Ukraine in the World: Fifty Years of Ukrainian Studies at Harvard

February 23, 2018
Ukraine in the World Poster

FIFTY YEARS AGO, on January 22, 1968, an agreement was signed between the Ukrainian Studies Chair Fund, Inc., a Ukrainian-American philanthropic educational organizationUkraine in the World Poster, and Harvard University, America’s premier institution of higher learning, that laid the foundation for institutional development of scholarly study of Ukraine in the Western world. This initiative found rapid fulfillment by 1973 in the establishment and funding of three chairs in Ukrainian studies (history, literature, and philology) to promote teaching, an institute to advance programs in research and dissemination of new knowledge, and support for collections development in an academic library already the richest in Ucrainica outside Eastern Europe.

The choice of the date of this signing was laden with symbolism. It marked the fiftieth anniversary of historical events of monumental significance: 1918 was the year of Ukraine’s first modern proclamation of independence on January 22, and the creation of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences, the country’s first national scholarly institution, on November 14. The establishment of the Harvard programs occurred at a specific point in time a half century later — a period of Ukraine’s domination by the Soviet Union, with its specific challenges in the world of scholarship as a direct result and under circumstances of Ukraine’s obscurity in the arena of world politics and scholarly activity.

The conference “Ukraine in the World” is convened to mark the fiftieth anniversary of this foundational act of 1968 and to examine and assess the state of Ukrainian studies at Harvard over the intervening half century. This period saw changes on the ground inconceivable fifty years ago. Ukraine has emerged as an independent state, and one with considerable visibility and importance on the international stage. This has made Ukrainian studies an increasingly important presence in the halls of academe, and at the same time expanded the scope of Ukrainian studies into areas and disciplines never envisioned in 1968. It is the purpose of the organizers of the conference to examine and assess the course of these developments, with a tribute to the vision and efforts of the founders and pioneers, and a look forward to the new challenges already on the horizon in this 21st century.

Serhii Plokhii,
Chair of the Conference Organizational Committee

Lubomyr Hajda
Senior Advisor to the Director,
Co-Chair of the Conference Organizational Committee

Tymish Holowinsky
Executive Director
Co-Chair of the Conference Organizational Committee


Fifty Years of Ukrainian Studies at Harvard University

11–12 May 2018 (Friday and Saturday)
Tsai Auditorium, S-010
Center for Government and International Studies, Harvard University
1730 Cambridge Street Cambridge, MA

Friday, May 11, 2018

Panel I: Ukrainian Harvard: Past, Present, Future
10:30 to 12:00 pm
Chair: Roman Szporluk (Harvard University)
Lubomyr Hajda (Harvard University) – “Ukrainian Studies at Harvard: An Overview”
Roman Procyk (Ukrainian Studies Fund) – “Harvard and the Ukrainian Community” 
Serhii Plokhii (Harvard University) – “Where Are We Now and Where Are We Heading?” 

LUNCH – 12 to 1:30 pm

Panel II: The Foundations: Kyiv and Beyond
1:30 to 3:15 pm
Chair: Michael Flier (Harvard University)
Simon Franklin (University of Cambridge) – “What Really Happened? Textology and History in the Povest’ vremennykh let”
Donald Ostrowski (Harvard University) –“The Annales Bertiniani As a Source for the Rus’ of the Early Ninth Century”
Harvey Goldblatt (Yale University) – “Ukraine Will Rise up and Dispel the Darkness of Slavery: On the Fiftieth Anniversary of Harvard Ukrainian Studies"
Frank Sysyn (University of Alberta) –“The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts: Ukrainian Studies at Harvard and the Polish-Ukrainian Axis”

BREAK – 3:15 to 3:30 pm

Panel III: Crossing Boundaries
3:30 to 5:15 pm
Chair: Lubomyr Hajda (Harvard University)
Peter Brown (Rhode Island College) – The Ukrainian-Russian Studies Nexus: "Ukraine and Russia Scholarly Dependency Syndrome: The HURI Record"
Patrice Dabrowski (HURI) – The Ukrainian-Polish Studies Nexus: “The Polish-Ukrainian-Hutsul Triangle, or How Ukrainian Were Hutsul Highlanders in Interwar Poland?”
Cemal Kafadar (Harvard University) – The Ukrainian-Turkish Studies Nexus: "Linkages between Two Worlds: The HURI Legacy"
Henry Abramson (Touro College) – The Ukrainian-Jewish Studies Nexus: “Ukrainians and Jews since HURI”

DINNER – 6:00 to 9:00 pm – Harvard Faculty Club, 20 Quincy Street, Cambridge, MA 02138
(Due to space considerations, this event is limited to conference presenters and invited guests. An audio recording of the address will be available on HURI’s website.)

Keynote Speaker, Most Rev. Bishop Borys Gudziak
Bishop of the Paris Eparchy of Saint Volodymyr for Greek-Catholic Ukrainians
“From Woe from Wit to The Gates of Europe: A Half-Century of Breakthroughs and Adventures in Ukrainian Studies”

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Panel IV: Rethinking the Ukrainian Literary Canon
9:15 to 11:00 am
Chair: George Grabowicz (Harvard University)
George Grabowicz (Harvard University) – "The Dark Side of the Canon"
Taras Koznarsky (University of Toronto) –“Little Russian Literature”
Tamara Hundorova (Shevchenko Institute of Literature, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine) –“Beyond the Canon: Ukrainian Futurism and Totalitarian Culture”
Vitaly Chernetsky (University of Kansas) – "In Search of Territories of Freedom: Ivan Kozlenko's Novel Tanzher as a Challenge to the Ukrainian Canon"

BREAK – 11:00 to 11:15 am

Panel V: The Future of the Past
11:15 am to 1:00 pm
Chair: Terry Martin (Harvard University)
Hennady Boriak (Institute of the History of Ukraine, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine) – “Academic CLIO in Soviet and Post-Soviet Paradigms: Past of the Future or Future of the Past?”
Volodymyr Kravchenko (University of Alberta) – “Ukrainian Studies in North America during the Cold War: Canadian Aspects”
Paul Robert Magocsi (University of Toronto) – “Ukrainian Studies Outside Ukraine: The Need for a New Approach”
Victor Ostapchuk (University of Toronto) –“HURI, Ukraine, and the Ottoman Empire: Between Agendas and Achievements”

LUNCH – 1:00 to 2:30 pm

Panel VI: New Frontiers
2:30 to 4:15 pm
Chair: Timothy Colton (Harvard University)
Dominique Arel (University of Ottawa) – "The Future Is Now: The State of Doctoral Research on Ukraine" 
Paul D’Anieri (University of California, Riverside) – “New Frontiers in the Study of Ukrainian Politics”
Oxana Shevel (Tufts University) – “Nation-Building in Post-Soviet Ukraine: Challenges and Solutions” 
Volodymyr Kulyk (National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine) – “What Have We Learned about Ukrainian Identities?”