Third-year of study B.A. proseminars (3BA PRO) for summer term 2023–2024 (Full-time programmes)

What is this list?

This is a list of proseminars we intend to launch in the summer term (February–June) in some of our full-time B.A. programmes whose third year of study is the academic year 2023–2024. This list is intended for:

  1. Students at the Faculty of English who are about to enter the second term of the third year of their full-time B.A. programme: this is your reference point before your enrolment into proseminars;
  2. Candidates for our full-time programmes: this list gives you a snapshot of what proseminars were on offer for the study cycle that started two years earlier, that is in 2021.

How to navigate the list?

The list is sorted by name of the teacher. The format is the following: title of the proseminar, the name of the teacher, information on which programme(s) the proseminar is for, and the description of the proseminar.

Which proseminar is for whom?

The programmes in the list and their abbrieviations are:

  • English Philology (Filologia angielska) — FA
  • English and Chinese Studies (Filologia angielsko-chińska) — FACh
  • English Linguistics: Theories, Interfaces, Technologies — ELTIT
  • English Studies: Literature and Culture — ESLC

Note: The expression target programme(s) is used to signal for which study programme (FA, FACh, ELTIT) a given course is primarily offered (which happens to be the same for every course on this page). Students in the English Studies: Literature and Culture (ESLC) programme may select one of the proseminars in this list as an elective module; the proseminars available to ESLC students are explicitly marked as such.

The programmes in Dutch Studies (Studia niderlandystyczne) and in English-Celtic Philology (Filologia angielsko-celtycka) are not covered by this list.

The Globalization of African American Music

Dr. Stan L. Breckenridge

Target programmes: FA, FACh, ELTIT, and ESLC = all programmes covered on this page

Blues, gospel, jazz, rock, and many other styles of American music that were initially developed by African Americans, are performed in numerous countries, and thus illustrate its worldwide appeal. This course will explore various styles of African American music that are performed in different countries, and investigate them within three different contexts: Native performers in a given country; African Americans performing outside their homeland; and non-African Americans performing outside their homeland. Because this course is being taught in Poland, Poland will be one of the main countries explored for its performances of African American music by Polish musicians. Through this study students will learn and gain an appreciation of the significance of African American music to Polish musicians, as well as Polish audiences. Moreover, a survey of other countries and their interest in African American music through its performers, and those abroad, will reveal this music as a global phenomenon. Finally, through these explorations students will also come to realize that this music is far more reaching than merely for pleasure and entertainment, but also for its countries’ cultural, sociological, political, psychological, and economic structures.

Bilingualism in education

prof. UAM dr hab. Anna Ewert

Target programmes: FA, FACh, and ELTIT, but not ESLC

This proseminar will be based on the Erasmus+ TEAM project course. The project aimed to develop materials to educate teachers and other education professionals, as well as other persons working with migrants, refugees and minority students about relevant aspects of bilingualism and multilingualism, combining different research perspectives of the partners and different social and cultural contexts of bilingualism and multilingualism across the partnership. More about the project:

After a brief introduction, emphasizing the relevance of bilingualism and multilingualism research for educators, the course will be divided into four thematic modules:

  • Linguistic approaches to multilingualism, including types of multilingual development, problems with the native speaker, language development in typical and atypical populations;
  • Neurocognitive processes in multilingualism and language acquisition, including the multilingual mind and brain, the impact of multilingualism on the native language, acquiring L2 concepts, working memory;
  • Social and cultural aspects of multilingualism, including family language policy, language shift and maintenance, integration of migrants and refugees;
  • Multilingual education: including models, approaches and strategies, as well as the development of academic language.

Evaluation will be based on active participation in class discussions, a project and a final quiz.

Metaphor in Language, Mind and Socio-cultural Contexts

dr hab. Małgorzata Fabiszak, Prof. UAM

Target programmes: FA, FACh, and ELTIT, but not ESLC

Conceptual Metaphor Theory has been proposed by Lakoff and Johnson in 1980 when they claimed that metaphor is not just a figure of speech, but a mental process which helps us understand abstract concepts. They proposed the embodiment hypothesis, which stresses that human understanding of the world develops as a result of our bodily interaction with the environment. Later, scholars noticed that our thought and language metaphoric patterns are also influenced by the cultural, social and historical contexts.

In this proseminar we will discuss texts by the leading scientists investigating the connection between metaphors in language and in other semiotic codes and in different genres including political speeches, advertising posters, films and songs.

Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL): principles and implementation

dr Aleksandra Jankowska

Target programmes: FA, FACh, and ELTIT, but not ESLC

The aim of the seminar is to acquaint students with the main principles and objectives of Content and Language Integrated Learning defined as ‘a dual-focused educational approach in which an additional language is used for the learning and teaching of both content and language’ (Coyle, Hood and March 2010: 10). Topics discussed during the seminar will include: different models of CLIL, for example subject-led CLIL (teaching a content subject, such as history or geography, in English) and language-led (introducing elements of content subject knowledge into English as a foreign language classes), defining learning outcomes, evaluating and designing CLIL materials and assessment techniques, language used in CLIL with specific reference to the difference between BICS (Basic Interpersonal Communicative Skills) and CALP (Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency) and subject specific and academic language as well as ways of developing students’ communication and cognitive skills. Participants will be expected to take active part in class discussions, prepare a presentation of a sample lesson in English as a foreign language implementing elements of CLIL and pass a final test.

Selected bibliography

Bentley, Kate. 2010. The TKT course. CLIL module. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Dale, Liz and Rosie Tanner. 2012. CLIL activities. A resource for subject and language teachers. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Deller. Sheilla and Christine Price. 2007. Teaching other subjects through English. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Toward gender-neutral diction: non-binary gender marking in English and Polish

prof. UAM dr hab. Agnieszka Kiełkiewicz-Janowiak

Target programmes: FA, FACh, and ELTIT, but not ESLC

The idea of gender inclusive communication is being implemented differently, depending on the grammatical gender systems of the given languages. The topic of the seminar is the recent tendency to use gender-neutral references to identities, roles and relations in a range of languages, notably Polish and English, but also any other languages which students are well familiar with. The focus will be on the ongoing changes in the linguistic practices, their social motivations and impact. In particular, the variable linguistic preferences of non-binary gender speakers will be considered and researched by the students in their individual empirical mini-projects. Students will do fieldwork (individually or in groups) to collect data relevant to the topic of the seminar. Thus, students will learn to select a methodology for a data collection task and an analytical approach to the data.

Australian society and culture

dr Zuzanna Kruk-Buchowska

Target programmes: FA, FACh, ELTIT, and ESLC = all programmes covered on this page

This course provides students with a comprehensive exploration of Australian culture and society, emphasizing the nation’s multicultural landscape. We will first look at its history and policies with regard to its Indigenous peoples and immigrants, and we will critically analyze their impact on contemporary socio-political issues. The topics covered in this section of the course include, among others: Terra Nullius, Stolen Generations, Native Title, White Australia Policy, Australia’s Migration Program, and its controversial immigration detention centres (for example on Nauru Island).

Moreover, we will look at Australia’s states and territories and some of its most famous landmarks. We will also briefly consider its position within the broader Pacific region. In addition, we will discuss some popular concepts in Australian culture, such as the larrikin or beach culture. Importantly, we will examine not only the contributions of the British to Australian culture and society, but also those of its Indigenous and ethnic communities, which have had a significant, although not as widely recognized impact on the nation.

In order to complete the course you will be expected to read the assigned materials, actively participate in class discussions, complete course work, and prepare a presentation on a selected topic.

Through engaging lectures, discussions, and multimedia resources, students will gain insights into the cultural mosaic that defines Australia, appreciating the contributions of different communities to the nation's arts, cuisine, and social fabric.

Feminist Comix in the U.S.

dr Małgorzata Olsza

Target programmes: FA, FACh, ELTIT, and ESLC = all programmes covered on this page

This proseminar is devoted to the study of comix, a form of underground comics which emerged in the U.S. in the 1970s and the 1980s (the letter x in “comix” points to their rebellious nature), in the wider context of what is referred to as second-wave feminism in the Anglo-American world. As neither literature nor “high” art, comix function on the margins of culture but nevertheless provide a fascinating critical commentary on American history and society. You will read a selection of primary and secondary texts (both will be provided by the instructor on the Moodle) and explore how comix and feminism(s) intersect in the U.S. We will talk about the role of creative collectives, critique of comix as a male-dominated field, comix as a form of feminist activism, and comix and reproductive rights, to name just a few topics. The course will open with introductory classes devoted to the visual language of comics and comix and the history of second-wave feminism in the U.S.

Credits will be given based on participation in class discussions, critical reading of the assigned material, and a final project – a presentation which engages with and/or furthers the problems discussed in class.

Selected references

Bartkowski, F. 1989. Feminist Utopias. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.
Cartwright, L. 2017. “Art, Feminism, and Visual Culture”. In: Heywood, I.  and Sandywell, B (eds.), The Handbook of Visual Culture. London: Bloomsbury Publishing, 310–325.
Epstein, B. L. 2002. “The Successes and Failures of Feminism”. Journal of Women’s History 14.2: 118–125.
Gregory, R. 1976. Dynamite Damsels. [Self-published] Laguna Beach, CA: Nanny Goats Productions.
Offen, K. 1988. “Defining Feminism: A Comparative Historical Approach”. Signs, 14.1: 119–157.
Pollock, G. 1999. Differencing the Canon: Feminist Desire and the Writing of Art’s Histories. London and New York: Routledge.
Robbins, T. (ed). 2016. The Complete Wimmen’s Comix. Vol. 1 and 2. Seattle: Fantagraphics.
Walters, M. 2005. Feminism: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Contemporary Themes in Phonological Research

prof. UAM dr hab. Paula Orzechowska

Target programmes: FA, FACh, and ELTIT, but not ESLC

The goal of this seminar is to provide students with an overview of contemporary topics in phonological research. We will discuss phenomena related in particular to the phonological structure of words in English and other languages. Have you ever thought of elements that vowels and consonants are composed of? Which syllable is easier to pronounce: scam or pram? Does morphology affect the processing of homophones such as band or bann+ed? How are syllables stored in the minds of speakers? We will discuss these and other topics from the perspective of theoretical approaches and results of empirical studies. Formal phonological analyses will focus on word structure (e.g. syllabification, stress placement) and the interaction of phonology with other branches of linguistics such as morphology (e.g. morphonotactics, affix ordering). Empirical studies will encompass several areas of external evidence (e.g. psycholinguistics, language acquisition, sound symbolism). The topics discussed in the seminar are aimed at merging knowledge from different courses that students have taken so far, and building on that knowledge in order to show the scope of investigation in the domain of phonology. The seminar is directed to students who are interested in phonetics and phonology, and in approaching them from various perspectives. Specific topics can be subject to change, depending on the needs and interests of the group.

English as a frustrating language: the anatomy of a linguistic system

dr Justyna Rogos-Hebda

Target programmes: FA, FACh, and ELTIT, but not ESLC

This proseminar is a (friendly) companion to your EFL (a.k.a. PNJA) courses, only without the pressure of an end-of-term multi-component all-or-nothing exam. We’re going to go through (and deep into) the reasons for which, despite its global status and immense popularity as L2, English remains such a frustrating language for non-native speakers. During our weekly encounters, we’ll interrogate the usual suspects: grammar, lexicon, spelling and pronunciation (and the mismatch between the two) as sources of that frustration with English. But we’ll also have a look beyond the Grammar Lab and Say It Right to consider non-standard varieties and registers, the pragmatics of language and socially motivated linguistic processes which make English, well, English.  You’ll be expected to read weekly assigned materials (on which you’ll be quizzed in class) and write an end-of-term in-class argumentative essay on a chosen topic specific to English language issues covered in class.

Recommended (but not the only) reading

Baugh, Albert C. and Thomas Cable. 2006. A history of the English Language. (6th edition)
Crystal, David. 2004. The Stories of English.
Cystal, David. 2019. The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language.
Katamba, Francis. 1993. Morphology.