Leuven seminar:

Dr. Elena Makarova

Elena Makarova is a writer, historian, documentary film director, curator of many international exhibitions, and art therapist. She published more than 40 books, many of them are devoted to the history of the Holocaust, pedagogy and art therapy. Her books have been translated into twelve foreign languages. Awarded with the medal of the Korchak Society (2002), laureate of the Israel Literary Prize (1996) and the “Russian prize” for literature (2016). She is the author of the novel Friedl (2011) published in Russian and translated into Czech (2017), Hebrew (2021) and German (2022).
Apart from that, she developed a unique art-therapy method based on Friedl Dicker-Brandeis’s lessons in Terezin. The Art Therapy Training Course in Milano (VITT3) bears the name of Friedl Dicker-Brandeis and Edith Kramer, whose basic methodology has been kept and enriched by Elena.

Ass. Prof. Yuliya Ilchuk

Yuliya Ilchuk is an Assistant Professor of Slavic Literature and Culture at Stanford University. Her major research interests fall under the broad heading of cultural exchange, interaction, and borrowing between Russia and Ukraine. Her first book, Nikolai Gogol’s Hybrid Performance (University of Toronto Press, 2021), revises Gogol’s identity and texts as ambivalent and hybrid by situating them in the in-between space of Russian and Ukrainian cultures. Ilchuk's most recent book project, tentatively entitled The Vanished: Memory, Temporality, Identity in Post-Euromaidan Ukraine, revisits the major issues of memory studies—collective memory and trauma, post-memory, remembrance, memorials, and reconciliation—and shifts the discussion to the social and cultural dimensions of forgetting. Ilchuk has also published scholarly articles on the topics of contemporary Russian and Ukrainian culture and translations of contemporary Ukrainian poetry. 

Dr. Olga Bukhina

Olga Bukhina is a translator, a writer, a children’s books specialist, and an independent scholar based in New York City. She has translated over fifty books from English into Russian, often together with her sister Galina Gimon: young readers’ novels, graphic novels, and picture books as well as historical fiction, non-fiction, and scholarly books. Among the authors are C.S. Lewis, Enid Blyton, Elizabeth Goudge, Philippa Pearce, Philippa Gregory, Carl Sandburg, Louise Fitzhugh, Jane Yolen, Lois Lowry, Meg Rosoff, Jacqueline Kelly, B.J. Novak, Sean Rubin, Brian Gallagher, and Jean Little. Olga has co-authored three children’s books for the Children’s Project of Ludmila Ulitskaya. Olga’s book The Ugly Duckling, Harry Potter, and Others: A Guide to Children’s Books About Orphans was published in Moscow. She writes about children’s literature for various journals, collections, and online publications in Russian and in English. She co-authored, together with Andrea Lanoux and Kelly Herold, Growing Out of Communism: Russian Literature for Children and Teens, 1991–2017 (Brill|Ferdinand Schöningh, 2022). More on her website http://olgabukhina.com/.

Prof. Dr. Anja Tippner

Anja Tippner is Professor of Slavic Literatures at the University of Hamburg, Germany. She studied German, Comparative, English and Slavic Literatures in Frankfurt am Main, Hamburg and St. Petersburg. She has held positions at Prague University, Kiel University, and Salzburg University. Fields of interest: concepts of documentation and life-writing and representations of (post-)catastrophes and extreme experiences in Russian, Polish and Czech literatures, representations of the Holocaust in a comparative perspective, memory studies. Current research projects focus on documentary art and writing (Performing the Documentary in Eastern Europe) and representations of the Holocaust in socialist and post-socialist literatures.

Recent publications include:

  • The Afterlife of the Shoah in Central Eastern European Cultures: Concepts, Problems, and the Aesthetics of Postcatastrophic Narration. (Routledge 2021, eds. Anna Artwińska/Anja Tippner, Open Access.
  • "Writing a Soviet Holocaust Novel: Traumatic Memory, the Search for Documents, and the Soviet War Narrative in Anatolii Rybakov’s Heavy Sand," in Kata Bohus, Peter Hallama, and Stach, Stephan (eds.), Growing in the Shadow of Antifascism. Remembering the Holocaust Memory in Communist Eastern Europe. Budapest: CEU Press, 2022, 155-174. Open Access.
  • "Postcatastrophic Entanglement? Contemporary Czech Writers Remember the Holocaust and Post-War Ethnic Cleansing", in Memory Studies, 14:1/2021, 80-94.
  • "Conflicting Memories, Conflicting Stories: Masha Rol’nikaite’s Novels and the Soviet Culture of Holocaust Remembrance," in Post Holocaust Cultures. The Many Ways of Bearing Witness and the Yearning for Jewish Survival. Journal of East European Jewish Affairs. 48:3/2019, 372-390. Online
  • Narratives of Annihilation, Confinement, and Survival: Camp Literature in a Transnational Perspective (De Gruyter, 2019; paperback 2021, eds. Anja Tippner/Anna Artwińska/).

Dr. Ostap Kin

Ostap Kin is the editor, and co-translator with John Hennessy, of Babyn Yar: Ukrainian Poets Respond (forthcoming from HURI/Harvard University Press), editor of New York Elegies: Ukrainian Poems on the City, and the co-translator, with John Hennessy, of Serhiy Zhadan's A New Orthography. He also co-translated, with Vitaly Chernetsky, Yuri Andrukhovych’s collection of poems Songs for a Dead Rooster. He is presently working on an anthology of Ukrainian-Jewish poets.

Picture credit AlkadabraPhotography.com

Berlin seminar:

Dr. Hadassah Stichnothe

Dr. Hadassah Stichnothe — Post-doctoral researcher at the department of philology and linguistics at Bremen University (Germany). Her research focuses on Jewish children’s literature during the Weimar Republic, novels of adolescence and initiation and uses theoretical approaches varying from Gender Studies, over translation studies to spatial theory. Her doctoral thesis dealing with German and English novels of initiation for children received the 2016 doctoral thesis award from Tübingen University and was published as Der Initiationsroman in der deutsch- und englischsprachigen Kinderliteratur (2017).

Among other topics, she has worked and written on “Jewishness” as a form of discursive disruption in German children’s literature, female Jewish adolescence in contemporary German novels and the depiction of violence and resistance in Jewish children’s literature on the Shoah (Violencia y resistencia en la literatura infantil y juvenil judía sobre la Shoah / Gewalt und Widerstand in jüdischer Kinder- und Jugendliteratur zur Shoah). She is also an editor at KinderundJugendmedien.de, an academic platform for children’s and young adults’ media.

Currently, she is conducting a post-doc research project on German Jewish children’s literature from 1945 to the present.

Prof. dr. Silke Horstkotte

Silke Horstkotte is Associate Professor in the Department of German Literature and Degree Coordinator at the Centre for Teacher Training and School Research at the University of Leipzig. Her research interests range from contemporary German-language literature through literary image-text relations, literary visuality, memory culture, narratology and comics studies to the interdisciplinary field of literature and religion. Her Habilitation (advanced dissertation / second book) investigates the role of photographs in contemporary German novels that represent World War II and the Holocaust from a postmemorial perspective. A current research project studies the representation of religious transformations in contemporary literature, film, and theatre. Her newest book publication, with Nancy Pedri (Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada), is Experiencing Visual Storyworlds: Focalization in Comics, forthcoming from The Ohio State University Press. 

Photo credit: © Christian Hüller

PD Dr. Eva Lezzi

PD Dr. Eva Lezzi is a literay scholar with a PhD degree from the Free University of Berlin and a habilitation from Potsdam University. Her main fields of research and teaching are, or rather were, German-Jewish literature and Jewish themes in German literature.

Today, she works as a free-lance author, curator and lecturer in creative writing. She co-curated the exhibition « Narrating Jewish Berlin. Mine, Yours, Ours ? » for the Centrum Judaicum in Berlin, which is open to the public until June 2022.

In her books for children and young people she addresses Jewish, Muslim and transcultural topics. Together with the artist Anna Adam, she created a series about an eight to ten year old Jewish boy who lives in Berlin.

More about her children’s books on www.evalezzi.de.

Israel seminar (online):

Dr. Tamar Meir

Dr. Tamar Meir is a Senior lecturer, holds degrees in Talmud and Jewish philosophy, and a PhD in literature from Bar-Ilan University.

She is the head of the Literature department in Givat Washington College and teaches Aggadah at Efrata College. She is an expert in Ancient Jewish literature (Midrash and Aggadah), Jewish poetry in the Middle Ages, Hasidic stories, and early childhood literary education.

Meir is the author of Naara Moaviya (Moabite Girl): on Halacha and Acceptance in Midrash Ruth-RabbaFrancesco Tirelli’s Ice Cream Store, Meir’s first children’s book, was awarded the Yad Vashem Prize (2017) and the Devorah Omer Prize for Children’s Literature (2017).

Dr. Naama Reshef

Dr. Naama Reshef received her PhD in philosophy from Bar Ilan University.

She is the head of the literature department, a teacher and a researcher at the Kaye Academic College of Education in Beer Sheva.

Reshef is researching various aspects of the concept of "identity" and focuses on literary texts as spaces for inquiring and structuring identity consciousness. Her latest article on the subject of identity, Inquiring and formatting Jewish identity consciousness in state schools, was published in volume 16 of Derech Efrata, 2021 (Hebrew).

Her current research project focuses on memory and postmemory of trauma in literary texts. Her article From Narrative Memory to Emotional Memory in Nava Semel's Book 'And the Rat Laughed’ was accepted for publication in a book on the subject of Postmemory, to be published by Routledge.

Dr. Smadar Falk-Peretz

Smadar Falk-Peretz, Ph.D., is a lecturer in the literature and English departments of David Yellin Academic College of Education and Orot Israel College of Education.

Smadar's fields of research are varied and include selected topics in Comparative Literature, Modern Hebrew Literature, and Israeli Children's Literature. 

She contributed most recently to the publication Jewish and Arab Childhood in Israel: Contemporary Perspectives (Lexington Books, 2021).

Smadar is member in the editorial boards of two Children's Literature journals: Sifrut Yeladim Vanoar: Journal of Children's and Youth Literature, (David Yellin College Publications) and Bein Hashurot (Between the Lines): Journal of Research and Creation in Children’s Literature, Shaanan Publications.

Lublin seminar:

Dr. Małgorzata Wójcik-Dudek

Dr. Małgorzata Wójcik-Dudek - Assistant professor at the Faculty of the Humanities, Silesian University in Katowice, Poland. Her research focuses on the teaching of Polish literature at the level of primary and secondary school, on literature for children and young adults and on cultural representations of the past in the Polish educational system. She has authored several articles and two monographs: (Prze)Trwać w okolicach mitu. Funkcje mityzacji w poezji Tadeusza Nowaka (2007) and W(y)czytać Zagładę. Praktyki postpamięci w polskiej literaturze XXI wieku dla dzieci i młodzieży (2016) (English edition: Reading (in) the Holocaust. Practices of Postmemory in Recent Polish Literature for Children and Young Adults; Berlin 2020).
More: http://www.kdjilp.us.edu.pl/index.php/2-uncategorised/76-dr-hab-malgorzata-wojcik-dudek
E-mail: malgorzata.wojcik-dudek@us.edu.pl

Prof. dr hab. Przemysław Czapliński

Photo by Maciej Zakrzewski

Photo by Maciej Zakrzewski

Prof. dr hab. Przemysław Czapliński – one of the most important Polish literary critics, literary historian, full professor, works at the Institute of Polish Philology at the University of Adam Mickiewicz in Poznań.

He has received many important awards, incl. the Ludwik Fryde Award, awarded by the International Association of Literary Criticism, the Literary Award of the Kościelski Foundation, the Prime Minister Award, the Kazimierz Wyka Award, the Medal of Merit for Culture Gloria Artis awarded by the Minister of Culture and National Heritage, the Jan Długosz Award, the Award of the Marshal of Wielkopolska in the field of artistic creation, dissemination and protection of cultural goods, the award of the American Association of Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages ​​awarded to the best edited multi-author scientific book (AATSEEL Annual Award for the Best Edited Multi-Author Scholarly Volume) for Being Poland: A New History of Polish Literature and Culture since 1918, edited by Tamara Trojanowska, Joanna Niżyńska, and Przemysław Czapliński, with the assistance of Agnieszka Polakowska (University of Toronto Press, 2018).

He is the author of many important works in the field of Polish literary studies. These are i.a. Ślady przełomu. O prozie polskiej 1976–1996 (1997), Wzniosłe tęsknoty. Nostalgia w prozie lat dziewięćdziesiątych (2001), Ruchome marginesy: szkice o literaturze lat 90 (2002), Świat podrobiony. Krytyka i literatura wobec nowej rzeczywistości (2003), Powrót centrali. Literatura w nowej rzeczywistości (2007), Polska do wymiany. Późna nowoczesność i nasze wielkie narracje (2009), Resztki nowoczesności. Dwa studia o literaturze i życiu (2011), The Remnants of Modernity. Two Essays on Sarmatism and Utopia in Polish Contemporary Literature (2015) and Poruszona mapa (2016). ​

He writes about the Holocaust, Polish-Jewish relations and their literary representations. He co-edited (with Ewa Domańska) Zagłada. Współczesne problemy rozumienia i przedstawiania (Holocaust. Contemporary problems of understanding and representation) in 2009, and (with Alina Molisak) Tożsamość po pogromie. Świadectwa i interpretacje Marca '68 (Identity after the pogrom. Testimonies and interpretations of March '68) in 2019.

Belgium seminar (online):

Prof. dr. Vanessa Joosen

Vanessa Joosen is associate professor of English literature and children's literature studies at the University of Antwerp, where she also organises the Children’s Literature Summer School. In 2019, Joosen set up the project "Constructing Age for Young Readers," for which she received an ERC Starting Grant. Joosen is the author of, amongst others, Critical and Creative Perspectives on Fairy Tales (Wayne State UP, Choice Award for Outstanding Academic Publication) and Adulthood in Children’s Literature (Bloomsbury), and has (co-)edited the volumes Grimms’ Tales Around the Globe (Wayne State UP, CHLA Honour Award for Edited Book) and Connecting Childhood and Old Age in Popular Media (University of Mississippi Press).

Dr. Bettine Siertsema

Bettine Siertsema is assistent professor of History at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam. She specializes in Holocaust literature and testimony. In English she published articles on Etty Hillesum, diaries and fiction on hiding, female Holocaust perpetrators, the “grey zone” in memoirs and fiction, and on video testimonies by Amsterdam’s diamond Jews. She co-edited See under: Shoah. Imagining the Holocaust with David Grossman (Brill, 2014).

In Dutch she published books on the religious views in diaries and memoirs on the concentration camps (Uit de diepten, 2007), on early testimonial literature of the Holocaust (Eerste Nederlandse getuigenissen van de Holocaust 1945-1946, 2018) and on the lives of a group of Jewish diamond workers and their families during the war (Diamantkinderen, 2020), which will appear in English in 2022. Her essays on Holocaust literature are collected in Verhalen van kwaad (2018).