No. 4 : The 100th Anniversary of the Ukrainian Revolution (1917–1921)

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    A Word of Welcome From the Editor-in-Chief
    (2017) Morenets, Volodymyr
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    Serhii Yefremov: Epitome of the Ukrainian Revolution
    (2017) Tarnawsky, Maxim
    Yefremov’s personal characteristics exemplify the characteristic features of the Ukrainian Revolution. He was an argumentative, pugnacious man, and the revolution was characterized by infighting. He was an institution builder, and that’s a key element of the Ukrainian Revolution. He was ideologically an advocate of Ukrainian identity (sooner than social rights or state building) and that too was a feature of the Ukrainian Revolution. His diaries and ego writing offer a variety of evidence of these aspects of his personality.
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    Mykhailo Hrushevskyi's Father: Biographical Aspects
    (2017) Yurynets, Yaryna
    The key scholarly issue of contemporary Ukrainian research is not only a return to existing problems and figures but also a search for new figures and the filling of historical and biographical gaps. The present article is dedicated to the biography of Kyiv Theological Academy graduate Serhii Hrushevskyi (1830-1901), a figure who has rarely appeared in research previously. He was a talented teacher and gained credibility and respect among his contemporaries. More attention should be paid to his publications in periodicals, the themes of which varied from pedagogy to linguistics. It is necessary to emphasize the importance of Hrushevskyi in the development of public education of the late 19th century. The education, hard work, and active social activity of Serhii Hrushevskyi had a positive impact on his son, renowned Ukrainian politician and statesman, historian Mykhailo Hrushevskyi (1866-1934), for whom his father was his first and major mentor. Love for “Ukrainians”, learning and writing, selfless work - is the legacy that Serhii Hrushevskyi passed on to Mykhailo, which was always at the core of his life and scholarly activity. The results of the article not only contain new biographical information about Hrushevskyi’s family, but also emphasize the significant role of the biographical component in modern scholarly research.
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    "Total and Radical Liberation": The Religious and Philosophical Background of Volodymyr Vynnychenko’s Revolutionary Ideas
    (2017) Bilyashevych, Roman
    The article explores the religious and philosophical origins of Volodymyr Vynnychenko’s ideas of “honesty with oneself,” “omnilateral liberation,” and “concordism.” Two treatises, Vidrodzhennia natsii (Rebirth of a Nation, 1919–1920) and Konkordyzm. Systema buduvannia shchastia (Concordism. A System of Building Happiness, 1938–1945), illustrate the development of Vynnychenko’s worldview. In the first work, social revolution was considered as the answer to human problems, while, in the second, such a solution was found in becoming one with the universe. Despite his negative attitude towards religion, Volodymyr Vynnychenko actively used religious images and patterns in his writings. For instance, criticizing Christianity for its dogmatism, he nevertheless created his codex of thirteen rules of concordism, which had to harmonize the unbalanced forces of mankind with the universe. In this context, particular attention is paid to the significant influence of pagan concepts on Vynnychenko’s thinking.
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    Cultural Revolution: Mykhail Semenko, Ukrainian Futurism and the "National" Category
    (2017) Ilnytzkyj, Oleh
    This paper examines Mykhail Semenko’s Futurist manifestos that developed an opposition between “national” and “international” art, and specifically called “national” art provincial and retrograde. In promoting the international European avant-garde, Semenko’s essays demonstrate how consistently he championed a contemporary and modern Ukrainian culture in the face of home-grown conservatism.
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    The revolution of 1917 - the 1920s and the history of social and political thought from Ivan Lysiak-Rudnytsky's perspective
    (2017) Yosypenko, Serhii
    Prominent Ukrainian historian Ivan Lysiak-Rudnytsky (1919-1984) repeatedly addressed the topic of the Ukrainian revolution of 1917 - the 1920s, especially considering its intellectual origins and implications in the context of the history of Ukrainian social and political thought. Analysis of his works shows the manner in which the Ukrainian revolution as an event structures the history of Ukrainian social and political thought in both senses of the term “history”: as history itself and as its historiography. Based on this analysis, the article considers changes in the meaning of the revolution for modern Ukrainians, as well as the credibility - in the context of these changes - of the classifications of the historiography of Ukrainian social and political thought, which rest on the key meaning of the revolution for modern Ukrainian history. The article also supports the conclusion that the rejection of the evolutionary model which I. Lysiak-Rudnytsky most directly addressed will help to outline a well-balanced and reliable history of Ukrainian social and political thought without excessive historicism.
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    The Perception of Germany in the Kyivan Press: From Ukrainian People's Republic to the Hetmanate (November 1917 - December 1918)
    (2017) Basenko, Ivan
    The 1917 February Revolution led to the reshaping of the war-era image of the German enemy. Focusing on the former imperial borderland province of the Southwestern Krai, this article unveils the national, political, and cultural considerations of the local Ukrainian and Russianlanguage media that affected their attitude towards the Germans. It argues that the developments of the 1917–1918 Ukrainian Revolution presented a unique case of constructing the image of the Germans due to the ongoing rivalry between the respective Ukrainian and Russian national projects. The study is based on the materials of prominent Kyivan daily newspapers, thus rendering the spectrum of the region’s political thought. Built upon the concept of imagology, the article apprehends the images of “otherness” in conjunction with the actor’s own identity.
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    Broken Harp Strings: The Art Songs of Kyrylo Stetsenko and the Ukrainian Art Song Project
    (2017) Turgeon, Melanie
    The art song genre began in Ukraine with Mykola Lysenko. Lysenko’s student, Kyrylo Stetsenko, followed his teacher’s example and composed 42 art songs, that are marked by desolation, anguish, and repression, yet with occasional strong glimpses of hope and love. Repressive political circumstances, which Stetsenko desperately fought to change, and various life events as a composer and Orthodox priest truly resulted in the heartfelt music that he wrote. Subsequent Ukrainian composers also wrote art songs despite prohibition of the Ukrainian language in print, in performance, and in scores. Over the past decade, thanks to the diligent efforts of the Ukrainian Art Song Project, the world stage is being introduced to hundreds of forbidden art songs by Ukrainian composers. Founded in 2004 by world-renowned bass-baritone, Pavlo Hunka, the Ukrainian Art Song Project aims to record, publish, promote and perform the art songs of more than 26 eminent Ukrainian composers by 2025.
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    Ukrainian Attempts at State Building in 1917–1921 and the Idea of Intermarium: A Historiographical and Archival Note
    (2017) Boyko, Viktoria
    This paper aims to shed light on the historiographical and archival component of an important topic - the efforts to build an independent Ukrainian state in the period 1917-1921. It also scrutinizes Polish Eastern Policy of that period to provide background for further research. The issues touched upon in this brief review indicate the need for further research in this thematic realm. The historiography given in this article captures the views of Polish political elites at the turn of the twentieth century. It could be argued that these elites were strongly focused on the resurrection of an independent Polish state. One of the strongest positions was formulated by the National Democrats, the so-called Endeks, led by the well-known political figure Roman Dmowski, who in his Thoughts of a Modern Pole (1903), or in Germany, Russia, and the Polish Problem (1908), as well as in his Polish Politics and the Rebirth of the State (1925) and other works stressed the idea of incorporating Ukrainian lands into the Polish state, and called Ukrainians an “ahistorical,” “non-state” nation, i. e. a nation with no right to have a state of their own. The Endeks believed that only those lands along its eastern border should be incorporated. These were lands that Poland could “digest” and gradually Polonize completely, thus becoming a monoethnic state. He considered Eastern Galicia, Volhynia, and Podillia to be such territories. Other Ukrainian lands according to the Endeks should belong to Russia and act as a counterweight to German hegemony. Simultaneously the idea of antemurale, of Poland being a bulwark of Christianity confronting the East, was seen as part of the great mission to protect Western civilization from the Bolshevik threat. Thus, in this part of the Polish political elite’s vision there was no place for an independent Ukraine.
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    On Andrii Malyshko's "Second Birth"
    (2017) Morenets, Volodymyr
    The cultural policy of the USSR provided for the deliberate displacement of Ukrainian (like every other national language) to the naive provincial periphery of the “great art” of the mighty Soviet Union, supposedly possible solely in the sphere of the Russian language. The renewed Soviet ideologization of literature in the postwar years led to a sharp decline in the artistic level of all literary fields. But even against the background of this general artistic decline, the caricaturised burlesque and travesty-like artificiality of Andrii Malyshko’s (1912–1970) poetry of the time is impressive. Malyshko’s so-called “second birth” in his late period represents a rare in its purity instance, where we can observe an ontological conflict of language and ideology that a Ukrainian artist of the Soviet period resolves in favor of language. Malyshko created not provincial peripheral streams, but a strong artistic and philosophical alternative to the blind, technocratic, and miserable in its Russified nature, imperial reality.
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    The Insurgent Struggle Against the Soviet Occupiers in Vasyl Herasymiuk's Poetry
    (2017) Laiuk, Myroslav
    Vasyl Herasymiuk, one of the most prominent contemporary Ukrainian poets, presents the struggle of the insurgents against the Soviet occupiers in the Carpathians in his literary works as an opposition of “own” and “other.” The invasion of the occupier destroys the authentic Carpathian cultural continuum and the insurgent underground resistance becomes a symbol of the human struggle for dignity and the preservation of own identity. The article analyzes the specific model of history presented in Vasyl Herasymiuk’s poetry. The connection between the insurgency and the poet’s biography and the history of his family is demonstrated. The article also traces and analyzes the contamination of the images of UPA insurgents and opryshky, the transformation in the hierarchical verticality of space, and the development of the struggle, presented via the opposition of “own” — “other,” from a myth-ritual point of view.
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    The Valuev Circular and the End of Little Russian Literature
    (2017) Dibrova, Volodymyr
    In the summer of 1863 right after the Polish uprising, the Russian Minister of the Interior Piotr Valuev issued a circular that effectively banned the publication of all popular literature, including textbooks and religious texts. The article is an attempt to gauge the impact of the Valuev Circular on Ukrainian literature by comparing book publishing at different periods of the 19th century in terms of the number of books, languages, genres, and geography, as well as its relevance to the contemporary literary canon. The author concludes that the Valuev Circular was an unambiguous manifestation of awareness on the part of the Russian authorities that the Ukrainian cultural revival posed a serious danger to the unity of the Empire. And the detrimental effect it had on all of Ukrainian culture is well documented. The silver lining, if there was any, was that the very name “Little Russian” acquired a derogatory meaning, and since 1863 all “nationally conscious” Ukrainians (“natsionalno-svidomi,” a term coined by Borys Hrinchenko) had to radically rethink their attitudes towards the country they lived in. The bilingualism of the previous generation was now considered an act of betrayal. The Circular did not succeed in eradicating the Ukrainian movement. Ukrainian literature, as a repository of national aspirations, survived half a century of external pressure, but it had to pay a high price. By banning the Ukrainian language from school church, and from most other spheres of state and social life the Valuev Circular deprived Ukraine of at least two generations of Ukrainian readers (arguably, one of the two indispensable elements of any literature) and seriously curtailed the ability of Ukrainian literature to create a viable infrastructure.
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    World War I - A Personal Story
    (2017) Bohachevsky-Chomiak, Martha
    For me, the First World War brings visions of the home I had never known. A strange statement? Let me explain, since of course I did not live during that war. Growing up I heard much about it. My childhood coincided with the entire Second World War, experiences that overwhelmingly make accounts of the First World War bearable. We, children during World War II, did not know any other childhood. Not expecting anything, we were satisfied with little. Our worldview was still that of the World War I generation with our belief in the normality of a life of decent people who share basic ideas about what constitutes good and who know where true values reside. My generation of Ukrainian immigrants who came of age in America in the 1950s and 1960s still publicly marked November 1918 and 1919 — liberation and unification of the Ukrainian People’s Republic — as a heroic attempt. In our stories, we mused how Ukraine would eventually gain its independence, as other Eastern European states had done after WWI. Our pseudo-European Displaced Persons camp experiences gave us a precarious affinity to things European. My decadeolder brother dismissed my choice of a history major with a breezy: “Martha has to figure out how we got here.” He went on to study mathematics to explore the cosmos, while I scurried into the ever more labyrinthine presentations of the past.
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    One Hundred Years of the Ukrainian Liberation Struggle
    (2017) Kvit, Serhii
    To understand historical processes, it is not nearly enough to take into account only objective distant social, political, and economic factors. We also need to pay attention to different wellestablished traditions, stereotypes and existing myths-archetypes, which unavoidably accompany and fill historical memory. Later, some of them are legalized by historiography or, better to say, by different conflicting historiographies. Such an unwritten tradition helps to understand social phenomena which came from somewhere and just exist by outlining dramatic differences of contemporary Ukrainian political culture, as opposed to a number of post-Soviet countries, in particular, Russia. It is especially interesting considering the global importance of the events happening in contemporary Ukraine. During World War I, Ukrainians were trying to create their independent state, as well as to fit it into the geopolitical context of that time. The defeat of the Liberation Struggle and all of Ukrainian history up to the collapse of the Soviet Union until today make us take a close look at historically remote events.
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    Arkhiv Rozstrilianoho Vidrodzhennia. Les Kurbas i teatr Berezil: arkhivni dokumenty (1927-1988) [The Archive of the Executed Renaissance. Les Kurbas and the Berezil Theatre: Archive Documents, 1927-1988], ed. Olga Bertelsen
    (2017) Kovalchuk, Maria
    It took nearly 100 years to rediscover our cultural heritage of the beginning of the 20th century. We are now getting acquainted with our past and see it more clearly than in Soviet times. Formally, the phenomenon of cultural regeneration in the 1920s‑1930s, ignited by repressions, was given its name by Yurii Lavrinenko, a Ukrainian émigré literary critic, in his anthology of the literature of the 1920s‑1930s, entitled “The Executed Renaissance” (Rozstriliane vidrodzhennia).