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Word and Music Studies between East and West

This module is composed of two complementary advanced seminars in textual analysis, foregrounding interdisciplinary research on musical phenomena in literature, with particular attention paid to philosophical and philological aspects of the study. It introduces students to research methods within Word and Music Studies and interdisciplinary comparative studies, embracing performative accounts of literature and applying them in Slavic literary contexts. Thus the module explores moments of mutual understanding and cross-interpretations of the Sister Arts, once united, then split and ever since seeking modes of reconciliation or appropriation, negotiating powers and spheres of influence, using and typecasting one another. Musical settings of existing literary texts constitute a complementary area of interest. Analyses of musicoliterary corpora such as, e.g. Adam Mickiewicz’s ballad Alpuhara and its song interpretations 1828-2018, show how philological questions can be significantly illuminated by musical source work. Students are encouraged to develop and discuss their own ideas and set new questions in the field.

There are five main focus points, according to which students can orient their work (and prepare their seminar paper):

  • Music and Poetry in Translation. Slavic Profile
  • Aesthetics of the Musicalized Text
  • Musical Forms and Themes in Narrative
  • Setting Poetry to Music and Vice-Versa
  • Musical and Poetic Genres

The module “Word and Music Studies” is taught by Dr Jan Czarnecki. It will be offered again in the summer semester 2021.