Cultural Psychology: Psychology of Culture Shock – 5 ECTS
The events of the first years of the 21st c. show that globalization and the resulting tensions and conflicts call for better understanding between people of different cultures. Lack of knowledge and inability to empathize with them makes us perceive the world of human relations in terms of ‘war games’ rather than in terms of cooperation. Translation of the grand scale developments into everyday human encounters makes our awareness of cultural differences essential for development of better social relations in our lives.
Polish Culture – 5 ECTS
Starting from the very beginning of Polish history in the Roman period, until the present time, the course explores the whole range of aspects of the history and culture of the nation. Special emphasis is given to the national art, literature, music, therefore the course is illustrated by pieces of literature, as well as the presentation of art, architecture and music. The course will concentrate on culture of particular periods of the Polish history.
My Polish – 4 ECTS The scope of the course is focused on general command of Polish, development of all linguistic competences and advancement of grammatical and vocabular competence.
History of Poland in Europe in the 20th Century – 6 ECTS
Session 1.Course discussion – requirements.
Session 2.Polish lands in Europe at the turn of the 19th to 20th centuries.
Session 3.Polish lands and Poles in the First World War: the Eastern versus the Western front.
Session 4.Peace settlements after the First World War – the Versailles system. Poland in the Paris Peace talks.
Session 5.Poland in Europe in the years 1918-1939: analysis of statistical data.
Session 6.The forming of Polish state after World War I. Europe’s approval of Poland’s position
Session 7.Domestic economic and political developments in 1918-1939.
Session 8.Poland in the European International Politics in the Years 1918-1939.
Session 9.Poland and the coming of the Second World War.
Session 10.The Second World War – Poland. The occupied territories.
Session 11.The Second World War – Poland. Between London and Warsaw.
Session 12.The Second World War – Poland. Between London, Moscow and Washington DC.
Session 13.The international dimension of Poland’s war – meetings in Teheran, Yalta, Potsdam and their impact on Poland.
Session 14.The establishment of Communist regime in Poland 1944-1948.
Session 15.The outbreak of the Cold War. The Marshall Plan; the two camp policy, the Berlin Blockade, NATO, Warsaw Pact, the forming of FRG and GDR.
Session 16.Western Europe and reconstruction. Stalinism and the age of terror 1948-1956.
Session 17.The “Thaw” of 1956. XX Congress of the CPSU. Polish October. Europe and the Word in 1956.
Session 18.Gomułka’s Poland.
Session 19.Gierek’s Poland.The emerge of democratic opposition. Role of the Catholic Church.
Session 20.The Solidarity Revolution of 1980/81. Solidarity Poland in Europe.
Session 21.The Martial Law in Poland. Crisis of the Communist system.
Session 22.Poland in the 1980s. Europe in the 1980s.
Session23.The ‘Velvet’ Revolution of 1989/1990
Philosophical Issues in Film – 4 ECTS
Ann Hetzel Gunkel
This course addresses a series of philosophical themes including ethical issues, metaphysical questions, and existential quandaries. The study of philosophy can open up vistas of meaning to any student and films can effectively realize abstract ideas in palpable and compelling ways.
Film has become one of the dominant forms of artistic expression and idea communication. This course not only gives the student better tools for analyzing and understanding films , but also aids them in the art of self-reflection. Films will be studied that reflect perennial philosophical problems and students will read important works by eminent philosophers such as Descartes, Marx, and Plato.
Food and Culture – 4 ECTS
Ann Hetzel Gunkel
This advanced Cultural Studies Seminar is an interdisciplinary investigation into the cultural dimensions of food. Using a variety of theoretical perspectives and models, the course examines such issues as Food, Meaning & Voice, Body & Culture, and the Political Economy of Food. Questions of gender, ethnicity, class, consumption, agribusiness, global politics, and semiotics will guide our studies, while we attempt to understand the complex ways in which social norms, cultural meaning, and economic realities underlie food habits. Our texts will draw on a wide range of sources from cultural studies, philosophy, sociology, anthropology, literature, film and media culture.
Poland and Central Europe in Transatlantic Perspective – 4 ECTS
The course examines the role of the contemporary Central European countries in the broader context of Euro-Atlantic relations, focusing on political, economic and cultural dimensions. Although Poland will constitute the focal point of this study, the politics and history of other countries in the region will be indispensible component of this class.
Transatlantic Connection in Cinema – 10 ESTC
The course will focus on specific examples of movies that either portray or embody the complicated cultural relationship between Europe and the United States: the Old and the New World, as disdainful of one another as they are infatuated with each other
The movies were carefully selected so that they enable discussion on a variety of topics, such as racism, philosophical foundations of American society, Twentieth Century political history, gender issues, and ideology.
The Holocaust and Its Cultural Meaning – 6 ECTS�
There is no question that the Holocaust is the definitive event of the twentieth century for the West. Yet only after over half a century do we find that all the world can finally and freely speak of the Holocaust and the effect it has had on European and Western culture. The Shoah needs to be understood as something more than a historical or political event.
The introductory classes will build a foundation based on analysis of the changing terminology and definitions, as well as situate the Holocaust against the historical backdrop and social context of modern Europe. Presented and analyzed next will be the fundamental questions provoked by the Holocaust (e.g., how did it happen, what did political leaders do or not do, how did ordinary people react, etc.). The perpetrator, victim, and bystander roles will be discussed in detail; means of resistance and rescue will also be examined. As the course is being taught in Central Europe, attention will be paid to pre- and postcommunist memory of the Holocaust.
The movies offer a wide range of cinematic modes of representation, from the classical Hollywood narrative to daring experimentation of the French New Wave and auteur filmmakers such as Dušan Makavejev. Every class will consist of a short introductory lecture, a movie screening, and an in-class discussion.
Social Change in the 20th Century – 10 ECTS
This course will present a sociological analysis of social change within Western societies. These societies are treated as post-industrial and multi-dimensional cultural units in the process of globalization. These societies are now undergoing unprecedented socio-cultural transformations as a result of declining objective differences between them and accelerating technological, demographic and cultural changes.
Religion in Poland – stereotypes and history – 5 ECTS
The aim of this course is to introduce international undergraduate students to religion in Poland, including a range of religious groups, beliefs and practices, across more than a thousand years of history. Against that broad background, several key issues will be looked at in depth. The most fundamental of these is how religion in general, and Roman Catholicism in particular, has related to Polish national identity. Other topics of special interest will be the history of religious tolerance in Poland, the role of the Roman Catholic Church in opposing communist rule and the question of the relevance of religion in modern social life in Poland.