Banner Viadrina

Master of Arts
in European Studies


Here you will find all upcoming and past courses of the Meyer-Struckmann Foundation guest lectureship.

Elżbieta Opiłowska

Seminar: Transformation of Polish society after 1989

6/9 ECTS

The aim of the seminar is to discuss the main changes in Polish society after the fall of communism regarding social structures, changes in values and social attitudes, increase of nationalism and populism in the last years and the condition of civil society including the phenomenon of new social movements (e.g. black Friday). Students will study the most important phenomena and processes taking place in various spheres of social life in contemporary Poland as well as sociological categories of description and analysis of these phenomena. The year 1989 was an important turning point, although the longue durée perspective will also be implemented in order to explain the current processes by referring to historical factors.

Literature: Will be announced at the beginning of the seminar.

Credits: 6 ECTS active class participation, a discussion paper (presentation) on the selected reading and research paper (term paper, 12 pages); 9 ECTS active class participation, a discussion paper (presentation) on the selected reading and research paper (term paper, 25 pages).

Language: English

Elżbieta Opiłowska

Lecture: German-Polish relations in multidimensional perspective (1945-2020)

6/9 ECTS

German-Polish history represents an interesting case study for the study of bilateral relations in Europe. War and reconciliation, expulsion and new beginnings, enforced friendship and partnership are just a few pairs of words that reflect different facets of bilateral relations. The lecture gives an overview of the development of German-Polish relations from 1945 to the present. The most important turning points in bilateral history will be analysed from the perspective of both major politics and social contacts. Furthermore, the central concepts for the study of bilateral relations in Europe such as reconciliation, rapprochement, community of interest, neighbourhood and embedded bilateralism will be critically reflected. The lecture will include some participatory elements, such as discussion, group work and critical evaluation of data.

Literature: E. Opiłowska, K. Ruchniewicz, M. Zybura (eds.) (2012), Kreisau and Verdun. Paths to German-Polish and German-French Reconciliation and their Symbols in Collective Memory, Osnabrück: fibre; D. Bingen et al. (eds.) (2012), Adult Neighbourhood. German-Polish relations 1991 to 2011, Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag; B. Kerski, K. Ruchniewicz, S, Stekel (eds.) (2019), Facets of Neighbourhood. Contributions to the history of German-Polish relations, Berlin: dpgbv.

Credits: Written exam 6 ECTS; term paper (25 pages) 9 ECTS.

Language: German

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