Against Epistemic Injustice: A Tribute to Maya Harbuzyuk

Ewa Bal and Iryna Chuzhynova, editors

This section of essays was written to commemorate the eminent Ukrainian theatre scholar and generous person and friend, Professor Maya Volodymyrivna Harbuzyuk, who tragically passed away in August this year (2023).

Maya Harbuzyuk. Photo: Sofia Harbuzyuk

Maya Harbuzyuk was Professor at the Ivan Franko National University in Lviv, Ukraine, and Dean of the Faculty of Culture and Arts at that university. Her prolific scholarly work, which includes more than 100 different publications, articles and monographs, has covered several areas of research.

Among the most important of her scientific works are her studies on the imageology of Polish-Ukrainian relations in theatre and performance of the seventeenth-nineteenth centuries, to which she devoted a separate monograph Ukraine in Polish Theatre of the 19th Century: Strategies and Forms of Representation (Lviv, 2018), as well as numerous articles in Polish and Ukrainian scientific journals.

 As a member of the Ukrainian Shakespeare Centre, she has researched the translation, staging and reception of Shakespeare in Ukraine. She was the first researcher to introduce the foundations of decolonial thought into Ukrainian theatre studies, and recently, since 2021, she has been working on issues of epistemic injustice and local epistemologies in the Polish and Ukrainian theatre of the twenty-first century, within an international research group founded at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland.

Her sensitive mind, which inspired theatre makers, as well as other scholars and students, was able to extract deeper and non-trivial meanings from the ongoing life of the arts, which she always understood as a form of social engagement and responsibility.

Maya, we will miss you!

Editors’ note

Maya Harbuzyuk’s last public talk, titled Overcoming Silence, took place in June 2023 at the European Association for Studies of Theatre and Performance conference in Aarhus Denmark, within the panel Situated Knowing in Polish and Ukrainian Drama after 2014, curated by Ewa Bal, with the contribution of Iryna Chuzhynova and Oleksandr Pronkevych. 

Unfortunately, the tragically deceased Maya Harbuzyuk was no longer able to prepare a full-length scholarly article for Critical Stages, which was to have featured in this section. We have therefore decided to publish her edited conference paper under the same title, Overcoming Silence, with a short Afterword by Iryna Chuzhynova, together with Ewa Bal’s essay, entitled Performing the Polish-Ukrainian Border. Situated Epistemologies in the Theatre of Recent Years.

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