B.A. seminars 2023–2024 (Full-time programmes)

What is this list?

This is a list of B.A. seminars we intend to launch in our full-time B.A. programmes 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:

  1. Students at the Faculty of English who are about to enter the third year of their full-time B.A. programme: this is your reference point before B.A. seminar interviews;
  2. 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 seminars to the exact needs of all the students—how could we know?—we may need to ask you to go 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 name of the teacher. The format is the following: title of the seminar, the name of the teacher, information on programme priority, and the description of the seminar.

Which seminar is for whom?

B.A. seminars conducted in English are open to all students of Faculty of English programmes taught in English, with the proviso that priority is given to students of the programme to which the seminar is assigned. (See the Programme priority line in the heading for each seminar.)

Moreover, the student must choose a seminar where research is carried out within the discipline (linguistics/literary studies) assigned to the field of study; for example, ELTIT students are not eligible for seminars in literary studies.

The programmes in the list and their abbrieviations are:

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

Creating Active, Inclusive and Internationalised Learning Environment in a Language Classroom

dr Anna Basińska

Programme priority: FA + this seminar is aimed exclusively at students of the Teaching specialization


The OECD Learning Compass 2030 indicates that, in order to meet the challenges of the 21st century, students need to feel that they can help shape a world where well-being and sustainability – for themselves, for others, and for the planet – is achievable. We are not able to do it if we do not change the way teachers teach and students learn. Today, the role of the teacher is being significantly redefined. Due to universal and unlimited access to information, the teacher ceases to be a mere "tool" of transmission. What becomes a teacher's superpower and proves the educational success of their students is the ability to create rich, engaging, inclusive and internationalised learning environments in the classroom. Through this, students are able to gain the competences necessary to navigate an uncertain world. Some of the main competences of the future include communication, creativity, cooperation and critical thinking. These new tasks require teachers to plan lessons thoughtfully, considering the needs and abilities of their students, while moving away from some old-fashioned traditional teaching methods. A modern language classroom should be a place where students are supported in developing not only knowledge and skills but also attitudes and values that can guide them towards ethical and responsible actions.

We will begin by exploring the biggest and newest theories of learning, such as cognitive and social constructivism, experiential learning and connectivism. Next, we will examine the trends shaping education and competences of the future, and finally choose strategies that will support students' learning in the language classroom.

Participants will be free to suggest their own BA topics related to active and inclusive learning in EFL classroom. These might include:

  • Flipped Classroom
  • Project-Based Learning
  • Storyline Approach
  • Design Thinking
  • CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning) Approach
  • UDL (Universal Design for Learning)
  • Kolb's Experiential Learning Cycle.

The seminar will introduce students to the process of writing BA papers, including methodology of educational research. All participants will present their BA projects in class.

“Unsex me here”: gender expectations and gender realities in early modern drama

dr Katarzyna Burzyńska

Programme priority: FA, FAC, FACh


William Shakespeare wrote his plays in the reign of two charismatic monarchs Elizabeth I, a woman, and James I, a homosexual. Despite this, Elizabethan and Jacobean era was, by modern standards, a stiflingly conservative reality. In this patriarchal world, early modern playwrights like Lyly, Shakespeare, Marlowe, or Webster created powerful images of gender variance that challenged accepted gender and identity norms. This seminar explores social justice and gender identity by investigating canonical literary texts of Shakespeare and his contemporaries. Drawing on (eco)feminism, early modern trans studies, critical race theory, and animal studies, we will interrogate the intersections of the so-called -isms of difference (racism, sexism, ableism, and speciesism) and the periods’ conceptualizations of gender and identity. You will be introduced to Shakespeare and his contemporaries, their social and historical context but our key goal is to talk about historical formations of sex and gender. Certain gender stereotypes and expectations are so deeply ingrained that it is almost impossible to see them as socially construed. In order to understand the dynamics of prejudice towards certain marginalized groups one needs to go back to the past. This seminar is an invitation to investigate portrayals of women, men, genderqueer, trans and nonbinary folks in early modern drama.

Content warning: explicit images of sexual nature, violence, animal cruelty, mental issues.

‘I am Not a Tourist.’ Central and Eastern European Migrant Writing in North America

prof. UAM dr hab. Dagmara Drewniak

Programme priority: FA, FAC, FACh


The aim of this BA Seminar is to study contemporary North American literature, with a special emphasis on the notions of diasporic writing, multiculturalism and immigrant voices in literature. A special emphasis will be put on writers originating from Eastern and Central Europe living and writing in North America (both Canada and the USA) in order to trace common features and motifs found in their works. During the course students will discuss various works of the most famous Canadian and US authors who represent Polish, Ukrainian, Hungarian, Czech and other origins (e.g. Eva Hoffman, Janice Kulyk Keefer, Eva Stachniak, Karolina Waclawiak, Dagmara Dominczyk, Aga Maksimowska and others) as well as a selection of theoretical and critical texts (e.g. by Grazyna J. Kozaczka, Jacek Kozak) that will provide a certain background for our discussions and future BA papers. We will place a range of chosen literary texts in the North American historical and cultural contexts. The seminar will introduce students to the process of writing BA papers within the field of literature. We will address a number 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. Candidates wishing to participate in the seminar should have good knowledge of English and particularly American literature and an authentic interest in the field. Prior knowledge of Canadian literature is not obligatory.

Selected bibliography

Kröller, Eva-Marie. 2004. The Cambridge companion to Canadian literature. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Kozaczka, Grażyna J. 2019. Writing the Polish American Woman in Postwar Fiction. Athens: Ohio University Press.

Kozak, Jacek. 2011. How the Polish Created Canada? Toronto: Dragon Press.

New, W.H. 2003. A history of Canadian literature. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press.

Adapting high culture: Shakespeare

prof. UAM dr hab Jacek Fabiszak

Programme priority: ESLC, FA


The seminar is dedicated to issues linked to adaptation, a process which is perpetual in human culture. As Aristotle in his Poetics once observed, “the instinct of imitation is implanted in man from childhood, one difference between him and other animals being that he is the most imitative of living creatures, and through imitation learns his earliest lessons; and no less universal is the pleasure felt in things imitated.” Aristotle thus made us aware of how prone humans (and nature) are to imitation; yet, this imitation is always creative, or – as Linda Hutcheon (2014: xviii) remarked about adaptation – it is “repetition without replication, [since] change is inevitable, even without any conscious updating or alteration of setting.” The seminar is addressed to those students who are interested in researching texts of culture, especially Shakespeare’s works, have been adapted and appropriated in contemporary culture: on stage, on screen, on page, etc.

We will first look at the theory of adaptation which will help us design a methodological tool which the students will then apply to an analysis of a selected adaptation (or adaptations) of the Shakespeare text(s). The next step will be to look at Shakespeare’s studies today and the variety of approaches to Shakespeare. Finally we will discuss the students’ individual projects from the perspective of adaptation studies and theory.


Aristotle. Poetics. (https://www.amherst.edu/system/files/media/1812/The%252520Poetics%252520of%252520Aristotle%25252C%252520by%252520Aristotle.pdf)

Hutcheon, Linda with Siobhan O’Flynn. 2014. A Theory of Adaptation. Second edition. London – New York: Routledge.

The World in Political, Social and Economic Crisis in Mass Media

dr Maciej Kielar

Programme priority: FA, FAC, FACh, ELTIT


We are ‘sunk’ in the language that reaches us through newspapers, radio, television, the Internet, or magazines. At the same time, we have no doubt that mass-media messages without evaluation do not exist. Every message on the current issues, such as the social and economic World Crisis, which is broadcast or published is shaped according to some values which structure various ideologies. Therefore, the language of mass media is a very interesting subject for linguistic inquiry.

The general aim of this course can be characterised as applying theories and methods proposed within Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) to the analysis of authentic journalistic texts. As journalists entirely rely on the language use when they construct the image of events, people responsible for given actions and actions themselves, therefore, they use such linguistic features as topoi, lexical selection, metaphors, passive voice, modal verbs and pronouns. The fact that print media are still believed to be the most influential and opinion-shaping is main reasons for choosing the traditional print media and/or their electronic equivalents as the source of the language material for the analysis.

Dialects and variation in English

dr Ronald Kim, prof. UAM

Programme priority: FA, FAC, FACh, ELTIT


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.

Cognition, culture and language: Modeling human behavior and culture through language use

prof. UAM dr hab. Karolina Krawczak-Glynn

Programme priority: FA, FAC, FACh, ELTIT


What determines the choice of one lexeme over another, or one grammatical construction over another, or one conceptualization of the same perceived situation over another? These are important questions that enable scientists to better understand how language works, how the human mind works and what the relation is between language, culture and cognition. To concretize these questions, let us consider some examples:

  1. Are there any differences in understanding concepts such as femininity, identity or freedom across different languages, cultures, genres, genders, etc.?
  2. How does society portray immigration or minority groups?
  3. How are emotions such as anger, pride or shame, conceptualized in different varieties of English, in different languages, etc.?
  4. What are the different strategies and modalities that speakers employ to express their opinions in an interactive situation?


In this seminar, you will learn how to use tools that are fundamental in contemporary linguistics and in behavioral science. These tools permit creating descriptive and predictive models of human behavior. More specifically:

  1. You will learn how to design your study
  2. You will learn how to develop your own research questions & hypotheses
  3. You will collect your own language data (including the possibility of multimodal / visual data)
  4. You will learn the annotation / tagging of that data
  5. You will learn data visualization techniques

Evaluation will be based on the successful completion of the BA paper, which will comprise the following components:

  1. Hypothesis proposal and previous research
  2. Study design
  3. Data collection and analysis
  4. Report

Modern Celtic literatures and their cultural contexts

dr Marta Listewnik

Programme priority: FAC, FA


This seminar will be devoted to the literatures of the insular Celtic countries, primarily Wales and Ireland. The focus will be placed on selected cultural contexts of literary production in Wales and Ireland in the modern era in view of historical and social developments (construction of national identity, gender ideologies, postcolonialism) as well as the linguistic situation (minoritisation of Celtic languages, bilingualism, language change). We are also going to explore the reflections of Celtic literatures in other media and in contemporary pop culture. You will be able to suggest your own research topics based on your interests. The choice of the texts discussed in the seminar will be partly adapted to students’ topics.

Participants are expected to have genuine interest in literature, and a basic knowledge of the Welsh and Irish literary histories. Course requirements include careful reading of the assigned texts, participation in class discussions, preparation and delivery of presentations on the research topic (one per semester), timely submission of parts of the BA paper.

If you have any questions concerning the seminar, please write at marta.listewnik@amu.edu.pl

The English Middle Ages and its environmental concerns

dr Jacek Olesiejko

Programme priority: FA, FAC, FACh


The present seminar’s primary focus is on Old and Middle English literature (550 A.D. to 1500 A.D.), especially literary representations of the environment, animals, non-human subjects, and human beings as part of the natural environment. Contemporary ecological crisis that we face has exerted a strong influence on literary studies in recent years. Ecocriticism, now a vitally important part of humanities, investigates representations of the environment in ancient, medieval, and modern literatures. The present seminar will discuss a number of Old and Middle English texts that represent human and non-human lives. In the Old English period writers and poets held a vital interest in landscapes, nature, earth, water, animals, and non-human subjects. Such poems as Beowulf and Old English elegies (“The Wanderer,” “The Seafarer,” “The Wife’s Lament”) represent fluid boundaries between human and animal worlds. In Beowulf, Grendel and his nameless mother inhabit a liminal space at the crossroads of culture and nature. In other texts, animals and plants appear as symbols and allegories. The Latin Physiologus, an allegorical account of the created world, was adapted both into Old English (three short poems in the Exeter Book) and Middle English. Another important branch of ecocritical studies, ecofeminism, interrogates and questions androcentric and masculinist representations of women and the environment. This seminar will use critical tools offered by ecocriticism, eco-feminism, vital materialism as well as other theoretical backgrounds to read medieval texts and authors, ranging from Old English poets to Geoffrey Chaucer and the Gawain-poet, in ways that make it possible to think big about the Middle Ages and its environmental concerns.

Knowledge of Old and Middle English is not required. All texts will be read in translation.

Issues in phonology and phonetics

prof. dr hab. Geoffrey Schwartz

Programme priority: ELTIT, FA


  • Is /d/ really the same sound in English and Polish?
  • How can Polish have words like krtań but most other languages can’t?
  • Why does Polish turn /s/ into /z/ in Facebook [fejzbuk] but English doesn’t?

These are just a few of the types of questions we will address in this seminar, which will focus on the relationship between the physical properties of speech sounds and the categorical symbols that are used to represent them, and how this relationship may differ in L1 and L2. In the first semester, we will consider issues of phonological representation, and relate them to specific problems in L2 pronunciation. The second semester of the seminar will focus on students' thesis projects. Students entering the seminar should have good marks in their previous courses on phonetics and phonology.

Selected references

Chomsky, N. & M. Halle (1968). The sound pattern of English. New York: Harper & Row.

Harris, J. (1994). English Sound Structure. Oxford: Blackwell.

Schwartz, G. (2016). On the evolution of prosodic boundaries - parameter settings for Polish and English. Lingua 171: 37-73.

Genres and themes in American short fiction

prof. UAM dr hab. Paweł Stachura

Programme priority: FA, FAC, FACh


General outline: every national literature has its preferred themes and genres. In American literature, the preferred themes include the frontier (pioneering settlement and adventure), youth and coming of age, fantasy and fantastic adventure, military and political power in international relationships, conflict between individual and society, individual moral struggle and nonconformism, American identity confronted with Europe or Asia, and also the universal themes such as family relationships, death, nature.

As for short fiction genres, American literature has notable examples of short fiction: the short story, sketch, and the tale. Best short stories and tales were written by Poe, Hawthorne, Twain, Bret Harte, Ambrose Bierce, O’Henry, Mary E. W. Freeman, Sarah Orne Jewett. There are American variants of the fairy tale, tales for children, and of fantasy (Frank Baum, Carl Sandburg). Young adult fiction, as genre, seems to be a particularly American phenomenon. There are American versions of the classic genres, which could be somehow squeezed into an American short story: epic, comedy, and tragedy (William Faulkner, Flannery O’Connor). Also, the thriller seems to have originated and evolved in America (Dashiel Hammett, Raymond Chandler).

Students will be encouraged to come up with their own topic areas, beyond American short fiction, especially in various American media (film and television, video games, or any other type of narrative art).


Punday, Daniel. Five Strands of Fictionality: The Institutional Construction of Contemporary American Writing. Ohio State UP, 2010.

Kelleter, Frank (editor). Media of Serial Narrative. Ohio State UP, 2017.

BA seminar in (Nano)syntax

prof. UAM dr hab. Bartosz Wiland

Programme priority: FA, FAC, FACh, ELTIT


The aim of this seminar is to help students prepare their individual BA projects that fall in the broad scope of syntax and words. Thus, possible BA topics can range from comparisons of selected aspects of English grammar with Polish (or other languages)(e.g. word order, question formation, Tenses, case marking, etc.), comparison of inflection (e.g. singular vs. plural nouns, verb inflection, etc.), the meaning of prepositions (e.g. at, on, toward), to more analytical topics. One such analytical area to explore is the how individual grammatical features like ‘feminie’, ‘singular’, ‘animate’, ‘future’, ‘definite’, etc. are realized as words (and word parts) – the area of research known as Nanosyntax. This area also offers a great possibility for cross-linguistic comparisons (e.g. is feature ‘definite’ present in Polish, an article-less language?, etc).

In the first semester, we will go through the essential topics in English and Polish grammar and we will learn the basic methodologies, which will help the participants develop individual interests and ideas for their own BA topics. In the second semester, the seminar will focus more specifically on the participants’ individual BA projects.

For questions regarding the seminar, feel free to contact me at bwiland@amu.edu.pl.

Understanding the America of 2023: Its Culture and History

dr Elżbieta Wilczyńska

Programme priority: ESLC, FA


Understanding the United States of America in the second decade of the 21st century is a daunting task.  Students interested in the country may have heard about many problems it faces:  accusations of rigged democracy, systemic racism, a widening gap between the poor and the rich, battles over abortion, war, culture wars, Hollywood in crisis, and so on. The list may go on. The aim of the seminar will be to look at selected problems of present America, trace their roots, and look into the deep causes that bred them. The problems will be analyzed on the basis of all cultural texts: books, films, TV programs, and media. Ethnic and Racial America with their unresolved issues will be at the center of the teacher’s analysis. In the course of the seminar, students will select their own topics and they will be investigated with the help of the whole seminar group. The seminar will consist of close readings of selected texts on the topics suggested by the teacher and the students, discussions, teacher and students’ class presentations, watching fragments of movies, and preparation necessary for writing a B.A. dissertation.

For a start, students are encouraged to watch the movie “Minari” by Lee Isaac Chung (available on Netflix).


Schuck, Peter and James O. Wilson (eds.). 2008. Understanding America. The Anatomy of Exceptional Nation. New York: public affairs.

Mauk, David and John Oakland. 2016. American Civilization. An Introduction. (6th edition.)  London and New York: Routledge. Taylor and Francis Group.

Pohl, Frances. 2008. Framing America. New York: Thames and Hudson.

Packer, George. 2022. Last Best Hope. London: Jonathan Cape.

Any book on American history, for example:

  • Johnson, Paul. 2000. History of the American People. New York: Phoenix Press.
  • Zinn, Howard. 2017. A People's History of the United States. Orlando, FL: Harper.

The language of social issues in the Victorian press

dr Paulina Zagórska

Programme priority: FA, FAC, FACh, ELTIT


The Victorian era saw a great deal of progress in virtually every aspect of life. Unfortunately, this progress came at a cost, since it was also a period during which numerous social issues emerged on an unprecedented scale: growing inequalities, staggering poverty, crime, violence, disease, prostitution, as well as a number of other major problems were faced by the Victorian society on an everyday basis. At the same time, due to the rise in literacy and technological advancements, the vast majority of the Victorians were able to read about these problems in a number of dailies and weeklies. The press not only reflected the state of contemporary society, but also shaped the language used for discussing social issues, thus affecting opinions, as well as social and historical reality.

The seminar will focus on discourse analysis of historical press (ideally no later than 1960s) in terms of social issues. In their BA projects, students will analyze the language of selected press materials devoted to a social issue of their choice in order to gain an insight into what this language can tell us about the historical and sociolinguistic reality surrounding linguistic phenomena. Course requirements include timely submission of homework assignments, active participation in class discussions, and ultimately – timely completion of the BA thesis.

Sample references

Altick, Richard. 1998. The English Common Reader: A Social History of the Mass Reading Public, 1800-1900. Chicago: Chicago University Press.

Broad, George. “How the Other Half Lives: Rich and Poor Women in Victorian Britain”, History is Now Magazine.

Emsley, Clive. 2011. “Crime and the Victorians”, the BBC.

Flanders, Judith. 2014. “Prostitution”, The British Library.

Hopkins, Eric. 2000. Industrialization and Society. A social history, 1830-1951. London: Routledge.

Lakoff, George and Mark Johnsen. 1980. Metaphors we live by. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Philips, K. C. 1984. Language and Class in Victorian England. Oxford: Blackwell.

Picard, Liza. 2009. “Victorian prisons and punishments”, The British Library.

Richardson, Ruth. 2014. “Foundlings, orphans and unmarried mothers”, The British Library.

Steinbach, Susie L. 2017. Understanding the Victorians: Politics, Culture and Society in Nineteenth-Century Britain. Routledge.