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Ewa Bal

Professor Ewa Bal, (PhD with habilitation), born in 1973  is Head of the Laboratory for Research on Knowledge/Creative Practices of Local Cultures in the Performance Studies Department of the Faculty of Polish Studies at Jagiellonian University.  Her early research focused on  Italian theatre  and drama, and resulted in two monographs:  In the Footsteps of Harlequin and Pulcinella. Cultural Mobility and Localness of Theatre (Polish edition 2017, English Edition by Peter Lang 2020) and Corporeality in Drama. Pier Paolo Pasolini's theatre and its possible legacies(in Polish, 2007, PhD Thesis). She has also curated and translated into Polish three anthologies of Italian contemporary drama (many of which from regional dialects) and an anthology of Polish contemporary drama in Italian (2007).

Currently Professor Bal works mainly on issues of epistemic injustice and local knowledge/creative practices in Central and Eastern Europe. Her research covers decolonial performative practices in the Global East , global and local dimensions of cultural mobility in the performing arts, and dramaturgies and performances of cultural minorities from Polish and Ukrainian, Spanish, and Italian cultural backgrounds.

Professor Bal leads a research group at the Jagiellonian University, investigating “ Local knowledges in theatre and performance of the last two decades in the face of epistemic injustice. Polish and Ukrainian perspectives".  The scientific aim of the research group is to reformulate, in the context of East-Central Europe, the challenges posed by the decolonial turn in the humanities and social sciences. They identify and describe those 21st-century local knowledge/creative practices in Poland and Ukraine that respond to 20th century forms of epistemic injustice that are typical of this region. 

She is also working on a monograph entitled "From East to West and Back Again: Ethonostalgias and Ethnofuturism in 21st-Century Theatre and Performance", which aims to trace the strategies of producing, recreating and projecting collective cultural identifications in global and local dimensions within cultural and artistic performances, including theatre productions from the Ukrainian-Polish cultural context of the last 20 years. Among other things, the book problematises notions of nationalism, ethnicity, indigeneity, language and religion as a medium of cultural identification and treats cultural performances as tools of decolonising cognitive practices. Above all, the book proposes to change the geopolitics of knowledge by foregrounding the perspective of Central and Eastern Europe, and countering the stereotype of the region’s “backwardness”  in relation to Western Europe and  its historical dependence on Imperial Russia.

Professor Bal has co-edited several collective monographs on theory of performance, including most recently with Mateusz Chaberski: Situated Knowing. Epistemic Perspectives on Performance (Routledge 2021), with Konrad Wojnowski: Let's be in touch! Contact Zones as a Cognitive Instrument of present times (in Polish, WUJ, 2020), with Dariusz Kosinski: Performance Studies. Territories (in Polish, WUJ, 2017) and with Wanda Światkowska Performance, performativity, performer (in Polish, WUJ 2013). From 2013 to the present day, she has been the editor in chief of the Jagiellonian University publishing series Advances in Performance Studies, where 8 volumes have been published. 

She is Member of the European Association for Studies of Theatre and Performance (EASTaP), the Feminist Working Group at the International Federation for Theatre Research (IFTR) and the Polish Society for Theatre Research (PTBT).