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University of California/Berkeley
Berkeley, CA 94720
510 642-3175

@ Throughout, click this on this symbol to see the source of the quoted information.

Polish Studies at University of California/Berkeley

The Institution

The University of Berkeley is regarded as the best school in the California system, and one of the best in the country.

Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures

Polish Studies are primarily the province of the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures in the Division of Humanities. It has offered a program in Polish language, literature, and linguistics since its organization of the Slavic Department in 1962. The Department's Polish Studies Program has served as one of the eminent academic centers for Polish literature, culture, and linguistics in the United States. The program offers M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Polish literature and linguistics.

Polish Study Courses

Slavic 150 Polish Literature and Intellectual Trends @
COURSE DESCRIPTION: Three hours of lecture per week. A survey of the major writers, works and trends of the Polish literary tradition from the Middle Ages to the present. Special at-tention devoted to the Renaissance, the age of Romanticism and the modern period. No knowledge of Polish required
Slavic 151 Readings in Polish Literature @ @
COURSE DESCRIPTION: Readings; conversation; grammatical and stylistic analysis; translation; viewing of films related to some of the readings. Readings will be chosen from Polish historical novels, from works of literature that have served as the basis for Polish films, and from works related to the students' academic interests.
Slavic 152 Topics in Polish Language and Literature @
COURSE DESCRIPTION: Studies in Polish literature or linguistics, or conversation, depending on the needs of the students enrolled
History 170C, Poles and Others: The Making of Modern Poland @ @ @ @
COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course uses historical and literary interpretation to expose and analyze some of the lines of the political and cultural development that have led to the Poland we know today. Beginning with the awakening of modern Polish nationalism, it traces the emergence of this Poland through the rise of mass society, the horrifying and exhilarating spectacles of World War I as well as its aftermath of national and social revolutions; first experiments of the interwar period with modern Polish statehood, especially policies toward ethnic minorities and socially marginalized groups; then the transformations wrought by a half-century of totalitarian rule: ethnic cleansing, elite transfer, forced social restratification, and, despite all of this, the defiant return of civil society.
COURSE INSTRUCTOR: Frick, D. and Connelly, J.
History 175
A History of Poland-Lithuania @
COURSE DESCRIPTION: The course will focus on the development of identities within the constantly shifting borders of Polish-Lithuanian and Polish states. Among the topics: competing definitions -ethnic, confessional, linguistic, political - of Polishness; continuities and discontinuities in Polish history and historiography; Poland between East and West; the development of Polish self-perceptions; Jewish, Lithuanian, and Ukrainian identities in the Polish context; the Polish chapter in the events leading to the end of Communist hegemony in Eastern Europe.

Language Instruction

Slavic 25A-B Introductory Polish @ @ @
COURSE DESCRIPTION: Introduction to modern Polish. Emphasis on the spoken language through classroom exercises, dialogues and directed conversation. Some supplementary readings may be used.
Slavic 115 A-B Advanced Polish @ @@
COURSE DESCRIPTION: This part of the Slavic 115 reading series covers excerpts from classical Polish literature--from Kochanowski to Prus--and is conducted in Polish. Students read, comment on, and interpret the original texts from the point of view of content, literary technique and the peculiarities of the language. An overview of grammar is done mainly through exercises assigned from selected chapters of the textbook. Grades based on oral reports, class participation, written assignments and the final exam.

Poland-Related Courses

Slavic R5B, Section 1012 (4 units) The Staff Reading and Composition Course Slavic Literature and the Laws of Physics: Discerning, Disrupting, and Reforming the Natural Order in Russian, Polish, and American
Slavic R5B Slavic Literature and the Laws of Physics: Discerning, Disrupting, and Reforming the Natural Order in Russian, Polish, and American Literature @
COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course presents an assortment of works by Russian greats Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Goncharov, Lermontov, Polish science fiction writer Stanislaw Lem, and American Nathaniel Hawthorne, in which the protagonists grapple with the physical laws controlling them and their environments. The 19th century alternately welcomed and rebelled against the hegemony of science and rationalism in shaping the popular imagination in Europe and the US. The writers examined here offer a range of responses: Dostoevsky's Underground Man attempts to free himself by committing irrational, self-destructive acts designed to expose the incompleteness of the rational law, Tolstoy's Pozdnyshev and Lermontov's Pechorin commit murder to punish Russian society into confronting the prevailing order, either of society or Nature or both. Under the influence of his friend, Shtoltz, Goncharov's tragi-comic hero, Oblomov, fights but ultimately succumbs to inertia, while his American counterparts, the aged and impotent aristocrats of Hawthorne's House of Seven Gables rejuvenate their family line by absorbing the daguerrotypist, a radical young democrat and amateur hypnotist. The course ends with a 20th century work, Stanislaw Lem's Solaris, in which science fails to deliver on its most fundamental promise that all things can be known and defined by rational means.
Slavic 222 Descriptive Grammar of Slavic Languages @
COURSE DESCRIPTION: Survey of morphology and syntax of a contemporary Slavic language (Czech, Polish, Russian, or Serbian/Croatian); see departmental announcement for topic.
Slavic 223 Advanced Structure of Slavic Languages: Grammatical Analysis and Theory @
COURSE DESCRIPTION: Analysis of synchronic grammar and structure of discourse of a Slavic language (Czech, Polish, Russian, or Serbian/Croatian) with attention to theoretical models.
Slavic 230 Historical Grammar of Slavic Languages @
COURSE DESCRIPTION: Historical phonology, morphology, and syntax of a Slavic language (Czech, Polish, Russian, or Serbian/Croatian). Some coverage of dialectology.
Slavic 231 History of Slavic Literary Languages @
COURSE DESCRIPTION: Analysis of language and style of a Slavic literary language (Czech, Polish, Russian, or Serbian/Croatian) from the beginnings to the present, with emphasis on periods of particular significance.
Slavic 233 West Slavic Linguistics @
COURSE DESCRIPTION: Linguistic history and dialectology of Czech, Polish, and lesser-known West Slavic languages (Slovak, Sorbian, Kashubian, Polabian).


Connelly, John , Associate Professor of History @
Ph.D. Harvard University, 1994
Phone: (510) 642-6779 / Fax: (510) 643-5323 / Email:
MAJOR INTERESTS: Modern East and Central European Political and Social History
  • Fulbright research grants, Poland, 1982
  • Polish government scholarship for study of Polish History, Krakow, 1983-85
  • Captive University: The Sovietization of East German, Czech, and Polish Higher Education, 1945-1956, Chapel Hill: Univ of North Carolina Press, 2000
  • "The Sovietization of Higher Education in the Czech Lands, East Germany, and Poland During the Stalinist period (1948-54)", in György Péteri and Michael David-Fox, eds., Academia in Upheaval (Greenwood, 2000)
  • "Foundations for Reconstructing Elites: Higher Education Policies in the Czech Lands, East Germany, and Poland, 1945-1948", East European Politics and Societies, Fall 1996
Frick, David , Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures @
Ph.D., Yale University,
Phone: (510)642-8623 / Fax: (510) 642-6220 / E-Mail:
MAJOR INTERESTS: Orthodox Slavic Reform in the Ukraine and Belorussia in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. Polish sacred philology in the Reformation and the Counter-Reformation. Textual criticism and cultural polemics in Muscovy in the 17th century. Poland-Lithuania in the Age of Confessionalization. Enlightenment Poland.
  • Polish Sacred Philology in the Reformation and the Counter-Reformation: Chapters in the History of the Controversies (1551-1632). Berkeley, University of California Publications in Modern Philology 123. 1989.
  • "The Leopolita Bible of 1561 and the Polish Debates over the Translation of Holy Scripture." Introduction to The Kraków Bible of Johannes Nicz Leopolita. Forthcoming.
  • " 'Foolish Rus' '": On Polish Civilization, Ruthenian Self-Hatred, and Kasijan Sakovyc; Harvard Ukrainian Studies 18 (1994)
  • "Franklin's Free Will; Or, Optimism in Cracow, 1798." Austrian History Yearbook 28 (1997).
Timberlake, Alan , Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures @
Ph.D., Harvard
Phone: (510) 642.1230 / Fax: (510) 642-6220 / E-Mail:
MAJOR INTERESTS: Descriptive grammar of Slavic languages including West Slavic
Wroblewski, Mariusz , Magister in Polish Studies, University of Warsaw, 1982 @
Phone:......./Fax: ....../E-Mail:
MAJOR INTERESTS: Polish and Russian literature of XX century. Exile (Milosz, Gombrovicz, Nabokov, Brodski)

META-FACULTY - Faculty who have studied and/or taught at Polish institutions of higher education

Oppenheim , Antoni K. , Professor of Mechanical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley @
Dipl. Ing. Warsaw Inst. of Tech. (in exile) London, 1945
Ph.D., Imperial College of Science and Technology, London, 1945
Phone: (510)642-0211 / Fax: (510) 643-5599 / E-Mail: ako@me.Berkeley.EDU
MAJOR INTERESTS: Dynamics of Exothermicity and Engine Cardiology

Last updated 09/15/05


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