NEW YORK – The Ukrainian Studies Program at the Harriman Institute will offer five courses and a series of events focusing on today’s Ukraine at Columbia University during the fall semester. Additionally, two visiting scholars and a young writer will be visiting the program this fall. Dr. Tamara Martsenyuk, assistant professor at the National University of Kyiv Mohyla Academy, will be a visiting Fulbright scholar at the Harriman Institute during the 2017-2018 academic year. The topic of her research project will be “Women’s Activism in Ukraine: from Euro-Maidan to War in Donbas.”
Markian Dobczansky is a historian of the Soviet Union who will be a postdoctoral fellow in Ukrainian studies at the Harriman Institute of Columbia University for two years, beginning in the fall. His appointment is generously supported by the Petro Jacyk Fund.
JENKINTOWN, Pa. – On Wednesday, May 31, 2017, Jonathan Peri, president of Manor College, and Dr. Stephen Grieco, vice-president of academic affairs met via Skype with Igor Tsependa, rector, and Andriy Zagorodnyuk, vice-rector, of Vasyl Stefanyk Precarpathian National University in Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine, to sign a first-of-its-kind partnership agreement connecting the two institutions. This agreement means that the institutions intend to: engage in joint research projects and scientific conferences; exchange scientific data, curricula and scientific literature; prepare scientific publications containing the results of joint research; participate in joint international programs and projects; exchange scientific, pedagogical staff and students; engage in scientific internship; and jointly seek support for the purposes of the objectives of this agreement. “Our agreement with Precarpathian is a first among several anticipated. Manor College intends to be the American hub for the Ukrainian university collaboration in the United States.
The database on Ukrainians in the U.S. developed by the Center for Demographic and Socio-Economic Research of Ukrainians in the United States at the Shevchenko Scientific Society in New York has information starting in 1980, the first year when the question on “ancestry” was asked in the U.S. Census. Thus, it has some information about the Third Wave (post World War II) and later year immigrants, and very detailed information about the recent immigration from Ukraine (the Fourth Wave), but has practically no information about the first and second waves of immigration from Ukraine to the U.S.
The only available statistical source on the First Wave is the Annual Reports of the Commissioner General of Immigration for 1899-1930, discussed by Yulian Bachynskyj, Wasyl Halich and Myron Kuropas. Given that the territory of Ukraine was divided among several countries and that most immigrants were not familiar with the concept of “Ukrainian” nationality or identity, it is difficult to estimate the number of Ukrainian immigrants during that period. The number of 268,311 immigrants from Ukraine in the Immigration Reports is based mainly on immigrants registered as “Ruthenians,” and it does not include Ukrainians who may have been registered as Austrians, Russians, Poles, Slovaks, Magyars or Croats. A few months ago, the U.S. Bureau of the Census released the full U.S. 1920 census that contains detailed information about immigrants from Ukraine between 1820 and 1920.
LVIV – The Ukrainian Catholic University (UCU) hosted a conference with the participation of worldwide professional occupational therapists: the vice-president of the World Federation of Occupational Therapists, Samantha Shann; a representative of the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists, Natalie Zaraska; and a representative of the American Occupational Therapy Association, Lisa Mason. The motto of the event, held in Lviv on April 24, was “We are starting a new rehabilitation specialization in Ukraine, occupational therapy.”
As the practice of occupational therapy develops in Ukraine, it is important to know what foreign experience can offer for this newly created specialization in the context of cooperation with the World Federation of Occupational Therapists. The conference focused on how the Canadian and American models of occupational therapy work, what are the profession’s educational requirements, and what are the prospects for the development of rehabilitation service in Ukraine. These were discussed also at a meeting of representatives of the Ukrainian government in the field of health care and Ukrainian specialists in rehabilitation medicine with delegates of foreign professional associations. “It is valuable when they can support you.
LA FERME, Quebec – The award-winning Spirit Lake Internment Interpretative Center, now in its seventh successful year, has expanded its ever-popular educational school program at the center. The guided school tours of the internment museum offered for the elementary, high school and CEGEP level throughout the Abitibi area and the province are already booked for the months of April, May and June. The museum is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. to accommodate schools and the general public. Many thousands more will be visiting the center this year. School buses that arrive at the museum, are divided in two groups of 15-20 students in the museum. As one group with their teacher and museum-guide tours the exhibit area upstairs, the second group of 15-20 students enjoys lunch in the downstairs room and views two documentaries on the internment, “Ukrainians in Quebec 1891-1945“ in French or English, or “Freedom Had a Price.” During warm weather, students tour the original Spirit Lake internment grounds around the center. Busloads of students will also be arriving from Montreal, Ottawa, Gatineau, Laval and other areas over the next months. The center reaches out by doing presentations at various schools; in turn, the teachers book visits for students to see the actual internment museum with its unique artifact collection, photos from the internment period and other related historical items.
Because the center has wheelchair accessibility, teachers with special needs students are welcomed and able to book tours.
PHOENIX – The words displayed on the university lecturer’s screen were chilling, particularly to those personally affected by the ongoing Russian assault against Ukraine: “The very rules of war have changed. The role of nonmilitary means of achieving political and strategic goals has grown and, in many cases, they have exceeded the power and force of conventional weapons. A perfectly thriving state can, in a matter of months and even days, be transformed into an arena of fierce armed conflict, become a victim of foreign intervention, and sink into a web of chaos, humanitarian catastrophe and civil war.”
The quoted words were those of Gen. Valery Gerasimov, chief of the General Staff of the Russian Federation. The speaker was Prof. Braden Allenby and the topic, presented on April 25 at Arizona State University’s Melikian Center for Russian, Eurasian and East European Studies under the leadership of Prof. Mark von Hagen, was “Weaponized Narratives: Civilizational Conflict and the Russian-Ukrainian War.”
Prof. Allenby, an international conflict expert who is a professor of law and of civil, environmental and sustainable engineering at Arizona State University’s Lincoln Center for Applied Ethics, is also founding co-director of the Weaponized Narrative Initiative of the Center for the Future of War, a partnership between Arizona State University and the independent think tank New America. “Weaponized narrative” is defined as a new form of warfare, pioneered by Vladimir Putin’s Russia and now directed at both the U.S. and Ukraine that, in the words of Prof. Allenby and co-director Joel Garreau, “seeks to undermine an opponent’s civilization, identity and will by generating complexity, confusion and political social schisms.”
“Weaponized narrative” campaigns, in their view, achieve significant benefits for Russia at a relatively low risk of conventional military response by the West, which has reacted ineffectively through entities such as NATO and the European Union.
EDMONTON, Alberta – Approximately 40 people attended the University of Alberta symposium on “Crisis and Identity: Cultural and Linguistic Perspectives on Ukraine and its Diaspora” held on March 21. Organized by Alla Nedashkivska, lead researcher of the Nationalities, Culture and Language Policies Cluster of the Research Initiative on Democratic Reforms in Ukraine (RIDRU), the day offered three sessions with two speakers and one discussant. In the first session, Marianna Novosolova of Dresden Technical University offered a detailed analysis of several war poems providing evidence of the distancing of Ukrainian and Russian identities as a result of the war. The audience welcomed future research about the Russian perspective and a comparison between it and that of Ukrainians. Irene Sywenky of the University of Alberta noted that, despite the Chornobyl disaster and its political significance (e.g., resulting in the Green Party), there is little in contemporary Ukrainian literature about the environment, particularly in contrast to the Romantic poets.
JENKINTOWN, Pa. – Over 100 members of the Ukrainian-American community traveled from New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania to gather on April 6 at Manor College for a presentation on “Ukraine: Education as the Battlefront of Democracy.”
The dialogue examined the most crucial areas of educational reform needed in Ukraine in order to protect and preserve free and democratic ideals. Dialogue moderator Dr. Albert Kipa, former rector of the Ukrainian Free University in Munich and professor laureate of comparative literature at Muhlenberg College, opened the dialogue by sharing a few well-known quotes defining the word “education” and said, “education tries to bring the best out of … humankind.” Dr. Kipa went on to say that the purpose of this dialogue is to talk about what the United States can do to offer Ukraine greater stability. The first speaker, Dr. Serhiy Kvit, former minister of education and science of Ukraine and current director the of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy School of Journalism, focused his remarks on the reform of Ukrainian universities and colleges.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The Woskob Family Foundation, the College of Liberal Arts, the College of Agricultural Sciences, and the Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures will be celebrating the 25th anniversary of Ukraine’s independence and 25 years of Ukrainian studies at The Pennsylvania State University in University Park, Pa., on Tuesday, April 4. The event will also mark 25 years of cooperation in Forestry and Agricultural Sciences with the National University of Life and Environmental Sciences (NULES) in Kyiv. The rector and representatives of NULES will be in attendance at the daylong series of events. The schedule for the day includes the following:
• 3 p.m. – Helen Woskob’s memoirs “Freedom and Beyond: My Journey from Ukraine to a New Life in America,” as well as Prof. Michael Naydan’s novel about the city of Lviv, “Seven Signs of the Lion,” will be launched at the Hintz Alumni Center on the Penn State University Park campus.
JENKINTOWN, Pa. – On Thursday, April 6, at 2 p.m. in the Manor College auditorium, Manor College will host a dialogue on the topic “Ukraine – Education as the Battlefront of Democracy.”
This dialogue will examine the most crucial areas of educational reform needed in Ukraine in order to protect and preserve free and democratic ideals. Currently, the chief looming crises in Ukrainian education are conflicting ideals held by post-Communist era sympathizers who have failed to embrace Western philosophies, and pay-to-GPA corruption, whereby those entrusted with educating Ukraine’s students are accepting cash for grades. Is there hope for reform and increased international credibility of the Ukrainian educational system? Can the Ukrainian community and concerned Americans help Ukraine to resolve these crises?