1. Prof. Andrzej Wicher, A proseminar concerning the basic notions of religious and mythological studies as they can be applied to literary analysis
The course is intended to achieve the following objectives :
– Providing basic introductory information concerning the writing of a master thesis.
– The promotion of students’ awareness of the basic problems connected with anglophone fantastic literature.
– The exploration of the fundamental categories of religious and mythological studies.
– The development of students’ ability to interpret exemplary texts representing fantastic (or, occasionally, realistic) literature.
2. dr hab. Joanna Kruczkowska, Ireland in the 20th and 21st centuries
The course has an open, interdisciplinary character and spans Irish literature and culture including the social and political context from the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries until the present, delving into prose, poetry, drama, film and music of Ireland (North and South). This introductory seminar touches upon the country’s history, national identity, emigration/immigration, physical and psychological exile, landscape, language, relationships, folklore and tradition, as well as the Northern Irish conflict. By comparing works from different periods, it traces multifaceted attitudes and changes in approach towards the past and modernity of Ireland. The seminar is open to students’ own Irish interests and may shift emphasis accordingly.
3. prof. dr hab. Dorota Filipczak, Contemporary female writers from postcolonial countries
The course will focus on contemporary female writers from postcolonial countries, and female characters in fiction, film and music videos. Texts and films will be provided by the teacher. The materials will be mostly connected with Canadian, Australian and African literatures in English. Students will be assessed on the basis of their participation in discussions and final presentation.
4. dr hab. 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.
5. dr hab. Agnieszka Łowczanin, Gothic terrors, modern horrors
During this seminar we will explore contemporary manifestations of the Gothic, present in our cultural imagination since the publication of the first Gothic story in the late 18th century. The purpose will be to examine how this heavily aestheticized mode, which relies on recognizable tropes of terror and dread, often pleasing, but at times revolting, can nowadays, more often than ever, capture our attention and excite imagination. We will focus on the relevance of deploying Gothic machinery, on the one hand, to convey the anxieties and traumas caused by the world we live in, e.g. eco-horror, and, on the other, to give us aesthetic consumer/viewer satisfaction, e.g. Alexander McQueen’s eerie and flamboyant fashion designs, or films by Guillermo del Toro.
6. dr hab. prof. UŁ Kacper Bartczak, Desert, wilderness, environment – American literature in its natural surroundings.
This is a proseminar in American literature designed as an intro to the subsequent MA seminar. The entire concept of this class focuses on the relations between selected texts in American literature, both prose and poetry, and natural environment.
In the first section of the class (the “proseminarium” phase), we will examine how American literature has approached the related concepts of the desert and wilderness. Here, the purpose will be to think about the ambiguity of the desert in American literature and culture – from a place of emptiness, destruction and desolation to the necessary ground of self-change and regeneration. The “proseminarium” class will feature works by H. D. Thoreau, Walt Whitman, Ernest Hemingway, W. C. Williams, Cormac McCarthy, Edward Abbey, Jean Baudrillard, and other authors, both prose writers and poets. To complement the texts, we will also examine the motif of the desert in selected movies (The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, No Country for Old Men). For those students who will want to continue the class, the proseminar will evolve into an MA seminar. It will move toward the problem of the relations between literature and environment. We will treat literature as a device that focalizes the discussion of the related concepts of environment and life. We will also examine the concept of the literary text becoming an environment itself. The MA will depart from the proseminar pool of texts and gradually expand the reading list to include more contemporary examples.
7. dr Krzysztof Majer, The Glass Mountain: Parody in Contemporary English-Language Literature
In this course, we will look at one of the most recognizable elements of postmodern culture: parody. We are surrounded by its examples, but to what extent do we understand how it works, and what it tells us about the world in which we live? Below are some of the questions to ask ourselves:
• Can everything be parodied? When does a culture resist parody?
• Does parody weaken its object, or – on the contrary – prolong its life?
• Is it usually an artistic strategy, a symptom of a condition, or both?
• Does it have political consequences?
• Is it always humorous?
Our thinking about parody will be guided mostly by the theoretical work of Linda Hutcheon (e.g. A Theory of Parody and A Poetics of Postmodernism). In particular, we will consider examples of contemporary literature in English, mostly North American, for example:
– Parodic retellings of folktales and fables, e.g. ‘Bluebeard’, ‘The Glass Mountain’, ‘Hansel and Gretel’ or ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ (Margaret Atwood, Donald Barthelme, Angela Carter)
– parodic reinterpretations of Biblical narratives, such as the story of the Flood (Robert Coover, Julian Barnes)
– parodic takes on genres and traditions (e.g. the Gothic, science fiction) or particular writers (e.g. H. P. Lovecraft) (Michael Chabon, Shirley Jackson).
– parodying other media, e.g. the televisual or cinematic (Steven Millhauser)
8. dr Łukasz Salski, Interviewing research
The class introduces qualitative research methods used in applied linguistics, with particular emphasis on the interview. Students are familiarized with sample interview-based studies, and with the principles of compiling, analyzing, and reporting qualitative data. They try their hand at using the interview in their own qualitative research project.
9. dr hab. prof. UŁ Marta Dynel, Entertainment on social media
This proseminar addresses various forms of entertainment on social media, focusing on a range of impolite and/or humorous practices. The classes commence by defining the phenomena of humour and impoliteness so that their various online manifestations can be analysed: memes, trolling, RoastMe, parody Twitter accounts, and many other forms of humorous creativity serving entertainment. These forms will be discussed from a pragmatic angle with reference to their forms and functions.
The weekly meetings centre on the teacher’s presentation of select notions, teacher-student discussions and in-group discussions, all based on the materials (handouts) prepared by the teacher, as well as reading assignments (contemporary journal papers) and online-search tasks.
10. dr hab. P. Krakowian, Proseminar in Language Testing and Evaluation
Using interactive presentations, podcasts and videocasts, discussion forum (VLE), discursive blogs, WebQuests the course aims at presenting selected issues in the field of EFL/ESL for the MA students, which will allow a broader perspective on the learning/teaching process, with special emphasis on the role of technology in language learning in order to prepare ground for a diploma seminar in Teaching English as a Second/Foreign Language, with particular focus on:
– New technologies and the Internet in teaching, mind-sets, digital immigrants and digital natives
– Mobile learning
– Online learning platforms and authoring tools
– Online assessment and computerised/adaptive testing
– Alternatives in Language Assessment – portfolio and electronic portfolio in language assessment
11. dr hab. I. Witczak-Plisiecka, Language varieties and speech actions
This class focuses on how things can be done with language. It shows that there are functional units of language (speech acts and speech actions) that people recognise and interpret within a particular discourse space. We will learn how to describe and define such units in different contexts, e.g. in face-to-face interaction, but also interaction found in fiction, multimodal contexts (e.g. the language of advertising), in professional settings (e.g. the language used in the English classroom, in legal and medical contexts), and in the context of teaching EFL with emphasis on functional units, e.g. how one function is realised in different languages, e.g. apologies, compliments, requests, etc., and how to teach successful performance in a foreign language.
The course puts emphasis on the fact that language is primarily used to perform action, i.e. that “saying” is “doing things”. The students will be provided with an overview of different approaches to this phenomenon in linguistics and invited to consider the varied relations between form and function in various discourses. All theoretical issues will be illustrated with sample research tasks and will be backed with class exercises. The methods used in class can be further used in future MA projects (the use of corpus methodology is an option).
12. prof. dr hab. Piotr Stalmaszczyk, Languages in Contact and Contrast
The aim of this course is twofold: first, it will discuss and analyse patterns of language contact; second, the seminar will present selected items in contrastive linguistics and argumentation. 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. Additionally, language contact will be investigated within the historical and contemporary processes in the British Isles (concentrating on Celtic languages and the Celtic Englishes). Discussion connected with languages in contrast will focus on contrasting and comparing different patterns in language, starting with vocabulary and word structures, through syntax and semantics, to texts and argumentation patterns. Examples for analysis will come from English and Polish (or other native languages).
13. prof. Ł. Bogucki, Audiovisual translation and media accessibility
The aim of the course is to delineate the concepts of audiovisual translation and media accessibility, explain their soaring popularity in translation studies, and dispel the myths surrounding them.
Topics covered in class include: tthe holy trinity of AVT: subtitling, dubbing, and voice-over; the periphery of AVT: video game localisation and image-driven interpreting; audio-description for the blind; subtitles for the deaf and the hard-of-hearing; surtitles for the opera; respeaking; quality assurance in AVT; ethical and professional aspects of AVT and MA; audience design in AVT; collaborative translation; technology-driven AVT.