PROSEMINARIA

Literatura i kultura:

dr Piotr Spyra, Fairies in Medieval and Early Modern Literature and Folklore
The proseminar is designed for students who would consider writing their MA thesis on medieval or early modern English literature. The introductory semester is devoted specifically to fairies and the significant role that they play in the literature of the period. The course covers medieval romance and early modern balladry as well as Renaissance drama. Theoretical approaches discussed include the concept of liminality and the anthropology of ritual. Please note that this course does not cover modern fantasy literature.


dr hab. prof. UŁ Tomasz Dobrogoszcz / dr hab. Magdalena Cieślak, 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. P
rimary texts: Atwood, Margaret, Oryx and Crake; McCarthy, Cormac, The Road; Winterson, Jeanette, Stone Gods; Matheson, Richard, I Am Legend + I Am Legend, dir. Francis Lawrence (2007); The Cured, dir. David Freyne (2017)


dr hab. prof. UŁ Joanna Kruczkowska,
Nature writing: ecocriticism and contemporary Ireland
 “What is nature?” asked the British philosopher Kate Soper in the 1990s, questioning what seemed to most of us an obvious concept. Ecocriticism with its diagnosis of the alarming state of the environment emerged in the United States in the 1960s, officially reaching Ireland at the end of the 20th century. For centuries before that, however, Irish culture has engaged with the natural world, incorporating and mapping landscape in Celtic myth, folklore and literature. The seminar will look at the way contemporary Irish writing (1) comments on the changes to the natural and human environment on the one hand, and on the other, (2) continues or creates nature-related mythology, applying it to modern life (society, language, history). Core material includes short forms of literature (mainly poetry and essays) as well as film, documentary and non-fiction, backed up with fragments of ecocritical texts.


dr hab. prof. UŁ Katarzyna Ostalska, The Posthuman in Literature and Film

The  objective of the proseminar is to examine what it means for humans to live in the postuman era and how this experience can be rendered in selected literary, visual, cinematographic and scientific forms. Contrary to its commonplace, reductive, binarist “anti-humanist” connotations, posthumanism does not simply “dismiss” humans but expands the notion of subjectivity in the direction of other than human agencies: non-human animals, transhuman beings, machines, to name but a few. Contemporary technology, globalisation, the advancement in science, recent climate changes −  produce a different vision of “humanity” which requires a re-definition of its goals, presuppositions and its inclusiveness. With this in mind, the proseminar aims to explore posthumanism in theory and practice. Among many sub-genres and subjects, one can distinguish: SF, the speculative discourse, modern technology, computers and AI, animal studies, climate studies, post-apocalyptic studies, New Materialisms.
If you are interested in the posthuman discourse and you would like to find out more about it, you are welcome to join this proseminar for Teams/Zoom discussions.


dr hab. prof. UŁ Zbigniew Maszewski, American Modernist Prose Writers
This course aims at presenting the development of modernist aesthetics in American prose writing as a field of conflicting and supplementary notions: its prioritizing of formal innovations versus its reliance on literary traditions; its emphasis on the primacy of subjectivism, the “sensory present” and artistic autonomy versus its confessed failure to stand apart from and above social and political conditions of the time. The course will view these issues as essential for the formation of  the modernist medium-transcending aesthetic, uniting different arts and ways of expression. Among works to be discussed are: Jean Toomer’s Cane, Robert Penn Warren’s selected short stories, fragments of John Dos Passos’s Manhattan Transfer,  Ernest Hemingway’s selected short stories and A Moveable Feast, William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying and “The Bear”.


dr Krzysztof Majer, Intertextual Journeys: Parody & Musicalization

What governs this two-part course is the idea of investigating that which occurs in-between: between text and text (parody), between music and literary prose (musicalization).

Part 1. Parody
Parody is one of the most recognizable elements of postmodern culture. But do we understand how it works, and what it tells us about our world? Can everything be parodied? Does parody weaken its object – or perhaps strengthen it? Is it political? Can it be serious? Our framework will be Linda Hutcheon’s Theory of Parody. We will consider examples of contemporary literature in English, e.g. parodic reinterpretations of folktales and fables (Donald Barthelme, Angela Carter), Biblical narratives (Robert Coover), and products of other media, e.g. the televisual or cinematic (Steven Millhauser).

Part Two. Musicalization.
Ours is an intermedial world: its messages involve a number of different media, e.g. the verbal, the visual or the musical. The second part of this course is designed to alert students to one particular type of intermediality, namely to musicalization (representation of a musical work in traditionally understood literary prose). For theory, we will rely on Werner Wolf (e.g. Musicalization of Fiction) and Emily Peterman (e.g. The Musical Novel). In each case, we will see what role a musical work plays in a literary text, e.g. Leonard Cohen’s songs in a short story by Bill Gaston, or songs containing pauses (such as The Police’s “Roxanne”) in an experimental literary work by Jennifer Egan.

 

Językoznawstwo:

prof. dr hab. Piotr Cap, Linguistic pragmatics
This MA-level course will describe the current state of research in the field of linguistic pragmatics seen in the broad sense of a functional (i.e. cognitive, social and cultural) perspective on language and communication. A wide variety of topics will be discussed and students will acquire both theoretical and practical expertise within the following areas:

– application of linguistic pragmatics in the analysis of real-life discourse (language of politics and the media; advertising; social communication; misunderstandings; humor, etc.)

– status of pragmatics in relation to such disciplines as sociolinguistics, anthropology, social psychology, experimental psychology, neurolinguistics, cognitivism and culture studies

– methodology of pragmatic investigation and parameters of analysis (deixis, presupposition, implicature, speech acts, politeness, relevance)

– implementation of pragmatic awareness in foreign language teaching


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 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 Anna Gralińska-Brawata Language and Music

The aim of the course is to demonstrate the relation between language and music from the linguistic perspective. The students will be acquainted with the research related to the links between foreign language acquisition and musical abilities and/or musical experience. The students will have the opportunity to test their musical abilities with the use of various tools, analyze their English speech production in terms of rhythm, word stress and intonation with the use of acoustic speech analysis software and explore the relationship between their music tests results and selected elements of English prosody.


dr hab. prof. UŁ Mikołaj Deckert,
Audiovisual Translation
This course focuses on film translation and video game localisation. Its main objective is to offer an overview of the major modes (e.g. subtitling) and concepts (e.g. translation constraints) of audiovisual translation, as well as to discuss selected theoretical frameworks (e.g. cognitive translatology). The course is also designed as a practical introduction to some of the research tools and methods available in translation studies, with an emphasis on audiovisual contexts. Therefore, the seminar consequently aims to enable preliminary – while already informed and principled – MA-level translation-centred analyses of a spectrum of topics that participants might be specifically interested in, ranging from culture to humour.


dr hab. prof. UŁ Przemysław Krakowian, Exploring and Researching Digital Learning and Assessment

Online learning, virtual learning spaces, computerised assessment, and online assessment, are faced with a number of challenges that need to be addressed through ICT solutions under the duress of the pandemic. In the Humanities quantitative research is scarce, partly due to the scope and nature of the domain, but largely due to researchers reluctantly reaching for methodologies more suited for the Hard Sciences. This seminar not only reviews some opportunities offering insights into the functioning of digital learning, but postulates that the same investigative measures may be used to study new, emerging human cognitions in the digital domains.
Numerous ambitious projects can easily be derived from the database of computerized learning and assessment and the use of various types of technology in language learning. Turning such projects into research portions of the MA thesis is just a matter of course with abundant digital data available while other forms of research efforts may be thwarted by the pandemic.


dr Martin Hinton, Thinking about Language

This course encourages students to think carefully about language: what language is, what languages are, what the study of language should entail. Topics for consideration will come from linguistics, the philosophy of linguistics, the philosophy of language, argumentation theory, rhetoric and beyond. Students will be asked to read research papers, think about them, and then discuss the ideas found therein and provoked thereby. The emphasis is very much on the thinking, and the aim is to open up new directions for study and new ways of looking at familiar areas.