Texts of contemporary culture

Texts of contemporary culture


Head Study PhD Anna Tenczyńska Address of postgraduate studies, phone no ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście 26/28, 00-937 Warsaw, Secretariat: building of the Faculty of Polish Studies, room no 25, phone no: 22 55 21 020 Days and hours of work of the Secretariat From Monday to Friday 9.00-15.00 The duration of postgraduate studies Two semesters (160 hours) Study mode and frequency of meetings Part-time studies, meetings on Saturdays and Sundays, every 2 weeks

Cost per semester
3 300 PLN – till 10/07/2012
3 600 PLN – till 10/09/2012

Brief description of study The subject of study are messages representative for contemporary culture (eg digital texts), representing various levels and performing different functions (eg artistic text, but also popular and utility). An important place in the curriculum have: the latest world and Polish literature; literary, film, comic texts of culture; and currently cultivated genres of journalism. An important aim of study is to train skills of analysis, interpretation and critique of text of contemporary culture. The proposed workshops are designed to develop skills of speaking and writing about the text, as well as formal, critical, comparative analyzing of literary, science, journalism, film and theater communications.


Ethics of text

The lecture presents the main ethical rules of use of the word for different types of texts, characterizes by ethical social impact of text, refers the rules of ethics of the word to the political correctness, acquaints students with the basic copyright laws. After completing the course student evaluates the text in ethical terms; recognizes and describes symptoms of breach of ethics in the text; points out the differences between ethical and unethical text; can apply the basic provisions of the copyright law in the work with the text – its creation, editing, using (eg the right of quotation, determinants and consequences of plagiarism).

Journalistic genres

Subject discusses some – most important – journalistic genres: an informative text, a comment, a magazine article, a reportage. We will discuss their compositional characteristics (hierarchy and method of transfer of information adapted to the communicational situation), style characteristics (stylistic shape of text as a realization of various functions of text), language characteristics (if there is one language pattern for all types of expression? If assessment of the correctness and accuracy of language shape of text depends on the represented genre of expression?). We will also focus on genre interference. These issues will be discussed on the examples of texts specific to different media: press, radio, television and the Internet. Classes will have a practical character: students, acquainted with the theoretical information, will train their skills of creation of texts representing the discussed journalistic genres. After completing the course student diagnoses and characterizes compositional characteristics of particular genres of journalistic communication. Assesses journalistic text in terms of genre, accuracy and appropriateness of language measures used in it. Composes journalistic text representing the specified genre.

Intertexts and remediation

Classes include following topics: circulation of cultural content: themes, motifs, genres, styles; text recycling; mediation, cultural redundancy; intertextuality – the different theories (Kristeva, Riffaterre, Genette, Bloom, Polish conceptions – Sławinski, Głowinski, Nycz, Kasperski, Mitosek ); narrow and wide understanding of the term; the types of intertextuality in contemporary culture; analysis of intertextually and intersemiotically oriented works (including poetry by Tadeusz Różewicz, Zbigniew Herbert, Stanisław Barańczak; novels: J. Barnes, “Papuga Flauberta”, J. Dehnel, “Balzakiana”; drama: T. Różewicz, “Wyszedł z domu”, S. Mrożek, “Indyk”; films: W. Allen, “Zelig”, the brothers Wachowski, “The Matrix”;analysis of selected works of art and ads); textual and cultural functions of allusions; intertextuality and postmodernism; intertextuality and originality. After completing the course student is able to demonstrate the phenomenon of text recycling; points out its place and manifestations in culture; refers it to the specific texts of culture; explains the relationship between recycling and intertextuality; critically and comparatively analyzes texts in terms of manifestations of intertextuality.

Art criticism

The aim of the course is a systematic presentation of the key issues related to literary, film and theater criticism, recognized in the context of the transformations of contemporary culture. The subject of our discussion and debate will be both the problems regarding the poetics of the critique and the sociology of art (this will include the issue of mechanisms and evaluation criteria, to which texts of art subject recently, the specificity of their reception, the changes in artistic communication under the influence of new media and the expansion of popular culture) and social situation of criticism after 1989 shown in the context of its earlier twentieth-century changes and new, dynamically transforming, market situation of magazines. Synthetic presentation of main streams of newest Polish art criticism, presentation of biographies of chosen critics, their opinions and influential polemics will help postgraduate students to grasp the specificity of the leading critical discourses; it will also prepare and encourage listeners to take a substantive, active and responsible participation in the modeling of the reception of valuable art. After completing the course student describes the poetics of critical text; summarizes the trends in contemporary criticism of literary, film and theater communications; can construct a critical text with an awareness of stylistic and compositional measures and evaluation criteria used in it; can assess at the same angle critiques showing currently.

Latest Polish literature

The aim of the course will be the presentation of selected issues, events and developments in modern Polish literature (in poetry and prose) after 1989. After the theoretical introduction (aimed at stimulating discussion on the issue of watershed 1989 and change of the situation of literature in Polish culture), the presentation of the main orientations in poetry and prose in generational order and discussion on key texts that have arisen in recent times, the subject of classes becomes a question to what extent these transformations may be regarded as specific in the context of recent changes of literature in other countries of Central Europe. At the meetings we will also systematically cultivate art of interpretation inspiring participants of the workshops to develop their critical skills and to evaluate the new works independently. After completing the course student synthesizes Polish literature (poetry, prose, drama) of the period, discusses the issue of the literary process in the context of recent literature, indicates problem areas that call for new conclusions. He critically confronts the recent Polish literature with the literatures of the neighboring countries, interprets it in the context of political, cultural and technological changes in Poland after 1989.

Latest world literature

A series of lectures on the latest world literature will include following issues: the concept of Weltliteratur (world literature) from Goethe to the present day; rules, institutions and instances which form canon of the world (international and national awards, promotional system, Bourdieu and the concept of „fields of literature,” the market, commodity, value); the canon of world and national literature (among others Polish literature); contemporary literature versus modern literature – the question of the criteria, themes and poetics; issues of language and translations; the most recent literature in the context of the central discourses of late twentieth / twenty-first century; Weltliteratur in comparative approach. After completing the course student presents and comparatively interprets works of art of world literature; identifies and critically characterizes the relationship between the canon of the world and the global rules and institutions that establish it; explains the differences between modern and contemporary literature; defines relationships between recent literature and other discourses.

Semiotics and media rhetoric

Classes are devoted to the sign organization of the contemporary media coverage, methods of expressing meaning and impact made through them on the recipient. The lecture develops the ability to recognize and describe the structures of multisign text messages, including: literature, film, painting, photography, journalism, advertising. It presents, in comparative terms, polisemiotic and interactive rhetorical measures, used by authors of texts in order to realize the informative function of the transmission, as well as to make aesthetic impact and to persuade the audience (media ways of control the individual recipient and the public). After completing the course student examines and evaluates comparatively texts for their sign organization. Assesses the appropriateness of the semiotic measures in shaping meanings in the text, as well as in realization of the functions of aesthetic and persuasive. Identifies and explains the semiotic mechanisms of control of the receiver, classifies them in terms of the degree of openness and the way they affect the recipient (the consequences of persuasion and manipulation).

Digital text

Contact with the text in digital form is now everyday for all of us. So what are the characteristics of this kind of text and what is its relationship whit the tradition on paper? What does the term e-books mean? How do the digital text genres interact with culture? Will the death of the author, proclaimed at the end of last century, happen in the new text reality? How do e-books change books closed in codex form and thus their „text”? After completing the course student describes discriminates of digital text and illustrates them by examples from the Internet, explains the impact of new technologies on the evolution of the structure of text and culture, criticizes digital text on different discursive-stylistic levels, interprets comparatively the text of the traditional and digital form.

Text of culture (general issues)

Topics of the course will focus on one of the most important and complicated subjects and concepts of the humanities – „text”. The very term „text” from the beginning of the twentieth century expanded its meaning, gradually becoming not only a center of linguistic and literary research, but also the common object of all cultural studies. Referring to the inspiration of the semiotic, the object in question has been culturally treated as a transfer of meaning, regardless of the substance, in which it was captured. In studies from the second half of the twentieth century „culture” is usually defined as a space of text. At the same time „text” is usually characterized as „cultural.” But such understanding of text did not cancel the philological tools, most efficient of the previously developed, that allow you to grasp this „cultural nature” of the text and „textual nature ” of culture. Thus a central role in textually oriented cultural studies still plays literary theory from the first half of the twentieth century. Its conceptions are used in the study of texts included in the various discipline (historiography, psychology, philosophy and even economics), analyzed from different perspectives (narrative, rhetorical, pragmatic, biographical) or stored in a different form (such as multimedia texts). Moreover, the scientific literary texts are also read as texts of culture. After completing the course student describes the text of culture, showing its characteristics for the specific examples; compares the different understandings of the category of text and its use in different domains; is able to present the evolution of the concept in the humanities of the twentieth and twenty-first century; describes the contribution of literary theory in the understanding of the category.

Text of popular culture and utility text

Classes are devoted to issues of non-artistic text, as well as understanding of popular (mass) culture. We will deal with different kinds of texts from different cultural areas (such as talk shows, fantasy novel, song, graffiti, tabloid). The subject of classes will be: the aesthetics of mass culture (among other, the phenomenon of kitsch), cultural fashions (literary fashions), the impact of media on culture (a phenomenon of simulacrum), themes and schemas of mass culture, myths of popular culture. Attention will be also paid to utility texts – their genres, composition and vocabulary. After completing the course student describes and evaluates features of text of popular culture. Compares them comparatively with the poetics of artistic text. Illustrates features of the popular and utility texts by concrete examples. Explains the relationship of aesthetics of these texts to the circulation, market requirements, the cultural industry; is able to estimate the impact of the popular and mass text on the situation of culture.

Texts of youth culture

Classes will focus on these texts of culture that form the area of literary and cultural interests of young generation, confirmed by researches. We will be interested in following issues: fashionable genres (fantasy, horror), poetic of contemporary text for the youth, controversial topics and themes of initiation prose (domestic and peer violence, family breakdown, erotic initiation, the devaluation of authorities) and their representative realizations. Activities will also include investigations on the place of literature among other forms of culture (RPG, computer games) and texts of culture (comics, initiation movie). After completing the course student describes and evaluates the poetics of contemporary text of youth culture; confronts comparatively multimedia text genres of youth culture; explains the presence of literary forms among other forms of text; can justify the present of repetitive topics and themes in these texts, as well as recall and describe comparatively their representative realizations.

Workshops of analysis and interpretation

Classes consists of several thematic sections devoted to various contexts of interpretation of contemporary literature and culture. Workshops are aimed at the development of practical skills on the basis of microanalysis and microinterpretations (not excluding more general diagnoses). Objects of analysis are different types of texts of contemporary culture (especially literary and scientific of the widely understood humanities). Workshops show the differences between literary and non-literary text, between prose and verse, the relationship between the reading of world (Eco), culture (Toporov) and literature. In the analysis the comparative perspective will be present (Polish, German, French literature, literature in the context of other arts and texts of culture). Activities include recent research approaches to literature (recognition of cultural poetics, new historicism, narrativizm etc.). After completing the workshops student describes the elements of a literary text and various cultural texts; is able to analyze these elements and merge them synthetically; distinguishes literary and non-literary text; can indicate a relationship between the semiotic potential of literature, culture and the modern world, thereby deepens their understanding; critically evaluates cognitive, aesthetic and ethical aspects of text.

Contemporary artistic text

Classes are devoted to issues of contemporary theater and film text, its creators, the most outstanding works, development trends, artistic measures. Today the first indicator of artistic film and artistic theater is primarily its circulation – distribution industry connected with festivals and events targeted to a wide audience. It is important because it is festivals that have become a space of forming a hierarchy and crystallization of evaluation criteria for artistic cinema and theater. This is clear especially in the case of cinema. Indication on the circulation rather than on style features follows directly from the other important issue related to artistic cinema – the heterogeneity of its formula, which involves defining artistic film as a work in search of form, which, therefore, can not be included in a specific convention or genre (often autothematic). Artistic film is a liquid formula, which requires borderline exploration: at the borders of media (television, networks, digital media), genres and narrations (hybridity), specifically constructing its inherent space and time (opposition image-movement and image-time by Deleuze). On the other hand, in the criticism and theory of film continue to function such categories as author and style. After completing the course student recognizes and describes the relationship between theater and film arts and the reception circulation. Explains and justifies intermedia contemporary artistic text. Characterizes techniques of communication and defines their impact on the poetics of the text;comparatively and critically analyzes contemporary artistic text.


• upgrading the professional abilities connected with skills and knowledge of various forms of text,
• developing the ability to identify and explain the mechanisms governing the texts,
• improvement of skills of using various forms of text written and spoken,
• improvement of skills of critical analysis, interpretation and evaluation of the texts of contemporary culture (their semiotic, media, stylistic construction).


Start of recruitment 2/04/2012 Completion of recruitment 10/09/2012 Rules of recruitment First come first served Formal requirements Higher education (with the consent of Institution graduates with a BA will also be accepted).

Required documents
• copy of diploma,
• application for admission,
• personal questionnaire.
(Download in DOC).

Documents should be submitted personally in room no 25 or by mail to the indicated address of the study in the period: 2.04.2012 – 10.09.2012. Preferences Studies are aimed primarily at graduates of various humanities and social, as well as at all who want to acquire, deepen and/or update knowledge about widely understood text, obtain and/or improve abilities to use different forms of text written and spoken. They should also interest those already working – or planning to work – in such professions as: a humanities teacher, a translator, an art critic, a copywriter, a journalist, a reporter, an editor, a spokesperson etc. Studies help to improve language competence, knowledge about contemporary literary culture, as well as its relationship with other texts of culture, such as film, theater, visual arts, music. They are also a form of professional training that allows upgrading skills of many professions. The starting date of studies 13/10/2012 Places 30 Conditions for obtaining a diploma Completion of all subjects and to obtaining a positive assessment of the exam in two subjects chosen by the student.


Prof. Assoc. Mieczysław Dąbrowski

He works in the Section of Comparative Studies at the Institute of Polish Literature UW. Since 2005 the director of the ILP. Deals with the history of Polish literature and culture in a global context, his works concentrate on such categories as: history of ideas, multiculturalism, cultural and ethnic identity, otherness / strangeness, e / migration, postcolonial studies in literature, borderlines and cultural stereotypes, anthropology of literature , comparative studies, Jewish tradition in Poland, decadence, avant-garde art, literary modernism and postmodernism etc. The works of the last decade relate to these issues. In recent years the author has published the following books: “Postmodernizm – myśl i tekst” (2000) (“Postmodernism – idea and text”), “Swój/Obcy/Inny. Z problemów interferencji i komunikacji międzykulturowej” (2001) (“Familiar / Stranger / Other. The problems of interference and cross-cultural communication”), “Projekt krytyki etycznej. Studia i szkice literackie” (2005) (“Design of ethical criticism. Literary studies and sketches”), “Komparatystyka dyskursu / Dyskurs komparatystyki” (2009) (“Comparative discourse / Discourse of comparative”).

Assoc. Andrzej Fabianowski, prof. UW

Head of the Section of Romanticism Literature at the Institute of Polish Literature UW. Research interests: the history of Polish literature of the Romantic period, intertextual relationships between contemporary literature and literature of the Romantic period, multiculturalism of the Romanticism, Judaism and the Jewish question in the era of Romanticism, Polish language education in school.

PhD Agnieszka Karpowicz

She works at the Institute of Polish Culture at Warsaw University. She is interested in artistic culture, cultural anthropology and anthropology of the word (media and communications), literature and art of the twentieth century in cultural perspective. She teaches Anthropology of the Word, Poetics and Aesthetics of the Verbal Creativity, Aesthetic Theories, Image in Culture (Postgraduate Studies). Translator from French in the field of cultural anthropology, sociology, media and communications, as well as on the borderline of literature, art history, sociology and anthropology. Author of translations of books and articles from French, among others: Yves Winkin, “Anthropology of communication”, Raymond Boudon, “The effect of the reversal”, Nathalie Heinich, “Sociology of art”, Alain Touraine, “Selfcreating of the population”. Author of the book “Kolaż. Awangardowy gest kreacji. Themerson, Buczkowski, Białoszewski” (“Collage. Avant-garde creative gesture. Themerson, Buczkowski, Białoszewski”).

Prof. Assoc. Edward Kasperski

Head of the Section of Comparative Studies at the Institute of Polish Literature UW. Researches and numerous publications on various literary and cultural systems (American literature and culture: E. A Poe; German-Jewish-Slavic borderline: F. Kafka, M. Buber; Polish-Ukrainian borderline: T. Shevchenko, I. Franko, J. Małaniuk; Scandinavian literature: S. Kierkegaard). Dissertations in the field of literary and philosophical anthropology, comparative studies, philosophy and theory of dialogue. History and theory of Polish literature of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

PhD Urszula Kowalczuk

She works in the Section of Literature and Culture of the second half of the nineteenth century at the Institute of Polish Literature UW. Interest and scientific achievements confirmed by the book and many articles focused on issues of literature of the second half of the nineteenth century, placed in the circle of cultural anthropology. Research undertaken in recent years concentrates mainly on historical writing read in the context of narrativistic proposals and autobiographical aspects of writings of Stanisław Brzozowski.

PhD Jarosław Łachnik

An employee of the Section of Lexicology, Theoretical Stylistics and Culture of Polish Language at the Institute of Polish Language UW. He teaches the Culture of the Polish Language, Stylistics and conducts editorial workshops for daily, postgraduate and part-time Polish Studies. For 5 years he has prepared students of editorial and publishing specialization (later: editorial) – editorial workshops and lectures of copyright law. He also conducts classes on the courses for scientific and substantive editors and translators, lawyers and administrative staff. His research interests are mainly: word formation, comparative grammar (Polish-Italian) and the principles of the normative compilation of specialized texts.

PhD hab. Marek Łaziński

He works at the Institute of Polish Language UW. Research interests: the corps of texts, the aspect of the verb, the grammar gender and its relation to the sex, adaressative forms.

PhD Lena Magnone

She works in the Section of Literature and Culture of the second half of the nineteenth century at the Institute of Polish Literature UW. She published the monograph “Maria Konopnicka: lustra i symptom” (“Maria Konopnicka: mirrors and symptoms”), has prepared the edition of poet’s letters to her children, edited a collective works: “Modernizm: spotkania. Antologia” (“Modernism: the meetings. Anthology”) (with Ewa Paczoska) and “Wokół Freuda i Lacana. Interpretacje psychoanalityczne” (“Around Freud and Lacan. Psychoanalytic interpretations”) (with Anna Mach). The secretary of editorial office of “Przegląd Humanistyczny” („The review of the Humanities”), a member of the Central Committee of the Olympic of Polish Language and Literature. Organizer of the conferences „Psychoanalysis, Culture, Interpretation” and „The third dimension of psychoanalysis”, tutor of the Scientific Circle of Psychoanalysis of Culture. Also teaches at Postgraduate Gender Studies at the Institute of Literary Research. Deals with the feminine literature of late nineteenth and early twentieth century, the use of psychoanalysis in literary studies and the reception of Freudianism in Polish culture before 1939.

PhD Maria Makaruk

She works in the Section of Romanticism Literature at the Institute of Polish Literature UW. Interests: Romanticism literature and culture. Positions held: the scientific care over the Theater of the Faculty of Polish Studies the name of Eligiusz Szymanis and the student portal www.niewinniczarodzieje.pl, head of the Warsaw Branch of the Literary Society the name of Adam Mickiewicz.

Prof. Assoc. Ewa Paczoska

She works in the Section of Literature and Culture of the second half of the nineteenth century at the Institute of Polish Literature UW. Area of research: literature and culture of the second half of the nineteenth century, the presence of the tradition of the nineteenth century in literature and art of the twentieth century. She has published five books, the last one – “Prawdziwy koniec XIX wieku. Śladami nowoczesności” (“True end of the nineteenth century. Traces of modernity”).

PhD Radosław Rusnak

He works in the Section of Literature and Culture of Old Ages. Research interests: relationship of old literature with the tradition of ancient literature and literatures of Roman countries, translation, European Renaissance drama.

PhD Agnieszka Smaga

Employed in the Section of Comparative Studies at the Institute of Polish Literature UW. The circle of her interests includes complex relationships between literature and painting, word and image. She repeatedly participated in the scholarships, among others in the University of Freiburg in order to conduct research on literary and artistic Cubism and in Zurich for research on interdisciplinary Dadaism. Scientific and theoretical conclusions confronts with her own practice of painting and graphics.

PhD Bożena Suchocka

Graduated from two faculties of the Theatre Academy in Warsaw: Acting and Directing; she realized her theatrical performances in theaters: National, Variety, Drama, Studio. Since 1993 lecturer in Theater Academy the name of Al. Zelwerowicz in Warsaw; teaches courses: Elementary Acting Tasks, Scene dialog, Work on the role, is a director of several thesis performances, her performances and the students taking part in them won many awards at national and international festivals, in 2002-2008 Dean of the Faculty of Acting AT.

MA Joanna Szczepkowska

Consultant and trainer of Coaching Groups IN VIVO Sp. z o. o., the accreditation of the Polish Agency for Enterprise Development in several projects. Graduated from the Faculty of Economics at the University of Economics in Poznan and the University the name of Adam Mickiewicz in Poznan – postgraduate studies in human resource management, psychology in management and School for Trainers and Management Consultants MATRIK in Cracow. Consultant and trainer in strategic management, human resources management, project management and improvement of social and managerial competence. She specializes in strategic management, building and implementation of marketing strategies, human resource management, with particular emphasis on non-financial motivating employees and interpersonal communication. Implemented a series of training, implementation and consulting projects in the field of the evaluation and improvement of the competence of staff with particular emphasis on the social com.