Ukrainian Writers Making and Breaking the Autobiographical Pact (Lecture by Dr. Iaroslava Strikha, on Zoom)

Sasha Senderovich's picture
November 3, 2022
Subject Fields: 
Biography, Cultural History / Studies, Eastern Europe History / Studies, Intellectual History, Literature
The Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Washington cordially invites you to join us for the first in our year-long series of talks on Ukraine's history and culture this week. 
Nov 3, at 11 am Pacific / 2 pm Eastern / 9 pm Kyiv, on Zoom
Ukrainian Writers Making and Breaking the Autobiographical Pact
A Lecture by Dr. Iaroslava Strikha (Kyiv)
Details here; and registration here.
In Ukraine, the country that during long stretches of its history could not be a political reality but rather an entity persevered as a literary fact, the question of “what does it mean to be a Ukrainian writer?” was often conflated with “what does it mean to be Ukrainian?” In this lecture, Iaroslava Strikha will outline the shifting conventions of self-representation in autobiographies of Ukrainian writers from the 1890s through the mid-20th century, with particular focus on archival sources from the tumultuous period of the 1920s and the 1930s. Autobiographies, with their attention to the formation of the narrating self, became a fascinating laboratory for articulating new identity models on the intersection of aesthetic experiments and bureaucratic categorizations, ethnographic research and demands of self-preservation. Stitching together various sources, from familial letters to questionnaires for biographical encyclopedias, Strikha analyzes how autobiographers wrote back against the empire, proposing new configurations for Ukrainian literature and Ukrainian identity.
Iaroslava Strikha lives in Kyiv with her puppy Joy, and works as a literary translator. She is the Ukrainian translator of Art Spiegelman’s Maus, as well as of works by Henry David Thoreau, Julian Barnes, Kate Atkinson, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Paul Auster, and Don DeLillo, among others. She holds a PhD in Slavic Languages and Literatures from Harvard University. 
Sponsored by the University of Washington's Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, including the Ukrainian Studies Fund; co-sponsored by the Ellison Center for Russian, Eurasian, and Central Asian Studies; Simpson Center for the Humanities; History Department.
Contact Info: 

Sasha Senderovich [he/him/his] 

Assistant Professor | Slavic Languages and Literatures | Jackson School of International Studies | University of Washington, Seattle

Email: | Padelford A210, Box 354335, Seattle WA 98195

My new book: How the Soviet Jew Was Made (Harvard University Press, 2022) | My current translation project: In the Shadow of the Holocaust

The University of Washington acknowledges the Coast Salish people of the unceded land, on which it is located -- the land which touches the shared waters of all tribes and bands within the Suquamish, Tulalip, and Muckleshoot nations.
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