Slavic studies at the University of Silesia was established in 1974 by academic professor. Kazimierz Polanski. At the beginning it existed within the framework of the Institute of Foreign Languages as the Section of Slavic Philology. In 1980 it was transformed into the Department of Slavic Philology by associate professor Wlodzimierz Pianka, thereby changing its structure. In 1990 academic professor Emil Tokarz reorganized the Departament into Institute of Slavic Philology initiating an extremely dynamic development of the local centre.
Within twenty three years of its existence, Slavistics has been run by:
Full prof. Mieczysław Basaj, prof. UŚ (1974-1975)
Full prof. Roman Laskowski (1975-1979)
Full prof. Włodzimierz Pianka (1979-1981)
Full prof. Emil Tokarz (1981-1985)
PhD Maja Szymoniuk, prof. UŚ (1985-1986)
Full prof. Barbara Czapik-Lityńska (1986-1989)
Full prof. Emil Tokarz (1989-2001)
PhD Józef Zarek, prof. (2001-2008)
PhD Maria Cichońska, prof. UŚ (2008-still)
Currently, the following studies are conducted at the Institute of Slavic Philology: Slavic Philology, South Slavic and West Slavic languages. Philological studies allow gaining a thorough literary and linguistic education. Studies within the framework of South Slavic and West Slavic languages put emphasis on preparation of students for their future job as translators by the introduction of subjects which focus on both theory and practice.
The following classes play an essential role in students’ education on every level: literature, history, culture and chosen Slavic language. Additionally, in further years of studies (from the 3rd to the 6th semester) a second language has been introduced. Depending on the chosen specialization, it is accompanied by the history of literature or grammar of this language. The structure of studies is completed by general and theoretical subjects which provide an extensive knowledge of philological sciences and the humanities in a broad understanding. Depending on the chosen specialization – linguistic, literary, or translatorical – disciplines of such character become dominant.
Silesian Slavistics employs specialists in West and South Slavic languages. In this way it offers the possibility to study the following specializations:
– Bulgarian Philology
– Croatian Philology
– Czech Philology
– Macedonian Philology
– Serbian Philology
– Slovak Philology
– Slovenian Philology
Every academic year a few specializations from the ones mentioned above are opened. It is necessary to have 25 students in a group to open a specialization.
After three years of study, students receive a bachelor’s degree and on the basis of the preliminary qualifying examination they are admitted to a two-year supplementary studies which enable them to obtain a master’s degree. They can further improve their skills on PhD studies.
The Institute is in a lively cooperation with foreign universities. Due to the fact that the Institute is a member of several scholarship programmes, the best students are offered the opportunity to travel and study abroad on summer language courses or on one month or term long study programmes.
Students who come from areas far away from University are offered places in dormitories which are located near the Institute. The Institute of Slavonic Philology is a meaningful Slavic centre within the Upper Silesian agglomeration which gives its students an opportunity to learn and study all languages and cultures of Southern and Western Slavs. University’s main task, apart from didactic and research activity, is to maintain cooperation with national minorities and to present scientific and cultural achievements of Slavic countries.