HISTORY & ACADEMIC PROFILE
1. Centre for Advanced Studies in the Humanities (CASH) was established in March 2007 on the strength of the directive of the JU Rector issued at the request of the Dean of the Faculty of Polish Studies. CASH is a research and teaching unit which constitutes a part of the Faculty of Polish Studies. In 2010 the Department of International Polish Studies became a part of CASH.
2. The launching of CASH, received enthusiastically by foreign academic circles, is connected with:
- the necessity of change in the development strategy of Polish humanities and culture and their introduction in the wider international circulation;
- greater emphasis placed on the education of international cultural elite in Poland;
- the construction of an internationally renowned centre for cultural studies in Poland;
- the introduction of an up-to-date doctoral programme in response to the needs of the youngest generation of students;
3. CASH is conceived as a research and teaching unit with the basic aim of transcending borders between disciplines, countries, and languages. It wishes to attain this aim by creating a meeting place for international community of the humanities in Krakow. It is the first research centre of its type in Poland, following the best such institutions in the world.
4. CASH detaches itself from the strictly philological, and thus restricted (and inefficient as demonstrated by international practice) teaching model. The main CASH task resides in the creating in Poland an up-to-date research and teaching program, in which the study of Polish culture will be possible in the wider context of the humanities and world culture. Only by placing the Polish culture in such a context and by renouncing its local (and as a consequence obscure) character, it might be introduced into the mainstream of international academic pursuit.
5. The activity of CASH relies on three closely connected principles:
- Teaching: pursuing a PhD programme in comparative literature. Comparative literature is a discipline most open to integrating various areas of academic activity and proposing the most differentiated curriculum in the humanities. International faculty teaching in the programme and its belonging to various academic disciplines are supposed to ensure the opening of the curriculum to contemporary research and teaching methods. A significant addition to the program is the Summer Programme in Literature held every year and organized in Kraków in cooperation with our American partners.
- Research: creating a living research institute, conducting research concerning the basic issues in contemporary culture within the framework of projects announced yearly in the area of the humanities. The structure and principles of functioning of the Centre are modeled on the tested Institute for Advanced Studies. The most important research aim of CASH is the reflection on the present state of the humanities: what is its object, what is the subject of the humanities, where is the place of the humanities in the structure of modern university? The second research aim is the reflection on literature. How to define it, how to connect it with cultural and existential experience?
- Discussion: constructing an intellectual community around CASH, transcending the narrowly defined academic disciplines. Therefore the Centre was conceived as a place for discussion on literature, art, aesthetics, everyday life. Jagiellonian Lectures and Seminars (conducted by excelling literature and art scholars from abroad) were created for these purposes:
6. The three principles – teaching, research, discussion – must complement one another. CASH aims not only at integrating various research perspectives in the framework of an up-to-date curriculum, but also the dissolution of the archaic models of knowledge transmission limited to a lecture room and a one-sided lecture, based on indisputable premises. CASH is to become the space of a living exchange of views, argument, discussion, polyvocal extension of the limits of humanities, which should occupy the main position in creating the modern worldview. One of the basic instruments of stimulating the discussion is the publishing series HERMENEIA created by CASH.