Multiculturalism in Ukraine’s Revolutionary Age 1917-1930

Publication date 26.04.2023
Prof. Serhy Yekelchyk

This course is devoted to the analysis of representations of Ukrainian territory as a multicultural space during the “long” revolutionary period of 1917-30. We will examine different types of representations (scholarly papers, memoirs, plays, films, stories) and the features of the coexistence of ethnic communities in different parts of Ukraine and at different stages of the revolutionary period. Our overall aim will be to try to forget the familiar narrative of the “Ukrainian Revolution” and “national liberation struggle” and explore the diversity of historical materials and representations, which are not included in the narrative. By studying the events from nearly a century ago, we can better understand the events of 2014.

This course forms a part of Jewish History and Multiethnic Past in East Central Europe summer school.

How to carve our "Ukraine" from multicaltural imperial space

Reading: chapter on the beginning of twentieth century from Istoriya Ukrayiny (History of Ukraine) S.Y. and Natan M. Meir, “Jews, Ukrainians, and Russians in Kiev” Slavic Review, 65. no 3 (2006) (excerpt)

How a minority govarment and the state's notions change placesand what happens to other minorities during the process. Jews and the Central Council

German intervention. The history of the Soviet myth of the “Ukrainian bourgeois nationalists” as servants of Germany

Kyivan White Guard soldiers, “Peturrrra” and Comrade Stalin. Discussion of the film Days of the Turbins

ZUNR: The “European Ukraine” which the enemies didn’t allow Ukrainians to build

The reality of Otamanshchyna: Pogroms of 1919 and their long historical shadow. What exactly happened in Kyiv on August 31, 1919?

Commissar Comrade Babel on the Polish-Soviet War. The Siege of Perekop and the suppression of peasant insurgents

Indigenization as a “Soviet” continuation of the revolutionary era. OUN as a nationalist successor of the revolution. International relations in the interwar period

Imperial and ethnocentric echoes of the revolutionary era. The Island of Crimea and Otaman Chornyi Voron