Eva Spišiaková

Thesis title: Shakespeare's Young Man behind the Iron Curtain: Censorship of Same-sex Affection in Czech and Slovak Sonnet Translations


Eva holds a combined BA and MA degree in Japanese Language and Intercultural Communication from Comenius University in Bratislava. During this time, she spent a year as an exchange student in Ferris University in Yokohama. She also frequently translated and interpreted for the Embassy of Japan in Slovakia. After finishing her studies, Eva spent a year at Tokyo University as an independent researcher of early modern Japanese literature.

After a time spent as a freelance translator, Eva moved to Scotland where she completed her MSc degree in Literary Translation as Creative Practice at the University of Edinburgh, graduating with distinction in November 2014. 



MA in Japanese Language and Inter-Cultural Communication, Comenius University in Bratislava

MSc in Literary Translation as Creative Practice, Edinburgh University

Research summary

Eva's research is mapping changes in the portrayal of the Fair Youth in Shakespeare's sonnets in Czech and Slovak translations in the communist and post-commuist eras. Through a theoretical framework from queer theory, Eva is uncovering patterns of translatorial changes and censorship of elements of same-sex desire and affection presented in the sonnets, and their possible correlation with the changing political landscape in former Czechoslovakia and current days Czech Republic and Slovakia. 

Current project grants

Eva's doctoral research is supported by the Scottish Graduate School for Arts & Humanities scholarship.

Past project grants

Eva's research at Tokyo University was funded by the Mombukagakusho scholarship from the Japanese Ministry of Education.

Papers delivered

 “The coming out of Velvet Revolution: Translation and the conceptualisation of homosexuality in post-communist Czechoslovakia”, Genealogies of Knowledge 1: Translating Political and Scientific Thought Across Time and Space, The University of Manchester, 7-9 December 2017

“Translating the coming out: the birth of the LGBTQ Movement in post-communist Czechoslovakia and the role of the translator”, 13th International Postgraduate Conference in Translation and Interpreting, Heriot-Watt University, 9-10 November 2017

'The politics of censorship in former Czechoslovakia and the case of the missing translator' at the 30th Conference of the Canadian Association for Translation Studies ‘Translation, Politics and Policies’ organised by Ryerson University in Toronto, 29-31 May 2017

'The case of the missing translator: Publishing policies under totalitarian regimes and the question of agency' at the 5th Durham Postgraduate Colloquium on Translation Studies organised by the Centre for Intercultural Mediation at Durham University, 11-12 February 2017

'Love hidden between the lines: Shakespeare's Fair Youth in sonnet translations and Communist Czechoslovakia' at the 12th International Postgraduate Conference in Translation and Interpreting organised by the Dublin City University, 12-13 December 2016

'Shakespeare, communism and queer theory: A hundred years of Czech and Slovak sonnet translations' at the Colloquium on Gender and Translation: Translating for Sexual Equality, Valencia, 27-28 October 2016

'Fair Youth reborn behind the Iron Curtain: Sonnet translations in Communist and Post-communist Czechoslovakia' at the 7th Biennial British Shakespeare Association Conference, hosted by the University of  Hull, 8-11 September 2016

'Shakespeare’s queer readings behind the Iron Curtain: A hundred years of Czech and Slovak Sonnet translations'  at The Sociology of Poetry Translation organised by the Leverhulme Trust  and Leeds University, 28 June 2016

'Sonnet translations behind the Iron Curtain: Fair Youth’s censorship in communist Czechoslovakia and beyond' at the Britsh Graduate Shakespeare Conference in Stratford upon Avon, 2-4 June 2016 

'Queer theory and Czechoslovak sonnet translations' at the Cultural Translation: In Theory and as Practice conference at the  University of Nottingham, 18 June 2016

She co-organised the 11th International Postgraduate Conference in Translation and Interpreting (IPCITI) at the University of Edinburgh  on 28-30 October 2015, and will be presenting a paper at the 12th IPCITI conference in Dublin on 12-13 December 2016