From a Memory War to a War over Memory: The Past and Society in Ukraine and Russia during Soviet Times, and Beyond
Serhy Yekelchyk, Germanic and Slavic Studies, University of Victoria
Coach House, Green College, UBC and livestreamed
Tuesday, September 26, 5-6:30pm with reception to followin the series
The Russia-Ukraine War and Memory Politics
Ukraine had been part of the Russian-dominated Soviet Union, but after gaining independence in 1991, the Ukrainian state and society developed in a direction markedly different from that of Russia. What in the Soviet politics of memory underpinned this split, and how did it solidify after 1991? This talk will discuss the intricate entanglement between society, democracy and memory in Ukraine and Russia, and will explain from this unusual vantage point why Putin’s regime underestimates Ukrainian resistance.
Born and educated in Ukraine, Serhy Yekelchyk received a PhD from the University of Alberta. He is the author of eight books on modern Ukrainian history and Russo-Ukrainian relations including the award-winning Stalin’s Citizens: Everyday Politics in the Wake of Total War (Oxford University Press, 2014). A professor of History and Slavic Studies at the University of Victoria, Yekelchyk is currently the president of the Canadian Association for Ukrainian Studies.
Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 has led to a heretofore unseen surge of international interest in Ukraine. A part of the Soviet Union for over 70 years, Ukraine achieved its independence in 1991, starting the process of its democratization. Over the next three decades, Ukrainians have brought about significant political and societal changes in their country. But what is the Ukrainian memory of the Soviet past? What was the role of civic society in re-shaping Ukrainian memory of its Soviet past? How do Russians view the Soviet period of Ukraine? And now, after Russia’s two invasions of Ukraine and the tragic wars that have ensued, what changes are taking place in the collective culture of remembering among the people of Ukraine?
This series of lectures series thus aims to consider how conflicts are shaped by memory, and how they affect the memory and psyche of a people under attack.
Series Conveners: Nataliia Ivchyk, Political Sciences, Rivne State University and John Grace Memorial Holocaust Historian in Residence at Green College; and Richard Menkis, History
Unless otherwise noted, all of our lectures are free to attend and do not require registration.
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