Institute of Slavic Philology

Institute of Slavic Philology

About the Institute

The Institute of Slavic Philology is an academic-educational unit, which belongs to the Faculty of Polish and Classic Philology at the University of Adam Mickiewicz in Poznań.
The main areas of the Institute’s research are the studies concerning literature, language, and culture of the Central European, Western Slavic, and Southern Slavic countries.

The Institute cooperates with various units, initiates to and participates in organization of the local events. As a mediator between many cultural institutions from the principal countries, the Institute supports them with knowledge and experience in order to improve thematic events concerning the Western Slavic and Souther Slavic areas along with broadly comprehended Balkan region. For years the Institute has been collaborating with the diplomatic missions of the Southern Slavic states, also annually playing host to ambassadors and members of the consular missions.

The Institute of Slavic Philology offers studies of the first and second degree regarding the following fields: Bulgarian, Croatian, Serbian, Czech Philology, Polish-Slavic Studies, Southern Slavic Comparative Studies, Balkan Studies, and also Balkan Studies in English as a two-year course leading to a master’s degree.

The students take classes and participate in seminars dedicated to history, culture, and language of the selected principal country. They also improve their lingual and translation skills taking the foreign language courses conducted by the native speakers.

The students have an opportunity to participate in the scholarship trips organized by the foreign universities (usually held as a part of the Erasmus Plus programme). The students may also make use of the offer of exchange between Polish universities, which is enabled by the Students’ Mobility Programme (MOST).

The foreign language courses are organized in the multimedia rooms and professional language laboratory, which allow the students to broaden the scope of  their competences regarding the specialization language.

The Institute of Slavic Philology is an organizer of two important festivals:  Poznań Slavic Fest(previously known as Poznań Festival of Slavic Song) and Balkan Film Fest. Every year there are organized foreign tours to the Balkans by among others the Scholar Circle, which enable the students to learn the culture and language of the Balkan countries thanks to a direct contact with the native speakers.

The History of the Institute

The traditions of Slavic studies in Poznań have been initiated in 1918 namely, at the date when Poznań University came into existence. The Philosophical Faculty was the first unit at the university, and included human and natural studies. Many of Polish outstanding Slavic scholars found employment at the newly established university, among of them it is worth mentioning Tadeusz Lehr-Spławiński, Mikołaj Rudnicki czy Henryk Ułaszyn. Since 1925 the Faculty was being divided into more specialized units, and due to this the Human Faculty was constituted, which also included the Western Slavic Institute.

After the Second World War in 1949, the Department of Western Slavic Literatures came into being at Poznań University. In 1952 the unit’s name was changed to the Department of Slavic Literatures, and its chair (till 1962) was Stefan Vrtel-Wierczyński. In 1965 the department was extended by adding Russian studies, and because of that the Department of Russian Philology was established. In 1969 the department was renamed to the Institute of Russian and Slavic Philology. Until 1988 in the structure of the institute, the Department of Slavic Philology was functioning as the Unit of Slavic Languages and Literatures. For many years the chair of the unit was read. dr. hab. Halina Pańczyk.

In the years 1988-1996 prof. Tadeusz Zdancewicz was the chair of the Department of Slavic Studies. Since 1996 to 1999 prof. Bogdan Walczak was the chief education officer of the department. Since October 1999 the chair of the very department became prof. Bogusław Zieliński.

In 2008 the Department of Slavic Philology by the resolution passed by the UAM Senate in June 30th 2008 has been transformed to the Institute of Slavic Philology. Since that time the head of the institute has been prof. Bogusław Zieliński. In 2008 the institute was transferred from the Collegium Novum to the Collegium Maius, in which its office has been located to this day. 

The scholar activity

The main fields of academic studies in the Institute of Slavic Philology at the Adam Mickiewicz University:

* Western and Southern Slavic literary studies from the typological and contrasting perspective against the General Slavic, Central European, and Balkan background

* Geo-cultural studies concentrated on the social-historical-political transformations of the Balkans

* Balkan gender and trans-cultural research

* Slavic cultural studies and ethno-cultural research on the Southern Slav Lands’ identity together with their ideas and national mythology

* Slavic linguistics

* Biblical studies and Slavic palaeography

* Slavic onomastics

* Iconosphere of the Southern and Western Slavic Lands

The Western and Southern Slavic literary studies from the typological and contrasting perspective against the General Slavic, Central European, and Balkan background concentrate on the research regarding Bulgarian, Czech, Croatian, and Serbian poetry and prose (the periodization of the twentieth-century artistic and easthetic currents in Bulgarian literature, typology of Bulgarian modernism and symbolism, and their post-symbolism transformations; the Avant-garde currents of Croatian, Serbian, and Czech literature of the twentieth century; Serbian and Croatian historical novel, and problems of the relations between literature and ethnos).

The Slavic cultural studies and ethno-cultural research have managed to constitute a centre of Slavic research in Poznań, which perceive two Slavias from the non-contrasting perspective: on the one hand, they are divided by the borderline into the Old Slavonic and Latin parts, and, on the other hand, they also form the whole division of Europe into the East and West. Several conferences along with the post-conference volumes of publications signify the achievements and prove the extra-ordinary status of Poznań Slavic studies on this academic field.

The Slavic linguistics includes the comparative grammar of Slavic languages, especially within the scope of lexicography and lexicology; history of the idea of the common Slavic language; history of Slavic studies; Sorbian studies; lingual contacts’ part in the beginning and development of Slavic languages; Slavic onomastics.

The biblical studies, Slavic palaeography, paleo-Slavic studies regard the development of the Old Church Slavonic writing and literature, the models of culture of the  Slaviae Orthodoxae region; the Bible’s position and part in culture (in Slavic cultures), the biblical text as the Old Slavonic pattern of writing;  the analysis and interpretation of the biblical text in the context of the great ideas’ adaptation in Slavic cultures (literatures).

The research projects

Apart from the occasional academic conferences, the Institute of Slavic Philology is an organizer of the Slavic Polish-Bulgarian colloquia (every second year alternately with the University of Paisij Chilendarski in Plovdiv), and the cyclical conferences Language, literature, and culture of Slavs before and today (every fifth year). Furthermore, the research workers of the Institute are the authors and directors of the academic programme Slavic Piedmont; they also are the initiators, together with the Institute of History UAM and   Collegium Europaeum Gnesnense UAM, of the inter-disciplinary Croatian-Polish project entitled Slavic World. What is more, the Institute’s workers participate in other international research programmes organized by the foreign institutions like, for instance, the project entitled Josip Juraj Strossmayer directed by prof. Stanislav Marijanović from the University in Osijek (Croatia), or the research project entitled Novel in the former Yugoslavia after 1990 directed by prof. Miodrag Maticki from the University in Belgrade (Serbia), and Women in the social discourse of Bulgaria and Poland – literature, art, media realized by prof. Galia Simeonova-Konach. The members of the Institute also encourage all interested parties to acquaint with the other projects realized in the Institute through visiting the particular workers’ pages.

The structure of the Institute

There are the following Units and Laboratory in the Institute:

  • The Unit of Southern Slavic Literatures

The chair: Prof. zw. dr hab. Bogusław Zieliński – e-mail: zielbog@amu.edu.pl

  • The Unit of Western Slavic Languages and Literatures

The chair: Prof. dr hab. Mieczysław Balowski – e-mail: balowski@amu.edu.pl

  • The Unit of Southern Slavic Languages

The chair: Prof. dr hab. Mariola Walczak-Mikołajczakowa – e-mail: mawal@amu.edu.pl

  • The Unit of Comparative Linguistics

The chief education officer: Dr hab. prof. UAM Andrzej Sieradzki – e-mail: a.sier@amu.edu.pl

  • The Unit of Slavic and Cultural Studies

The chair: Dr hab. prof. UAM Marzanna Kuczyńska – e-mail: marzanna@amu.edu.pl

  • The Laboratory of Balkan Gender and Trans-Cultural Studies

The chair: Dr hab. prof. UAM Magdalena Koch – e-mail: mkoch@amu.edu.pl

Translated by Anna Maria Skibska