Cultural and religious studies

1. Artificial intelligence and critical thinking.

Supervisor: prof. dr hab. Tadeusz Gadacz

Faculty of Humanities

Abstract: The aim of the project is a comparative analysis of the technical possibilities of artificial intelligence with human thinking and the answer to the question: Is artificial intelligence capable of critical thinking? Man uses not only intellect, understood as the power of rational and tool thinking, neutral to values and morals, but also a reason that thinks on the basis of cultural experience, morality, values, emotional maturity and is able to talk and understand others. Our thinking is also based on beliefs shaped in the life process, and we often refer to mythological and symbolic thinking. Critical thinking is capable of to: self-reflection, draw conclusions about the degree of justification of arguments based on strong evidence and meaningful assumptions, ability to read between the lines and identify false or harmful assumptions, fair assessment of opposing arguments and evidence, recognition of positions, arguments and conclusions presented by others, making wise decisions. Critical thinking is therefore not only capable of thinking "about something" but also "for someone". Research conducted in the field of the project should answer, among others to the questions: Can artificial intelligence think critically, and therefore also make responsible decisions? To what extent should it be controlled and supervised by man?

Research facilities: WH AGH has its own scientific book collection (it should be noted that BG AGH is far greater), and also guarantees access to online archives of scientific works and publications (journals) in the field of humanities. WH has computer labs and will provide a room with access to the Internet for the needs of students of doctoral studies. Under the subsidy for research, they will receive basic support, proportional to other WH employees. AGH has research facilities related to artificial intelligence.

Number of places: 1

 

2. Traditions of the Western Esotericism.

Supervisor: dr hab. Izabela Trzcińska, prof. AGH

Faculty of Humanities

Abstract: The research on esotericism constitute a dynamic humanistic discipline which covering various topics significant for culture studies. There is because the important esoteric influences and inspirations can be found in art, literature, philosophy and even sciences. Those research are naturally interdisciplinary and their methods were created during last century in leading academical centers on the world. Studies of esotericism are still being developed, also in Poland. They allow to assume how the independent alternative centers of thought influence on the development of contemporary culture, how those centers are connected with mainstream culture and what dangers they may pose.

Number of places: 1

 

3. The Limits of the Cultural Imagination.

Supervisor: dr hab. Izabela Trzcińska, prof. AGH

Faculty of Humanities

Abstract: The imagination is a multidimensional phenomenon – artistic, psychological, social and cultural. The influence of imagination reveals itself in universal patterns present in myths, fairy tales, utopias, esoteric tales, as well as in individual interpretations of some empirical data, including the research procedures. The potential of transgression - included in fantastic and impossible conceptions and depictions – is the object of imagination research. The imaginative process of exceeding limits of knowledge are connected with constant creation of new senses, as well as with the search for new dimension of personal identity, together with new worldshape. The issue of cultural imagination is especially important in modern times, when technology influences many unexpected, creative solutions. Cultural studies stress the fact, the technology is recently important as a program of active imagination.

Number of places: 1

 

4. Visual aspects in the cultural message.

Supervisor: dr hab. Izabela Trzcińska, prof. AGH

Faculty of Humanities

Abstract: Recognition of the phenomenon of visuality in culture is currently one of the leading research streams in humanistics. It is connected with technological and civilizational development happening at the change of centuries. This development entails the expansion of the iconic area, which dynamically forges the perception of virtual reality. Sources of modern visual forms raise from tradition of depicting, present in Western culture for many centuries and that is why historical approach may be significant to reach understanding of those contemporary transformations of visuality. The research use many different methods, including those allowing to notice mutual connections between text and picture. The relation between text and picture is essential for the Western culture.

Number of places: 1

 

5. Fashion as a form of a language of modern culture.

Supervisor: dr hab Jowita Guja

Faculty of Humanities

Abstract: It is beyond doubt that fashion codes play very important role during exceptional cultural moments, which is clearly visible in the times of social rebellions, contestations, revolutions, emancipations, or reactions to them. Regardless of historical and cultural time we claim that fashion is always fundamentally related to the process of shaping both individual identity and culture itself. That suggests the inevitability of studies of fashion both on the field of reflection on culture and on the field of anthropology and philosophy. The two planes are closely related anyway. Fashion is the same type of cultural text as literature, philosophy, theatre, film, or ritual. I propose a kind of synchronous analysis – the analysis being done within the context of other cultural expressions of a given moment, with social, existential, and philosophical dimensions taken into account. This type of research requires to go beyond theory and must be supplemented by the study of particular material objects of fashion.

Research facilities: The Faculty of Humanities of AGH University of Science and Technology in Cracow supplies access to the research infrastructure necessary for the realization of the project. Especially useful may be the possibility to do research at EduVRLab which enables investigation of fashion (particularly the relation between imagination and object) also within its presentation in Virtual Reality.

Number of places: 2

 

6. Communication - language – religion.

Supervisor: prof. dr hab. Zbigniew Pasek

Auxiliary supervisor: dr Ewa Migaczewska

Faculty of Humanities

Abstract: The project is devoted to the research on religious culture and its communicative and pragmatic determinants. The planned works embrace not only religious phenomenons, but also all forms of quasi-religious and spiritual (understood in the broad sense) acts. It is about a substantive description of cultural practices that nowadays are replacing religion and, in the view of their participants, they fulfil the function of religion (give a meaning, create a community, constitute a source of values). The role of new media in profiling and forming this new phenomenon also is important.

Research facilities: WH AGH has its own scientific book collection (it should be noted that BG AGH is far greater), and also guarantees access to online archives of scientific works and publications (journals) in the field of humanities. WH has computer labs and will provide a room with access to the Internet for the needs of students of doctoral studies. Under the subsidy for research, they will receive basic support, proportional to other WH employees.

Number of places: 1

 

7. Spiritual and religious culture of contemporary Poland.

Supervisor: prof. dr hab. Zbigniew Pasek

Faculty of Humanities

Abstract: The subject of research is connected with religious culture of contemporary Poland. We invite projects, that will contribute to the description and reconstruction of the current "spiritual" map of Poland, with a special focus on these projects which will attempt to explain a cultural determinants of religious behaviours. We are also interested in topics concerning the category of spirituality (understood as a strive for realization of values that are regarded by a particular individual as positive). Therefore, also cultural analysis of new religious communities and subcultures will be appreciated.

Research facilities: WH AGH has its own scientific book collection (it should be noted that BG AGH is far greater), and also guarantees access to online archives of scientific works and publications (journals) in the field of humanities. WH has computer labs and will provide a room with access to the Internet for the needs of students of doctoral studies. Under the subsidy for research, they will receive basic support, proportional to other WH employees.

Number of places: 2

 

8. Cultural memory of contemporary Poland. Practices, structure, policy.

Supervisor: prof. dr hab. Zbigniew Pasek

Faculty of Humanities

Abstract: In the contemporary culture a dispute over historical memory and its content is still going on. It is powered not only by a politicians, but also by cultural divisions of our society, which is differentiated by different gradation of values (tradition, freedom, religion, etc.). The aim of a researches conducted within this analytical frame is to identify not only the main factors that determine historical memory (namely studies in the field of historical politics), but also the influence of other culture-making centres. Another research objective is to analyse social and private mnemonic practices, expressed in public rituals, spectacles, ceremonies, documents or visual recordings. 

Research facilities: WH AGH has its own scientific book collection (it should be noted that BG AGH is far greater), and also guarantees access to online archives of scientific works and publications (journals) in the field of humanities. WH has computer labs and will provide a room with access to the Internet for the needs of students of doctoral studies. Under the subsidy for research, they will receive basic support, proportional to other WH employees.

Number of places: 1