystopia and apocalypse in contemporary literature and film
The seminar proposes to look at works of fiction exploring various crisis scenarios, such as end-of-the-world or end-of-civilization motifs, dystopian landscapes, as well as epidemics or outbreak narratives. It aims to explore the ways in which those works, through their dystopian and apocalyptic focus, explore the cultural, social and political fears and anxieties of our times. The analysis of selected novels and films will reveal how those motifs reflect upon issues of ethics, morality, class, gender, ethnicity, ecology, consumerism, etc. Our discussions will aim to show various possible readings of such scenarios, ranging from those embracing the posthuman pessimism of our condition, through those offering hopeful alternatives, to those cherishing the revolutionary and liberating power of apocalypse.
dr hab. Joanna Kruczkowska, prof. UŁ, Environmental issues in modern Irish and British literature and culture
The proseminar will look into the issues of natural and human environment taken up in literature and culture (film, art, museums) of Ireland and Britain as well as international ecocriticism. Themes of the seminar concern climate change, the current pandemic and its relation to human and natural environment, housing crises, ecofeminism, postcolonialism, tourism, technology etc. The works discussed ask questions such as: What is our responsibility for the planet? Can we as common, private people change anything? Do the virtual world, technology or science provide answers or not? What is the future of human relations and how does it relate to the past? Final assessment includes student projects carried out in different media of their choice (photography, literature, video, mixed media).
prof. dr hab. Wit Pietrzak, Anglophone Literature, Art and Culture between High and Pop
When Bram Stoker wrote Dracula little could he have known that 108 years later bookshelves would be struck by Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight. When the Christian monk(s?) chose to set down the war-hungry Anglo-Saxons’ poem, which has come to give us all nightmares under the resonant title Beowulf, he can’t have foreseen motion pictures, not to mention 3D motion capture Beowulf. On the other hand when Homer sang the noble verses of the Iliad, he must have had a distinct image of Brad Pitt before his mind’s eye. Indeed, the list of classics that popular culture has swallowed, digested and puked back at us verges on the infinite. But is this sardonic tone justified? Is it true that the Homers (and Christian monks?) gave us gems to be savoured while Stephanie Meyers of this world gave us…whatever is the opposite of a gem?
Rather than answer right off the bat, this seminar will suspend verdict. We’ll try to look at what some capture in the neat binary of highbrow and lowbro(w)/popular (from novels to films through poetry to painting, to graphic novels and beyond) in tandem. As the story of the great divide unfolds, we might begin to see how they motivate, borrow from and lend to each other and whether the two categories are still tenable.
dr Marta Goszczyńska, “Post-Postmodernism”? British Fiction in the New Millennium
For the majority of critics commenting on contemporary literature, postmodernism has come to an end and we are now in need of defining the cultural phase that has succeeded it. The course will attempt to engage with ongoing debates about the new period and its relation with its predecessor by looking at six novels published in the new millennium: David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas (2004), Ali Smith’s The Accidental (2005), Zadie Smith’s NW (2012), Jim Crace’s Harvest (2013), Kate Atkinson’s Life after Life (2013), and Kazuo Ishiguro’s Klara and the Sun (2021). In particular, we will investigate some of the claims made and the questions asked about this “post-postmodernism.” Does it indeed reveal a strong ethical commitment and a greater ecological sensitivity? Can it be seen as an attempt to “return to the real”? How does it address distinctly contemporary concerns: multiculturalism, globalisation and cosmopolitanism? What new thematic preoccupations and aesthetic practices does it involve? How does it engage with some recent theoretical approaches, such as posthumanism or affect theory?
dr hab. Alicja Piechucka, prof. UŁ, 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 first three waves of feminism.
prof. dr hab. Łukasz Bogucki, Media Translation and Localisation
This course focuses on all things audiovisual translation. We will be exploring aspects of subtitling, dubbing, voice-over, surtitling, audio-description, SDH, game localisation and more. Related topics include machine translation, computer-assisted translation, translator training, translation quality assessment and more.
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 with the process and effects of English borrowings in Polish (or other native languages), with special focus on the most recent borrowings in various domains of life and across different media, and also on possible structural influences of one language upon the other. Discussion will also concentrate on the development of new vocabulary in these language (for example, the new vocabulary connected with the recent pandemia). Additionally, language contact will be investigated within the historical and contemporary processes in the British Isles.
Discussion connected with languages in contrast will focus on contrasting and comparing different patterns in language, starting with vocabulary, word structures and lexical processes, through syntax and semantics, to texts and argumentation patterns. Examples for analysis will come from English and Polish (or other native languages).
dr hab. Janusz Badio, From thought to language and back: how patterns of language reflect human cognition in text and discourse
The course will extend your knowledge of units in language from a cognitive perspective: word, sentence, text and context. We will discuss how selecting language forms results from varied points of view, perspectives, bias and pragmatic goals. Both simple and complex discourses (newspaper articles, press reports, stories, fictional-literary dialogues or jokes) will be used as examples for analysis. Students will be encouraged to extend and adjust the above topics to their own interests and plans of preparing their M.A. theses on linguistics, language and its acquisition, learning and teaching.
dr hab. Iwona Witczak-Plisiecka, prof. UŁ, 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. Przemysław Krakowian, prof. UŁ, Modern orientations in ELT
This orientation 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 computerized/electronic portfolia in skill development and language assessment.
dr hab. Anna Cichosz, prof. UŁ, Language as a network of constructions
An idea shared by many people, not necessarily linguists, is that in order to speak a language you need to know its two basic elements: vocabulary and grammar, and that these two components are neatly separated. But what if this is not how language really works? In Construction Grammar, which is the topic of this seminar, the division into grammar and vocabulary is not clear-cut. Every form which has a function or meaning in the language is called a construction. Thus, constructions range from very simple (like the Saxon genitive ‘s in John’s car) to very complex (like wh-questions such as What is it?), and from fully lexicalised (every word is a construction and so are all fixed expressions like once upon a time, no shit or give me a break) to fully abstract or schematic (like an imperative clause), including semi-lexicalised ones (like fucking + adjective, e.g. fucking great or fucking awesome). These constructions are organised into a network in our brain, they interact with one another, form hierarchies, and change with time. During this course we will analyse different types of constructions in English, tracing relations between them. You will learn a lot about how language functions and changes, with special reference to English. You may expect a lot of case studies, looking at real data in electronic corpora of English, a bit of reading and some counting (yes! empirical linguistics is all about numbers, so MS Excel will be your best friend).
dr hab. Piotr Pęzik, prof. UŁ, Linguists and Linguistics in Natural Language Processing
Natural Language Processing is one of the driving forces of the modern-day digital revolution. Web-search, machine-translation, predictive typing, text-to-speech systems and voice-operated virtual assistants are some of the obvious examples of technologies which have already changed the way we communicate, find and process information. The course will offer a gentle introduction to a selection of issues in the vast area of NLP, such as information retrieval, part-of-speech tagging, syntactic parsing, named entity recognition, text classification and intent detection. In particular, we will consider the contribution of formal linguistics to the development and evaluation of language processing solutions as well as the core skills and competencies required of analytical linguists as domain experts in the process of designing and evaluating language technologies.
dr hab. Jacek Waliński, prof. UŁ, Interactions among language, culture, and cognition in translation and business communication
The course focuses on selected aspects of the interaction among language, culture, and cognition for practical applications in translation, business communication, as well as media discourse analysis. The interaction will be discussed from the perspective of cognitive approaches to linguistics coupled with real-world communication samples taken from readily available or self-developed collections of texts. Topics covered include Farzad Sharifian’s Cultural Linguistics, George Lakoff’s Conceptual Metaphor in everyday reasoning, and Ronald Langacker’s Cognitive Grammar. Participants will be instructed on how to develop the skills required to successfully complete their Master’s thesis.