The Battle for Ukrainian: A New Book from HURI Publications

Battle for UkrainianHURI is pleased to announce the publication of its latest volume, The Battle for Ukrainian: A Comparative Perspective. Edited by Michael Flier and Andrea Graziosi, this collection of 24 articles has two primary objectives, historical and comparative. Part One provides an overview of the most recent research on the history and sociopolitical status of the Ukrainian language in Ukraine over the past 150 years. Part Two introduces a comparative perspective on the Ukrainian situation by consideration of language policy, sociolinguistic issues, and politics in multilingual societies from Eastern and Western Europe, the Middle East, South Asia, and North America.

The Battle for Ukrainian: A Comparative Perspective
Edited by Michael S. Flier and Andrea Graziosi
May 2017
paperback, 636 pages, $29.95
ISBN 9781932650174 

View the table of contents here.

In 1863 the Valuev Circular restricted the use of the Ukrainian language in the Russian Empire. In the 150 years since, Ukrainian has followed a tortuous path, reflecting or anticipating tsarist, Soviet, and post-Soviet history. This volume documents that path through studies that tell of the language’s emergence in southern Rus´, its shifting fortunes in the Russian Empire and Soviet Union, and its variable status after 1991. The Ukrainian-Russian relationship and the Moscow-based political power promoting the latter loom large. Nonetheless, Ukrainian can usefully serve as a prism for assessing 150 years of imperial disintegration and reformation, and worldwide state and nation building—a period in which languages have been created, promoted, and repressed, or have come to coexist in multilingual nations. Case studies of Gaelic, Finnish, Yiddish, the Baltic group, and of language policy in Canada, India, and the former Yugoslavia illuminate similarities and differences in a dialogue construed broadly in chronological, comparative, international, and transnational terms. The result is an interdisciplinary study that is essential for understanding language, history, and politics in Ukraine and in the postimperial world.

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