The growing interest in Ukraine and its history has contributed to the appearance of new books about the Holodomor, including works of historical fiction for various age groups. This talk will showcase the evolution of the place of the Holodomor in global children’s and young adult literature since 1991. Until the late 2010s, most books for young readers about the Great Famine were either self-published or published independently. However, in the last few years, the Holodomor has been represented in novels, picturebooks, and graphic novels issued by major publishers and translated into other languages. These texts have provided readers who have no direct links to Ukraine with an opportunity to incorporate the Holodomor in their repositories of cultural memory.
Dr. Mateusz Świetlicki is an Assistant Professor at the University of Wrocław’s Institute of English Studies and Director of the Center for Young People’s Literature and Culture. He is also a founding member of the Centre for Research on Children’s and Young Adult Literature (Faculty of Letters, University of Wrocław). Dr. Świetlicki specializes in North American and Ukrainian children’s and YA literature and culture, memory, gender, and queer studies, as well as popular culture and film. His most recent book, Next-Generation Memory and Ukrainian Canadian Children’s Historical Fiction: The Seeds of Memory (Routledge 2023) examines the transnational entanglements of Canada and Ukraine. Dr. Świetlicki was a Research Scholar at the University of Florida’s Department of English (2022 – Kosciuszko Foundation Fellowship), a Fulbright scholar at the University of Illinois at Chicago (2018), a visiting scholar at the University of Toronto (2022), and has held multiple other fellowships. He is the author of more than 60 scholarly publications in English, Polish, Ukrainian, and Croatian. Dr. Świetlicki is currently hosting a series of webinars commemorating the 90th anniversary year of the Holodomor, which he co-organizes with HREC Education’s Valentina Kuryliw and Sophia Isajiw.