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Women in and After War

March 16, 2018 at 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM

Location:201D (ICSLAC Seminar Room) St. Patrick's Building

Panel discussion with Dr. Agatha Schwartz (University of Ottawa) and Dr. Tatjana Takseva (St. Mary’s University).

This discussion will examine the experiences of women in war-torn nations through transcultural and transhistorical approaches. Dr. Schwartz and Dr. Takseva will present on connections between post-war Germany and post-conflict Bosnia on the subjects of sexual violence, trauma, motherhood, and intergenerational memory. This discussion will highlight the need for transcultural approaches to studies of war in order to gain a clearer picture of how women continue to deal with trauma, and how these conflicts are remembered.

“Children of the Enemy”: Narrative Constructions of Identity Following Wartime Rape and Transgenerational Trauma in Post-WWII Germany and Post-Conflict Bosnia is a research project funded by a SSHRC Insight Development Grant (principal investigator: Agatha Schwartz, and co-investigators: Tatjana Takseva, Mythili Rajiva and Christabelle Sethna). The project seeks to identify historical continuities between post-war Germany and post-conflict Bosnia and ruptures relating to the aftermath of sexual violence in war while highlighting the possible long-term, transgenerational effects on the children and–in the German case–grandchildren of the women rape survivors as well as their national communities. Moreover, the project considers, alongside the narratives of victimization, the habitually overlooked forms of agency of both the women in relation to their mothering of children born of rape as well as of the children themselves; and follow the creation of an “acceptable self” through the narratives.

Agatha Schwartz is Full Professor of German literature, culture and language and world literatures and cultures at the University of Ottawa. Her research interests are 19-21st century Central European literature and culture, women’s writing, and narratives of trauma. Her recent publications include Shaking the Empire, Shaking Patriarchy: The Growth of a Feminist Consciousness Across the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy (with Helga Thorson; 2014); Gender and Nation in Hungary Since 1919 (special volume of the Hungarian Studies Review, co-edited with Judith Szapor, 2014); “Narrating Wartime Rapes and Trauma in a Woman in Berlin” (CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture, 2015); Creating a ‘Vocabulary of Rupture‘ Following WWII Sexual Violence in Hungarian Women Writers’ Narratives” (Hungarian Cultural Studies,  2017); and with Tatjana Takseva, “Hybridity, Ethnicity and Nationhood: Legacies of Interethnic War, Wartime Rape, and the Potential for Bridging the Ethnic Divide in Post-Conflict Bosnia.” National Identities, April 2017.

Tatjana Takseva is Associate Professor of English at St. Mary’s University. Her current research is situated at the intersections of motherhood, feminism, nation-building and the politics of identity, and is interdisciplinary in nature. She has published on a wide range of topics within motherhood studies, including mothering in conflict zones, motherhood and consumerism, motherhood and teaching, contemporary mothering practices, and the ethic of care.

This session is part of The Friday Table, a series of weekly Friday afternoon events organized by the Graduate Steering Committee for the Centre for Transnational Cultural Analysis (CTCA) and the Institute for Comparative Studies in Literature, Art and Culture (ICSLAC) at Carleton University. We aim to bolster the Centre’s mandate to bring together scholars and students working with transnational approaches to studies in the humanities through regular, informal workshops, roundtables, film screenings, and discussion groups. The Friday Table seeks to foster collegiality and promote student-led research. Events are free and open to all.