Celtic Studies Research Unit

Fáilte - Croeso - Degemer mat - Fàilte

Celtic Studies at the then-School of English (now Faculty of English) were established in 2004 at the initiative of prof. Jacek Fisiak, with a selection of courses in matters Celtic offered to students. Later, intensive Irish courses were introduced, which had an enthusiastic uptake from students. A B.A. scheme was launched in 2007, only to be followed 3 years later by a full M.A. programme. With this, Poznań became the only academic centre in Poland offering both B.A. and M.A. programmes in the field of Celtic Studies (details below), a situation which continues until today.

The cover term ‘Celtic’ represents not one single language or literature, but includes a number of related languages and their associated literatures. There are six modern Celtic languages, all of which are classified as minority languages. Of these, teaching in the department focuses mainly on Welsh and Irish, although members of the department also have knowledge and experience of Breton, Scottish Gaelic, Cornish and Manx.

As regards research, our staff have a wide range of interests, not limited to the following:

  • Sociolinguistics of the Celtic languages
  • Preservation and revitalisation of minority languages
  • Welsh semantics
  • Celtic onomastics
  • Teaching Welsh and Irish as second/foreign languages
  • Welsh lexicography
  • Welsh literature
  • History of Wales
  • History of Ireland
  • Irish phonology

The Unit is also active in organising conferences and publications. In October 2014 we hosted the 1st Poznan Conference of Celtic Languages which was highly successful and over the years developed into a biannual event.  Between 2007 and 2013 the department also organised Celtic Satellite Sessions as part of the annual Poznań Linguistic Meetings. The Centre also publishes an open access journal Studia Celtica Posnaniensia, with a wide range of papers covering aspects of Celtic linguistics, literature, history and culture. The CSRU also hosts regular meetings of the Celtic Research Group, with speakers from both Poland and abroad.

Graduates of the Celtic Studies Research Unit have gone on to begin to build successful careers for themselves and have used the knowledge they have learnt in the RU in a variety of ways. Some have appeared widely in Welsh and Irish media, thus strengthening the cultural connections between Poland and the Celtic countries. One of our graduates, Alicja Mańkowska, who is fluent in Irish, regularly appears on the Irish language radio channel, Raidió na Gaeltachta, to talk about Polish culture. With the radio, she is currently organising a Polish-Irish society to bring together the local Irish-speaking community and Polish emigrants. Another of our graduates – Joanna Rybelska – appeared on the Welsh programme “Hwb – Learner Abroad”, talking about her experience of learning Welsh. This is an example of our students not only creating a positive image of Polish people abroad, but also showing the Celtic minorities that we support them in their struggle to preserve their fascinating but endangered languages.