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Munk Centre


All events are free and open to the public, but registration is generally required. Registration links are provided below for each event.

EVENTS IN 2017-2018


Thursday, October 5, 4-6 pm

Ewa Michna (Jagellonian University): Identity Politics of Stateless Ethnic Groups. The Case of Carpatho-Rusyns and Silesians

Chair: Professor Paul Magocsi (John Yaremko Chair of Ukrainian Studies, University of Toronto)

Commentator: Professor Piotr Wrobel (Konstanty Reynert Chair of Polish History, University of Toronto)

The meaning of the struggle for recognition and identity politics or politics of difference in Central and Eastern European countries has gained significance after the political transformation of the nineties, with the appearance of demands for the emancipation of many ethnic groups aiming to recognize their differences and specificity of culture. The lecture will describe two of such groups: Silesians and Carpatho-Rusyns, for which the democratization of social life opened the way to fight for recognition by the states in which those groups live. The aim of the presentation is to reconstruct the strategies of the struggle for recognition and identity politics of Carpatho-Rusyns and Silesian activists in relation to the signalized by Thomas H. Eriksen universal “grammar of identity politics”. Simultaneously, basing on analysis of states policy towards aspirations of Silesians and Carpatho-Rusyns it will show the fundamental difficulties in achieving legal recognition and protection, which involve groups of unknown status, stateless minority, divided in terms of identity, whose right to emancipation is challenged by various social actors.

Ewa Michna PhD habil., is a sociologist associated professor at the Institute of American Studies and Polish Diaspora, Jagiellonian University, Cracow. Her research interests focus around ethnic and national minorities in Central and Eastern Europe, the struggle of minority communities for their recognition and the identity politics of ethnic leaders. Authors of  Łemkowie. Grupa etniczna czy naród?  (The Lemkos. An Ethnic Group or a Nation?),  Kwestie etniczno-narodowościowe na pograniczu Słowiańszczyzny wschodniej i zachodniej. Ruch rusiński na Słowacji. Ukrainie i w Polsce (Ethnic and  National  Issues in the Borderlands of Eastern and Western Slavic World. The Rusyn Movement in Slovakia, Ukraine and Poland).

Room 208N, Munk School of Global Affairs (1 Devonshire Place)

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Sponsored by the Petro Jacyk Program for the Study of Ukraine, the John Yaremko Chair of Ukrainian Studies; the Centre for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies, and the Konstanty Reynert Chair of Polish Studies.

Thursday, October 12, 5-7 pm

Mykola Riabchuk (Ukrainian Centre for Cultural Studies, Kyiv): "Hybrid Censorship During the "Hybrid War": Freedom of Speech and Expression in the Post-Euromaidan Ukraine

Chair: Lucan Way (Professor of Political Science, co-director of the Petro Jacyk Program

Within the past few years, the Ukrainian authorities have been heavily critisized by international watchdogs and independent observers for some legal steps and practical policies that allegedly curtail freedom of speech and access to information in the country. The government and its supporters argue, however, that the policies are justified by the actual situation of war waged by the neigboring Russia against Ukraine and have nothing to do with a censorship in a conventional sense but, rather, represents a defensive measure against the enemy’s propaganda, subversion, and provocative disinformation. The debate represents a partiular case of a broader controversy between the demand for unrestrained freedom of speech indispensable for modern democracy and the need of those very democracies to protect themselves from the rogue individials, groups, and regimes that increasingly learned how to weaponize media and (dis)information for their malevolent goals.

Mykola Riabchuk is a senior research fellow at the Ukrainian Center for Cultural Studies, in Kyiv, and co-founder and member of the editorial board of Krytyka, a leading Ukrainian intellectual magazine.

Room 208N, Munk School of Global Affairs (1 Devonshire Place)

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Sponsored by the Petro Jacyk Program for the Study of Ukraine and the Centre for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies.

Thursday, October 26, 4-6 pm

Mayhill Fowler (History Department, Stetson University): Beau Monde on Empire's Edge: State and Stage in Soviet Ukraine

Chair: Maxim Tarnawsky (Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, University of Toronto)

During her talk, 2012-2013 Jacyk Postdoctoral Fellow Professor Mayhill Fowler will present her recently published book. In Beau Monde on Empire’s Edge, Mayhill C. Fowler tells the story of the rise and fall of a group of men who created culture both Soviet and Ukrainian. This collective biography showcases new aspects of the politics of cultural production in the Soviet Union by focusing on theater and on the multi-ethnic borderlands. Unlike their contemporaries in Moscow or Leningrad, these artists from the regions have been all but forgotten despite the quality of their art. Beau Monde restores the periphery to the center of Soviet culture. Sources in Russian, Ukrainian, Polish, and Yiddish highlight the important multi-ethnic context and the challenges inherent in constructing Ukrainian culture in a place of Ukrainians, Russians, Poles, and Jews. Beau Monde on Empire’s Edge traces the growing overlap between the arts and the state in the early Soviet years, and explains the intertwining of politics and culture in the region today. The book has been published with University of Toronto Press.

Dr. Mayhill C. Fowler (Ph.D., Princeton) is assistant professor of history at Stetson University, where she also directs the program in Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies. She teaches and researches the cultural history of Russia and Eastern Europe, with a focus on Ukraine, and is interested in how social and political structures shape entertainment, representation, and live performance. She has published widely on culture in Ukraine. Her first book– Beau Monde at Empire’s Edge: State and Stage in Soviet Ukraine (Toronto, 2017)—tells the story of how a very rich cultural center became a cultural periphery through a collective biography of young artists and officials in the 1920s and 1930s. Her second project investigates how we entertain soldiers, through the lens of the former Red Army Theater in Lviv. She also thinks about the Soviet actress, Yiddish theater, and 19th century itinerant theater clans. She was the Petro Jacyk Postdoctoral Fellow at Toronto in 2012-2013, held a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard’s Ukrainian Research Institute, and taught cultural history at the Catholic University in Lviv.

Room 208N, Munk School of Global Affairs (1 Devonshire Place)

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Sponsored by the Petro Jacyk Program for the Study of Ukraine and the Centre for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies.

Monday, October 30, 7-10 pm

Anne Applebaum Presents "Red Famine: Stalin's War on Ukraine"

Author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Gulag and the National Book Award finalist Iron Curtain, Anne Applebaum presents her new book, Red Famine: Stalin’s War on Ukraine, a revelatory history of one of Stalin's greatest crimes.

In 1929 Stalin launched his policy of agricultural collectivization—in effect a second Russian revolution—which forced millions of peasants off their land and onto collective farms. The result was a catastrophic famine, the most lethal in European history. But instead of sending relief the Soviet state made use of the catastrophe to rid itself of a political problem. In Red Famine, Anne Applebaum argues that millions of Ukrainians perished not because they were accidental victims of a bad policy but because the state deliberately set out to kill them. Applebaum proves what has long been suspected: after a series of unsettling rebellions, Stalin set out to destroy the Ukrainian peasantry. The state sealed the republic’s borders and seized all available food. Starvation set in rapidly, and people ate anything: grass, tree bark, dogs, corpses. Red Famine captures the horror of ordinary people struggling to survive extraordinary evil. Today, Russia, the successor to the Soviet Union, has placed Ukrainian independence in its sights once more. Applebaum’s compulsively readable narrative recalls one of the worst crimes of the twentieth century, and shows how it may foreshadow a new threat to the political order in the twenty-first.

Anne Applebaum writes on history and contemporary politics in Eastern Europe, Ukraine, and Russia. She is a columnist for The Washington Post, a Professor of Practice at the London School of Economics, and a contributor to The New York Review of Books. Formerly a member of the Washington Post editorial board, she has also worked as the Foreign and Deputy Editor of the Spectator magazine in London, as the Political Editor of the Evening Standard, and as a columnist at Slate and at several British newspapers, including the Daily and Sunday Telegraphs. From 1988-1991 she covered the collapse of communism as the Warsaw correspondent of the Economist magazine and the Independent newspaper. Her previous books include Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1944-1956, which won the 2012 Cundill Prize for Historical Literature and the Duke of Westminster Medal. She is also the author of Gulag: A History, which narrates the history of the Soviet concentration camps system and describes daily life in the camps, making extensive use of recently opened Russian archives as well as memoirs and interviews Gulag won the Pulitzer Prize for non-fiction in 2004.

New location:
Innis Town Hall Theatre 
2 Sessex Ave
Toronto, ON M5S 1J5

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Sponsored by the Holodomor Research and Education Consortium, the Petro Jacyk Program for the Study of Ukraine, and the Centre for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies.

Wednesday, November 8, 4-6 pm

Robert Frost (University of Aberdeen): Challenging the Establishment: Mykhailo Hrushevsky, Lviv, and the Writing of Volume 4 of the History of Ukraine-Rus'

Chair: Piotr Wrobel (Konstanty Reynert Chair of Polish History, University of Toronto)

Discussant: Frank Sysyn (Professor, University of Alberta)

This talk will explore the political and cultural battles fought by Mykhailo Hrushevsky from his appointment to the chair of Ukrainian history in Lviv in 1894 to the outbreak of the First World War in 1914. In these years he fought battles of varying degrees of intenstity against various establishments: the Austrian government in Vienna; the Polish authorities in Lviv; the Polish-dominated University of Lviv, and the Polish cultural and historical establishments in Galicia and beyond its borders. He also played a central role in transforming the Ukrainian cultural establishment in Galicia, sometimes in conflict with its leaders; sometimes in collaboration with them. Against this background of struggle, and the worsening state of Polish-Ukrainian relations in Galicia, Hrushevsky conceived and wrote volume 4, in the years between 1901 and 1907. It covers the period of Polish-Lithuanian rule of Ukraine, from the collapse of the principality of Galicia-Volhynia in 1340 to the 1569 Union of Lublin, when Ukraine was incorporated into the kingdom of Poland. Volume 4 was written when the young Hrushevsky was at the height of his powers as a historian and was unconstrained by the censorship which limited what he could write in the Soviet years. The talk will explore the connection between his political, social, and cultural activities after 1894 and his radical reconceptualization of the relationship between Ukraine, Lithuania, and Poland in the years in which the Polish-Lithuanian union was formed. It will suggest that Volume 4 contains some of Hrushevsky’s finest writing on political history.

The session will be chaired by Professor Piotr Wróbel, University of Toronto. Professor Frank Sysyn, University of Alberta, will serve as a discussant. The session will include a presentation of Mykhailo Hrushevsky, History of Ukraine-Rus’, Vol.4 Political Relations in the Fourteenth to Sixteenth Centuries, translated by Andrij Kudla Wynnyckyj. Ed. Robert Frost, Yaroslav Fedoruk, and Frank E. Sysyn with the assistance of Myroslav Yurkevich (Edmonton-Toronto: Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies Press, 2017). The publication is a project of the Peter Jacyk Centre for Ukrainian Historical Research, Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, University of Alberta. Volume 4 was sponsored by the Ukrainian Canadian Foundation of Taras Shevchenko.

Room 108N, Munk School of Global Affairs (1 Devonshire Place)

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Sponsored by the Petro Jacyk Program for the Study of Ukraine, the Peter Jacyk Centre for Ukrainian Historical Research, Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies at the University of Alberta, and the Centre for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies.

Content: © 2002 Petro Jacyk • Design: © 2002 dragandesign.