Katica Ḱulavkova (born in 1951)

Katica Ḱulavkova was born in 1951, in Veles. She is a poet, literary theorist, essayist, anthologist, storyteller, university professor, and academician, writing in Macedonian. Her main research interests are related to the literary theory and hermeneutics, comparative literature, Macedonian and South Slavic literatures, critical theory and cultural studies, Balkan cultures and identities, intertextual and cross-aesthetic theory and interpretation.

After graduating from high school in her hometown, she enrolled and graduated from the Faculty of Philosophy and History, in the groups History of South Slavic Literature and Macedonian Literature (and optional to the French Language and Literature Group) at the University of “Ss. Cyril and Methodius” in Skopje (1973). She received her master’s degree from the Faculty of Philology in Skopje (Macedonia), with the theme Metaphor and Contemporary Macedonian Poetry (1982), and her doctorate from the Faculty of Philosophy in Zagreb (Croatia), with the dissertation The Features of the Lyrics (1986). In the following period, she was involved in several postdoctoral studies. As a French government scholarship holder, she attended the New Sorbonne University ‒ Sorbonne Nouvelle III (1977‒1978) and the Sorbonne I in Paris (1983‒1984), under the mentorship of professor Michel Décodain and Jean-Pierre Richard. She also worked at the Macedonian Language and Literature Lectorate at the Institute of Oriental Languages (INALCO), in Paris (1994‒1995), teaching Macedonian literature and language (in two courses: “Macedonian Literature from Clement to Present” and “Macedonian Oral Tradition and Macedonian Contemporary Literature ‒ Comparative Interpretations”). In 1997, acad. Ḱulavkova researched in Paris under the TEMPUS Program at the University of Paris VIII – Saint Denis, in collaboration with prof. Michel Déguy, preparing a curriculum for the new university subject “Literary Hermeneutics”. She also collaborated with the Department of General and Comparative Literature at the University of Paris ‒ Sorbonne Nouvelle III (2001‒2002), as a partner institution of the HESP Project (“New Model of Curricula in Comparative Literary Studies”), with prof. Jean Bessiѐre, Philippe Daros et al.

Acad. Ḱulavkova began her professional career as an assistant at the Institute of Literature at the Faculty of Philology at “Ss. Cyril and Methodius” in Skopje (1982). In 1987 she transferred to the Department of General and Comparative Literature at the Faculty of Philology “Blaze Koneski”. In 1997 she received the title of full professor on Literature Theory, Methodology of Literary Studies, Literary Hermetic and Creative Writing.

Since 2003, she is a full member of the Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts (further: MASA). Her engagement took place as a main coordinator in many MASA research projects and international scientific conferences, also holding managerial positions: Secretary of the MASA Department for Linguistics and Literary Sciences and member of the MASA Presidency (2007‒2011). Within MASA, she has conducted several national and international scientific research projects, including: “Glossary of Literary Theory”, “Balkan Picture of the World”, “Interpretations” – European Research Project, “Methods of Literary Hermeneutics”, “Cultural Integration and Stability in the Balkans” et al.

In 2014, acad. Ḱulavkova became a member of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts in Salzburg, Austria (EASA). Since September 2008, she is a Vice President of International PEN.

Her professional work was confirmed by membership in various professional organizations and institutions in Macedonia and abroad: member of the National Commission for Cultural Relations Abroad; a President (1996‒2000), Secretary (1990‒1996), and current Honorary President of the Macedonian PEN-Centre; Chair of the Translation and Linguistic Rights Committee of PEN International (2003‒2009); a Vice-Chairman of the National UNESCO Commission. She has contributed as a member of editorial boards of many journals (Razgledi, Spektar, Identities/Identiteti, editor-in-chief of the MASA’s journal Prilozi in the field of Linguistics and literary theory), and founder of the electronic journal for comparative studies Mirage at the Department of General and Comparative Literature; the International PEN e-collection Diversity/Raznolikost; as well f as editor-in-Chief of the MASA special European edition of Interpretations (2007‒2011).

The opus of acad. Katica Ḱulavkova contains a great variety of publications (over 50), as an author, editor or translator: poetry books, collections with selected poetry or novelistic short stories, books on literary theory, as well as anthology selections, several chrestomathy and collections, stories, dream-fictions, essay, criticism, edited books and translations. The most important poetry books are Diva misla (1989), Predigra (1998), Erato (2008), Žedbi: prestapni pesni (2012), Zlaten presek (2015); Koga ni goreše pod nozete (2013), as well as the short story book  Dreaming is Living  (2014) and the epic play Izgon na zloto / Expulsion du mal (1997). Her poetry, fiction, and essays have been translated into many world languages (published in Canada, France, Italia, Romania, Turkey, Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia, Albania, Slovenia, Bulgaria), and her articles has been published around the world in various journals: Lyrikline, Slovokult, Visions International, Transcript Review, Moskovskiĭ Literator, Crocevia, Recours au Poème, Slavia Meridionalis, Colloquia Humanistica, Nationalities Affairs, Carmina Balcanica, European Scientific Journal, and many Macedonian and Balkan journals. The latest published works are: Potraga po sloboda: Interpretativen sinkretizam (2019), Kritički metodi i tolkuvanja na kniževnata hermenevtika (2018) and Moi strasti, moi stradanija (2019).

Akad. Ḱulavkova was decorated with national and international awards: “Braḱa Miladinovci” – Struga Poetry Evenings poetry collection award; “Aco Šopov” – Macedonian Writers’ Association’s poetry collection award; “Dimitar Mitrev” ‒ Macedonian Writers’ Association’s award for criticism and essay (in 2002 and 2019); “Velja kutija” Award for theoretical system of ideas); as well as the awards “Kniževno žezlo”, “Narcisi”, “Mlad borec” and “Studentski zbor”. In 2014, she received the Award “11 Oktomvri” (Highest Macedonian State Lifetime Achievement Award in Sciences and Arts), the international “Tudor Arghezi Prize” for literary work, by the Association of Writers of Romania, in 2016, and the Albanian PEN Award (2017).

Photo: Acad. Katica Ḱulavkova(Source: the photo was received by acad. Katica Ḱulavkova).

Author: Biljana Ristovska-Josifovska