The Institute of Polish Culture is a part of the Faculty of Polish Studies at the University of Warsaw. It has existed since 1976 as the Department of Polish Culture, in 1998 acquiring the status of Institute from the Senate of the University of Warsaw.
Coordinator: Dorota Sajewska, Agnieszka Sosnowska, Dorota Sosnowska
At present over forty people work in the Institute of Polish Culture. Our team covers a wide variety of research and teaching activities in many areas of the anthropology, history and theory of culture. The common denominator of the various and diversified collective and individual research interests is constituted by the wide anthropological understanding of culture, with particular emphasis laid on its communicative functions, together with its historical and humanistic dimensions. Hence it is just the cultural media - the word, performance/spectacle, and picture/image - that form the basic area of our investigation. This approach has found its articulation in a series of textbooks produced in our Institute: the essential one, The Anthropology of Culture, is followed by The Anthropology of the Word, The Anthropology of Performance, and The Anthropology of the Audiovisual.
All these textbooks gained wide recognition in the academic world, but first and foremost they serve our students. Since 1998, the Institute of Polish Culture has conducted its own degree subject - the Science of Culture. This subject has been accredited by the University Accreditation Committee; at present about 500 students are following its program, and each year there are much more applications than places available. The Institute of Polish Culture is also involved in teaching students from other lines of studies at the University of Warsaw (like the Polish Studies, the Baltic Studies, the Ukrainian Studies, the Belarussian Studies, The Centre for Latin-American Studies, Interdepartmental Individual Studies in the Humanities, and The Centre for Studies on the Classical Tradition in Poland and East-Central Europe), as well as in conducting well-attended university-wide lectures in different areas of the science of culture.
Universal and theoretical aspects of culture are accompanied in our teaching and research work by the special focus on specific problems of the Polish culture, present and past, in its different connections and relations with other cultures. That is why the curriculum in the science of culture includes a cultural history segment, with courses in the history of Polish culture as well as of other cultures, especially the neighbouring ones. Students who are particularly interested in those cultures can develop their interests choosing the specialization "Central- and East-European Cultures" offering a wide range of advanced courses in this area.
The Institute of Polish Culture conducts also another specialization reflecting our belief that the past and the present of culture should form the ground for looking ahead, and that studying its different aspects should lead to the conscious and effective cultural activity. The specialization is in "Culture Animation" that combines an anthropological perspective with "live" work-experience in cultural activities. The program has been awarded several times, in the competitions of the Batory Foundation, the Ministry of Culture and the European Commission's Leonardo da Vinci Program, among others. The international projects that have been carried out thanks to those grants resulted in construction of the wide and dense network of Polish and foreign partners, eminent cultural practitioners and centres, that constitute the invigorating environment for our specialization.
As scientific institution The Institute of Polish Culture is neither an archive nor a library. Therefore in frames of ECLAP project we act as a coordinator gathering the content from other theatre and performance related institutions in Poland. Among our partners you can find:
The Grotowski Institute
Dramatyczny Theatre in Warsaw
Nowy Theatre in Warsaw
Dance Theatre in Poznań
but also a lot of artists and groups that act outside of the theatre institutions like:
Academy of Movement
Teatr Ósmego Dnia
Teatr Wiejski Węgajty
Theatre Association Chorea
komuna // warszawa
Scena Plastyczna KUL
The content we provide to ECLAP is therefore diverse emphasing the specificity of the Polish theater, Polish theatre culture and its contribution to European cultural heritage. Our collection is built from materials coming mostly from XX and XXI century. However we present also some graphics from XIX century when Polish national theatre was founded. Scientific value of presented content, quality of metadata are essential for us in process of working with materials and providing the best information possible.
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