Structure of the Faculty of History
Structure of the Faculty of History
Currently there are eight departments at the Faculty of History of the University of Warsaw, which carry out research and didactics respectively in the field of historical epochs, auxiliary sciences of history, archival science and history didactics. The Mordechaj Anielewicz Centre for Research and Teaching Jewish History and Culture in Poland also has the status of an independent department.
There are also research groups within the Faculty.
Department of Ancient History
Head of the Department of Ancient History: Krystyna Stebnicka, Ph.D., Habil.
The Department of Ancient History of the University of Warsaw is the largest and one of the most important institutions of its kind in Poland. Its staff includes scholars of Greek and Roman antiquity as well as specialists in the history of Near Eastern civilizations. At present the most important directions of research include, on the one hand, the socio-political and political history (R. Kulesza, J. Rzepka, M. Węcowski, A. Wolicki), and also the religious and intellectual history (B. Bravo, M. Węcowski, A. Wolicki) of the Greek world to the end of the Hellenistic Age, on the other hand the history of late antiquity and early Byzantium (P. Janiszewski, K. Stebnicka, R. Wiśniewski) and the ancient Church (P. Janiszewski, R. Wiśniewski). The interests of the Department staff also cover other areas of antiquity – from the history of Sumer (M. Stępień), through the history and religion of the peoples of Palestine (Ł. Niesiołowski-Spanò, K. Stebnicka), to the history of Rome and the topography of the city (A. Ziółkowski). The history of ancient historiography – both Greek (M. Węcowski, A. Wolicki) and Roman (A. Ziółkowski, K. Stebnicka, P. Janiszewski), as well as biblical (Ł. Niesiołowski-Spanò) – is a common research area for many of the Department’s researchers.
Department of Medieval History
Head of the Department: Grzegorz Myśliwski, Ph.D., Habil.
The Department of Universal and Polish Medieval History was created in 1969 as a result of the transformation of the Department of General Medieval History and the Department of Polish History up to the eighteenth century. It was headed successively by Prof. Marian Małowist (1969-1979), Prof. Benedykt Zientara (1979-1983), Prof. Henryk Samsonowicz (1983- 2000), Prof. Karol Modzelewski (2000-2005), Prof. Roman Michałowski (2005- 2019). Since 2019, the head of the Department is Dr hab. Grzegorz Myśliwski.
The staff of the Department conduct research on a variety of topics in the history of both Poland and selected countries of Europe from the early Middle Ages to the early sixteenth century: the Frankish state (including its power in Italy), Germany and Bohemia, as well as the Teutonic state, including the various connections between the countries and cities of Central and Western Europe. A significant place is also occupied by studies on the history of Poland, which is also treated as part of universal history.
The range of subject matter is wide. Thus the ideology and organization of power, both monarchical and regional (episcopal territorial dominions), feudal ties, state representations and political culture are analyzed. Also considered are the power elites in states and cities, and other issues in social history: social ties, the position of women, urban societies (including religious-ethnic minorities), and merchant organizations. A separate place is given to research on economic history – the urban economy, rural settlement, the history of money, long-distance trade, as well as long-term trends in the economic development of Poland, Central and Western Europe. The history of the Catholic Church as a religious institution, social formation and political organization also occupies an important place. In this connection issues of Christianization, the influence of religion on human bonds and political life are also studied. Problems of medieval culture are studied through the prism of religiosity (the cult of Saints, the cult of Holy Virgin Mary), the transformations of collective mentality and identity and history writing.
Department of Early Modern History
Acting Manager: Prof. Urszula Kosińska
Acting Manager in the academic year 2022/2023: Prof. Jolanta Choińska-Mika
Head of Department: Prof. Dariusz Kołodziejczyk (sick leave)
The Department of Early Modern History is characterised by a considerable variety of research interests of its members who specialize in the period between the 16th and 18th centuries. Research is carried out in the field of international relations and diplomacy, including the relations of Poland-Lithuania with Muscovy/Russia, the Ottoman Empire, the Crimean Khanate, as well as France, Sweden and Saxony. The time-honored research on the political theory and parliamentary practice of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, with a particular focus on the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Ukraine and Mazovia, is conducted in a wide European context. Another research field is economic and social history, including historical demography, the history of technology and the industrial revolution. Studies on early modern warfare adress the issues related to the so-called “military revolution.” Research into the history of culture focuses on the history of political thought in the 16th-18th centuries, the press in Poland-Lithuania, France, the Netherlands and the German Empire, the flow of information and ideas, and the influence of travel, both within Europe and to other continents, on the broadening of intellectual horizons of Poles in the era of “first globalization.” Last but not least, the Department’s members also study interconfessional and interreligious contacts, paying special attention to the polemics and dialogue between the Catholics and Protestants in the Commonwealth and in the German Empire, between the Catholic and Orthodox Christians, and between Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.
Department of 19th Century History
Head of the Department: Prof. Artur Markowski
Researchers affiliated with the Department conduct their work in the following areas:
- political culture – studies focused primarily on Polish lands (the Duchy of Warsaw and the Kingdom of Poland), German history and international relations during the belle époque period,
- social history – studies focused on the history of the Kingdom of Poland and Galicia, Russia and Scandinavia (Denmark, Norway), during the period of intensified social change processes. Other important fields of study include the history of women, Jews, and disability studies,
- social imagination – works on the reception of the collapse of the Polish Republic in the circles of the elites of the time, reactions to modernization processes, new religious phenomena and collective violence,
- economic history – works on non-European issues: the economy of colonial Africa in the context of the international politics of the time.
These studies have resulted not only in articles and monographs presenting the results of research work (Tomasz Kizwalter, Artur Markowski, Maciej Mycielski, Marek Pawełczak, Piotr Szlanta), but also in synthetics (Jarosław Czubaty, Tomasz Kizwalter, Marek Pawełczak, Grażyna Szelągowska) and school textbooks (Grażyna Szelągowska, Piotr Szlanta).
The Department organizes regular scientific meetings bringing together researchers dealing with the history of the nineteenth century (also from outside the University) and co-organizes the annual Polish conference of historians of the nineteenth century of international scope.
Department of 20th Century History
Head of the Department: Dobrochna Natalia Kałwa, Ph.D., Habil. (sabbatical)
Acting Manager until 28 January 2024: Prof. Michał Leśniewski
Research conducted in the Department of Twentieth-Century History is diverse both in terms of subject matter and chronology. The earliest period is covered by the works of Dr Michał Leśniewski, who deals with the history of the southern region of Africa and colonial conflicts at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries.
The period between the First and Second World Wars continues to attract much attention. European aspects of this period are the subject of interest of Dr. hab. Piotr Majewski (Czechoslovakia, Czech-German borderland), Dr. hab. Pawel Skibiński (Spain), Prof. Romuald Turkowski (agrarianism).
Much of the Department’s activity is directed toward reconstructing the times of the Polish People’s Republic. This period is dealt with by Dr. Błażej Brzostek and Dr. Marcin Zaremba (social history), Dr. Tadeusz Rutkowski (functioning of scientific communities). Dr. Igor Chabrowski specializes in 20th century history of China.
Department of Auxiliary Sciences of History, Sources and Methodology
Head of the Department: Prof. Agnieszka Bartoszewicz (sabbatical)
Acting Manager: Prof. Piotr Węcowski
Currently separate classes in auxiliary sciences of history are taught within the framework of four epochs: the Middle Ages, the 16th-18th centuries, the 19th century, and the 20th century, as well as the above-mentioned specializations. Apart from source and editorial issues, the research of the Department’s employees focuses on their own specialization within the historical epochs and concerns above all the issues of cultural history, social history, political system, history of historiography and methodology of history.
Department of Archival Studies, Didactics and History of Historiography
Head of the Department: Katarzyna Błachowska, Ph.D., Habil.
The staff of the Department conducts classes with students within the framework of teaching specialization – didactics of history, didactics of knowledge about society, as well as subjects included in the basic programme of history studies – history of historiography, methodology of history. In these fields they conduct research.
The Department maintains permanent contact with Warsaw schools, several of which are training schools, where students preparing for the teaching profession hospitalize and also conduct lessons of history and social studies on their own. The staff of the Institute organizes, supervises and gives credit for students’ teaching practice in elementary, middle and high schools. Since 2006, the department has participated in the international research project COMENIUS C- 21 “Europe the continent of migrants”. Conferences summarizing the results of the work are held twice a year. An international textbook on the problem of European migration in the 19th and 20th centuries is being prepared.
In the field of history theory, the staff of the department conduct research focused on:
theoretical foundations of historical knowledge,
the history of Polish and world historiography
analysis of contemporary research approaches.
Since 2004 the department has organized a methodological symposium in December each year: “The Historian and the Method”, serving to exchange views and ideas of historians and representatives of other humanities. The symposia are attended by researchers from major academic centers in Poland. The Department’s employees also teach within the framework of archival specialization.
Mordechaj Anielewicz Center for Research and Teaching Jewish History and Culture in Poland
Head of Department: Prof. Anna Michałowska-Mycielska
The staff of the Mordechaj Anielewicz Center for Research and Teaching Jewish History and Culture in Poland
The Center conducts classes both for students of “Jewish History and Culture,” history, as well as students of other majors interested in issues related to Jewish history and culture. The Center also organizes study tours for students interested in the culture of Jews in Poland.