Ukrainian Modernism, 1900–1930: A Reappraisal


Wednesday, November 18, 2020, 12:00pm to 1:30pm



Panelists: George G. Grabowicz, Myroslava M. Mudrak, and Vita Susak; introduced by Michael S. Flier and moderated by Halyna Hryn

Oak and Dryads by K Malevich from Mudrak article p 332Live on YouTube:

A look at the developing field of Ukrainian modernism in the aftermath of a series of publications and conferences beginning in the late 1980s, revisited by the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute's conference in 2007, and examined anew in the most recent issue of Harvard Ukrainian Studies (Vol. 36, No. 3-4, 2019). Special emphasis is placed on the cultural breakthrough and new avenues of research arising from the conference, including modernism's interface with socialist realism, the interplay of visual art and poetry, the Hylean futurism of David Burliuk, and the artistic legacy of Alexander Archipenko.


George GrabowiczGeorge G. GrabowiczDmytro Čyževskyj Professor of Ukrainian Literature
at Harvard University; founder and editor in chief of the Kyiv-based journal
and publishing house Krytyka 

Grabowicz is the author of several monographs on the works of Taras Shevchenko, most recently Shevchenkovi “Haidamaky”
(2013), and collections of articles on the history of Ukrainian literature. He is the general editor of the bibliographic series Shevchenko v krytytsi (2013, 2015) and has written many articles on various aspects of Ukrainian literature and its authors, most notably Tychyna and Khvyl´ovyi. His translation of Mykola Bazhan’s long poem Sliptsi is forthcoming in 2020.

Article: "Creating and Concealing Modernism: The Poetry of Pavlo Tychyna Reconsidered"


Myroslava MudrakMyroslava M. Mudrakprofessor emerita in the Department of History of Art at Ohio State University

Mudrak studies modernism in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union in relation to the philosophical and stylistic developments of the West. She has contributed extensively to exhibitions of Ukrainian modernism and produced the award-winning catalogue “Staging the Ukrainian avant-garde of the 1910s and 1920s.” Her primary interest is in the ideological discourses, socio-political influences, and artistic practice within East European cultures using modernity to signify national identity. The Ukrainian translation and expanded version of her landmark book, The New Generation and Artistic Modernism in Ukraine, was published in Kyiv in 2018.

Article: "Incidental Modernism: Episodes of Symbolism in Modern Ukrainian Art"


Vita SusakVita Susak, art historian and member of the Swiss Academic Society for East European Studies

In 1992–2016, Susak headed the Department of Modern European Art at the Lviv National Art Gallery, where she curated 28 exhibitions and also taught at the Ivan Franko National University in Lviv (2011–2015). She was awarded grants from the Getty Foundation (USA, 1997), the Maison des Sciences de l’Homme (France, 2000, the Diderot fellowship), the Ministry of Culture of Poland (2006), the Landis & Gyr Foundation (Switzerland, 2006), and the Fulbright Fellowship (USA, 2008). She has authored numerous publications, among them two monographs: Ukrainian Artists in Paris, 1900–1939 (2010) and Alexis Gritchenko: Dynamocolor (2017).

Article: "The Swiss Secrets of Alexander Archipenko"


Michael FlierIntroduced by Michael S. FlierOleksandr Potebnja Professor of Ukrainian Philology, Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, Harvard University

Flier's research interests are primary concerned with Slavic linguistics and the semiotics of medieval East Slavic culture. His publications in linguistics examine the historical development and subsequent diversification of East Slavic phonology and its effect on morphological innovation in Ukrainian, Russian, and Belarusian. He has devoted special attention to the structure and function of Surzhyk, a Ukrainian-Russian linguistic hybrid. In medieval studies he has analyzed high culture and its interaction with iconography, architecture, ritual, and political culture.  His current projects include a monograph on the semiotics of the Apocalypse in medieval Rus’, and an introduction and edition of the English translation of the Rus’ Primary Chronicle (Pověst’ vremennyx lět) by the late Horace Lunt.


Halyna HrynModerated by Halyna Hryn, editor of Harvard Ukrainian Studies

Hryn is an author, translator, editor, and researcher. Her research interests center on Soviet Ukrainian literature and cultural politics of the 1920s-1930s. She is the editor of Hunger by Design: The Great Ukrainian Famine and Its Soviet Context and co-editor of After the Holodomor: The Enduring Impact of the Great Famine in Ukraine; translator of the novels Fieldwork in Ukrainian Sex by Oksana Zabuzhko, and Peltse and Pentameron by Volodymyr Dibrova; and editor of the journal Harvard Ukrainian Studies. Most recently, she has translated a number of short stories in Oksana Zabuzhko's collection Your Ad Could Go Here (AmazonCrossing 2020).

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