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Farewell to a "Wonderful Slavonic People": Ethnic Othering and Stereotyping During the Russo-Ukrainian War

The ongoing Russo-Ukrainian war, euphemistically called “the Ukraine crisis”, has revealed a dramatic gap between the imaginary Ukraine (“a wonderful Slavonic people”, in Aleksandr Dugin’s terms) created by three centuries of Russian imperial mythmaking and the real Ukraine that evolved as an alternative and ultimately a bold denial of those efforts. This seminar examines Russian stereotypes of Ukrainians as an important element of that mythmaking and deconstructs them as the instruments of imperial manipulation, discursive dominance and, nowadays, unscrupulous propagandistic war. It contends that the popular view of Ukrainians and Russians as “almost the same people” becomes increasingly obsolete since it refers primarily to common soil and blood, culture and history, contrary to Ukrainians’ attempts to develop civic identity and establish a value-based rather than ethnic proximity to democratic nations of Europe.
This seminar will be based on the following readings:
Mykola Riabchuk is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Political and Nationalities Studies in Kyiv and a Fulbright Visiting Scholar at the George Washington University. He has published a number of books and many articles on postcommunist transformations, state-nation building, nationalism and national identity in Ukraine. His latest books include: “Gleichschaltung. Authoritarian Consolidation in Ukraine, 2010-2012” (2012, in both Ukrainian and English) and “Postcolonial Syndrome” (2011), translated also into Polish (2015) and Hungarian (2016).



Friday, October 7, 2016. 12:00 PM


Encina Hall West, Room 219


CREEES Center for Russian, East European & Eurasian Studies




This event is open to Stanford affiliates.
RSVP requested.