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Boston College
140 Commonwealth Avenue Chestnut Hill, MA 02467

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

Polish Studies at Boston College

The Institution

Boston College is a coeducational university with an enrollment of 8,900 undergraduate and 4,600 graduate students representing every state and more than 95 countries. Founded in 1863, it is one of the oldest Jesuit, Catholic universities in the United States.

Polish Studies Courses

HS 449 The History of Poland @
COURSE DESCRIPTION: A survey of Polish history from the Middle Ages to the 20th century. The main themes will be the partitions of Poland which destroyed the Polish republic in the eighteenth century, Poland's extraordinary political constitution before the partitions, the crucial experience of political non-existence after the partitions, Poland's fateful international geographic position between Germany and Russia, the richness of Polish culture and its relation to Poland's political policies, the special role of the Catholic Church in Polish politics and culture throughout Polish history, and the consequences of Communism in Poland in the twentieth century.
FM 284 Eastern European Film @
COURSE DESCRIPTION: In the films emanating from Eastern Europe prior to and following World War II, several thematic patterns can be detected--a preoccupation with war and Resistance, the absurdity of daily life, political manipulation, progressive dehumanization, and collective heroism. Polanski, Wajda and Lenica from Poland, Kadar, Forman and Menzel from Czechoslovakia, Szabo and Jancso from Hungary, and Eisentein and Pudovkin from the Soviet Union-- all represent various thrusts to the European cinema industry. The films of these directors, often couched in surrealistic, historical, and animated allegories, are studied carefully for technique and content and situated in their historical context through parallel readings.

Language Instruction

SL 041, 042 Introduction to Polish I, and II Offered Periodically @
COURSE DESCRIPTION: The course is designed to develop simultaneously the fundamental skills: reading ability, aural comprehension, oral and written self-expression. Exercises in pronunciation, grammar and reading
SL 234 The Polish Language @
COURSE DESCRIPTION: An intensive and rapid introduction to the phonology and grammar of Polish and the reading of literary and expository texts

Poland-Related Courses

HS 624 Colloquium: Culture and Communism in Eastern Europe @
COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course considers the impact and significance of communism in the twentieth-century for intellectual and cultural life in Eastern Europe. With particular attention to Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Yugoslavia, readings will include the works of such writers and intellectuals as Mikosz, Kolakowski, and Michnik; Havel, Kundera, and Skvorecky; Andric, Djilas, and Kis. Issues addressed will include the cultural significance of communism for nationalism and religious identity, as well as literary and artistic life in Eastern Europe
PO 424 Reform, Revolution, and the Communist Collapse @
COURSE DESCRIPTION: The class examines the collapse of communist regimes in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. The focus is on the reform strategies of political leaders and the opposition movements of nationalists, workers and students. Cases include the Prague Spring, Poland's Solidarity, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Gorbachev's Perestroika, and the Rise of Boris Yeltsin and Independent Russia.


Michalczyk, John J., SSJ Professor and Chair, Fine Arts Department, Boston College@
Phone: (617) 552-3895 / Fax: (617) 552-0134 / E-Mail:
MAJOR INTERESTS: Documentary film-making
Wolff, Lawrence - Professor of History, Boston College @
Ph.D. Stanford University, 1984
Phone: (617) 552-3799 / E-Mail:
MAJOR INTERESTS: The Enlightenment; Poland; the Habsburg monarchy; Mozart's Vienna, Freud's Vienna; early modern Italy, especially Rome and Venice; the Vatican,Church history, Baroque culture, issues of family and the culture of child
  • Recipient of a 2002 Guggenheim fellowship for a research project on the history of Galicia (Habsburg Poland)
  • Election in 2003 as a Fellows of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences@
  • The Vatican and Poland in the Age of the Partitions: Diplomatic and Cultural Encounters at the Warsaw Nunciature, East European Monographs, Columbia University Press, 1988
  • "Dynastic Conservatism and Poetic Violence in Fin-de-siècle Cracow: The Habsburg Matrix of Polish Modernism," The American Historical Review, Vol. 106, No. 3 (June 2001), pp. 735-764.
  • "Poland and Switzerland: Philosophical Perspective and Geographical Displacement in the Age of Enlightenment," in Der letzte Ritter und erste Bürger Europas: Kosciuszko, das aufständische Reformpolen und die Verbundenheit zwischen Polen und der Schweiz, eds. H.o Haumann & J. Skowronek, Studia Polono-Helvetica, III, (Basel: Helbing & Lichtenhahn, 1996), pp. 239-56.
  • "'A Heating of the Blood': From Early Modern Patriotism to Modern Polish Nationalism," Ethnic Studies, Volume 10, 1993, pp. 85-99
  • "Vatican Diplomacy and the Uniates of the Ukraine after the First Partition of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth," Harvard Ukrainian Studies, Volume VIII, Number 3/4, December 1984, pp.396-425
  • "Czas and the Polish Perspective on the Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867," The Polish Review, Volume XXVII, Number 1/2, 1982, pp. 65-75.
  • "Jan Potocki: From Poland to Saragossa," New York Times Book Review, 14 January 1996
Easter Gerald M. - Associate Professor, Department Of Political Science, Boston College@
Ph.D., Columbia University
Phone:617-552-3491 / E-Mail:
MAJOR INTERESTS:Modern State, Comparative Political Economy and Post Communist Transitions.

Last updated 11/20/04
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