HABSBURG Syllabus Contest – Congratulations to Brian Porter-Szűcs

Timothy Olin's picture

Last year, the HABSBURG Editorial Team initiated a syllabus contest as way to celebrate and highlight the great work being done in the field. A committee made up of four members of the Advisory Board reviewed the submissions and recently rendered a verdict. 


We congratulate the winner, Prof. Brian Porter-Szűcs of the University of Michigan. His syllabus, "Poland in the Modern World", is available to view under the "Syllabi Project HABSBURG" tab on the right side of page. He will also be honored in an upcoming edition of the Austrian Studies Newsmagazine.


Here is the laudation from the Advisory Board:


"The jury for the HABSBURG syllabus competition is pleased to recommend as the winner Brian Porter-Szucs' syllabus for his course, History 331 - Poland in the Modern World. The course was organized to meet in a conventional pattern each week with two 90 minute lectures and one 60 minute discussion section and to serve enough students to fill five discussion sessions.  Nothing else, however, in the structuring of the course and the pedagogical approach is conventional.  This course engages students actively in the content in a variety of ways, both in writing and orally. They are not required to take any midterm or final examination nor to submit any rigidly structured writing assignments. Instead, they are asked to accumulate points during the course of the semester awarded on the quality of performance on up to 26 quizzes, contributions to up to 14 discussion sections, up to 13 blog submissions, and up to 3 review essays on course readings. The final course grade is based on the number of total points accumulated.  To do well in this course, students must take individual responsibility for choosing the assignments they undertake, study thoughtfully the pertinent readings, and prepare carefully for the quizzes, blog postings, and review essays.


The topics for the lectures, discussion sections, and readings provide for a broad and variegated coverage of Poland's political and social experience and political culture from the last decades before World War I through the post-communist era.  The assigned readings include one textbook, a survey of modern Polish history by Prof. Porter-Szucs, along with a diverse and fascinating list of primary source readings, many of them translated by Porter-Szucs himself.  The primary source readings offer students an impressive array of individual perspectives on Polish society and politics over the last century.  The students who take this course are challenged to immerse themselves in how historians and Polish citizens have understood their experience over the last one hundred years and to think critically about those perceptions."


Also our sincere thanks go to all submissions, which are also posted in our Syllabus Database.