History of the School of English and the Faculty of English

The tradition of English studies in Poznań goes back to 1903 and the English seminar at Kaiser-Wilhelms-Akademie zu Posen, headed by Professor Wilhelm Dibelius (until 1910) and Professor Richard Jordan (from 1911 to 1912). A fairly rich library of the Seminar survived untouched until 1919 and ultimately became the property of the Department of English of the University of Poznań. However, English language and literature were taught at the University soon after its opening in 1919 and before the foundation of the Department of English.

The Department of English, however, was established at the University of Poznań in 1921, and a British scholar, B.W.A. Massey (1884–1960), was appointed acting professor. Professor Massey's main interest was language, but he was also known for his literary interests and for his translations of Polish literature (H. Sienkiewicz, M. Kuncewiczowa) and works by Polish scholars, especially concerning Polish-German relations and Polish history. The pre-war department of English in Poznań was small: no more than five students a year graduated before 1939. After World War II, the Department reopened in 1945. Professor Massey returned in 1946 and stayed until 1950. Like nearly all other departments of English in Poland (except the ones at Warsaw University and the Catholic University in Lublin), the Poznań department was closed for students in 1952. Henryk Zbierski (later professor of English literature) remained as the only staff member until 1965. In 1957, amid a new political atmosphere, the Ministry of Higher Education decided to reopen departments of English gradually and wherever qualified staff members were available.

In 1965 the Poznań department was reopened. On 1st December 1965 Jacek Fisiak was appointed to the position of a docent (now equivalent with a university professor) in Poznań, and became the head of the department. The Department of English (since 1968 called the School of English), has been constantly expanding since its reopening in 1965. For almost 40 years (1965–2005) it was run by Professor Jacek Fisiak.

In 2005 Professor Katarzyna Dziubalska-Kołaczyk was elected the new head of the School and immediately started further expansion in terms of the structure of the School, research activities, the number of staff and undergraduate, MA and PhD students, the equipment and the number of classrooms and offices. On 24 October 2011 the School was transformed into the Faculty of English on the basis of the decision of the Senate of Adam Mickiewicz University. Soon afterwards, the Rector of the University formally announced the formation of a new, fifteenth faculty of the University. The Faculty of English began functioning officially at the beginning of the academic year 2012–2013. New challenges will certainly arise in the coming years but, with the Faculty's longstanding tradition and its current strength, they should be successfully met.