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Polish Courses

This is an unofficial list of courses that will be offered in Polish Studies in Spring 2023. It is strictly for the use of expanded course descriptions. For the complete official course offerings, please consult the My.UIC portal.

For a list of all courses and general course descriptions, please see the UIC Academic Catalog.

Spring 2023 Courses in Polish Language Heading link

All classes will meet Mondays and Friday on campus and Friday online synchronously. Additionally additional online asynchronous work is required for the 4th credit hour of the 100-level classes.

POL 102 – Elementary Polish II

  • MWF 2:00-2:50 – Majchrowicz-Wolny

POL 104 – Intermediate Polish II

  • MWF 10:00-10:50 – Wasik
  • MWF 1:00-1:50 – Wolski-Moskoff (section reserved for Fall 2022 POL 103 students; others by permission)

POL 202 – Advanced Polish through Contemporary Culture

  • MWF 12:00-12:50

Spring 2023 Polish & Central and Eastern European Studies Courses in English Heading link

CEES 247 flyer

POL 115 – Introduction to Polish Culture
On Campus, MWF 3:00-3:50
Instructor: Dr. Wojciech Hamerski
World Cultures

POL 130 – Masterworks of Polish Literature in Translation: “The Devil in Warsaw: Polish Prose in Modern Times”
On Campus, TR 12:30-1:45
Instructor: Dr. Karen Underhill
In this course we will enter the vibrant and anguished world of 20th-century Polish prose with an introduction to literary works by contemporary Polish author and psychologist Olga Tokarczuk, futurist Aleksander Wat, Auschwitz survivor Tadeusz Borowski, poet and acerbic social critic C.K. Norwid, prose poet Bruno Schulz, and others. In this small, seminar-style course we will focus on the modern text as both a hardworking machine, and an embodiment of desire. Reading short stories written in Poland in the turbulent 20th century, we will consider narratives that offer escape from the modern world, into the worlds of fantasy, absurdity, or nostalgia; and also narratives that call for ethical engagement by their readers; that bear witness to trauma; that seek to adapt and recuperate elements of tradition and religion in a secular world; and narratives that explore transnational and post-national identities, in a Poland experiencing the ravages of the 20th century.
Creative Arts; World Cultures

POL 150 – Introduction to Polish Cinema
On Campus, MWF 1:00-1:50
Instructor: Justyna Wasik
Creative Arts; World Cultures

POL/CEES/JST 220 – Modern Polish-Jewish Culture and Literatures
On Campus, MW 4:30-5:45
Instructor: Dr. Vladislava Moskalets
In this course, students will explore the literature, art, music and movies of Polish Jewish culture from the late 18th century to World War I. We will ask: how is Jewish culture interlinked with Polish and Ukrainian cultures? The classes will include discussions on multilingual Hasidic songs, modernist urbanist poetry, and the influence of violence on modern Jewish art. Through the lens of Polish Jewish culture, students will gain the tools to understand and analyze other hybrid cultures.
Creative Arts; World Cultures

CEES 225 – Introduction to Central and Eastern European Cultures
On Campus, TR 9:30-10:45
Instructor: Dr. Michał Markowski

CEES 247 – “Not Quite Human: New Forms of Life in Central & Eastern European Fiction and Film”
On Campus, MW 3:00-4:15
Instructor: Dr. Matthew Kendall
This course explores utopian visions for new forms of life that originated in the culture and fictions of 20th-century Central and Eastern Europe. The subjects of artificial intelligence, alien life forms, and the pursuit of a new kind of humanity fill creative works from Central and Eastern Europe––but where does this region’s fascination with these topics come from? Our course will investigate the role that strange or uncanny representations of humanity have played in a unique, revolutionary context, where attitudes toward labor, sexuality, and difference were constantly changing.
printable flyer

POL 321 – Ghosts, Zombies and the Undead: Haunting & Polish Culture
On Campus, TR 3:30-4:45
Instructor: Dr. Karen Underhill
This course will follow Ghosts, Zombies and the Undead on their journey through 7 centuries of Polish literature, exploring the haunted realms of Polish and Polish-Jewish culture. What do ghosts and specters mean to us, and why do we need so many stories about them? In this class we will meet golems, ghosts, vampires, specters and zombies who have captured the Polish imagination, and contributed to shaping the cultural landscape of this multicultural region. How do ghost stories help us engage with memory, guilt, and responsibility? With fears of the unknown, or hopes of salvation? How can the concept of “haunting” be understood as a metaphor for the presence of the past in our lives, or for the responsibility that the living have toward the dead? Polish literature is filled with real and metaphorical ghosts, and beings who traverse the boundary between life and death, this world and worlds that precede or follow it. All texts read in English translation. No prerequisites.

CEES/LING/LCSL 406 – History of European Standard Languages
On Campus, T 3:30-6:00
Instructor: Dr. Giedrius Subačius
If “a language is a dialect with an army and a navy,” then among the many dialects that make up a language, the standard variety has the largest military. This course is all about the phenomenon of “standard languages.” The standard variety is primarily written with the goal of providing linguistic uniformity in the face of social diversity. Standard languages are often thought of as prestigious, “most beautiful,” and may serve as a symbol of national identity while also being the official language of a country. We will analyze and discuss the “birth” and development of language standards, the development of individual standard languages, and we will see emerging historical–theoretical patterns. Some standards were initiated by kings, others—by intellectuals of peasant origin. Of over 50 present standard languages in Europe a number will be investigated, compared, and classified: English, Russian, German, Greek, Yiddish, Italian, French, Spanish, Lithuanian, Polish, Ukrainian, Norwegian, Croatian, Serbian, Luxembourgish, Albanian, Estonian, etc.
printable flyer

CEES 550 – Critical and Theoretical Approaches to Cultural Production in Central and Eastern Europe: “Theological Origins of the Contemporary Critical Discourse”
On Campus, W 6:00-8:30
Instructor: Dr. Michał Markowski
The central thesis of Carl Schmitt’s political theology maintains that the main concepts in the political discourse of modernity are just secularized theological notions. This approach, as valid as it is, needs a radical expansion beyond the issue of sovereignty, to which it usually is reduced.
The seminar will propose that most of the contemporary critical vocabulary was designed either as a continuation or, most often, a negation of the basic theological concepts based on Christian theology established by Saint Paul. A derivative thesis of the seminar states that without a clear understanding of that basis, not only does the Christian-based culture and literature remain incomprehensible, but also its secular counterpart keeps obscuring its origins. To come to terms with those imbrications and to enlarge the critical vocabulary of the students, the seminar will offer a close and critical reading of Paul’s texts in vernacular languages (English, Russian, German, Spanish, French, and, if necessary, Polish) with the constant reference to the classical versions adopted by different churches (Greek and Latin). The differences between Catholicism, Protestantism, and Orthodoxy will also be discussed.
The seminar aims to create a multicultural, multilingual critical milieu to acknowledge and discuss this part of the modern tradition that has been largely ignored or insufficiently reflected upon among modern scholars.

Printable Spring 2023 course list

Past Course Descriptions Heading link