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Faculty of History

 

Specialisation: • History of Poland • General History • Preservation of Cultural Heritage • History of Eastern Borderlands • Mediterranean and New World Archaeology • Historical and Cultural Anthropology • Polish Composers • History of Jews in Kraków • History of the Jagiellonian University

Contact: Gołębia 24, 31-007 Kraków, historia@adm.uj.edu.pl

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Major studies and research projects

  • Sacred Art. A survey of sacred art in eastern Poland has been the subject of research since 1992. This research has resulted in more than 20 volumes of monographs as part of a series of publications entitled Materiały do dziejów sztuki sakralnej na dawnych ziemiach wschodnich. Kościoły i klasztory rzymskokatolickie dawnego województwa ruskiego (Materials on the History of Sacred Art in the Eastern Territories of the Former Polish Commonwhealth: Roman Catholic Churches and Monasteries of the Former Province of Ruthenia) edited by Prof. Jan Ostrowski. Another important project is the preparation of the corpus of 19th- and 20th-century stained glass windows in Roman Catholic churches in the metropolitan areas of Kraków and Przemyśl.
  • Archaeological Studies. The discovery of a Maya royal tomb (Nakum, Guatemala) with a burial chapel and sacrificial deposits is one of the faculty's greatest achievements. The deposit comprised a unique artefact: nine clay heads representing Mayan deities. The Guatemalan discoveries were placed on a list of the Time magazine's top 100 scientific discoveries of the modern world (NB as the only discovery by Polish scientists). Moreover, archaeologists from the Faculty of History are conducting research into the Nile Delta, in Tell el-Farcha, where a team led by Prof. Krzysztof Ciałowicz discovered a building that served residential, temple, and sepulchral purposes. The older parts of the structure revealed the second-oldest brewery of this type in Egypt. Another venue that is being explored by the archaeologists from the Jagiellonian University is Nea Paphos in Cyprus. A team led by Prof. Ewdoksia Papuci-Władyka unearthed a Roman agora of Nea Paphos together with some relicts of the Hellenic period. In 2011, the Paphos Monuments were included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
  • Searching for Polonica in Foreign Libraries. In 2011, the search led to a wonderful finding: Henryk Głębocki, PhD, discovered Juliusz Słowacki's lost manuscript, Dziennik podróży na Wschód (Journal From the Journey to the East). The manuscript was found in The National Library of Russia. The discovery includes 74 pages of notes from journeys to Egypt and the Holy Land, sketches and concepts of future works, the poet's detailed bills, and numerous beautiful drawings. Up until then, it had been believed that Słowacki's journal was burned during World War II. Among other library and archive discoveries, the discovery of a 10th-century manuscript in the National Archive in Kraków, made by Marcin Starzyński, PhD, is also worth mentioning. Additionally, studies on Polonica are currently in progress in the Vatican Secret Archives (Monumenta Poloniae Vaticana).
  • Studies in Antiquity. A book about Hypatia of Alexandria, written by Prof. Maria Dzielska and translated into several languages, brings it to the forefront of numerous valuable monographs. Prof. Dzielska is the most frequently translated Polish historian. Her monograph about Hypatia served as the basis for Agora, a Spanish motion picture (historical drama) directed by Alejandro Amenabár.

Collaboration

Collaboration in the Union Academique Internationale is worth mentioning as one of several dozen international research projects in which scholars from the Jagiellonian University Faculty of History participate. The projects include: Corpus Antiquitatum Americansium and Carte de Monde Inca. They encompass publishing the findings of archaeological studies carried out in the Peruvian Andes and Argentina.

Thanks to collaboration with the Fulbright program (United States) and the Anthropos Institute in Sankt Augustin (Germany), the Institute of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology frequently hosts foreign visitors from the United States, Great Britain, Germany, and Denmark, etc. Domestic partners include the German Historical Institute in Warsaw, the Shalom Foundation, and the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum.

Scholars

  • Prof. Jan Ostrowski – works at the Institute of History of Art; he has served as the director of the Wawel Royal Castle since 1989. His greatest scientific achievement is the development of a programme for the inventory of historical monuments in the eastern borderlands of the former Polish Commonwealth. This resulted in 21 monumental volumes of monographs on churches in contemporary Ukraine. This programme led to the establishing of a research school and the shaping of a new generation of art historians.
  • Prof. Jan Chochorowski – an expert on the Bronze Age and the Early Iron Age in Europe and Eurasian Steppe. He gained worldwide fame for his studies on Scythian barrow, in Ryżanówka at Zwinogródka, which he led together with Ukrainian archaeologists. He has also explored the contemporary archaeology of Spitsbergen. He was the Chair of the Institute of Archaeology of the Jagiellonian University from 1996 to 2008. He has authored more than 230 publications, including three books.
  • Prof. Edward Dąbrowa – belongs to the group of outstanding researchers of ancient Near East history dating from the fourth century BC to the fourth century AD. He has authored eight monographs and almost 200 journal articles. He is the president of the European Association for Jewish Studies and a member of international scientific committees for journals published in Italy: Parthica and Diadema. He established and edits the international publications Electrum: Journal of Ancient History and Scripta Judaica Cracoviensia.
  • Prof. Halina Florkowska-Frančić – affiliated with the following Institutes at the Jagiellonian University: the Institute of History, the Institute of Polish Diaspora and the Institute of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology, where she lectures on the ethnic history of Europe. She develops her accomplished research work by obtaining new sources and then interpreting them in a precise and innovative manner, as she did in her study on Józef Kraszewski's correspondence, in which she constructed a collective portrait of the Polish Diaspora in the United States. Her key research areas are Polish studies, Polish Diaspora and Switzerland. She publishes in Polish, German, French, and English. In 2013, she became an honorary member of the Polish Historical Society.

Achievements

The academic staff of the Institute of History of Art prepared the two largest Polish art exhibitions held abroad: The Power of Fantasy. Modern and Contemporary Art from Poland in Palais des Beaux-Arts (BOZAR) in Brussels (2011), and Symbolism in Poland and Britain at the Tate Britain in London (2009).

Publishing a volume devoted to the history of Jews in Kraków (Jews in Kraków, eds. M. Galas, A. Polonsky, London, 2011) was also a significant event for the scientific world. It was the first comprehensive presentation of studies on various aspects of the history of Jews in Kraków, conducted by Polish researchers and published in the English language. This publication is a great promotion of Poland's scientific excellence.

The scope of the research of the workshop on Archaeometallurgy and Conservation of Monuments, conducted through the Institute of Archaeology, not only covers prehistoric monuments, but also covers valuable items such as the Szczerbiec (the Polish coronation sword), the Royal Sigismund Bell, and medieval Papal Bulls. The newest and latest apparatuses (for example, a plasma vacuum chamber) ensure that analyses of antiques are conducted safely. This equipment is used to identify, for example, the manufacturing centres of such items, including those that originate from the Roman Empire.

Among activities promoting historical knowledge, the activities of the musicologist society are worth mentioning, e.g. a project called Respect Memories, conducted in collaboration with the Jagiellonian Library and the Library of Polish Song.

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