Fellows for Academic Year 2018-2019

Mykola Riabchuk

Mykola Riabchuk

Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Political and Nationalities’ Studies, Academy of Sciences of Ukraine

Title of Research:

“Slavia Orthodoxa and Challenges of Modernization: Construction of Modern Ukrainian, Russian, and Belarusian Identities as Emancipation from the East Slavonic ‘Imagined Community’”

Abstract:

This book-length project aims at a study of modern Ukrainian, Russian, and Belarusian identities as peculiar and interrelated discursive formations. Their construction is conceptualized as protracted and incoherent process of emancipation of all three nations from Slavia Orthodoxa – a premodern East Slavonic/Orthodox Christian imagined community of ‘true believers’ that had been fused, in the 18th century, with the political ideology of the new-born Russian empire and modified eventually into a similar quasi-religious community of the Soviet people. Its founding myth reinforces, and is reinforced by, very strong anti-Western forces that emphasize the primordial ‘otherness’ of the essentialized Slavonic/Orthodox civilization and reject western values and institutions. Deconstruction of its quasi-historical tenets and emancipation from its ideological spell is thus crucial for the development of all three East Slavonic nations, specifically Ukraine as the most advanced in the process.

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