Course Description

HST 347 Multicultural Poland: History and Public Memory in Galicia



Instructor:         Dr. Andrew Kier Wise


Prerequisites:    None

Credits:             3 (2250 minutes of lectures and/or related site visits are required)


Course Description

This study abroad course provides students with a unique firsthand approach to studying history. Readings, lectures, and site visits focus on the multicultural legacy in Poland, especially the historic region of Galicia that includes the cities of Kraków and Przemyśl in Poland, and the city of Lviv in Ukraine. This course also requires students to consider the complex interplay of history and memory in Poland, especially as it relates to World War I, the interwar period, and World War II.


Required Course Materials 

Brian Porter Szucs, Poland in the Modern World: Beyond Martyrdom (must be read before departure)

Additional weekly readings TBA


Student Learning Objectives:


Primary Competencies

Contextual Integration:

1. Analyze and explain how events in history are the result of multiple and integrated causes.

Moral and Ethical Discernment:

2. Analyze and explain ways in which various belief systems and political ideologies have shaped social interaction and the relationships among the peoples of Galicia.

3. Identify moral and ethical implications of intercultural relations.

Affective Awareness

4. Analyze and explain the way emotive responses shaped and have been shaped in the historic sites and memorials dedicated to the public memory in Poland, and also the ways that they continue to shape Poles’ discourse in the 21st century.

Secondary Competencies

Critical Thinking and Creative Problem Solving

5. Read a given text critically, articulate the main ideas and demonstrate the ability to link these ideas to other texts and situations.

Communication Skills

6. Display proficiency in oral communication skills, writing skills, through class discussions and paper assignments.



Multiple Primary Competencies Rationale


Critical thinking and contextual competency will be integrated throughout the course.  Lectures, discussions, and assignments require students to understand the political, economic, social, cultural, religious, and aesthetic contexts of Polish history that are featured in this course. Students will use critical thinking to compare and contrast the multiple perspectives on the core competencies that are featured in this course.

Moral and ethical discernment and affective awareness are key competencies that relate to students’ informed analysis of texts and images from Polish history in their political, economic, social, cultural, religious, and aesthetic contexts. This course requires students to display proficiency in these competencies in discussions and assignments that deal with the texts and images from ancient societies that connect directly to these same competencies.

Class discussions and writing assignments will require students to apply these multiple competencies in formulating their arguments. Both in oral and written formats, students will be demonstrating proficiency in communications skills on a regular basis.


Evaluation of Student Learning

Grading Scale: Letter Grade


Learning Objective

Assignment (s)

Percent of Grade


Attendance and Participation






Response Papers


3, 6

Reflection Papers



Final Paper



Attendance and Participation (15%): Students are expected to attend all lectures and site visits.


Critical Response Papers (30%): There are two (2) required critical response papers that deal with assigned readings and lectures. Each paper must be 3-4 pages in length, and each is worth 15% of the total course grade. The first paper is due on June 21. The second paper is due on June 28. Full instructions will be posted to Blackboard.


Reflection Papers (20%). There are two (2) reflection papers. Each paper must be 2-3 pages in length. The first reflection paper deals with your visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau (date TBA). The second reflection paper deals with your visit to the Warsaw Uprising Museum (date TBA). Full instructions will be posted to Blackboard.


Final Paper (35%), due one week after return from Poland (July 24). This paper must be 8 pages in length. Students are required to integrate information from assigned readings, lectures, and site visits. Here are five areas of special attention. Students should choose ONE as a focus area for the final paper (full instructions will be posted to Blackboard).


·        Sites of mass tourism for Poles, Ukrainians, and foreign visitors. Are the museums and memorials places of pilgrimage? Why are particular sites so important to visitors?

·        Images of history – what visual images are used to commemorate the war?

·        Preservers of history – either as remnants or restored sites of wartime experiences. How are wartime sites preserved? Are they left intact – damaged by the ravages of war, or are they restored? Why are some sites left intact (damaged), while other sites are restored? What are visitors’ reactions to “damaged” versus “restored” sites? (The fortress in Przemyśl will provide a great case study.)

·        Narrations of history – each site provides a narrative in the form of visitor guides and explanatory texts that shape collective memory of the war. Which groups in Polish and Ukrainian society are commemorated?

·        Educators – each museum or monument seeks to educate Poles and foreign visitors about various elements of the Polish and Ukrainian wartime experience. How is the history told? Which audiences does the narrative constructed at an historical site try to reach? How do museums and monuments seek to educate foreign visitors?


Course Policies:  1) All papers  must be completed by the scheduled time and date.

2) All assignments will be docked by one-half letter grade for each day late.


Student Accommodations: Daemen College complies with the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act and applicable state and local laws providing for nondiscrimination against individuals with disabilities. This policy applies to participation in all College programs and activities. Daemen College will also provide reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with disabilities so that they may participate at a level equivalent with that of non-disabled students. In this connection, Daemen College has established an accommodation assessment procedure for evaluation of requested accommodations in light of legal guidelines.

Students with documented disabilities are expected to contact me and the Learning Center in the RIC as soon as possible regarding any accommodations needed to complete course requirements.


Academic Dishonesty: Students found cheating or plagiarizing will be punished according to College guidelines. Please see Daemen College Catalog, Academic Regulations and Standards at

(the following section is excerpted directly from this site).


“Academic dishonesty, of which cheating and plagiarism are the most common examples, is a serious violation of the principles of higher education. Daemen College takes the position that academic honesty is to be upheld with the highest degree of integrity. The College has a responsibility to support individual thought and the generation of new ideas. This cannot be done when violations of academic honesty go unchallenged.

Examples of academic dishonesty include, but are not limited to:

1.       use of any unauthorized assistance in taking quizzes, tests, or examinations;

2.       dependence upon the aid of sources beyond those authorized by the instructor in writing papers, preparing reports, solving problems, or carrying out other assignments; or

3.       the acquisition, without permission, of tests or other academic material belonging to a member of the College faculty or staff.

4.       any form of plagiarism, which includes, but is not limited to:

·        the use, by paraphrase or direct quotation, the published or unpublished work of another person without full and clear acknowledgement; or

·        the unacknowledged use of materials prepared by another person or agency engaged in the selling or distributing of term papers or other academic materials.

In an instance where there has been a violation of the principles of academic honesty, the instructor may choose to follow one or more of a number of possible alternatives including but not limited to: (1) automatic failure of the work; (2) automatic failure of the entire course; (3) recommending expulsion from the degree program; or (4) recommending expulsion from the College. The student may appeal the instructor’s determination in accordance with the Grade Appeal Procedure.

When a faculty member determines a violation of academic honesty has occurred, he/she will first notify the student in writing. A copy of this letter, together with a written description of the case with supporting evidence will also be submitted to the Associate Dean of the College. Should there be no additional notifications of academic dishonesty, the initial record will be destroyed one year after the student's graduation from Daemen College.

Upon receipt of additional reported offenses, the Associate Dean will formally present the materials in the file to the CAS for review and recommendation of any additional sanctions beyond those imposed by the instructor. The Associate Dean will also notify the student that the materials will be the subject of CAS deliberation and will recommend that the student write a letter regarding the offense to the CAS for purposes of clarification, explanation or denial. CAS review will be held in a timely manner as determined by CAS. All faculty members who have reported offenses on the part of the student will be invited to participate in the deliberations. In cases where expulsion is recommended, either from the degree program or the College, final authority rests with the Dean of the College.”




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"I am currently working at the Smithsonian Museum of American History working on a photographic collection and learning more about D.C.'s past.”