EuMePo Conference Budapest, June 14–16, 2023 | Short Bios of Speakers and Moderators

Ildikó Barna

Ildikó Barna is a sociologist. She is an Associate Professor at ELTE University Faculty of Social Sciences Budapest, Department of Social Research Methodology, where she serves as Department Chair. Her research topics include antisemitism, memory politics, the social history of East-Central European Jewry, post-Holocaust studies, and quantitative research on archival sources. She is the co-leader of the Research Center for Computational Social Science ( The research center uses automated text analytics, namely Natural Language Processing, complemented by qualitative discourse analysis to examine textual data available on the internet or digitalized offline texts.

Lisa Chalykoff

Lisa Chalykoff is an Associate Teaching Professor in the Department of English at the University of Victoria.  She is co-editor of Staging the North and The Broadview Introduction to Literature and has published in, amongst other venues, Studies in Canadian Literature and Mosaic: An Interdisciplinary Critical Journal.  Her current scholarly interests include literatures of trauma and recovery, contemporary Indigenous literatures, and contemporary fiction.

Rana Dajani

Rana Dajani is currently a visiting professor at the systems awareness center at MIT and a Morse Yale fellow.

Rana is a molecular biologist, social entrepreneur and global thought leader. She is the founder of We Love Reading, a grassroots initiative to create changemakers in underserved communities by fostering a lifelong love of reading. A recipient of the UNESCO International Literacy Prize, We Love Reading has established more than 4,000 locally run libraries in over 60 countries.

Rana has also been recognized as a Fulbright fellow, Eisenhower fellow and Ashoka fellow and by joining the list of the 100 most influential Arab Women and receiving the Jacobs social entrepreneur award. Nansen UNHCR refugee award, and the Schwab Social Entrepreneur Award.

Dajani is a professor of molecular biology at the Hashemite University in Jordan. Her area of expertise is epigenetics and biomarkers of trauma among refugees. Through her leadership, she has introduced national and regional stem cell laws and presided over numerous scientific boards and United Nations councils, most recently as the President of the Society for the Advancement of Science and Technology in the Arab World.

A tireless supporter of building indigenous research capabilities in the developing world and creating a mentoring program to support women scholars in STEM that was recognized by the National Academy of Sciences. Her 2018 book Five Scarves: Doing the Impossible — If We Can Reverse Cell Fate, Why Cant We Redefine Success? challenged global policy makers to address ongoing inequities in education and employment, while also putting forward a new paradigm for measuring success in an evolving world.

Christina Griessler

Christina GRIESSLER is a research fellow for the Network for Political Communication (netPOL) at the Andrássy University Budapest, Hungary. She studied political sciences and cultural anthropology at the University of Vienna. Christina graduated from the University of Vienna with a Master’s degree and a doctorate in political science. She also obtained a Postgraduate Diploma in Conflict and Dispute Resolution Studies from Trinity College Dublin (2009) and a diploma in Alternative Dispute Resolution from Dublin Business School (2011). Christina’s research focuses on the countries of the so-called Western Balkan region, the EU enlargement process, and on the dynamics of identity-based and ethnic conflict. She is currently working on her habilitation project, which investigates the EU’s policy towards the Western Balkan region in relation to regional cooperation and reconciliation.

Beata Halicka

Beata Halicka is a professor of contemporary history at the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań. She lectured at the European University Viadrina in Frankfurt (Oder) between 2006 and 2014 and was a visiting professor at the universities in Calgary (2014), in El Paso (2016) and Chicago (2023). She is author of eight books and has published numerous articles in scholarly journals and edited volumes. For the study The Polish Wild West. Forced Migration and Cultural Appropriation in the Polish-German Borderlands, 1945-1948 she received the Identities Prize 2016 for the best historical book in Poland.  Her recent book Borderland’s Biography. Z. Anthony Kruszewski in Wartime Europe and Postwar America has been published in Polish in 2019 and in English in 2021. Her research interests include nationalism, forced migrations, constructions of identities in border regions, collective memory, German-Polish relations, Polish diaspora in the world. More on:

Tímea Jablonczay

Tímea Jablonczay (PhD) is working at the University of Milton Friedman at the Department of Media and Cultural Studies, Budapest as an Associate Professor. In 2022, she was a research fellow at the Institute of Advanced Studies in Kőszeg (iASK) in Central-Europe and the V4, „Historical and Cultural Heritage in Central Europe” Project. Her specific areas of research are Hungarian female Holocaust testimonies, the “Hungarian minority” literary field related to the issue of remembering and forgetting of the traumatic past, and the work of transcultural memory. She has been undertaking research on the cultural heterogeneity, the plurality of identities and literary works of Erzsi Szenes (1902-1981) for many years, investigating her literary career in Central-Europe, and her holocaust and diasporic memories in Israel after the Holocaust. She is working on three major works: a monograph on Erzsi Szenes, the memory of the Holocaust in Hungary during the 1960s, and a work on Hungarian female Holocaust memory (1945-1989).

Matt James

Matt James is Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Victoria, where he studies the politics of reparation and transitional justice, focusing also on Canadian politics, constitutionalism, and social movement studies. He is the author of Misrecognized Materialists: Social Movements in Canadian Constitutional Politics (University of British Columbia Press) and has published on reparation, memory, and political apology in journals such as the Canadian Journal of Political Science, Citizenship Studies, Global Studies Quarterly, Human Rights Review, and International Journal of Transitional Justice.

Ajlina Karamehic-Muratovic

Dr. Ajlina Karamehic-Muratovic is an Associate Professor in the College of Communication and Media Sciences, Zayed University, UAE. She also holds a position as an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at St. Louis University in St. Louis, MO, USA. She received her PhD in Health Communication from the University of Kentucky, USA.

Her interdisciplinary research is health- and community-focused, with an emphasis on issues faced by minority communities, such as refugees and immigrants. In 2017, she was selected by the International Organization for Migration to map the Bosnian diaspora in the United States, a project used to inform the Ministry of Human Rights and Refugees of Bosnia and Herzegovina. She is an co-author of many collaborative published papers and is currently working on a co-edited volume focusing on a intergenerational trauma among refugee communities to be published by Routledge in fall 2023.

Borbála Klacsmann

Borbála Klacsmann is a Hungarian Holocaust historian. Her areas of expertise include the microhistory of the Hungarian Holocaust and the restitution and compensation of Holocaust survivors. She completed her doctoral studies at the Department of History at the University of Szeged in 2021. Previously she had worked for the Holocaust Memorial Center in Budapest, the Anne Frank House, and the Yad Vashem Archives. Currently she is a postdoctoral researcher at the Centre for War Studies, University College Dublin. She is also the editorial assistant of Eastern European Holocaust Studies and the owner and editor of the Facebook history blog Holokauszttörténetek.

Kate Korycki

Kate Korycki is Assistant Professor in the Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies at Western University in Canada. She is a political sociologist interested in ways collective memory – or collective story-telling about the past – creates, justifies and maintains systems of social stratification. In her first book, on Poland – forthcoming with Berghahn Books in August of 2023 – she explores how remembering communism is used to limit post-transition progressive politics and to narrow the imaginary of national belonging. In her current projects, on Canada, she studies how Canadians tell the story of the past (in school curricula and in political speech), and what do the stories reveal about the current notions of belonging. She is particularly interested how gender, race, class and Indigeneity are inserted into stories – in other words, how they are constructed and filled with meaning – and what does do the insertions tell us about the conditions of Canadian national imaginary.

Laura Kromják

Laura Kromják, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the Department of International Relations and European Studies, Institute of Political and International Studies, ELTE Faculty of Social Sciences in Budapest, Hungary. She earned her PhD in English and American Studies from the University of Graz, Austria, 2017. Her dissertation Witnesses to Balkan Killing Fields: Identity, Trauma, and Remembrance in Anglophone Testimonies of Bosnian Americans explored identity, memory politics and witness testimonies of Bosnian-Herzegovinian refugees in the United States. She is a Western Balkan area specialist and her fields of interest include reconciliation, inclusive memorialization, comparative peace processes, post-conflict economic reconstruction and EU crisis response. Her recent research has focused on economic relations between Hungary and Bosnia and Herzegovina and intergenerational trauma in refugee communities. Her recent works include Remembrance and Forgiveness: Global and Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Genocide and Mass Violence (Routledge, 2021) and Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Economic Prospects and Historical Background (Financial and Economic Review, 2021). She has held fellowships at the Saint Louis University, U.S.A. and at the University of Bayreuth, Germany. Alongside her scholarly pursuits, she has served as a European Representative to the Center for Bosnian Studies at the Fontbonne University, U.S.A.

Katarzyna Kulińska

Katarzyna Kulińska graduated from the University of Warsaw and holds an MA diploma in History. She is an alumni of Paideia – The European Institute for Jewish Studies in Sweden. She works at POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw at the Adult Education Department where she coordinates various educational projects including teacher training programs. Her interests lie in modern history of Poland and Polish-Jewish relations, communication and antidiscrimination education.

Karolina Lendák-Kabók

Karolina Lendák-Kabók is an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Novi Sad (Serbia) and she is a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Individual Fellow at the Faculty of Social Sciences, ELTE (Hungary). She obtained her PhD degree from the University of Novi Sad in 2019 in Gender Studies. The focus of her research is the position of ethnic minorities, intersectionality, ethnic intermarriages and memory politics of the Yugoslav wars. She has recently published a book titled Ethnic Minorities in Serbian Academia – the Role of Gender and Language Barrier (Palgrave Macmillian, 2022).

Renáta Németh

Renáta Németh, PhD, is a professor in Sociology and Head of Statistics Department at Eötvös Loránd University, Faculty of Social Sciences. She is co-funder and co-leader of Research Center for Computational Social Science. She is also the director of the Survey Statistics and Data Analytics MSc Program. Her research interests are primarily in the field of social research methods, more recently, automated text analytics. She is particularly inspired by discovering different application areas of statistics, understanding their epistemological differences, and adapting methodological knowledge of to different fields.

Piotr Oleksy

Dr Piotr Oleksy is an associate professor at the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań (History Department) and senior analyst in Institute of Central Europe in Lublin. Scholarly expertise focuses on collective identity dynamics and identity policies in Central and Eastern Europe after collapse of Soviet Union and on international relations in the region. Author of two monographies on unrecognized Transdniestria and participant of international forums working on solving Transdniestrian conflict. Co-author of the report for European Parliament “Association agreements between the EU and Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine. European Implementation Assessment” (European Parliament ThinkTank, 2018). He is collaborating with opinion-forming and prestigious Polish journals like New Eastern Europe, Tygodnik Powszechny, Znak; international affairs commentator for Radio TokFM. Coordinator of many initiatives on promoting history, cultural heritage and literature, i.a. series of literature talks “Looking to the East” in Central of Culture “The Castle” in Poznań.

Andrea Pető

Andrea Pető is a historian and a Professor at the Department of Gender Studies at Central European University, Vienna, Austria, a Research Affiliate of the CEU Democracy Institute, Budapest, and a Doctor of Science of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. Her works on gender, politics, Holocaust, and war have been translated into 23 languages. In 2018 she was awarded the 2018 All European Academies (ALLEA) Madame de Staël Prize for Cultural Values and the 2022 University of Oslo Human Rights Award. She is Doctor Honoris Causa of Södertörn University, Stockholm, Sweden. Recent publications include: The Women of the Arrow Cross Party. Invisible Hungarian Perpetrators in the Second World War. Palgrave, Macmillan, 2020. And Forgotten Massacre: Budapest 1944. DeGruyter, 2021. She writes op-ed pieces for many international and national media about academic freedom and illiberal higher education.

Elke Rajal

Elke Rajal studied political science in Vienna (Austria) and Granada (Spain) and currently works at the Chair of Sociology (Karin Stoegner) at the University of Passau. She is mainly concerned with the intersections of politics, contemporary history and education and is involved in the Austria-based research group Ideologies and Politics of Inequality (FIPU). Her research focuses on National Socialism and its aftermath, antisemitism, right-wing extremism and political education.

Zsófia Rakovics

Zsófia Rakovics is a PhD student and an assistant lecturer at Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE), a researcher at ELTE Research Center for Computational Social Science. During her university studies in sociology, she conducted a research on precarity, globalization and its effect on society and work. She studied the remembrance of the Holocaust and wrote her master’s thesis with the title „Remembrance of the Holocaust – Biographical Narrative Interviews with Holocaust Survivors, Interview Interpretation in a Phenomenological Framework.” Her doctoral research focuses on the study of language polarization, analyzing political public discourse using natural language processing and deep learning language models

Beate Schmidtke

Beate Schmidtke graduated within a degree in interdisciplinary studies in the field of Art, Culture and International Relations in Europe (University of Hildesheim (Germany) and studied at the Universita di Bologna (Italy). Over the past years, she developed and managed various international projects such as the Young Researchers Network in Canada (2005-2007), the DAAD German Studies network (2005-2008), the EUCAnet outreach branch for the Canada Europe Transatlantic Dialogue Strategic Knowledge Cluster (2008-2016), and various projects under the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union. Currently, Beate Schmidtke is the Co-Lead and manager of the Europe Canada Network ( EUCAnet’s vision is to stimulate a dialogue between scholars and the public sphere focusing on themes surrounding democracy, migration, memory politics and other relationships between Europe and Canada. EUCAnet collaborates with over 200 scholars across Canada and Europe and facilitates a range of outreach activities and public engagement initiatives.  Beate is also the communication director of the European Community Association Canada (ECSA-C) and the co-founder of the Cedar Trees Institute, an intergenerational, cross-sectoral, and multidisciplinary network of graduate students, professionals and community practitioners focusing on debates and research related democratic practices.

Oliver Schmidtke

Oliver Schmidtke is a Professor in Political Science and History at the University of Victoria where he has also served as the director of the Centre for Global Studies in Victoria since 2011. He received his PhD from the European University Institute in Florence and has been a JF Kennedy Fellow at Harvard University, a visiting scholar at Humboldt University Berlin, a F. Braudel Senior Fellow at the European University Institute, a Marie Curie Fellow at Hamburg University, and a senior fellow at the Hamburg Institute for Advanced Study. His research interests are in the fields of the politics and governance of migration, citizenship, nationalism, democracy, and populism.

Domonkos Sik

Domonkos Sik is associate professor of Sociology at the Eötvös Loránd University (Budapest), alumni of CEU-IAS (Budapest-Vienna). His research deals with various topics in critical theory including political culture and mental disorders in late modernity. His work has appeared in such venues as The Sociological Review, European Journal of Social Theory, Journal of Mental Health, Thesis Eleven, Continental Philosophy Review and Culture, Medicine, and Psychiatry. He has written several monographs including Radicalism and indifference (Peter Lang 2016) and Empty suffering (Routledge 2021).

Katarzyna Taczyńska

Katarzyna Taczyńska, PhD in literary studies, is a researcher in Balkan, Slavic, Polish and Jewish studies. She currently works as a researcher at University College Dublin in the project When Nationalism Fails. A Comparative Study of Holocaust Museums in ex collaborationist countries (Gerda Henkel Foundation) and in the Institute of Slavic Studies of Polish Academy of Sciences in the project Jewish, Balkan, Female: The Literature of Balkan Jewish Women as a Minority Experience (National Science Centre). She is the author of a monograph A Joke That Stretched for Two and a Half Years. The Portrait of Goli otok in Serbian Literary and Historical Discourse at the End of the 20th and the Beginning of the 21st Century [in Polish], and many scholarly articles. From 2019, she is a vice-chair of the Polish Commission of Balkan Culture and History affiliated with AIESEE (Association Internationale d’Etudes du Sud-Est Europeen). She is a recipient of a number of awards and scholarships. She also cooperates with the Bente Kahan Foundation in Wrocław on projects related to Jewish culture. Her research interests include contemporary culture in the context of memory in Eastern and Southern Europe, Holocaust studies, historiography, and literature and art created by Jewish women in the Balkans.

Francesca Tortorella

Francesca Tortorella is currently a teacher-researcher in History and team’s member of the Mission Humanités at the Université Catholique de Lille. She has a PhD in Contemporary History from the University of Strasbourg (2019). Her thesis, directed by Pr. Sylvain Schirmann, examines the relation between Europeanism and antifascism and is titled: “From the birth of Giustizia e Libertà to the dissolution of the Partito d’Azione (1929-1947): a Europeanist antifascism”. She has an international and multidisciplinary background and studied Political Science, International Relations and European Studies at the University of Siena and at Sciences Po Strasbourg. Her research areas include antifascism, Europeanism, and political exile in particular in Latin America.

Kästle Van Der Meer

Kästle Van Der Meer graduated from the University of Victoria’s History MA program in November 2022. Her thesis research under the supervision of Dr. Kristin Semmens investigated Jewish resistance to sexualized violence in Nazi forced labour, concentration, and death camps. Reflecting her BA in Gender Studies and History, Kästle’s other research interests include gender and sexuality in the Holocaust. Kästle currently works an instructor in the Academic and Technical Writing program at UVic.

Birte Wassenberg

Birte Wassenberg is Professor in Contemporary History at Sciences Po at the University of Strasbourg director of the Master “International Relations and Border Studies” and member of the research Center of International and European Studies (CEIE). She holds a Jean Monnet Chair, is director of the Franco-German Jean-Monnet Center of Excellence. From 1993 to 2006 she was territorial attaché responsible for cross-border cooperation at the Région Alsace. Her research fields are: border regions, cross-border cooperation and the history of European organizations. She is also a former student from the College of Europe, promotion Charles IV, (1992-1993). Recent publications: Critical Dictionary of Borders and European Integration, Peter Lang, Brussels, 2020 (with Bernard Reitel); Mémoire d’Europe. Mémoire de Paix. Témoignages de la région frontalière d’Alsace, Franz-Steiner Verlag, Stuttgart, 2020 (with Philippe Hamman) ; Frontières, acteurs et représentations d’Europe (Fare), Peter Lang, Brussels, 2022.

Janine Wulz

Janine Wulz is a lecturer and researcher at the University of Victoria (Canada) and currently working on her interdisciplinary PhD in teacher education and Holocaust studies. Her work is focused on Holocaust Education, and she is interested in critical approaches towards education, policy making, historic-political education and language education.

Lidia Zessin-Jurek

Lidia Zessin-Jurek defended her PhD at the European University Institute (Florence). She is a postdoctoral researcher and Poland expert in the ERC-Project Unlikely Refuge? Refugees and citizens in East-Central Europe in the twentieth century (Czech Academy of Sciences, 2019–2025).

She works at the European Holocaust Research Infrastructure (EHRI) and as an Independent Expert for the European Commission (Holocaust remembrance, research and education). Beyond academic writing, she publishes in Polish national and international media on refugee movements (on the Polish border with Belarus and Ukraine), memory and European integration.

[Recent Publications: In 2020 she co-edited with Katharina Friedla “Syberiada Żydów polskich. Losy uchodźców z Zagłady/The Siberian Odyssey of the Polish Jews. The fates of the refugees from the Holocaust” and several articles on the memory of Polish Jewish exile in the USSR, among others: “Whose Victims and Whose Survivors? Polish Jewish Refugees between Holocaust and Gulag Memory Cultures” in Holocaust and Genocide Studies 36, no. 2 (2022) and “On a melting Ice Flow – Polish Jewish Wartime Refugees in Central Asia” in Journal of Genocide Research (summer 2023). In 2023 Brill will publish the memoir by Meier Landau edited by Lidia Zessin-Jurek: A Lost World: Galician Shtetl and Siberia.]