Trevor Erlacher: Ukrainian Nationalism in the Age of Extremes

John Vsetecka's picture

Public Lecture
Harvard Ukrainian Summer Institute

Ukrainian Nationalism in the Age of Extremes: The Life and Times of Dmytro Dontsov, 1883-1973
Trevor Erlacher, PhD, Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies, University of Pittsburgh

Friday, July 17, 2020 | 1:15-2:45 EDT
Live on YouTube:

Ukrainian nationalism made worldwide news in the wake of the EuroMaidan revolution and the outbreak of the Russo-Ukrainian war in 2014. Invoked by regional actors and international commentators on all sides of the ongoing conflict, the far-rightwing “integral” Ukrainian nationalism of the 1930s-1940s has moved to the center of debates about Ukraine's domestic political culture and external orientation between the EU and Russia. Notwithstanding the weaponization of the memory and symbols of this contentious doctrine and the movements it inspired, fundamental questions about its history remain: How and why did Ukrainian “integral nationalism” appear when it did? What were its contents, influences, and consequences? Was it a regional variety of fascism? Who articulated it and how did it evolve? This talk will survey the intellectual roots, transnational entanglements, and ideological paradoxes of the twentieth century’s most extreme Ukrainian nationalist tradition by tracing the biography of its “spiritual father”—Dmytro Dontsov—from late imperial Russia to postwar North America.

Trevor Erlacher completed his PhD in Russian and East European History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2017, specializing in the political and intellectual history of modern Ukraine. Prior to starting his current position as an academic advisor, program coordinator, and editor for CREEES and ASEEES at the University of Pittsburgh, he was a postdoctoral fellow in the University of Basel's Ukrainian Research in Switzerland Program and was a Fulbright scholar in Ukraine. His first book, "Ukrainian Nationalism in the Age of Extremes: An Intellectual Biography of Dmytro Dontsov"; is forthcoming from HURI in fall 2020. 

The Harvard Ukrainian Summer Institute hosts weekly lectures on Fridays at 1:15pm EDT. The general public is invited to attend on YouTube and use the chat function to ask questions of the speaker, which will be addressed as time permits. Current HUSI students will join the speaker on Zoom. We particularly hope our HUSI alumni "attend" on YouTube and extend their HUSI experience!