Imre Kertész Kolleg Jena

Dr Svetlana Vassileva-Karagyozova

Fellow Svetlana Vassileva-Karagyozova

June - July 2012
Mail: svk(at)ku(dot)edu

Svetlana Vassileva-Karagyozova is Assistant Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Kansas. She holds a PhD in Comparative Slavic Literature from Sofia University St. Kliment Ochridski in Bulgaria. She is a recipient of several national and international research awards: the Czech Academy of Sciences and Institute of Czech Literature Exceptional Grant for Foreign Bohemists, the Hall Center for the Humanities Research Fellowship, and the National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend.

Research Project at the Kolleg

The research project examines a selection of post-1989 initiation novels written by young Polish writers in their 30s and 40s. What unites their works is the treatment of biological and social maturation in the late People's Republic of Poland from a dual vantage point: that of a young adult coping with the challenges of the political transition and of a child growing up in the last two decades of Communism. I argue that these novels represent a generation-defining project: by depicting the unique formative experiences of the last adolescents of the communist regime, the authors of the quasi-autobiographical narratives attempt (with different degrees of intentional explicitness) to assert their own generation's distinctiveness and secure its location in the historical process. The ever evolving genre of the Bildungsroman lends itself as a suitable platform for negotiating new identities - both personal and communal and for initiating alternative social arrangements.

Main areas of research

  •     21st century Polish and Czech prose
  •     Post-1989 Polish Bildungsroman
  •     Communism and Post-Communism in Literature
  •     Sociology of Literature
  •     Gender Studies
  •     Generational Studies

Positions and memberships

  •     2010 - present: Member of the Modern Language Association's Slavic Division Executive Committee
  •     2009 - present: Member of the Advisory Board of the Writers for Peace Foundation (Gdansk, Poland)


"The Socialist Prefabs after Utopia" special issue of East European Politics and Societies Co-edited with Nathan Wood (to appear in November 2012).
"The Grandmother as Political Actor in post-1989 Polish Initiation Novels" Forum for Modern Language Studies 47.2 (2011), S. 182-196.
"Voluntary Social Marginalization as a Survival Strategy in Polish Post-Communist Accounts of Childhood." The Sarmatian Review 29.1 (2009), S. 1435-1444.
"Барокът в българската литература. Състояние на проблема" [The Baroque in Bulgarian literature: The Current State of Research on the Problem], Slavia 75 (2006), S. 407-418.
"Фолклорни елементи в съвременния политически дискурс на Югославия и България" (в съавторство с Гордана Джерич) [Folklore Elements in the Contemporary Political Discourse of Yugoslavia and Bulgaria (co-authored with Gordana Đerić)], Критика 3 (2001)S. 31-40.
"Obraz Matki-Polki w polskiej powieści inicjacyjnej po 1989 roku" In Polonistyka bez granic. Materiały z IV Kongresu Polonistyki Zagranicznej, tom 1, Krakow: Universitas, 2011. [Polish Studies without Borders. Contributions to the 4th International Congress of Polonists. Vol. 1] Eds. Władysław Miodunka, Ryszard Nycz, and Tomasz Kunz, S. 447-453.


Robert Rothstein, Two Words to the Wise. Reflections on Polish Language, Literature and Folklore (Bloomington, IN: Slavica, 2009), Slavic and East European Journal 54.4 Winter 2010, S. 718-720.
Carol Rocamora, Acts of Courage. Vaclav Havel's Life in the Theatre (Hanover: Smith and Kraus, Inc., 2004), Slavic and East European Journal 53.2 Summer 2009, S. 314-15.
Aleksander W. Lipatow, Słowiańszczyzna - Polska - Rosja. Sudia o literaturze i kulturze (Izabelin: Świat Literacki, 1999), Slavia 71 (2002), S. 66-68.
Gordana Đerić, Smisao žrtve u tradicionalnoj kulturi Srba:antropološki ogled (Novi Sad: Svetovi 1997), Balkanistc Forum 1-3 (1991), S. 285-287.

Please find more information on Svetlana Vassileva-Karagyozova on the website of theUniversity of Kansas