Second-year of study M.A. monographic lectures (2MA MONO) for winter term 2023–2024 (Full-time programmes)

What is this list?

This is a list of monographic lectures we intend to launch in the winter term (October–February) in our full-time M.A. programme in English philology (Filologia angielska) whose second 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 year of their full-time M.A. programme: this is your reference point before your enrolment into monographic lectures;
  2. Candidates for our full-time programmes: this list gives you a snapshot of what monographic lectures were on offer for the study cycle that started in 2022.

How to navigate the list?

The list is sorted by name of the teacher. The format is as follows: the title of the monographic lecture, the name of the teacher, and the description of the monographic lecture.

Metaphor in Language, Mind and Socio-cultural Contexts

prof. UAM dr hab. Małgorzata Fabiszak

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 lecture 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. The lecture will be interactive and will require students’ active participation going beyond mere bodily presence.

Beyond comparative reconstruction: the dark ages of language

prof. UAM dr hab. Piotr Gąsiorowski

This lecture will be devoted to the deep prehistory of language, between its origin (possibly about a million years ago) and the current limit of the comparative method (about ten thousand years if the evidence is exceptionally good). We will review the various types of evidence (palaeoanthropological, biological, genetic, archaeological etc.) that may throw some light on prehistoric language dispersals, the observed distribution of linguistic features and putative connections between biological variation in human populations and the spread of typological characteristics.

As for the course prerequisites, I expect then participants to have a general familiarity with historical linguistics, processes of language change, linguistic typology and its “universals”. There will be a certain amount of recommended reading (mostly concerning recent scientific advances), and research projects on particular topics, to be carried out in small teams, will be assigned towards the end of the semester. Final credits will be based on the students’ activity in class, regular participation and the execution of assigned tasks (classroom presentations).

Introduction to Indo-European Linguistics

prof. UAM dr hab. Ronald Kim

This class will introduce you to the field of Indo-European linguistics, which is concerned with the philology and analysis of the oldest documented Indo-European languages, such as Hittite, Sanskrit, Greek, and Latin, and the reconstruction of their last common ancestor, called Proto-Indo-European. We will discuss the principles of linguistic change and comparative reconstruction; the basic structure and features of the major ancient and modern Indo-European languages; the reconstruction of material culture, social institutions, and prehistoric migrations; and the outstanding debates and trends in Indo-European linguistics from the 19th century to the present day.

The course is oriented toward a maximally inclusive audience and welcomes anyone interested in language variation and change, sociolinguistics, language contact, typology, textual analysis, literary and cultural history, or the history of linguistics. No prior knowledge of older Indo-European languages is assumed, although some familiarity with Latin, German, or Slavic languages will of course be helpful. All required readings are in English; selected supplementary readings will also be available in Polish, German, and French.

Introduction to life-writing

prof. UAM dr hab. Agnieszka Rzepa

The aim of the lectures is to introduce students to the genre of life-writing in general (including elements of life-writing theory) and Canadian life-writing in particular. We will start with an attempt at determining what life-writing is, and how it can possibly be defined; and defining its interfaces with other literary genres. Later, we will discuss a selection of life-writing texts (autobiographies, memoirs, biographies, personal essays, travel writing, letters etc.) written by Canadian authors between 18th and 21st c. We will consider a variety of issues such as the link between life-writing and gender and sexuality; the intercultural and multicultural dimensions of the texts, especially in the Canadian context; the role of visual elements, reproduced documents and typography in life writing, etc. We will take some time to venture into other forms of life narrative, examine how “digital lives” are produced (through blogs, vlogs, etc., but also some non-narrative forms), and finish the course with examining issues related to the ethics of life writing/narrative and some of its institutional contexts.

Please note that these are interactive lectures, therefore many meetings will include activities other than listening — discussions, some based on assigned texts or fragments of texts (both primary and secondary) to be read either before or in class; short written assignments; and other tasks.