|German & Slavic Studies|
Travel, technology and political developments have brought increasing interaction between countries and cultures around the globe. The dissolution of the USSR, the reunification of Germany and the expansion of the European Union have led to the creation of new political and economic structures, and have brought Canada into intensified interaction with Central and Eastern Europe. These developments have once more underlined the importance of language competence and cultural literacy for international understanding. Manitoba has large populations of Slavic and German descent, whose numbers have been boosted by waves of recent arrivals. These are among the reasons why in the Department we believe that the study of languages and cultures offers both an opportunity for personal enrichment and the possibility of a rewarding career.
Students in our Department can concentrate on the national tradition of Germany, Russia, Ukraine or Poland. Or they can take an interdisciplinary approach by majoring in Central and East European Studies. A degree in Ukrainian Canadian Heritage Studies, and courses in Yiddish language are also available.
Natalia Aponiuk (Slavic Studies)
Editor of the Journal of Canadian Ethnic Studies, devoted to the study of ethnicity, immigration, inter-group relations, and the history and cultural life of ethnic groups in Canada. Her research interests include the commemoration of Gogol in Ukraine; Jacob Maydanyk and Ukrainian Literature and Art in Canada; Defining Ethno-Cultural Identity.
Elena Baraban (Russian Studies)
Research on "Representations of War," in Russian and comparative literature, cinema, and popular culture. Particular emphasis on Soviet and Post-Soviet representation of war and formation of collective identity; on the Russian / Soviet cultural memory, gender studies, and on individual and collective trauma because of war and human rights violations (in particular in World War II). Specific focus on inter-cultural representations of ‘right’ or ‘wrong’, of perpetrator or victim (questions of morality / ideology and war). Co-editor of Representing War across the Disciplines. Theory, Culture, Critical Practice (forthcoming Úniversity of Toronto Press 2011), as well as five articles / book chapters on representations / effects of World War II.
Cheryl Dueck (German Studies)
Research on cultural trauma as represented in the cinema of Central Europe (Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary) since 1989. Much of the trauma represented is brought about by the human rights violations of socialist governments of the post-war period. Articles 12, 14 and 20 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights are particularly at issue: the right to privacy (security police observation), to seek asylum in other countries, and freedom of assembly. Currently working on a monograph, Post-Communist Cultural Trauma on Film, an examination of recent films (after 1989) of the main Central European film producers—Germany, Poland, Czech Republic and Hungary—that deal with social and political issues directly resulting from the traumatic events of the Cold War and revolutions of 1989. Author of several articles on German cinema, post-unification German poetry and a book about East German women in literature, Rifts in Time and in the Self (Rodopi 2004).
Alexandra Heberger (German Studies)
Current book projects on the work of controversial writers Edgar Hilsenrath and Elfriede Jelinek. Hilsenrath is a Holocaust survivor who deals with the topic of National Socialism in satirical ironic and humourous texts. Elfriede Jelinek is the Nobel-prize winning Austrian writer whose work focuses on power relationships in politics and in private life. Heberger’s work focuses on Jelinek’s critique of fascism. Heberger has published extensively on literary representations of Nazism, including the books Der Mythos Mann in ausgewählten Prosawerken von Elfriede Jelinek (The Myth of Man in the Works of Elfriede.Jelinek) (2002) and Faschismuskritik und Deutschlandbild in den Romanen von Irmgard Keun Nach Mitternacht und Edgar Hilsenrath Der Nazi und der Friseur: Ein Vergleich. (Critiques of Fascism and Images of Germany in the Novels of Irmgard Keun and Edgar Hilsenrath) (2002).
Stephan Jaeger (German Studies, Associate Faculty member of the Mauro Centre)
Research on "Representations of War," especially historiographical representations in German and European literature, film, historiography, and museums. Particular interest on the theory and aesthetics of representation between ideological / moral, epistemological, and aesthetic challenges of representation (how do moral/legal definitions of war/human rights relate to war’s representation?). Special areas: 21st century representations of the air-war in World War II (human rights question for the air war/morality of war and ideology/discrimination inherent in its representation/relation civilians – combatants; perpetrator - victim, bombing of Dresden); relation of Holocaust and war representations. Co-editor of Sign of Wars (Ludwig 2006, in German) and Fighting Words and Images: Representing War across the Disciplines (forthcoming Úniversity of Toronto Press 2011), as well as seven articles / book chapters on war representation in the 18th century and on World War II.
Myroslav Shkandrij (Ukrainian Studies)
Dr. Shkandrij researches cultural politics in the former Soviet Union, in particular the situation of Ukrainians and Jews. He has focused on government policies toward Ukrainians and Jews, and the depiction of these two peoples in literature and the arts. Dr. Shkandrij has also worked on the issues raised by the Famine of 1932-33, also called the Holodomor.
He was Faculty of Arts professor of the year in 2010, described as “a remarkable teacher, an exceptionally successful administrator, and one of the most influential and active members of the Ukrainian community in and outside Winnipeg.”
Dr. Shkandrij's third book, Jews in Ukrainian Culture: Representation and Identity, showcases his commitment to support discussion as an avenue for understanding and change.
An active member of the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies and the Canadian Association of Slavists, he has promoted Slavic Studies throughout North America.