Meeting Six. The Bizarre Book Project

The ultimate objective of the project is to create a small catalogue of “strange” or “weird” books, perhaps a publishing series released by an ambitious publishing house. All your projects should have a common goal: to make a contemporary publisher want to release a series of strangest and possibly forgotten English language books originally published between 1860 and 1922. Your first task will be to find such books. The second task will be to design a pitch document/ leaflet featuring a fragment of the book translated into Polish to showcase its uniqueness, strangeness, craziness or – even – memetic potential : ). Think of this document as of a device you’d want to use to have this book’s translation published.

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Meeting Four. Simple 2D Animation.

Be sure to watch Twelve Principles of Animation

  • Pay particular attention to these principles that may be useful not only in drawn 2d animation but also in stop motion animation.
  • Pay particular attention to squeeze and stretch, anticipation, staging, timing, pose to pose / straight ahead animation, follow throough & overlapping action and appeal. But also spend some time thinking about arcs and slow in / slow out.

Your tasks are these:

  • design a short animation depicting a face which undergoes some specific, clearly identifiable emotions. Think of this as of a storyboard of a brief story on these emotions. Study emotional expressions first, perhaps ask your friends to “play out” these emotions for you. Take (mental) notes of how you might plan to exagarate specific facial features to capture these emotions better. Think about what triggers such emotions, what kind of anticipation might be necessary to present in your animation, what needs to be staged properly, how to design timing for this simple animation, etc.
  • use simple online software to create a brief animation that would epress the emotion you designed in the previous step. Use services like or
  • note the limitations of this software. What would be the perfect combination of features basic animation software should have? Look for such software at home. Be sure to experiment with several options.

Meeting Five. Plus by Joseph McELroy (fragment)

Your task is to translate a fragment from the 1976 novel by Joseph McElroy Plus. Below, I give you access to the fragment in question. Note: this text is intended to be used for educational purposes only.

Plus by Joseph McElroy chapter 1 (fragment) (MS Word)

Plus by Joseph McElroy_chapter 1 (fragment) (PDF)

Requirements and guidelines

  • Work in groups or pairs. No solo work this time, please.
  • Divide your workload appropriately. One student at least is to be responsible for proofreading and editing. You van all work on your translation this time, though.
  • Spend some serious time on comprehending what is going on in this fragment.
  • Think about translation strategies. What will be the character’s translated name? What about all these places you think are untranslatable?
  • Make sure to clearly mark in the submitted translations who was responsible for the specific tasks.

Deadline: 2 December, 2019.

Meeting Five. Wikipedia project

Let’s begin this project by having a look at several Wikipedia pages which explain what can be done to translate the already existing English articles into Polish. Also, let’s have a look at basic Wikipedia policies.

How to work with Wikipedia?

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Meeting Two. Thesis

Please download the presentation on how to create a good thesis.

Meeting Two. Thesis (PDF)

What is a thesis?

A thesis statement

  • declares what you believe to be true and/ or what you intend to prove;
  • thesis is not a question. It is an argument.
  • thesis should be contestable – it makes a claim that others (or yourself) might dispute;
  • arguments and counterarguments. If the argument does not have counterarguments it is not a thesis, it is a fact or opinion.
  • a good thesis statement makes the difference between a thoughtful research project and a simple retelling of facts
  • directly answers the research question/ research problem
  • The subject, or topic, of an essay might be World War II or Moby Dick;
    • a thesis must then offer a way to understand the war or the novel;
  • is a single sentence near the beginning of your paper (most often, at the end of the first paragraph) that presents your argument to the reader.

Further guidelines for finding and developing a thesis

  • A thesis offers a theory about the meaning of evidence that would not have been immediately obvious to your readers.
  • A thesis is made, not found. It is the result of a process of thinking about the evidence but is not itself present in the evidence.
  • Treat your thesis as a hypothesis to be tested rather than an obvious truth.
  • Most effective theses contain tension. They are conceptually complex, and that is reflected in their grammatical shape—often they will begin with “although” or incorporate “however.”

How to create a good thesis statement?

  • Read on the subject that interests you
  • As you read on it, look for
    • surprising information or facts
    • interesting contrasts or comparisons
    • patterns emerging in the information
    • ideas – for example voiced by experts in the subject – that make you wonder why or wow, never thought of that, etc. “no way! That can be right!” or “Yes, absolutely. I agree!”
  • Select a topic. Topic is not your thesis. It is not a field. It is not a discipline. It may suggest contrasts.
  • Ask a question. The answer should not be obvious. This narrows down the topic to a likely research question / research problem.
  • Paraphrase the question into a provocative, contestable statement: it is your thesis. You may change it later, as you discover new evidence. But you need to begin with a suggestion that will help you structure your research.

How can you know that a thesis is a good one?

  • Thesis should be contestable, but not confrontational or combatative
  • It addresses an issue which could be covered in an attainable project. Narrow it down! You only have two years to complete your project.
  • It is focused. Don’t ever think you want to write everything you can possibly find on a subject. Again: narrow it down.
  • It is flexible. You can change it. You are supposed to follow evidence that may lead you to a different conclusion that you think you’ll reach. If you begin with a fact or ideological postition or opinion you will not be able to change it.
  • It anticipates and refutes the counter-arguments
  • It’s not vague and purely subjective. Dont ever write statemests like: I believe, in my opinion, it seems, etc.It avoids vague language (like “it seems”).
  • It should be valid. It you can easily imagine someone saying: who cares? about your thesis it probably is not a very valid thesis statement. Also, it should never be truistic, universalistic or obvious.

Do these tests

  • Does the thesis  inspire a reader to ask, “How?” or “Why?”
  • Would a reasonable reader NOT respond with “So what?” or “Wow, no kidding!” or “Who cares?”
  • Does the thesis  avoid generalities and/or sweeping words such as “all” or “none” or “every”?
  • Can you complete the project the thesis requires you to in the required time and length of the M.A. thesis paper?


Meeting One. Course outline and orientation

Please download the presentation on what this course is about and how it’s going to be organized.

Meeting ONE. Course outline. (PDF)

The seminar will focus on inter- and transdisciplinary cultural, political, and media studies. Two major general areas of this seminar’s interests are media and the USA. The seminar is then addressed to students who want to develop their academic writing skills and analytical competence in American media, new media, American society, polity, and culture. Below is an open list of possible more specific research areas. A more detailed selection will depend on students’ choices accepted by the instructor.

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Meeting Four. Marcin Wicha. Jak przestałem kochać design. Non-fiction pitch.

Your task this week will be a TWO PHASE PROJECT.

PHASE ONE. Translate the fragment of Marcin Wicha’s book. Note: this text is intended to be used for educational purposes only.

Continue Reading Meeting Four. Marcin Wicha. Jak przestałem kochać design. Non-fiction pitch.