Gregor Kokorz is a music historian who received his PhD in musicology from the University of Graz, Austria (2008). He was the Austrian Research Assistant at the Wirth Institute in 2004/05, organized the first Alumni meeting in Vienna in 2010, and serves as secretary treasurer on the board of the WAN. His current academic work concentrates on two main projects: cultural transfer, music and identity in Central Europe; history of listening, cultural changes in the perception of music. In 2012 Gregor has been a Mellon Visiting Scholar to the University of Chicago. He loves playing the organ, is addicted to sweets and competes with Franz Szabo in making the best Apple strudel of the WAN.
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Vice-President & Research Officer
Katarina Žeravica is a Senior Research and Teaching Assistant in the Department of Applied Arts at the Academy of Arts, University J.J. Strossmayer in Osijek, Croatia. She was a doctoral Research Fellow at the Wirth Institute, University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, in the academic year 2011/2012. She holds an MA in English and German Studies and a PhD in Literature from the University J.J. Strossmayer in Osijek. Her research interests are focused on theatre studies and interdisciplinary approaches to (comparative) literature with a special emphasis on the 20th century and contemporary drama.
Eszter Várfalvi is an Economist and a Process Engineer, who holds and absolutorium from the Doctoral School of Enterprise Theory and Practice (University of Miskolc, Hungary). She was the Hungarian Research Assistant at the Wirth Institute in 2008/09. She quit the academic sphere after 7 years of teaching. In 2012 she got a baby girl, who she is raising alone. And from 2014 she is working as a project leader for a producing factory at the other side of Hungary, in a very nice little town, called Kaposvár. In her free time she enjoys active life, sports (biking, skiing) and travelling, possibly with her daughter. Now she will take the position as Treasurer for the WAN Board and excited about facing new tasks!
Éva Zsizsmann is a Teaching Assistant at Corvinus University in Budapest, teaching ESP (English for Special Purposes) and translation techniques. She attended the English and American Literatures and Cultures PhD Programme of the University of Szeged, Hungary. Her field of research is Postcolonial studies, Canadian literature as well as Place and memory in contemporary Canadian fiction, with special focus on Alice Munro's short stories. As Curator of English Books at the National Library of Foreign Literature, Budapest she also organised literary and cultural events. She was a Research Fellow at the Wirth Institute in 2012-13 and is currently secretary for the Wirth Alumni Network. She loves hiking, playing the recorder and listening to Early Music.
WAN Meeting Chair
Stanislav Štěpáník is an Assistant Professor at the Czech Language Department at the Faculty of Education of Charles University in Prague, and an enthusiastic secondary school teacher at Gymnázium Přípotoční in Prague. His main field of scientific interest is L1 teaching, mainly implementations of constructivism into L1 teaching (PhD thesis entitled Constructivism in Czech Language Teaching at Higher-Secondary School), pupils´ language preconceptions in L1 education, and comparative education. He was the Czech Research Assistant at the Wirth Institute for Austrian and Central European Studies at University of Alberta in 2013/2014. Stanislav is keen on travelling, hiking, cycling and all kinds of cultural activities.
Iva Drozdek was born in Osijek, Croatia, a Ph.D. candidate of Literature and Cultural Identity, with a degree in English and German language and literature. Her main research interests are popular culture with an emphasis on song lyrics. Within scope of cultural identity all topics about influencing and forming people/attitude/nations as well as inter-medial research such as movie adaptations of novels are as well of interest. She was the Croatian Research Assistant at the Wirth Institute in 2013/2014. Currently working on her thesis Song lyrics of the 20th century the adaptation of popular texts within academic fields is the main goal. Having lived in Germany, Belgium, Canada, Cambodia and now Ireland, travelling and interesting places are always a welcome topic.