Maria Sonevytsky

Associate Professor of Anthropology and Music at Bard Collеge, USA. Professor Sonevytsky’s research focuses on post-Soviet Ukraine, where she has pursued interests including folklore revivals after state socialism and the effects of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster on the revival of rural musical repertoires, founder of the Chernobyl Songs Project: Living Culture from a Lost World, a public ethnomusicology program that sought to broaden awareness about the cultural impact of nuclear disaster by reviving ritual song repertoires from rural communities near the accident site that had dispersed after 1986. Author of the book  Wild Music: Sound and Sovereignty in Ukraine (2019).

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Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine has prompted many to reconsider Ukraine’s relationship to the question of what it means to “decolonize.” This present-day revaluation of Ukraine’s complex imperial inheritances has centered primarily on Ukraine’s historical relationship to the Russian Empire (and the Russocentric Soviet Union), often to the exclusion of Ukraine’s Ottoman, Austro-Hungarian, and other imperial inheritances. This tragic moment of reflection raises a number of bedeviling questions. How do we narrate a decolonial history of Ukraine? Is it possible, or desirable, to disentangle Ukrainian culture from empires of the past and present? Can we imagine a future political and economic order for Ukraine that is not wholly dependent upon more powerful...