B.A. seminars 2023–2024 (Extramural programme)
English Philology (Filologia angielska)
What is this list?
This is a list of B.A. seminars we intend to launch in our extramural B.A. programme whose third year of study is the academic year 2023–2024; that is, the seminars are planned to start in 2023 and end in 2024, at the end of the three-year B.A. programme. This list is intended for:
- Students at the Faculty of English who are about to enter the third year of their extramural B.A. programme: this is your reference point before B.A. seminar interviews;
- Candidates for our full-time programmes: this list gives you a snapshot of what seminars were on offer for the study cycle that started two years earlier, that is in 2021.
What about these seminars?
Part of the third year of study at a B.A. programme is about preparing a B.A. paper (B.A. thesis, if you like) under the supervision of the teacher whose B.A. seminar you are in. Seminar groups are subject to formal limits as to the minimal and maximal number of students who can enrol in each seminar. As we cannot tailor the list of seminar to the exact needs of all the students—how could we know?—we may need to ask you to through an interview with your prospective B.A. thesis supervisor.
At some point before the start of the academic year you may be asked about your preferred B.A. seminar—please stay tuned to your e-mail inbox and the Faculty of English intranet. Your task is easy: browse this list in search of seminars which are offered for the programme in which you are a student and let us know, when asked, which seminar is your favourite. We will take note of it and ensure your interview is with the right teacher and their committee.
Please note: We do not guarantee that you will be able to join the preferred seminar. Enrolment into a particular seminar is subject to conditions such as the total number of students in the third year of study, the result of your interview, and others. In particular: if there are more students interested in a given seminar than the number of students the seminar can accept, your interview may decide if you enrol in the seminar you would prefer or are offered a seat in a different seminar.
How to navigate the list?
The list is sorted by the name of teacher. The format is the following: title of the seminar, the name of the teacher, and the description of the seminar.
Reading and writing fear: British and Irish literature on embodied and non-corporeal evil
dr Katarzyna Bronk-Bacon
In his Time Machine, H. G. Wells’ time traveller claims: “I came out of this age of ours, this ripe prime of the human race, when Fear does not paralyse and mystery has lost its terrors” (1998: 32). The traveller represented Victorian England and imagined that science had indeed explained and conquered everything that could threaten the Empire. Wells himself does not share such comforting convictions as his fiction indicates. A critical look at literature and culture of the nineteenth century indeed proves that fear was one of the most prevalent emotions felt by the British society, but it was not always verbalised or conscious. In her No go the bogeyman Marina Warner states that, historically, humanity has been dealing with fear by naming its sources, as well as embodying and representing it by means of artistic means of expression (2000: 17). All of these methods help not only with managing fear itself but with controlling and policing, and often explaining the reason for annihilating the source of dread for good. Literature and various paraliterary texts of culture investigate the diachronic definitions, representations and embodiments of what societies have considered evil, fearful or monstrous, and so this seminar will explore the phenomenon of cultural, political and religious fear, seeing it both as embodied and ephemeral.
This seminar is for students with an inquisitive mind and for those who enjoy reading for something more than escapism. It is for you if you (and not ChatGPt) enjoy writing about literature. Prior study of the history of British literature is welcome, but general knowledge of historical and cultural periods is equally beneficial.
Cohen, Jeffrey Jerome, ed. 1996. Monster Theory: Reading Culture. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
Creed, Barbara. 1986. “Horror and the Monstrous-Feminine: An Imaginary Abjection”, Screen 27, 1: 44–71, https://doi.org/10.1093/screen/27.1.44
Kristeva, Julia. 1982. Powers of Horror: An Essay on Abjection. Translated by Leon Roudiez. New York: Columbia University Press.
Shildrick, Margaret. 2002. Embodying the Monster: Encounters with the Vulnerable Self. SAGE Publications Ltd.
Warner, Marina. 2000. No go the bogeyman. London: Vintage.
Wells, G. H. 1998. Time machine. (https://archive.org/details/TheTimeMachine-English-H.G.Wells1998/page/n37/mode/2up?q=paralyse) (date of access: 7th June 2023)
Dialects and variation in English
dr Ronald Kim, prof. UAM
This seminar introduces the enormous range of geographical and social variation in present-day English, from traditional rural dialects of Britain to African American English to so-called “New Englishes” such as Indian English (see VoE). Topics to be covered include: the basic principles of dialect geography; the relation between rural and urban speech, past and present; the findings of modern sociolinguistics, especially the role of social factors such as age, gender, ethnicity, or education (Chambers & Trudgill 1998); and dialect contact and new dialect formation, which have become increasingly important with the emergence of the field of World Englishes (Kirkpatrick 2021). Based on both “core” and “postcolonial” varieties, we will compare the models of Trudgill (2004) and Schneider (2007) and apply them to other cases of dialect contact in the English-speaking world.
Seminar participants will then choose a variety to focus on, locate the existing academic literature and multimedia resources, and develop a set of research questions regarding its origins or current usage, variation, and sociolinguistic situation. All forms of present-day English are open, although students are encouraged to explore newly emerging speech forms (e.g. ethnolects or postcolonial Englishes) as well as lesser known or endangered varieties.
Chambers, J. K. & Peter Trudgill. 1998. Dialectology. 2nd ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Kirkpatrick, Andy (ed.). 2021. The Routledge Handbook of World Englishes. 2nd ed. Abingdon: Routledge.
Schneider, Edgar. 2007. Postcolonial English: Varieties around the World. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Trudgill, Peter. 2004. New-Dialect Formation: The Inevitability of Colonial Englishes. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
VoE: Varieties of English. Vol. 1: The British Isles, ed. Bernd Kortmann & Clive Upton. Vol. 2: The Americas and the Caribbean, ed. Edgar W. Schneider. Vol. 3: The Pacific and Australasia, ed. Kate Burridge & Bernd Kortmann. Vol. 4: Africa, South and Southeast Asia, ed. Rajend Mesthrie. New York: Mouton de Gruyter, 2008.
Communicating and relating in culture and education
dr hab. Elżbieta Wąsik, prof. UAM
This seminar is addressed to those students who are willing to write their BA theses on verbal and non-verbal behaviors of people in everyday life. The course will be devoted to the dynamic nature of human communication to emphasize that its function is both to create shared intersubjective meanings and to establish interpersonal relationships based on friendship or hostility, love or hate, dominance or obedience, cooperation or competition, etc. Therefore, it will focus on communicative encounters in dyads and small groups, against the background of public and mass communication, in which human individuals, transmit and receive messages, on the one hand, and process and interpret their meanings attached to verbal or non-verbal signs, on the other. Realizing that the understanding/interpretation of communicative performances of humans may proceed at cultural, social, and psychological-emotional levels, participants of the seminar will recognize the difference between interactional and transactional communications, in which individuals act according to the roles they play in society and/or disclose information about themselves. To apply their knowledge about communication to the analyses of dialogs excerpted from authentic texts in English, the students will search for linguistic manifestations of needs and values and/or beliefs and attitudes of individuals implementing their plans and fulfilling their goals and intentions in interpersonal contacts in different domains of language use, for example, family, education, employment, politics, etc. In the theoretical part of the course, students will be familiarized with the principles of scientific work and writing.
Carr, Jacquelyn B. 1979. Communicating and relating. Menlo Park, California, Reading, Massachusetts, London, Amsterdam, Don Mills, Ontario, Sydney: The Benjamin, Cummings Publishing Company.
Fiske, John 1982/2002. Introduction to communication studies. London: Routledge.
Littlejohn, Stephen W. and Foss, Karen A. 2009. Encyclopedia of communication theory. New York: SAGE Publications, Inc.
Luft, Joseph 1963/1969. Group processes: An introduction to group dynamics. Palo Alto, CA: National Press Books.
Wąsik, Elżbieta Magdalena. 2020. Linguistic dimensions of the self in human communication. Poznań: Wydawnictwa Naukowe UAM.