Research Projects of CEESRG Members (Ongoing and Recent)

Collaborative projects:

Joerg EslebenRolf Rohmer and David G. John: Fritz Bennewitz in India: Intercultural Theatre with Brecht and Shakespeare. Toronto: U of Toronto P, 2016.

Makaryk, Irena R. and Kathryn Prince, eds.: Shakespeare and Canada: ‘remembrance of ourselves’ . University of Ottawa Press, forthcoming in 2017.

Yana Meerzon with David Dean (Carleton University) and Kathryn Prince (University of Ottawa), eds.: History/Memory/Performance. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan. 2015. (

Meerzon, Y., & Autant-Mathieu, M.C., eds.: The Routledge Companion to Michael Chekhov. London; New York: Routledge, 2015. [2017 – in paper-back ] (

Yana Meerzon, and D.J. Clayton, eds.: Adapting Chekhov: The Text and Its Mutations… New York: Routledge, 2012. [2015 - in paper-back) With an introduction by the editors “The Text and Its Mutations: On the Objectives of the Volume,” p. 1-17.

Agatha Schwartz and Helga Thorson: Shaking the Empire, Shaking Patriarchy: The Growth of a Feminist Consciousness Across the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy.” U of Riverside, CA: Ariadne Press, 2014.

This book includes a discussion of the various strands of the women’s movement and some major women writers across the linguistically and culturally diverse Dual Monarchy, their connections, and differences between their approaches to feminism, as well as 25 original texts in English translation from 10 different languages and short biographies of the 23 authors discussed.

Agatha Schwartz and Judith Szapor, eds.: Gender and Nation in Post-1919 Hungary. Special volume of the Hungarian Studies Review. January 2014.                          The seven contributions discuss debates around nation-building in Hungary and the role gender has played in it since the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy and through the various periods of 20th and 21st century Hungarian history.

“Children of the Enemy”: Narrative Constructions of Identity Following Wartime Rape and Transgenerational Trauma in Post-WWII Germany and Post-Conflict  Bosnia

Agatha Schwartz (principal investigator), co-investigators Mythili Rajiva, Christabelle Sethna (University of Ottawa) and Tatjana Takseva (St. Mary’s University). Funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC)

The purpose of our project is to collect and analyse information and stories about the consequences of the mass rape of German women in the last days and aftermath of World War II and     the rapes and forced impregnation of Bosnian women in Bosnia-Herzegovina during the 1990s war in former Yugoslavia. We seek to understand how these two episodes of mass rape affected the women, their mothering practices and how their experiences may have been passed down to the next generation(s), the children born of the rapes. Our aim is to highlight the possible effects on the children and–in the German case–grandchildren of the women survivors, but also to consider the often overlooked forms of agency of the women survivors and the children themselves. Given more recent episodes of mass rape in armed conflicts worldwide, discussing and bringing to light these issues is of great importance.

We are looking for survivors and children as well as family members of women who were affected by sexual violence in these conflicts. If you or a family member have experienced sexual violence in World War II and the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina and you would like to participate in our study in a safe, anonymous environment, we would very much appreciate your contribution.

The ethical aspects of this project have been approved by the Research Ethics Boards of the University of Ottawa and Saint Mary's University. Project website:

Tatjana Takševa and Agatha Schwartz. “Hybridity, Ethnicity and Nationhood: Legacies of Interethnic War, Wartime Rape, and the Potential for Bridging the Ethnic Divide in Post-Conflict Bosnia.” Forthcoming in National Identities. 10,114 words.

Tatjana Takseva and Arlene Gerakina Sgoutas (Metropolitan State University of Denver, USA). Mothers Under Fire: Mothering in Conflict Areas. Toronto: Demeter Press, 2015.

Individual projects:

Dominique Arel (University of Ottawa):

His research interests include political violence and human rights; lLanguage politics, nationalism, and the politics of memory; politics in East Central Europe and Eurasia; politics in Ukraine. His forthoming publications include:  "Theorizing the Politics of Cultural Identities in Russia and Ukraine", in: Rebounding Identities, The Politics of Identity in Russia and Ukraine (edited by D. Arel and B. Ruble, John Hopkins University Press) and "Orange Ukraine Chooses the West, But Without the East", in Aspects of the Orange Revolution, Studies, Reports and Documents on the 2004 Ukrainian Presidential Elections (edited by I. Bredies, V. Yakushik, and A. Umland, Stuttgart and Hannover, ibidem-Verlag)

Joerg Esleben (University of Ottawa):

Śakuntalā in the GDR: Gender Dynamics in Vijaya Mehta’s Leipzig production of Kālidāsa’s Play.” Gendered Encounters between Germany and Asia: Transnational Perspectives, 1800-2000. Eds. Joanne Miyang Cho and Douglas T. McGetchin. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017, 213-229.

He is continuing research project on theatrical relations between Germany and India. After recently publishing a book on the work of East German director Fritz Bennewitz in India, he is working on the follow-up project of analyzing the productions of Indian director Vijaya Mehta in Germany in collaboration with Bennewitz. He is also writing a paper on the topic of migration, stereotypes, and satire for the conference Migration/Representation/Stereotypes at the University of Ottawa in April 2017, and conceiving a project on artistic conceptions of social justice.

Mary Hammond-Callaghan (Mount Allison University):

Her research included the history of the women’s peace movement; gender history; cold war history; gender and international relations; gender and state surveillance; Canadian women's post-war history; 20th century transnational women's movements; European & Soviet women's peace activism. We are very sorry about her loss.

Volha Isakava (University of Ottawa):

Contemporary Russian and post-Soviet cinema and culture, transnational cinema and popular culture, and the critical junction of cinema and history, in particular Russian chernukha (or “black movies”) - a bleak perestroika film trend that explored various taboo and marginal experiences during the collapse of the Soviet Union. Her most recent research explores the emergence of the horror genre in the post-Soviet cinemas of Belarus, Russia and Ukraine, with a focus on the dynamics of "cultural translation" between the imported features of the genre, or mimicry of Hollywood's dominant language, and resistance to it, which engages local history and memory as the backdrop to horror stories.

Irena R. Makaryk (University of Ottawa):

“’Here is my space’:  The 1964 Shakespeare Celebrations in the USSR.”  Chapter 5 in Shakespeare in Cold War Europe: Conflict, Commemoration, Celebration. Eds. Erica Sheen and Isabel Karremann (Palgrave Macmillan, Global Shakespeare, 2016): 51-62.Shakespeare Inside out: Hamlet as Intertext in the USSR 1934-1943.”  Chapter 7 in History. Memory. Performance, eds. Yana Meerzon, David Dean, Kathryn Prince (Palgrave, Studies in International Performance, 2015): 115-134.

Current research project: Shakespeare in Canada: Exploring Our Cultural History through Digital Humanities

This project focusses on the intersection of pedagogy, research, and digital humanities and involves undergraduate and graduate students registered in Shakespeare courses at the University of Ottawa. It will begin the process of the systematic recording and subsequent analysis of the reception of Shakespeare in Canada, creating an online interactive cultural map of the presence of this classic and the way in which his works have shaped -- and continue to shape -- Canadian culture. The project will harvest data, synthesize knowledge, forge new relationships, and make available findings in an open access content management system called Omeka.  At the heart of the project is the analysis of the place (both literally and metaphorically) of the classic in our contemporary, digital age.

Rebecca Margolis (University of Ottawa):

She is currently working on a SSHRC-funded project called "Cultural transmission after catastrophe: Yiddish in Canada after the Holocaust." The research draws on archival sources as well as oral histories to examine how an Eastern European culture in an immigrant centre has been impacted by decimation in its countries of origin.

Diana Manole (University of Guelph):

Her research interests include post-communist theatre; history and theory of directing; avant-garde and alternative theatre; theatre history; theories of drama and performance; and English Canadian theatre. Her paper “From Embodied Reflection to Teaching Tool” was nominated by the Canadian Association for Theatre Research (CATR) for the 2012 Robert Lawrence Prize. Besides articles in scholarly journals and chapters in books, her main current project is co-editing, with University of Alabama (Birmingham) Professor Vessela S. Warner, a collection of articles, Performing Freedom: Alternative Theatre in Eastern Europe after the Fall of Communism, under consideration by Iowa University Press.

Yana Meerzon (University of Ottawa):

“To the Poetics of Affect: Staging Sound in Wajdi Mouawad’s Theatre of Compassion” RECHERCHES SEMIOTIQUES/SEMIOTIC INQUIRY, v. 36, Spring 2017 (in print)

"On Expressionistic Mysterium: Michael Chekhov’s Tragic Character on Page and on Stage", Stanislavski Studies, 4 (1), Fall 2016. []

“Michael Chekhov’s Theatre Theory and Pedagogy of Theatre Adaptation”, Critical Stages, no. 2, December 2015 []

“Squaring the Circle: To the Poetics of Neighborhood in Sergei Dovlatov’s Émigré Writings”, Toronto Slavic Quarterly, no. 54, Fall 2015 []

“Theatre and Immigration: From the Multiculturalism Act to the Sites of Imagined Communities”, Theatre Research in Canada, 36, 2, Fall 2015, 181-196.

“Between Je and Moi: Staging the Heteroglossia of Exilic Autobiography”, Theatre Research in Canada, 36, 2, 2015, 291-312.

“Staging the Spectator in Michael Chekhov’s Acting Theory”, The Routledge Companion to Michael Chekhov., (Eds). Meerzon, Y., & Autant-Mathieu, M.C., London, Routledge, 2015, 123-139.

“Michael Chekhov’s Theatre of the Future: Pros and Cons of the Failed Experiment”, Stanislavski Studies, 3 (1), Spring 2015, 35-53.

Meerzon, Y. (ed.) “Theatre and Immigration” (special issue), Theatre Research in Canada, vol. 36, no. 2 (Fall 2015).

Her ongoing research interests are theatre and exile. After publishing Performing Exile – Performing Self: Drama, Theatre, Film with Palgrave in 2012, she continues to study the representation of immigrant figures on page and stage. In Fall 2016, she founded the Research Group on Migration. For April 2017, she is co-organizing the international conference “Migration/Representation/Stereotypes” at the University of Ottawa.

Mythili Rajiva (University of Ottawa):

She is currently working on a project “Trauma, Temporality and Marginalized Subjectivities” funded by the SSHRC as principal investigator.

Agatha Schwartz (University of Ottawa):

“Austro-Hungarian Multiculturalism and Hybridity in Marie Eugenie delle Grazie’s Short Prose.” U carstvu reči – jezici i kulture. Zbornik u čast prof. dr Jovana Đukanovića / Im Reich der Wörter – Sprache(n) und Kultur(en)/Festschrift für Prof. Dr. Jovan Đukanović. Eds. Jelena Kostić -Tomović, Annette Đurović, Nikolina Zobenica and Branislav Ivanović. Belgrade:  FOCUS – Forum za interkulturnu komunikaciju. Fall 2016. 262-276.

“Alterität, Gender, Transdifferenz und Hybridität in Juliane Déry’s Leben und Werk.” Forthcoming in Gemengelagen. Transdifferenz, Migration und Alterität in den Literaturen und Kulturen Österreich-Ungarns. Ed. Alexandra Millner and Katalin Teller. Bielefeld: transcript Verlag. 5589 words.

“Creating a ‘Vocabulary of Rupture’ Following WWII Sexual Violence in Hungarian Women Writers’ Narratives.” Forthcoming in Hungarian Cultural Studies: e-Journal of the American Hungarian Educators Association, 2017. 7545 words.

“Hybridity, Alterity and Gender in Marie Eugenie delle Grazie’s Autobiographical Prose.” Journal of Austrian Studies 49.1-2 (Spring-Summer 2016): 51-69.

“Narrating Wartime Rapes and Trauma in A Woman in Berlin.” CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture 17.3 (2015): <>

“Éva Heyman, the Hungarian Anne Frank: Writing Against Persecution and Trauma.” Hungarian Studies Review 42.1-2 (Fall 2015): 117-34.

Mark Stolarik (University of Ottawa):

Where is my Home? Slovak Immigration to North America (1870-2010). Bern: Peter Lang, 2012.
He is currently working on a book tentatively entitled “The Czech and Slovak Republics: Twenty years of Independence (1993-2013)”. He has also established a Slovak Archives within the University of Ottawa our Archives and Special Collections at Morisset Library and has created eight scholarship funds to enable students and scholars to come to study or do research at the University of Ottawa.

Judith Szapor (McGill University):

She is currently working on a book manuscript on Hungarian women during the 1918-1920, revolutionary and counterrevolutionary period (tentatively titled: Where Have All the Feminists Gone?). She is also preparing an article on Hungarian women activists in 1918 (to be published in L’HOMME) and, with Julie Gottlieb of Sheffield Hallam University, a chapter on women’s suffrage and nationalism for a volume on women’s activism in the aftermath of WWI (Bloomsbury).
In addition, she is co-ordinating a research project on the brief history and long-term legacy of Nékosz, the left-wing student movement, in existence in Hungary between 1945 and 1949. An article on the same subject was just published in Berghoff, Jensen, Lubinski, and Weisbrod (eds.): History by Generations; Generational Dynamics in Modern History, Wallstein, 2013.

Tatjana Takseva (St. Mary’s University):

Her ongoing research focuses on the rape camps in Bosnia, enforced impregnation and raising children born of wartime rape during and after the Balkan war.
In addition, her publications include articles and book chapters in the area of Motherhood Studies. Specifically, she has written on mothers and mothering in the context of intensive mothering practices, the cultural contradictions of contemporary motherhood, consumerism and globalization, as well as the relationships between mothering and teaching.

Helga Thorson (University of Victoria):

Co-creator and co-director of the I-witness Holocaust Field School Project
(, a University of Victoria course focusing on Holocaust memorialization. As part of this course, students travel to Central and Eastern Europe. Together with two participants from the inaugural I-witness Holocaust Field School, she co-founded a “Local Stories of the Holocaust” archival project housed at the University Archives and is currently in the process of collecting local stories from individuals on Vancouver Island whose lives were affected by the Shoah.