The faculty of the Department of Theory of Literature teach courses in poetics,  theory of literature and cultural studies.

1. General description: Poetics, understood as a theory of a literary work of art, is a two-year (four-semester) survey course on the basic elements of structure of a literary work of art, literary genres, their origins, modifications within literary traditions, and aesthetic meaning. The course is offered to first-year and second-year students. During the course students should acquire basic terminology of poetics, understand the importance and functions of specific elements of a literary work of art and their genetic characteristics, be able to formulate research questions referring to particular aspects of poetics as applied to literary analysis. Classes in the first and the second semesters cover versification (with special emphasis on functional interpretation of tone structures – 1st semester), stylistics and theory of the artistic language (2nd semester); classes in the third and the fourth semesters include literary semantic, thematology, composition (the third semester) and literary genetics (4th semester).

2. Format: Students are required to read assigned theoretical texts and literary material before class for in-class discussion and analyses.

3. Evaluation: Students are given credits for the course on the basis of his class attendance, short written analytical essays, a test (oral or written) after each semester (during the first year) and, during the second year of the course, the basis for giving credits are the following: class attendance, a longer analytical written essays on poetics (topics chosen at the beginning of the academic year), an exam in the summer term.

4. Instructors: Classes are prepared by the faculty of the Department of Theory of Literature: Prof. Edward Fiala, Dr. Jaroslaw Borowski, Dr. Ireneusz Piekarski, Dr. Dariusz Skorczewski.

5. Course materials (incl. handbooks, dictionaries, anthologies, and periodicals on issues of poetics which students should be familiar with): M. Glowinski, A. Okopien-Slawinska, J. Slawinski, Zarys teorii literatury, Warszawa 1967 (or later editions); B. Chrzastowska, S. Wyslouch, Poetyka stosowana, Warszawa 1978 (or later editions), Slownik terminow literackich, ed. J. Sławinski, Warszawa 1998; E. Miodonska-Brookes, A. Kulawik, M. Tatara, Zarys poetyki, Warszawa 1972 (or later editions); Pamietnik Literacki, Teksty, Teksty Drugie, Zagadnienia Rodzajow Literackich, the series Poetyka. Zarys encyklopedyczny, eds. L. Pszczolowska and others; J. Ziomek, Retoryka opisowa, Warsaw 1990; M. Korolko, Sztuka retoryki, Warszawa 1990; H. Harman, C. Hugh Holman, A Handbook to Literature, Prentice Hall, NJ 1996; The New Princeton Handbook of Poetic Terms, ed. T. V. F. Brogan, Princeton Univ. Press 1994; The New Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics, ed. A. Premonger and T. V. F. Brogan, Princeton Univ. Press 1993, and others.

Theory of Literature

1. General description: Theory of literature is a two-semester course offered to third-year students. It is aimed at introducing students to general issues of literary theory beyond poetics and developing their skills of theoretical thinking. The course covers the following circles of topics:
1. What is theory of literature?, 2. Models of a literary work of art, 3. Meaning in a literary work of art, 4. Literature vs. extra-literary reality, 5. Axiological issues in literary scholarship, 6. Sacrum in literature, 7. Historical–literary process, 8. What is literature?, 9. Problems of perception.

2. Format: The instructor selects some topics from the above and discusses them with the group in a more detailed way. Apart from the material discussed in class students are required to prepare some selected readings and one of the problems presented in the lecture "Contemporary trends in literary study" (two-hour lecture offered yearly) which covers important trends in the theory of literature in the 20th century (such as Neo-Idealism, Russian formalism, New Criticism, Roman Ingarden and phenomenology, structuralism, semiotics, Marxism, archetypal and psychoanalytical studies, thematical criticism, existential criticism and hermeneutics, the dialogue and polyphony of literature, aesthetics of perception, theory of acts of speech, the oral–the written, post-structuralism, deconstruction, feminist criticism, cultural studies).

3. Evaluation: Classes do not finish with an essay/written work. After each semester students are given tests. Beside the test, they are graded based on their in-class activity.

4. Instructors: The classes are taught by the faculty of the Department of Theory of Literature: Prof. Edward Fiała, Dr. Jaroslaw Borowski, Dr. Adam Fitas, Dr. Dariusz Skorczewski, Dr. Andrzej Tyszczyk, and Dr. Ireneusz Piekarski.

5. Course materials include:

  • Problemy teorii literatury. Series 1–3, Wroclaw 1987–1991.

  • Teoria badan literackich w Polsce. Vols. 1–2, Krakow 1960.

  • Teoria badan literackich za granica. Vols. 1–5, Krakow 1965–1980.

  • Wspolczesna teoria badan literackich za granica. Vol. 1–3, Krakow 1970–1973.

  • H. Markiewicz, Glowne problemy wiedzy o literaturze. Krakow 1997.

  • M.R. Mayenowa, Poetyka teoretyczna. Wroclaw 1979.

  • Z. Mitosek, Teorie badan literackich. Warszawa 1995.

Besides courses in poetics and theory of literature the Department also offers proseminars (for third-year students) and seminars in theory of literature and aesthetics.