Info Poland student
helping American students interested in study
abroad in Poland or Polish Studies in the US

Polish Academic Information Center's
listings for

Columbia University
New York City, NY 10027
tel. (212) 854-1754

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

Polish Studies at Columbia University

The Institution

Very much an urban university, Columbia is located in the Morningside Heights section of Upper Manhattan's East Side. Two thirds of the university's students are enrolled in its graduate schools and divisions.

The university has two undergraduate colleges, Barnard College, an institution which caters exclusively to women, and Columbia College, once an all male institution, but now fully co- educational. Although the two colleges maintain their separate identities, in terms of course offerings and faculty appointments, Barnard women enjoy full cross-registration at Columbia and vice versa. Accordingly and in spite of the existence of a separate
Barnard website, this listing for Polish Studies at Columbia encompasses those of Barnard as well.

East Central European Center

Since 1954, Columbia University has hosted a separate Institute, now a component of the Harriman Institute, to promote the study of the countries lying between Germany and Russia and between the Baltic and Aegean Seas. The program of the East Central European Center is designed to train students to a high level of competence in the history, politics, culture, and language of the region and its setting between Western Europe and Russia.

Regional Concentration in East Central Europe: The Center offers a RegionalConcentration in East Central Europe for Master of International Affairs Degree Candidates of the School of International and Public Affairs.

Certificate in East Central Europe: The Center also sponsors a Certificate Program that students can pursue in conjunction with graduate-degree programs in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, the School of International and Public Affairs, the School of Law, the Journalism School, the Business School, the School of Public Health, or other professional schools at Columbia University. To receive the Certificate, students must complete 7 graduate level courses (3 courses in any department, 2 courses in another department, 1 course in a third department, plus the Core Colloquium, establish proficiency in two languages, and deposit a Certificate Essay.

Polish Studies Courses

Polish W4003 History of Polish literature @
COURSE DESCRIPTION: A general survey of Polish literature from the Renaissance to the First World War and the establishment of an independent Polish state. Lectures and assigned readings. A knowledge of Polish is not required, but students knowing the language are expected to read in the original and are given special assignments.

Polish W4030 Post World War II Polish literature @
COURSE DESCRIPTION: An introduction to major developments in Polish prose, fiction, poetry, and drama since the end of World War II and the establishment of the present government. Readings in English translation. Students with a knowledge of Polish are expected to do some work in the original.

Polish W4040Mickiewicz @
COURSE DESCRIPTION: The major works of Adam Mickiewicz. Students with sufficient knowledge of Polish are required to do the readings in the original. Parallel reading list for readers and non-readers of Polish.
COURSE INSTRUCTOR: Frajlich-Zajac, Anna

Polish W404420th-century Polish drama and theater @
COURSE DESCRIPTION: Primarily the plays of such avant-garde dramatists as Witkiewicz, Gombrowicz, Mrozek, and Rozewicz, and the theater work of Grotowski. A reading knowledge of Polish is desirable but not required.

Polish W4048 Masterpieces of 19th-century Polish poetry @
COURSE DESCRIPTION: Analysis of the major works of the 19th-century poets, including Mickiewicz, Slowacki, Krasinski, Fredro, and Norwid. Parallel reading lists for readers and non-readers of Polish; students with sufficient knowledge of the language are required to read in the original.
COURSE INSTRUCTOR: Frajlich-Zajac, Anna

Polish W4050 Contemporary Polish poetry @
COURSE DESCRIPTION: Prerequisite: reading knowledge of Polish. Survey of the major contemporary Polish poets, schools, and genres. Lectures, assigned readings, and class discussion of poems. Additional reading list and anthology selections in English for supplemental reading and for comparison
COURSE INSTRUCTOR: Frajlich-Zajac, Anna

Polish W4102 Best Sellers of Polish Prose: Literature and Film @
COURSE DESCRIPTION: A close study of 20th-century Polish novels during the interwar period. Readings from major works of Kuncewiczowa, Choromanski, Wittlin, Unilowski, Kurek, Iwaszkiewicz, Gombrowicz, and Schulz. Each author represents different literary trends and themes: psychological, social consciousness, pacifist, expressionistic, philosophical, and avant-garde prose. Several movies based on these novels will be viewed and discussed. The development of the Polish novel is examined against the background of new trends in European literature, and the use of various narrative devices is studied. A reading knowledge of Polish is desirable but not required.
COURSE INSTRUCTOR: Frajlich-Zajac, Anna

Polish W4110 The Polish Novel @
COURSE DESCRIPTION:A consideration of the evolution of the novel form in Polish literature from the Baroque memoir through the Enlightenment, Positivism, modernism, and the avant-gardists of the Twentieth Century. Reading knowledge of Polish desireable but not required. Papers and discussion in English.

Polish G6020 Renaissance poetry in Poland: from Latin to Polish @
COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course focuses specifically on poetry and the development of modern Polish literary language, style, and culture from its Latin and neo-Latin influences. Authors likely to be included are Ioannes Visliciensis (Jan z Wislicy), Hussovianus (Hussowczyk), Dantiscus (Dantyszek), Andrzej Krzycki (Cricius), Sarbevius (Sarbiewski), Biernat of Lublin, Jan Kochanowski (Cochanovius), Mikolaj Rej, Sep-Szarzynski, and others. Prerequisite: a working knowledge of Latin or Polish.

Polish G6210 Polish Avantgardism@
COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course focuses specifically on poetry and the development of modern Polish literary language, style, and culture from its Latin and neo-Latin influences. Authors likely to be included are Ioannes Visliciensis (Jan z Wislicy), Hussovianus (Hussowczyk), Dantiscus (Dantyszek), Andrzej Krzycki (Cricius), Sarbevius (Sarbiewski), Biernat of Lublin, Jan Kochanowski (Cochanovius), Mikolaj Rej, Sep-Szarzynski, and others. Prerequisite: a working knowledge of Latin or Polish.
History G4339 History of Modern Poland @
COURSE DESCRIPTION: Topics covered include: the Partitions, national survival under foreign domination and the emergence of new social forces and of modern nationalism, the regaining of independence, interwar Poland, the impact of World War II on society and politics, the imposition of a Communist regime, and the political, socio-economic, ideological and international factors which led to the 1980 crisis.

Language Instruction

The Department of Slavic Languages offerings include Polish Language Courses at various levels as well as an M.A. in Polish Literature @
Polish W1101 Elementary Polish I @
COURSE DESCRIPTION: Essentials of the spoken and written language. Prepares students to read texts of moderate difficulty by the end of the first year.

Polish W1102 @ Elementary Polish II
COURSE DESCRIPTION: Continuation of Polish W1101

Polish W1201 @ Intermediate Polish I
COURSE DESCRIPTION: Rapid review of grammar; readings in contemporary nonfiction or fiction, depending on the interests of individual students.
COURSE INSTRUCTOR: Frajlich-Zajac, Anna

Polish W1202 @ Intermediate Polish II
COURSE DESCRIPTION: Continuation of Polish w1201
COURSE INSTRUCTOR: Frajlich-Zajac, Anna

Polish W3102 @ Advanced Polish I
COURSE DESCRIPTION: Extensive readings from 19th- and 20th-century texts in the original. Both fiction and nonfiction, with emphasis depending on the interests and needs of individual students.
COURSE INSTRUCTOR: Frajlich-Zajac, Anna

Polish W3102 @ Advanced Polish II
COURSE DESCRIPTION: Continuation of Polish W3101
COURSE INSTRUCTOR: Frajlich-Zajac, Anna

Poland-Related Courses

History W3863 Problems of Communism in East Central Europe @
COURSE DESCRIPTION: Historical overview; War as Revolution? . The Problem of Imposition: The Polish and The Polish and other "Revolutions" of 1989. The Socialist Economy: shortage, soft-budget constraints, second economy. Restructuring the ruins of Communism: Poland - Shock Therapy; Hungary - Inter-enterprise ownership; the Czech Republic - Adam Smith and Social Democracy; Russia - Kremlin capitalism. Vouchers and investment funds; foreign investment; banks as owners, banks as creditors. Ethnic nationalism. Trust, distrust, and confidence games. Accounting, law, and corporate governance, bankruptcy, social networks in the economy. Labor and social issues. Restoring Central Europe's damaged environment. Popular culture. Small business development. Czechoslovak Cases. The Problem of Stalinism in East Central Europe. The First Major Political Crisis of Communism in East Central Europe: Hungary and Poland 1956. The Second Major Political Crisis of Communism in East Central Europe: Czechoslovakia 1968. The Third Major Political Crisis of Communism in East Central Europe: Poland 1980. The Problems of Communist Economics and International Relations. The Problem of the Intellectuals. The Problem of Nationalism in a Communist State. The Problems of Everyday Life and the Youth. The Problems of Sex Equality, of the Environment, and of National Minorities. The End of Communism: What Was Socialism and What Are Its Legacies?

History W3863 East-Central European Intellectuals and Communism, 1945-1989 @
COURSE DESCRIPTION: The Interwar Systems and the Experience of World War Two; .Intellectuals and the Coming of Communism; The Disillusionment with Stalinism; Coming to Terms with Complicity; The Rediscovery of "Central Europe" and the Invention of the "Dissident."; Post-Communist Reflections. ** The course considers, intra alia, The Captive Mind (1951) and Native Realm (1981) by Czeslaw Milosz. and Letters from Prison and Other Essays (1985) and Letters from Freedom (1998) by Adam Michnik.

History G8380 Topics in Eastern European History: Communism in Eastern Europe @
COURSE DESCRIPTION: What Was There Before Communism? Nation-Building in Interwar Eastern Europe; Problems of the Imposition of Communism: The Workers.and the Intellectuals; Stalinism and the Problem of Class in Eastern European History; The Prague Spring; Solidarity; Rethinking the Results of Crisis;The Problem of the Economy, of Nationalism, of the Intellectuals, of Interpreting the Fall of Communism, of Communism and Post-Communism. The course draws on, intra alia, The Soviet Bloc by Zbigniew Brzezinski (1961), The Roots of Solidarity. A Political Sociology of Poland's Working-Class Democratization by Roman Laba. (1991), Solidarity and the Politics of David Ost.(1990.) and The State Against Society. Political Crises and Their Aftermath in East Central Europe by Grzrgorz Ekiert (1996).

Comparative Literature-Slavic W4001 Contemporary East European literature: When the wall came down @
COURSE DESCRIPTION: A course focusing on the changes in the literary situation in East European countries that have accompanied and followed the end of communist rule. The reading list includes works by representative authors from Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, the former Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, and Ukraine.

Comparative Literature-Slavic W4005 Constructions of gender and sexuality in Russian and East European Writing @
COURSE DESCRIPTION: An exploration of the ways gender and sexual identities have been articulated and constructed in a number of Russian and East European literary texts (from the late nineteenth century to the present). The reading list includes representative works from Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Hungary, and the former Yugoslavia.

Comparative Literature-Slavic W4995 Central European Jewish Writers @
COURSE DESCRIPTION: Examines prose and poetry by writers generally less accessible to the American student written in the major Central European languages: German, Hungarian, Czech, and Polish. The problematics of assimilation, the search for identity, political commitment and disillusionment are major themes, along with the defining experience of the century: the Holocaust; but because these writers are often more removed from their Jewishness, their perspective on these events and issues may be different. The influence of Franz Kafka on Central European writers, the post-Communist Jewish revival, defining the Jewish voice in an otherwise disparate body of works.

International Affairs U6200 Comparative Democratization@
COURSE DESCRIPTION: In the 1980's observers and political actors alike were surprised by democratization processes around the world. These historical events threw into disarray both the authoritarian regimes that governed millions of people and the paradigms that had guided scholars of political development. This course focuses on the new dominant theoretical approaches to democratization, and tests them against the experiences of Latin America and Eastern Europe. It examines contending interpretations of democracy -- its institutional elements, socio-historical origins, and cultural and economic conditions -- and it concentrates on crucial aspects of democratic transition and consolidation.

International Affairs U8150 Economic Transformation in New Democracies @
COURSE DESCRIPTION: Can the transformation of property regimes and the extension of citizenship rights be achieved simultaneously? The simultaneous emergence of newly propertied classes and newly enfranchised subordinate groups poses the central postsocialist problem of how to restructure economies when those who perceive their interests to be threatened by economic change have the capacity to block the implementation and consolidation of reforms. This is the postsocialist challenge examined in this course. The course focuses on recent changes in Hungary, Poland, Russia and the Czech Republic.

International Affairs U8480 Politics and Societies in Post-Revolutionary East Central Europe@
COURSE DESCRIPTION: The purpose of this colloquium is to examine contemporary political, social, and intellectual issues in the countries of East Central Europe by addressing the relationship of various regional countries with multilateral organizations (NATO, the West European Union, the European Union, OSCE, the Council of Europe, the Central European Initiative, CEFTA, and Visegrad Quadrangle); the course will move on to a discussion of security and citizenship issues in the Baltics; and then touch on the challenges facing the Yugoslav successor states. An analysis of current politics in Albania, Slovakia, and Bulgaria will follow.

International Affairs U4525 The Postwar Politics of East Central Europe@
COURSE DESCRIPTION: The lecture course will cover the contemporary history and politics of each of the countries of East Central Europe, and acquaint the student with selected problems.

Political Science (Barnard) FSM BC 1203 The Crisis of Authority @
COURSE DESCRIPTION: Authority: how it is gained and maintained, confronted and reconstituted
COURSE POLISH CONTENT: A discussion of Adam Michnik's Letters from Prison and Other Essays - Maya Latynski (Translator) University of California Press,1987

Comparitive Literature-Polish (Barnard) W4022 Poland, Romanticism, and Polish Romanticism@


Abrams, Bradley Assistant Professor of History @
Ph. D. Stanford University 1997
Phone: 212.854.6287 / Fax: 212.854.8577 / E-Mail:
MAJOR INTERESTS Czech Culture, History and Socialism
Frajlich-Zajac, Anna Adjunct Associate Professor @
Ph.D., New York University, 1991
Phone: (212) 879-2501 / Fax: (212) 854-5009 / E-Mail:
MAJOR INTERESTS: Selected topics of 19th and 20th Century Polish Literature; Early 20th century Russian Poetry; Literature and Exile.
  • Polish Language: Elementary, Intermediate, Advanced;
  • Contemporary Polish Poetry;
  • Masterpieces of the XIX Cent. Polish Poetry;
  • Mickiewicz.
  • Znów szuka mnie wiatr (The Wind Seeks Me Again) Warsaw, Poland, 2001
  • W słońcu listopada (In November's Sunshine), Kraków, Poland: 2000.
  • W srebrnym lustrze (In the Silver Mirror), Warsaw, Poland
  • Jeszcze W Drodze (Still on its way). Warsaw, Poland: 1994;
  • Ogrodem I Ogrodzeniem (The Garden and the Fence) Warsaw, Poland: 1993;
  • Between Dawn and the Wind (a bilingual selection of poems). Transl. and with an Introd. by Regina Grol-Prokopczyk , Host Publ. Austin, TX: 1991;
  • Drzewo Za Oknem (The Tree Behind the Window). 1991;
  • Ktory Las (Which forest). London, England: 1986
Goldfarb, David A. Assistant Professor @
Ph.D., CUNY Grad. Center, 1998
Phone: (212) 854-5420 / Fax: fax / E-Mail: dgoldfar@Barnard.Edu
MAJOR INTERESTS: Polish Expressionism; Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewicz's Dialogue with Western European Modernism; The Discourse of the 'Primitive' in Eastern and Western European Modernism
  • Mickiewicz (SP01)
  • Renaissance Poetry in Poland: From Latin to Polish (SP99)
  • The Polish Novel (FA00)
  • Polish Avantgardism (FA99)
  • Poland, Romanticism, and Polish Romanticism (FA05)
  • "Gombrowicz's Binoculars: The View from Abroad." Framing the Polish Home. Ed. Bozena Shallcross. Ohio University Press. (Athens, OH, Ohio University Press, 2002)
  • "Expressionism and the Visual in Józef Wittlin's Hymn of Hatred." Between Lvov, New York, and Ulysses' Ithaca. Józef Wittlin--Poet, Essayist, Novelist. Ed. Anna Frajlich-Zajac. Torun and New York: Nicholas Copernicus University and Columbia University, 2001. 75-90.
  • "Zbigniew Herbert's Provincial Intuition." Indiana Slavic Studies. 9 (1998), 79-96.
  • "The Vortex and the Labyrinth: Bruno Schulz and the Objective Correlative." East European Politics and Societies. 11:2 (1997). 257-69.
  • "Lermontov and the Omniscience of Narrators." Philosophy and Literature. 20:1 (1996). 61-73.
  • "A Living Schulz: The Night of the Great Season." (70K) Prooftexts. 14:1 (1994). 25-47.
  • "Czytajac Schulza: Noc wielkiego sezonu" ("Reading Schulz: The Night of the Great Season"). Tr. Adam Janiszewski. Kresy (Lublin) 13 (1993). 15-21.
  • "Masochism and Catastrophe in Witkiewicz's Insatiability." (37K) The Polish Review. 37 (1992), 217-27.
  • "The Polish Poet: Traveler, Exile, Expatriate, World Citizen," Ulbandus April, 2003, pp.155-73
  • "Revelation and Camouflage: Polish Cinema from 1930 to the Present--Symposium," Slavic and East European Performance 16:2 1996, pp.40-43
  • Polish Theatre: From the Shadow of the Communist Past to the Challenges of the Democratic Future," Kazimierz Braun, April 28, 1994
Kosakowska, Elizabeth Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Slavic Languages @
Phone: (212) 854-3941 / Fax: . . . / E-Mail:
MAJOR INTERESTS Mickiewicz's Pan Tadeusz.
  • Polish Language: Elementary Polish Poetry; Masterpieces of the XIX Cent. Polish Poetry; Mickiewicz.
Micgiel, John Adjunct Assistant Professor of International and Public Affairs, Director, East Central European Center @
Ph.D., Columbia, 1992
Phone: 212-854-4008 / Fax: ... / E-Mail:
MAJOR INTERESTS: Modern history of East Central Europe Contemporary politics
  • State and Nation Building in East Central Europe: Contemporary Perspectives John S. Micgiel (Editor) 1996;
  • Perspectives on Political and Economic Transitions after Communism John Micgiel (Editor)1997
  • Proceedings of the Conference on Poles and Jews: Myth and Reality in the Historical Context , 1986, 1987. eds: Micgiel, John, Robert H. Scott, and Harold B. Segel
  • In the Shadow of the Second Republic in Polish Foreign Policy Reconsidered: The Dilemmas of Independence, eds: Ilya Prizel and Andrew A. Michta (St. Martin's Press, 1995) pp1-22
Pious, Richard M. Adolf S. and Effie E. Ochs Professor of American Studies @
Ph.D., Columbia University, 1971
Phone: (212) 854-5438 / Fax: (212) 854-3024 / E-Mail:
MAJOR INTERESTS: American national government. Presidential politics and government. Presidential and congressional elections. Constitutional and public law. National security politics and processes
  • The Crisis of Authority:Authority: how it is gained and maintained, confronted and reconstituted. including a discussion of Adam Michnik's Letters from Prison and Other Essays
Stark, David Arnold A. Saltzman Professor of Sociology and International Affairs @
Ph.D. Harvard University, 1982
Phone: (212) 854-3972 / Fax: ... / E-Mail:
MAJOR INTERESTS: Economic sociology and organizational innovation. Postsocialist restructuring networks, democratization and marketization in Eastern Europe.
  • Postsocialist Pathways: Transforming Politics and Property in East Central Europe by David Stark and Laszlo Bruszt. Cambridge University Press, 1998
von Hagen, Mark L. Director, The Harriman Institute; Professor, Department of History @
Ph.D., Stanford University, 1985
Phone: [212] 854-6213/4623 / Fax: (212) 666-3481 / E-Mail:
MAJOR INTERESTS: Hiostory of Russian Nation and Empire; Ukraine
  • History of Modern Poland

Poland-Related Resources

  • East and Central European Center@

    Guide to Internet Resources: The East and Central European Center maintains a set of websites providing access to Internet Resources on East Central Europe. In addition to sites giving information on News Services, Libraries and Archives, NYC Resources and Resources in Print, it also maintains an index of web pages pertaining specifically to Poland.
    Intermarium Online Journal of East Central European Postwar History and Politics Intermarium provides an electronic medium for noteworthy scholarship and provocative thinking about the history and politics of Central and Eastern Europe following World War II. The journal is meant to broaden the discourse on aspects of national histories that are undergoing change thanks to the availability of new documentation from recently opened archives. Its name, Intermarium, reflects East Central Europe's geographic location between the seas: Baltic, Adriatic and Black.

    The editors' purpose is to facilitate interaction between scholarly communities by making research, essays, commentaries, documents, and reviews from the region available in English. It is a project of the Institute of Political Studies of the Polish Academy of Sciences and Columbia University's Institute on East Central Europe.

Last updated 9/22/05


Info-Poland a clearinghouse of information about Poland, Polish Universities, Polish Studies, etc.
© 2000 Polish Academic Information Center, University at Buffalo. All rights reserved.
Info-Poland   |    art and culture   |    history   |    universities   |    studies   |    scholars   |    classroom   |    book chapters   |    sitemaps   |    users' comments