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The University of Toronto’s Centre for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies (CERES) is pleased to announce a call for papers for the fifth bi -annual Graduate Student Symposium entitled “Ukraine in Global Context” to be held in Toronto on January 27-28, 2012. This interdisciplinary Symposium will bring together aspiring young scholars for two days of presentations and intensive discussions on the study of contemporary Ukraine.

The goal of the Symposium is to present new research and innovative thinking that explores the political, socioeconomic, and cultural dynamics in Ukrainian society. The Symposium seeks to integrate and draw on a wide range of theories and new scholarly research by applying them to Ukraine as a case study.

The Symposium is open to graduate students and recent PhD holders from North America and Europe.  Cross- national and cross -historical comparisons in the wider context of the post -communist space are encouraged. Submissions can focus on a variety of topics including, but not limited to, the following:

Participants will have the opportunity to   interact with academics working in similar fields. Previous attendees and guest lecturers include: Dominique Arel, Paul D’Anieri, Marta Dyczok, Taras Koznarsky, Alexander J. Motyl, Mykola Riabchuk, Peter Solomon, Maxim Tarnawsky, Frank Sysyn, and Lucan A. Way.

Key Note Speaker

We are proud to announce that this year’s keynote speaker will be Prof. Serhy Yekelchyk. Dr. Yekelchyk’s books include Stalin’s Empire of Memory: Russian-Ukrainian Relations in the Soviet Historical Imagination (University of Toronto Press, 2004); Ukraine: Birth of a Modern Nation (Oxford University Press, 2007; Choice magazine “Outstanding Academic Title” for 2007; Polish, Lithuanian, and Russian translations); and Europe’s Last Frontier? Belarus, Moldova, and Ukraine between the EU and Russia (co-editor with Oliver Shmidtke; Palgrave Macmillan, 2008). He is currently at work completing a book manuscript on Stalinist political rituals. Future research projects at different stages of work include a book on Stalinist culture and a collection of articles on Ukrainian mass culture today. At the symposium, Prof. Yekelchyk will give a talk entitled "No Longer 'Between East and West': Ukrainian Cultural History Meets Regional Studies." This paper examines the newest trends in Ukrainian history writing. With the emergence of independent Ukraine old-fashioned debates about this country’s place between the “East” and “West” gave way to a more sophisticated understanding of the region as a cultural frontier. What is even more promising, in recent historical works there is a switch from the “national-history” perspective to that of the regional or local history, often benefitting from the use of microhistorical or cultural-anthropological approaches.

Special Event

The Symposium Committee is pleased to host a special guest, the fine artist Oksana Zhelisko. A native of Lviv, Ukraine, she has been painting professionally for the past ten  years. Her primary medium is oil and her main subject is the female form in various stages, poses, and emotions. The images of women in her work can either be strong or weak, happy or sad, and often impudent and glorious, yet always desirable.
At the symposium, she Oksana will be proudly presenting approximately 9 paintings that comprise a sample of three series of work that she has been creating over the past two years.
 Oksana Zhelisko was recently selected as a feature artist for the Taras Shevchenko Foundation's 2012 Christmas card campaign. Her work is currently displayed at the Daffodil Gallery, Edmonton, AB; Art Beat Gallery, St.Albert, AB; Swirl Fine Art and Design, Calgary, AB. Most of her work as found homes in private collections in Ukraine, Italy, Germany, Poland and Canada.

She currently works from her studio located in Edmonton, Alberta.

 "Christmas Eve" (chosen by the Shevchenko Foundation for the 2012 Christmas card campaign)

"Glimpse from the Past"

“My main goal as an artist is to express my feelings. Not each and every feeling or emotion, just the ones that hold me captive, those that are intertwined into my soul. Releasing them on to a blank canvas provides a catharsis of peace and serenity for me. I have yet to succeed in creating a painting that is true to the passion, vision and courage that I have in my mind’s view of the painting. One day, I hope to be able to execute what is inside me and transmit it to those who see my work so that my love and zest for life is what underlies all of my work”. Oksana Zhelisko

(Reproductions are displayed here with the permission of the author.)

Please direct your inquiries to ukrainian.gradsymposium@utoronto.ca.