The Department of Slavic Languages and Literature at UW-Madison recently received a prestigious award from the University of Warsaw.
Among fierce global competition, the Institute of Polish Language and Culture for Foreigners at the University of Warsaw voted unanimously to honor UW’s Department of Slavic Languages and Literature with the Polonicum Distinction.
This award recognizes achievements in teaching and researching Polish literature and language as well promoting Polish culture, language, literature and history.
UW-Madison’s Polish program stood out above the rest because of its commitment to education and variety of outreach activities aimed at bringing Polish culture to a wider audience.
Ewa Miernowska, a senior lecturer of the department of Slavic Languages and Literature received the award on behalf of UW-Madison.
The university has a long tradition of teaching Polish. The Department of Polish Program was established in 1935 by an act of the State Legislature thanks to the lobbying efforts of Polish American legislators and politicians in Wisconsin. The Department of Polish at UW-Madison was the first full-fledged Polish department in the United States.
In 1942, the name changed to the Department of Slavic Languages. The department now includes Czech, Russian, and Serbian/Croatian in addition to Polish.
The Polish program within the department has grown within the past ten years. Today the Department of Slavic Languages and Literature offers courses in Polish language from the first year to the fourth, and courses on Polish literature and culture in English and in Polish.
Additionally the Polish Students Association in cooperation with faculty members organizes the annual Polish Film Festival each fall. Since 1911, this event has been attracting not only students and faculty, but also hundreds of Madison residents.