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

What is this list?

This is a list of monographic lectures we intend to launch in the summer term (February–June) 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 term of 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.

Big issues and great debates in the theory of syntax

prof. UAM dr hab. Piotr Cegłowski

The aim of this series of lectures is to present and discuss the selected problems that have been at the forefront of the syntactic debate for the past couple of decades. These include both the foundational aspects of the theory of syntax (e.g. derivational vs. representational approach to syntax, “crash-proof” syntax, the place of Lexicon in the organization of grammar (Lexicalism vs. Distributed Morphology), alternatives to the classical version of the Principles and Parameters framework or the distinction between Broad and Narrow Language Faculty in the context of the evolution of language), as well as the “nuts and bolts” of the syntactic mechanics (e.g. cross-linguistic properties of nominal expressions - the so-called NP vs. DP debate, the null subject phenomenon, etc.)

Selected bibliography

Alexiadou, A., L. Haegeman and M. Starvou. 2007. Noun Phrase in the Generative Perspective. New York: Mouton de Gruyer.
Biberbauer, T., A. Holmberg, I. Roberts, M. Sheenan. 2010. Parametric variation. Null subjects in Minimalist Theory. Cambridge: CUP.
Cinque, G. and R. Kayne (eds). 2005. The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Syntax. Oxford: OUP.
Cognola, F. and J. Casalicchio (eds). 2018. Null Subjects in Generative Grammar. A Synchronic and Diachronic Perspective. Oxford: OUP.
Franks, S. 1995. Parameters of Slavic Morphosyntax. Oxford: OUP.
Hornstein, N., J. Nunes, K. Grohmann. 2005. Understanding Minimalism. Cambridge: CUP.
Larson, R., V. Déprez and H. Yamakido. The Evolution of Human Language. Biolinguistic Perspectives. Cambridge: CUP.
Luraghi, S. and C. Parodi (eds). 2013. The Bloomsbury Companion to syntax. London: Bloomsbury.
Isac, D. and C. Reiss. 2008. I-Language. An Introduction to Linguistics as Cognitive Science.
Rizzi, L. (ed.). 2004. The Structure of CP and IP. Oxford: OUP.

Multiple Forms of Life Writing in Contemporary Anglophone Literatures

prof. UAM dr hab. Dagmara Drewniak

This one-semester long monographic lecture will be devoted to the presentation of various life writing practices undertaken by (mostly) contemporary Anglophone writers of different ethnic, cultural and family backgrounds. We will ponder the recent boom of autobiographical writing visible in the publishing market and wide readership as well as consider exemplary fragments of texts representing diverse genres (from autobiographical poetry and prose, through political nonfiction to illustrated memoirs). We will also focus our attention on recurrent topics and motifs of autobiographical inquiry such as self-creation, memory, trauma, and identity. On the basis of some theoretical concepts, texts and films by authors coming from the UK, the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand we will discuss the idea of writing oneself and writing one’s life. We will also try to undertake our own (simple) life writing tasks by offering individual life narratives in the form of short presentations concerning either a family album or an attempt at creating a personal archive, which will serve as a basis for course credits.

Bilingualism, language and cognition

prof. UAM dr hab. Anna Ewert

The course aims to provide an overview of bilingualism research by focusing on representative studies and research perspectives from linguistics and psychology, showcasing both ground-breaking studies of the past, like Peal and Lambert (1962), and most recent meta-analytic approaches. The problem areas discussed will include crosslinguistic influence, lexical processing and L2 effect on L1, bilingual language control and the effect of bilingualism on domain-general processing, as well as conceptual transfer and linguistic relativity. Since the approach adopted here is that bilingualism is not a categorical variable (Luk & Bialystok 2013), we will also focus on defining and operationalizing bilingualism, as well as on the influence of individual and contextual factors on bilingual outcomes. An attempt will be made to trace the development of the field, beginning with an assumption of a fundamental difference between bilinguals and monolinguals to a realization of a complex interplay of diverse factors. Recent disputes and controversies will be touched upon with a view to answering the questions of what we know for sure about bilingual cognition and where the field might be going.

Course evaluation will be based on an end-of-the-semester quiz.

Intertextuality and transmediality in the discursive becoming of the human self

prof. UAM dr hab. Elżbieta Wąsik

The lectures will be devoted to the semiotic aspects of self-actualization of human individuals through their involvement in discursive practices in their lifeworlds. Taking a homocentric perspective, they will focus on the signifying-communicating self, viz., a self-aware human subject, interacting with other subjects through different codes, realized via different information channels, and media, as means used to store and convey information. The human self will be considered as a participant and creator of culture. The environment, in which humans as selves can actively realize their needs and values, and thus intellectual potential, will be described by two terms, such as intertextuality and transmediality that nowadays find application in the semiotics of culture and media communication. For the lectures, it will be necessary to define intertextuality – the concept initially employed by poststructuralist theorists and critics of literature – as the relationships among texts that mediate between human individuals, who create, receive and interpret them. The meaning of the concept of transmediality, in turn, will be specified by characterizing the contemporary media culture. As will be stressed, in recent times, on a large scale, thanks to advanced technological development, various media coexist and converge, enabling the recipients of media messages to provide feedback.

Selected aspects of British and American military history: from Agincourt to the Falklands

prof. dr hab. Jacek Witkoś

The objective of this course is to review a series of better, as well as less well known military events in British and American history and to concentrate on their political and military causes and consequences for the contemporary public opinion. The historical episodes to be reviewed include, among others: the sepoy mutiny, the battle of Balaclava (including the world-famous charge of the light brigade), the battle of Gettysburg, the second Boer war, the Somme offensive of 1916, the RAF bombing raids on Germany during WW2, the US response to the Tet offensive in Vietnam in 1969, and many more. Class participants will get acquainted with appropriate vocabulary ranges and will be actively involved in discussion concerning numerous glorious as well more controversial aspects of the said events. Classes will be richly illustrated with documentary and movie footage.

The prerequisites to join the course include keen interest in historical and political issues on a global scale, as well as decent command of the English language in speech and writing. The credit will be obtained on the basis of regular attendance and active participation in class discussion.