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: “The Aesthetics of Change: Women Writers of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.” Crossing Central Europe: Continuities and Transformations, 1900 and 2000, edited by Helga Mitterbauer and Carrie Smith-Prei, University of Toronto Press, 2017, pp. 27-49.

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 the research project on theatrical relations between Germany and India by analyzing the productions of Indian director Vijaya Mehta in Germany. He has also recently started a new project on appropriations of the work and thought of Bertolt Brecht in Canada. The project will examine Indigenous, Francophone, Anglophone, Germanophone, and other linguistic and multilingual instances of such Canadian engagement with Brecht.

Katalin Fabian (Lafayette College)

Edited Volume:

Rebellious Parents: Parents’ Movements in Central-Eastern Europe and Russia, with Elżbieta Korolczuk, Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press. 364 pages. 2017. Reviews forthcoming in: Europe-Asia Studies (Fall 2018), AWSS Newsletter (winter 2018), Hungarian Cultural Studies (Fall 2018).

Book Chapters:

“The Politics of Domestic Violence in Central Europe: International and Domestic Contestations.” In Eve S. Buzawa (ed.), Global Perspectives on Domestic Violence, pp. 125–150. New York: Springer International Publishing, 2017.

“Introduction: Rebellious Parents in Central-Eastern Europe and Russia” with Elżbieta Korolczuk. In Katalin Fábián and Elżbieta Korolczuk (eds.), Rebellious Parents: Parents’ Movements in Central-Eastern Europe and Russia, pp. 1–30. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2017. Katalin Fábián Page 4 of 16

“Parents Rebelling against the State: Emotions and Images in the Hungarian Home-Birth Movement” In Katalin Fábián and Elżbieta Korolczuk (eds.), Rebellious Parents: Parents’ Movements in Central-Eastern Europe and Russia, pp. 308–334. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2017.

Rebellious-Parents-updated-USA (1)

“Regional and Theoretical Lessons: New Perspectives on Civil Societies and Ambiguities toward the State, the West, and Gender Equality” with Elżbieta Korolczuk. In Katalin Fábián and Elżbieta Korolczuk (eds.), Rebellious Parents: Parents’ Movements in Central-Eastern Europe and Russia, pp. 335–354. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2017.

Encyclopedia Entries:

Works in Progress: To Be Born Free: Knowledge, Safety, Authority and Politics in the Central European Midwifery Movements (Bookmanuscript); Routledge International Handbook on Gender [Sexuality, Class, Race] in Eastern Europe and Eurasia, edited with Janet Elise Johnson and Mara Lazda; “Transnational Donors and Their Influences on Domestic Violence Law: The Four Outlier Cases of Estonia, Latvia,Lithuania, and Hungary”; “A Frontier of Global Environmental Politics: Controversies of Fracking in Eastern Europe.”

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.

Agata Ignaciuk

Paradox of the pill: oral contraceptives in Spain and Poland (1960s–1970s),” Gembries, Ann-Katrin; Theuke, Theresia; Heinemann, Isabel, editors. Children by choice? Changing values, reproduction, and family planning in the 20th century, Berlin: De Gruyter, 2018, pp. 123-143.

“Love in the time of El Generalísimo: Debates about the pill in Spain before and after Humanae Vitae,” Harris, Alana, editor.  The schism of ’68: Catholics, contraception and Humanae Vitae in Europe, 1945-1975. London: Palgrave, pp. 229-250.

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.

Larisa Kurtović (University of Ottawa):

“Conjuring the “people”: The 2013 Babylution protests and desire for political transformation in postwar Bosnia-Herzegovina,” Focaal, Volume 2018, Issue 80, 43–62.

“Lessons for Liberalism from the “Illiberal East” “, Cultural Anthropology Hot Spots, April 2018,

“The Right Kind of a Refugee,” Maintaining Refuge: Anthropological Reflections in Uncertain Times, Page Range: 175-181, Committee on Refugees and Immigrants (AAA)2017 (Book chapter)

Irena R. Makaryk (University of Ottawa):

April in Paris:  Theatricality, Modernism, and Politics at the 1925 Art Deco Expo (University of Toronto Press, 2018).

Drawing extensively from unexplored archival documents from France, Austria, and North America,April in Paris is the first major study to focus on theatre arts at the 1925 Paris Expo and on the audacious and far-reaching impact of the Soviet contributions to this fair.

“’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.

She has pioneered the argument that communization was a type of colonization and that, subsequently, post-communism is a type of post-colonialism. She is still the only scholar who has pursued an in-depth, comparative study of post-communist and post-colonial theatre. Indeed, my doctoral dissertation, “Poetics of Denial” —for which she was awarded a SSHRC fellowship (2004-2006) and an OGS Doctoral Fellowship (2004, declined)—analyzes the expression of national identity and imagined exile in post-colonial plays from English Canada and post-Ceausescu plays from Romania. It uses theories from history, political science, psychoanalysis, anthropology, nationalism, semiotics, as well as theatre and performance studies. “Auto-Ironic Dissidence: Imagined Exile, Histories, and Communities in 1970s English Canada and Romania,” an article based on one of her thesis chapters, was published in the prestigious London School of Economics and Political Science’s journal, Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism (12. 3, 2012). Although the topic of her study has made it too specialized to suit a North American publisher, the book version will appear in 2016, from Tracus Arte (Bucharest), using her translation. 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.

Articles/Book Chapters  (Peer Reviewed):

“From Communist Borders to Post-Communist Borderlands in Romanian Drama.” The Slavic and East European Journal (SEEJ) Print. (abstract accepted, essay in progress)

“Romania [Women Directors].” International Women Stage Directors. Eds. Anne Fliotsos and Wendy Vierow. Urbana, Chicago, and Springfield: U of Illinois P, 2013: 251-63. Print.

“The Post-Communist Revenge Parody: Embodying Nicolae Ceauşescu on Stage after 1989.” New England Theatre Journal 24 (2013): 95-117. Print.

“Auto-Ironic Dissidence: Imagined Exile, Histories, and Communities in 1970s English Canada and Romania.” Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism 12. 3 (Dec. 2012). Web. 8 Dec. 2012. 466-482. Print.

“Transtextual Crossbreeds in Post-Communist Context: An Anthropological Analysis of Horia Gârbea’s The Seagull from the Cherry Orchard.” Re-writing Chekhov: The Text and Its Mutations. Eds. Yana Meerzon and Douglas Clayton. New York: Routledge, 2012:1109-27. Print.

“‘An American Mile in Others’ Shoes:’ The Tragicomedy of Immigrating to the 21st Century U.S.” Performance, Exile and ‘America’. Eds. Yana Meerzon and Silvija Jestrovic. Houndmills, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009. 66-92. Print.

Yana Meerzon (University of Ottawa):

Meerzon, Y. (ed) “Semiotics of Sound: Toward the Architecture of Acoustics and Aurality in Postdramatic Theatre”, Recherches Semiotiques/Semiotic Inquiry, V. 36; Ns 1-2-3, (2017).

Meerzon Y. (ed) “Michael Chekhov and Contemporary Acting Pedagogy” Critical Stages, N. 15 (2017)

Meerzon, Y; Leno, N. Marriage by Nikolay Gogol. (New Translation and Commentary. Meerzon, Y. “About ‘Marriage’; On the Practices of Intercultural Translation”) Toronto Slavic Quarterly, N. 63 (Winter 2018) Accepted for publication in August 2017

Meerzon, Y. “A Theoretical Primer on Exile: On the Paradigms of Banishment, Displacement and Free Choice” Performing Exile: Foreign Bodies. Ed. Judith Rudakoff. Intellect Publishers. 2017. 17-37

Meerzon, Y. “Exilic Solo Performances: Staging Body in a Movement/Logos Continuum”. Performing Exile: Foreign Bodies. Ed. Judith Rudakoff. Intellect Publishers. 2017. 75-93

Meerzon, Y. “Multiculturalism, (Im)Migration, Theatre: The National Arts Centre, Ottawa, a Case of Staging Canadian Nationalism” The Journal of the German Society for Contemporary Theatre and Drama in English. 6(1), (2018): 113–130

Meerzon, Y. “To the Poetics of Affect: Staging Sound in Wajdi Mouawad’s Theatre of Compassion”, Recherches Semiotiques/Semitoic Inquiry, V. 36; Ns 1-2-3, (2017). 199-222.

Meerzon Y, ” On Expressionistic Mysterium: Michael Chekhov’s Tragic Character on Page and on Stage”, Stanislavski Studies, Vol 4. (2016).

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. In April 2017, sheco-organized 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.

Editor, The Czech and Slovak Republics: Twenty Years of Independence, 1993-2013 (Budapest: Central European University press, 2016).

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):

Recent publications:


Hungarian Women’s Activism in the Wake of the First World War; From Rights to Revanche. London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2018.

A világhírű Polányiak: Egy elfelejtett család regényes története, Budapest: Aura, 2017.  Hungarian edition of The Hungarian Pocahontas: The Life and Times of Laura Polanyi Stricker, 1882-1957, Boulder, CO.: East European Monographs, distributed by Columbia University   Press, 2005.

Peer-reviewed articles and book chapters:

With András Lénárt, “Sisi Redux: The Empress Elisabeth and Her Cult in Post-Communist Hungary,” in Maura Hametz and Heidi Schlipphacke, eds., Sissi’s World: The Empress Elisabeth in Memory and Myth, London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2018.

With Julie Gottlieb, “Suffrage and Nationalism in Comparative Perspective: Britain, Hungary, and Finland” in Ingrid Sharp and Matthew Stibbe, eds., Women’s Movementsand Female Activists in the Aftermath of WWI, London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2017, 29-75.

Private archives and public lives; The migrations of Alexander Weissberg and the Polanyi archives,” Jordan, James, Lisa Leff and Joachim Schlör, eds., Jewish Migrationand the Archive,  London and New York: Routledge, 2016, 93-110.

“Feminists vs. ‘good Hungarian women:’ Rosika Schwimmer and the Women’s Debating Club in 1918-1919 Hungary.” Women’s History Review, Special Issue: Agency, Activism and Organisation, vol. 26, no. 6 (2017).


With Veronika Helfert, “Revolution der Männer? In: Christian Koller / Matthias Marschik (Eds.) Die ungarische Räterepublik 1919. Innenansichten, Außenperspektiven, Folgewirkungen (working title), Promedia Verlag, Wien, forthcoming November 2018.

Ongoing research projects:

“The history and memory of the generation of ‘bright winds’” (supported by a SSHRC Insight Development Grant, 2015-2018)

“Gender, Race, and the Jewish Family in Hungary after the First World War. Women and the Numerus Clausus 1919–1928” (supported by a senior fellowship at the Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies, January-May 2018 and a McGill internal SSHRC Insight Development Grant, February 2018-January 2019)


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-editor, with Andrea Pető, The Future of Holocaust Memorialization: Confronting Racism, Antisemitism, and Homophobia through Memory Work, Tom Lantos Institute, 2015.

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.