M.A. seminars 2022–2024 in the extramural programme in English Philology

What is this list?

This is a list of M.A. seminars we had on offer in our extramural programme in English Philology (Filologia angielska) in 2022; that is, the starting year of these seminars is 2022 and the ending year is 2024, at the end of the two-year M.A. programme.

Writing the Self in the Multicultural World

dr hab. Dagmara Drewniak, prof. UAM

The aim of the seminar is to study contemporary migrant and diasporic literatures published in Canada with a special emphasis on the texts whose authors investigate the question of multiculturalism and the construction of the self primarily in the Canadian context. This M.A. seminar will offer an opportunity to discuss a range of recent texts of Canadian migrant and diasporic literature (novels, poetry, autobiographical narratives), published in this multicultural and cosmopolitan country within the context of diasporic and transcultural theories. Canada is a ‘laboratory’ of multiculturalism, and, thus, it is important to investigate the status of migrant literatures representing different ethnic backgrounds. Prospective participants will be invited to analyze various texts written by emigrants from Central and Eastern Europe as well as Asia and the Caribbean such as Eva Stachniak, Andrew J. Borkowski, Fred Wah and Dionne Brand among others. The analyses and discussions will be supplemented by the study of theory of diasporas, migration and life writing. Additionally, as many texts tackle the problem of memory, various approaches to pre/postmemory will be presented as they will also provide a certain background for our discussions and future master theses. Comparative approaches (Canada and the USA, Canada and the UK are also welcome).

The seminar will introduce students to the process of writing M.A. dissertations within the field of literature. We will address a range of issues ranging from the formal aspect of writing theses to methodology of research, gathering materials and developing a critical approach to the views of others.

Format: The requirements for the course will include a number of reading assignments devoted to the topic, oral presentations on selected topics, a thorough preparation for the class discussions, an active participation in them, and a regular attendance. Near the end of the first academic year students will be required to present a topic of their M.A. theses, compile a provisional bibliography and write a tentative outline of the projects.

Candidates wishing to participate in the seminar should have good knowledge of English and American literature at the undergraduate (B.A.) level, and an authentic interest in literature. At the selection stage, familiarity with Canadian literature is desirable, but not necessary.

Selected Bibliography:

Hammill, Faye. 2007. Canadian Literature. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

Kröller, Eva-Marie. 2004. The Cambridge Companion to Canadian Literature. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

New, W.H. 2003. A History of Canadian Literature. Montreal & Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press.

Translation and Interpreting Studies

dr Paweł Korpal

Translation and Interpreting Studies (TIS) is an interdisciplinary research area focusing on the process and product of translation (written modality) and interpreting (oral modality). It bridges the gaps between psycholinguistics, sociolinguistics, cognitive psychology, discourse analysis and the pragmatics of communication. In this seminar we are going to look at translation and interpreting from different angles and discuss both theoretical approaches and empirical studies on translators and interpreters.

Students will engage in a research project and write their theses on a selected aspect of TIS. For instance, they may compare existing translations, identify strategies adopted in various translation types and interpreting modes, analyse translation and interpreting quality, focus on reception of translated products, as well as investigate selected textual, cognitive and psychological factors influencing the processes of translation and interpreting.

Selected bibliography:

Gile, Daniel. 1995/2009. Basic concepts and models for interpreter and translator training. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Munday, Jeremy. 2001. Introducing Translation Studies: Theories and applications. London: Routledge.

Pöchhacker, Franz. 2004. Introducing Interpreting Studies. London: Routledge.

Society and language change

dr hab. Hanna Rutkowska, prof. UAM

Natural languages change constantly, although it may not be evident at first sight. And since language is a social phenomenon, the changes which it undergoes are, to a large extent, motivated by social, cultural, political and technological circumstances. Recent developments in digital technology (for example the Internet and social media) as well as earlier phenomena and events, such as the Renaissance, the Industrial Revolution, the Second World War, to name just a few, have had their linguistic consequences in the history of English. In this seminar we will take a closer look at different aspects of extralinguistic conditioning in language change at its different levels, including changes in the lexicon and semantics (such as the appearance of new words as well as new meanings), morphology, syntax, phonology and orthography. Apart from considering the linguistic effects of important socio-historical and cultural events and phenomena, we will also discuss the importance of text corpora for linguistic investigations. The participants will have an opportunity to write their MA theses on topics within the area of historical sociolinguistics (or sociopragmatics), and investigate linguistic variation and language change with regard to either distant or quite recent times in the history of English, depending on individual interests.

Prerequisites: keen interest in linguistics, as well as in the extralinguistic (especially social and cultural) context of the development of the English language.

Selected bibliography:

Crystal, D. 2011. Internet linguistics: A student guide. London & New York: Routledge.

Hernández-Campoy, J. M. & J. C. Conde-Silvestre (eds.) 2012. The handbook of historical sociolinguistics. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.

Miller, G. 2012. External influences on English: From its beginnings to the Renaissance. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Russi, C. (ed.) 2016. Current trends in historical sociolinguistics. Berlin & Boston: De Gruyter Open

Squires, L. 2016. English in computer-mediated communication: Variation, representation, and change. Berlin & Boston: De Gruyter Mouton.

Intercultural communicative competence in English language teaching

dr hab. Aleksandra Wach, prof. UAM

With an increasing internationalization of all spheres of life, it is vital that young people can successfully function in the globalized world. Therefore, the development of intercultural communicative competence (ICC), which is an ability to interact effectively with members of another culture, is an important goal of contemporary foreign language (L2) education.

The primary aim of the seminar is to raise the students’ awareness of the complexity and importance of ICC and its place in teaching English. We will explore, among others, ICC-related terms, culture in the history of L2 teaching, research findings on ICC in and beyond the classroom, and a number of practical teaching techniques to develop ICC. Moreover, as the students will conduct a small-scale study as part of their MA projects, applied linguistics research methodology will also be covered. Because of the pedagogy-oriented scope of the course, it will be helpful if the seminar candidates are practicing teachers and/or have completed a teaching specialization course, but this is not an absolute prerequisite.

Possible MA topics include:

  1. The teacher as an intercultural mediator.
  2. ICC development through social media.
  3. The effects of intercultural training in the L2 classroom

Credit requirements: regular attendance, active participation in class discussions, fulfilling background reading assignments, preparing an oral presentation on an assigned topic, and a final test on the materials covered in the course.