A Ukrainian Summer: where to go, what to do...

Apply for the Harvard Ukrainian Summer Institute and earn university credits


by Yuri Shevchuk

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - The Harvard Ukrainian Summer Institute (HUSI) is accepting applications for its eight-week intensive program which this year will last from June 28 through August 20.

The only program of its kind in North America, the HUSI offers eight weeks of intensive accredited university instruction in Ukrainian studies. The program is run jointly by the Harvard Summer School and the Ukrainian Research Institute and has been in existence since 1971.

Students can take advantage of Harvard's many research and instructional facilities, including the largest library Ucrainica collection outside of Eastern Europe, museums and a language resource center. In the past HUSI participants included undergraduates, graduate students, and professionals from North and South America, Asia, Africa and Europe, including Ukraine.

Intensive Ukrainian language training is a principal focus of the Harvard Ukrainian Summer Institute. Language teaching is proficiency-based and aimed at developing communication skills in a variety of real-life situations. An entry test determines placement in each course. The language program actively relies on extensive university language resources, including a library of recorded material, dozens of video films and programs, satellite access to Ukrainian news and other radio and TV shows, regular language tables and many other extracurricular activities to create a near-immersion language environment.

Beginning Ukrainian (instructor Alla Parkhomenko, Ph.D., Kyiv State University) is an intensive course for students with little or no knowledge of Ukrainian. Basic grammatical structures are introduced and reinforced through an active oral approach. By the end of the course students are expected to develop the ability to conduct short conversations in a range of familiar situations related to daily activities, understand simple factual texts and write routine messages. They will be able to initiate, maintain and bring to a close simple exchanges by asking and responding to simple questions.

Intermediate Ukrainian (instructor Yuri I. Shevchuk, Ph.D., Kyiv State University) is an intensive review of basic structures, followed by expansion of these grammar fundamentals. Emphasis will be on oral communication using basic conversational patterns. Major emphasis will be placed on the development of vocabulary through readings and viewings of videotaped programs focusing on contemporary cultural and political issues. By the end of the course students will be able to narrate and describe in major time frames, and deal effectively with unanticipated complications in most informal, and some formal, settings on topics of personal and some general interest.

Advanced Ukrainian (instructor Volodymyr Dibrova, preceptor, department of Slavic languages and literatures, Harvard University) is an intensive course for students who wish to develop their mastery of the language. Reading selections include annotated articles on contemporary issues in business, economics, politics and culture. Short written reports and oral presentations will be part of the course. By the end of the course the students will be able to discuss extensively a wide range of general interest topics and some special fields of interest, hypothesize, support opinions and deal with linguistically unfamiliar situations. Classes will be conducted largely in Ukrainian.

In addition, the HUSI offers courses in history, politics and literature.

Modern Ukraine, 1790-2003 (instructor George Liber, professor of history, University of Alabama at Birmingham) provides a narrative overview and analysis of the evolution of the Ukrainian national identity from the early 19th century to the present. The course investigates the incorporation of Ukrainian territories into the Austrian and Russian empires; socio-economic and political developments in these empires; the emergence of the Ukrainian national movement in the 19th century; the revolution of the 1917-1921 period; the formation of the USSR and the Ukrainian SSR; Ukrainianization; Ukrainian national communism; collectivization, the Famine of 1932-1933, and the purges; Ukraine's socio-economic transformation; the second world war; the post-Stalinist period; Gorbachev's reforms; the collapse of the USSR; the emergence of independent Ukraine; and Post-communist and post-colonial problems.

Theorizing Ukraine: Politics, Theory and Political Theory (instructor Alexander J. Motyl, professor of political science, Rutgers University, Newark) is a historically and comparatively informed examination of social science approaches to conceptualizing and theorizing politics and political developments in Ukraine. The course investigates concepts and theories of the state, revolution, nation, nationalism, empire, elite, socialism, totalitarianism, transition, civil society, modernization, political culture and democracy. Both concepts and theories will be discussed in relation to one another, in light of modern Ukrainian history, and with reference to other countries.

Symbolic Identity: Discourse of Gender in Ukrainian Literature (instructor Tamara Hundorova, corresponding member of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, head of the Literary Theory Department, Institute of Literature, National Academy of Sciences, Kyiv) provides an interdisciplinary analysis of Ukrainian literature from the point of view of gender studies. It explores how different types of discourse construct gender identity and how gender issues influence literary imagination. The course also looks at the symbolic role of gender in national identity, and studies gender as a factor in construing modern and post-modern consciousness. Students will examine different gender strategies employed by Ukrainian writers from Ivan Kotliarevsky and Marko Vovchok to Yuri Andrukhovych and Oksana Zabuzhko.

A full calendar of special events supplements the academic offerings of the Harvard Ukrainian Summer Institute. In the past the program has featured lectures and discussions with internationally recognized experts on Ukrainian affairs, diplomats and decision-makers directly involved in Ukraine's domestic and foreign policy, literary readings, theater workshops, screenings of rare Ukrainian films, performances showcasing Ukrainian pop, folk and classical music, as well as excursions to Greater Boston area attractions.

The application deadline is May 30. For application materials contact: Patricia Coatsworth, Administrator, Harvard Ukrainian Summer Institute, 1583 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; telephone, (617) 495-7833; fax, (617) 495-8097; e-mail, huri@harvard.edu.

For detailed information on the course descriptions and syllabi, faculty profiles, application materials, past programs, alumni comments and much more, visit the HUSI website: http://www.huri.harvard.edu/husi.html.


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Copyright © The Ukrainian Weekly, May 2, 2004, No. 18, Vol. LXXII


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