Oriental Studies – Mongolian and Tibetan Studies
The staff of the Mongolian and Tibetan Studies Programme continues the tradition of Altaic Studies commenced in Tsarist Russia by Józef Kowalewski (1801-1878). Outstanding scholars in this field included Władysław Kotwicz (1872-1944), Marian Lewicki (1908-1955), and Stanisław Kałużyński (1925-2007). Mongolian studies were added to the curriculum of the University of Warsaw in 1950 by the Chair of Inner Asian Peoples, with Prof. Marian Lewicki as their first director. Prof. Lewicki was succeeded by Prof. Stanisław Kałużyński, who remained in this post until 1985. After structural changes in 1996, Mongolian studies were merged with Turkish studies in the Department of Turkic Studies and Inner Asian Peoples. Until 2003, the Department head was Prof. Stanisław Gadziński. With time, Tibetan studies were added to the curriculum.
In 2008/2009, the study programme was divided into a three-year first-cycle course and a two-year second-cycle course. Subjects include the history of Inner Asia, with special focus on Mongolia and Tibet, languages used in the past and at present (Mongolian, Tibetan, and Manchu), and the region’s culture, its religions, literature, and art. Mongolian and Tibetan are taught by native speakers.
The staff of the Mongolian and Tibetan Studies Programme play an active role in scholarly life in Poland and abroad, organizing conferences, seminars, lectures, and collaborating on common projects. Bilateral agreements with universities outside Poland, some of them within the Erasmus scheme, guarantee student exchange and teaching staff mobility in Europe, Asia, and United States.
Mongolists and Tibetologists of the Department of Turkic Studies and Inner Asian Peoples conduct research in the following fields:
- Languages and cultures of Altaic peoples
- Mongolian Buddhist cultural heritage
- Revival of Buddhism in Mongolia after 1990
- The archives of Prof. W. Kotwicz in the Archive of Science of the Polish Academy of Sciences and the Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences in Krakow
- Modern Mongolia: language, society, and culture
History and culture of Tibet
- Tibeto-Mongolian relations
- Tibetan and Mongolian text collections in Poland