New Books in Ukrainian Studies from University of Toronto Press (Spring 2020)

John Vsetecka's picture

The following books in Ukrainian studies were published in early 2020 by the University of Toronto Press. Below, you will find brief descriptions of each book as well as links to their respective web pages.

New Books in 2020

Lviv's Uncertain Destination: A City and Its Train Terminal from Franz Joseph I to Brezhnev by Andriy Zayarnyuk

Description from the press: "Lviv’s Uncertain Destination examines the city’s tumultuous twentieth-century history through the lens of its main railway terminal. Whereas most existing studies of eastern European cities centre their stories on discrete ethnic groups, milestone political events, and economic changes, this book’s narrative is woven around an important site within the city’s complex spatial matrix. Combining architectural, economic, social, and everyday life history, Andriy Zayarnyuk shows how different political regimes created dissimilar social spaces even on the same streets and in the same buildings. His narrative leads us to rethink how the late imperial Habsburg and Romanov, Stalinist and post-Stalinist Soviet, interwar Polish, and Nazi German regimes produced, structured, and controlled urban space. Focusing on railway workers, the book also draws attention to the history of Lviv’s wage earners, who constituted the majority of the city’s adult population."

For more information on this book, click here

Ukrainian Women Writers and the National Imaginary: From the Collapse of the USSR to the Euromaidan by Oleksandra Wallo

Description from the press: "Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Ukrainian literary world has not only experienced a true blossoming of women’s prose, but has also witnessed a number of female authors assume the roles of literary trendsetters and authoritative critics of their culture. In this first in-depth study of how Ukrainian women’s prose writing was able to re-emerge so powerfully after being marginalized in the Soviet era, Oleksandra Wallo examines the writings and literary careers of leading contemporary Ukrainian women authors, such as Oksana Zabuzhko, Ievheniia Kononenko, and Maria Matios. Her study shows how these women reshaped literary culture with their contributions to the development of the Ukrainian national imaginary in the wake of the Soviet state’s disintegration. 

The interjection of women’s voices and perspectives into the narratives about the nation has often permitted these writers to highlight the diversity of the national picture and the complexity of the national story. Utilizing insights from postcolonial and nationalism studies, Wallo’s book theorizes the interdependence between the national imaginary and narrative plots, and scrutinizes how prominent Ukrainian women authors experimented with literary form in order to rewrite the story of women and nationhood."

For more information on this book, click here

Scholars in Exile: The Ukrainian Intellectual World in Interwar Czechoslovakia by Nadia Zavorotna

Description from the Press: "In the interwar years, émigré scholars in Czechoslovakia provided continuity and a bridge for Ukrainian scholarship from its inception at the end of the nineteenth century to the development of Ukrainian studies in the twenty-first century. These scholars forged a legacy that spread beyond Czechoslovakia. Without their work in the postwar era, the development of Ukrainian émigré scholarship would not have flourished.

Narrated from a Ukrainian perspective, Scholars in Exile concentrates on the astounding efforts by Ukrainians to establish institutions of higher learning in the unique democratic spirit of Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk. The book also explores Ukrainian scholarly and professional societies, museum and archival collections, scholarly publishing, and little-known intellectual connections between Ukrainian émigré scholars and their colleagues in Czechoslovakia and various other European countries. Scholars in Exile brings to light an interesting facet of modern Ukrainian history, allowing for a better understanding of the general intellectual and institutional history of Ukraine."

For more information on this book, click here

Superfluous Women: Art, Feminism, and Revolution in Twenty-First Century Ukraine by Jessica Zychowicz

Description from the Press: "Superfluous Women tells the unique story of a generation of artists, feminists, and queer activists who emerged in Ukraine after the collapse of the Soviet Union. With a focus on new media, Zychowicz demonstrates how contemporary artist collectives in Ukraine have contested Soviet and Western connotations of feminism to draw attention to a range of human rights issues with global impact.

In the book, Zychowicz summarizes and engages with more recent critical scholarship on the role of digital media and virtual environments in concepts of the public sphere. Mapping out several key changes in newly independent Ukraine, she traces the discursive links between distinct eras, marked by mass gatherings on Kyiv’s main square, in order to investigate the deeper shifts driving feminist protest and politics today. Superfluous Women highlights the provocative performance art group FEMEN, the women’s rights group Ofenzywa, and the visual art collectives VCRC, R.E.P., and HudRada."

For more infomration on this book, click here