History and contemporary times
The beginnings of the Faculty of Philology in Opole reach the time of the establishment of the Higher School of Pedagogy in 1954. Professor Stanisław Kolbuszewski and Professor Stanisław Rospond were in a way the founding fathers of the Faculty. In 1958 the Faculty was renamed Faculty of Philology and History. In 1996 – as the outcome of reorganization connected with the establishment of the University of Opole in 1994 – two new faculties were created: the Faculty of Philology and the Faculty of History and Pedagogy.
The deans of the Faculty of Philology and History from 1993 to 1996 were:
Prof. Franciszek Marek
Prof. Stanisław Gawlik
The deans of Faculty of Philology:
Prof. Zdzisław Piasecki
Prof. Stanisław Kochman
Prof. Irena Jokiel
Dr habil. Andrzej Ciuk, Professor of the University of Opole
The faculty has powers to confer doctoral and post-doctoral habilitation degrees in literary studies and linguistics and doctoral degrees in cultural studies.
In 2003 the Faculty authorities and most of the institutes moved to a new site – the restored building of Dominican monastery in Mikołaj Kopernik Square.
The Faculty of Philology comprises the following units: Institute of English Philology, Institute of German Philology, Institute of Slavonic Studies, Institute of Polish and Cultural Studies and Chair of French and Language and Culture.
Institute of English Philology:
The Institute was founded in 1978 thanks to the endeavours of eminent academics: Prof. Leon Komincz and Prof. Marian Adamus. The development of the academic staff and establishment of cooperation with a number of outstanding scholars like: Prof. Jacek Fisiak, Prof. Piotr Ruszkiewicz, Prof. Gerhard Nikel and Prof. Zdzisław Najder, a specialist in the work of Joseph Conrad, resulted in many publications and conferences of worldwide range (a Conradian conference was held in 2004), as well as in conferring PhD and habilitation degrees. The current Head of the Institute, Dr. habil. Ryszard Wolny, Professor of the University of Opole established cooperation with academic institutions in Australia. The didactics is on a very high level and the curricula of the studies give a wide range of specialisations. A long-time Head of the Institute Dr habil. Andrzej Ciuk, UO Prof. was elected for the position of the Dean of the Faculty of Philology in 2012.
Institute of German Philology:
In 1990 the Senate of the Higher School of Pedagogy in Opole with a great support of Archbishop Prof. Alfons Nossol decided to establish the Institute of German Philology. Its first head was Prof. Grażyna Szewczyk and since 1994 Dr. hab. Maria Katarzyna Lasatowicz, Professor of University of Opole has been the Head of the Institute.
The Institute’s research has been carried out on Silesia, linguistics and literature – some of it connected with the local area and some other concerning the whole of Europe. The interaction with Polish and international community of Germanists is the reason why so many international conferences with so many prominent scientists have been held, e.g. the Congress of the Association of Polish Germanists was held at the University of Opole in 2007. From the very beginning the Institute has been supported by numerous organizations, such as DAAD (The German Academic Exchange Service), Goethe Institute, the Swiss Foundation Helvetia and foreign academic institutions which offer scholarships both to the University staff and to students.
The Institute publishes the following series of scientific journals: “Oppelner Beiträge zur Germanistik”, “Silesia. Schlesien im europäischen Bezugsfeld. Quellen und Forschungen” and “Germanistische Werkstatt”. The students of the Institute of German Philology take active part in research projects, they develop their interests in student research groups and after graduating, or even before that, they become specialists who are sought for on the job market. They are valued chiefly for their high linguistic, cultural and communicative competences. The Institute cooperates with many other institutes and business entities nationally and abroad, which enables efficient adjusting the academic syllabi to the requirements of domestic and European job market.
Institute of Slavonic Studies:
The Institute has been known by this name since 2014, but its history starts as far back as 1954, when the Chair of Russian Language – which was one of the first chairs of the Higher School of Pedagogy in Opole – was founded. At the same time the Chair of Russian and Soviet Literature was established.
Between 1974 and 1990 the unit operated as the Institute of Russian Philology. The development of the Institute was possible thanks to many extraordinary scholars, such as the following professors: Zbigniew Barański, Stanislaw Kochman, Aleksandra Wieczorek and Wojciech Chlebda, who is the current Head of the Institute. The Institute of Slavic Studies cooperates with many international academic centres. Recently it has started to publish a new journal Studia i Szkice Slawistyczne. Literatura – kultura – język.
The Institute offers some rare specialisations and thanks to unique materials which assist the learning process – textbooks, academic and reference books it has achieved academic renown in Poland and abroad. The Institute staff members take part in scholarly projects concerning linguistic images of the Slavic world and the works of Russian emigrant writers of the 20th century.
In 2000 the Institute received a medal from Stowarzyszenie Polska-Wschód (Poland-East Association for Cooperation) as a token of appreciation for popularising the culture of neighbouring Eastern countries.
Institute of Polish and Cultural Studies:
The Institute of Polish Philology was created in 1974. It was based on the Department of Polish Language and Polish Literature. The main founders were the following Professors: Stanisław Rospond, Stanisław Kolbuszewski, Władysław Studencki, Henryk Borek, Marian Kaczmarek, Feliks Pluta, Jerzy Pośpiech, Stanisław Gajda, Zdzisław Piasecki, Irena Jokiel, Władysław Lubaś, Jacek Baluch and Bogusław Wyderka.
In 1973 the Department of Folklore and Silesian Writing was established and in 1988 it was transformed into the Chair of Folklore. It was founded by Professor Dorota Simonides with the help from Prof. Teresa Smolińska and Prof. Piotr Kowalski. The current Head of the Institute is Prof. Janina Hajduk-Nijakowska.
Conducted research includes literary studies and linguistics. The Institute publishes international scientific journals, such as: ‘Stylistyka (since 1992) and Studia Slavica (since 1993). The Institute popularises culture organising events like Silesian Culture and Cultural Heritage Knowledge Contest.
Chair of French Language and Culture:
Formerly known as the Interinstitutional Department of French Culture and Language, which became independent in 2005 by being separated from the structures of the Institute of Polish, the Chair of French Language and Culture was established in 2008. Prof. Krystyna Modrzejewska, formerly the Director of Alliance Francaise Centre in Opole, is its head. Since 2011 the students have been able to receive MA degree in French at the University of Opole. They can also take part in Socrates-Erasmus exchange and go to study in France. Researchers from the Chair cooperate closely with their counterparts at Dijon University and Strasburg University.