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Shevchenko and His Readers

The presentation will place Shevchenko in the context of Ukrainian society of the 1830s-1840s, focusing on the impact of his poetry and the effect of his charismatic persona on his readers -- peasants (including his brother Varfolomij, a serf), both the Ukrainian and Russian intelligentsia and gentry, and representatives of the Russian imperial court. The reception of Shevchenko exposes the boundaries of the Ukrainian (and Little Russian) discourse (literature, folklore, history) within Russian imperial culture and the limits of what has been termed "Ukrainophilia" in Russian educated society.  The lecture will conclude with a look at mobilizations of Shevchenko's poetry and highly mythologized persona during the events of Euromaidan in Kyiv.Taras Koznarsky is an associate professor in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Toronto. His research interests include Ukrainian-Russian literary relations in the nineteenth century, the shaping of modern Ukrainian cultural and national identity, and the text of Kyiv: constructions of the city in the Ukrainian, Russian, Jewish, and Polish literary and cultural imaginations, 1800s-2000s.  His recent work includes articles on the representation of the Jews in Ukraine through the eyes of Russian travelers in the first decades of the 19th century and on Khmelnytsky in historical imagination.  His current manuscript projects examine the working of ethno-cultural stereotypes of Ukrainians and Russians in the shaping of Gogol's literary career, and the blood libel trial of Beilis as a battle of political and cultural imaginations as played out in the press of the time.
Attendees are invited to visit the exhibit on Ukraine in Green Library from 4:30-5:45 pm.



Thursday, October 16, 2014. 06:00PM


Pigott Hall, Room 113


CREEES Center for Russian, East European & Eurasian Studies




Free and open to the public. RSVP requested.