Undergraduate Institution: University of Warsaw, Poland
Undergraduate Major: Applied Linguistics
MAPSS Graduation Year: 2011
When I came to MAPSS, I knew I wanted to explore my various research interests and learn more about linguistics. I wasn’t sure I wanted to continue with a PhD at first, but thanks to MAPSS I discovered linguistic anthropology and decided to stay in academia. During my year at University of Chicago, I took a few courses that turned out to be milestones in my academic career. A two-term course in Language in Culture with Michael Silverstein and Costas Nakassis was the key to my understanding of language in general. Another two-term course in Field Methods in the Department of Linguistics allowed me to learn from the best linguists, Lenore Grenoble and Amy Dahlstrom, how to work with an understudied language, Wolof. This course showed me the power of fieldwork and its importance for any study of language. A course in Contact Linguistics with Lenore Grenoble and Victor Friedman only increased my interest in language contact situations. Most importantly, however, for my MA thesis, I had a chance to work with Susan Gal, under whose guidance I explored identity formation and language ideologies within a group of Polish-Americans in Chicago. It was thanks to Susan’s inspiring work that I decided to embark on a PhD project examining identity construction among modern Polish migrants in the UK. I am now finishing my PhD studies at the University of Oxford, where I examine language ideologies and speaking styles of members of the Polish transnational community in London and Oxford. I still go back to the notes I made at Chicago, very often to my preceptor’s, Elina Hartikainen’s, incredible comments, and consider MAPSS a year that grounded my knowledge in multiple ways.