Campus & Community

First Shklar Fellows in Ukrainian Studies named

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Seven scholars from Ukraine, Poland, and the United States have been selected as the first recipients of the Eugene and Daymel Shklar Fellowships in Ukrainian Studies at Harvard University. The Shklar Fellows, who were selected through an international competition, will begin their residency at the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute in the 2001-02 academic year.

These scholars boast a wide range of academic experience and research interests in anthropology, history, political science, and literature.

The 2001-02 Shklar Fellows are listed below:

Laada Bilaniuk (Department of Anthropology, University of Washington); Oleksander Halenko (Institute of Political and Ethno-National Studies, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine); Aleksandra Hnatiuk (Center for Studies on the Classical Tradition, Warsaw University); Tamara Hundorova (Institute of Literature, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine); Volodymyr Kravchenko (Department of Ukrainian Studies, Kharkiv State University); Volodymyr Kulyk (Institute of Political and Ethno-National Studies, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine); and Stephen Shulman (Department of Political Science, Southern Illinois University).

“This is a most impressive group of scholars. All of us at the Institute look forward to their arrival at Harvard University,” said Roman Szporluk, director of the Ukrainian Research Institute. “I am sure that for every one of them the time spent here as Shklar Fellows will be a significant chapter in their intellectual biographies. I am also sure that by interacting with institute associates and a broader Harvard community they will make us aware of the important work that is being done in the area of Ukrainian studies elsewhere in the world.”

Szporluk added, “For the institute, and also on behalf of the current and future Shklar Fellows, I thank and salute Eugene and Daymel Shklar for their most generous and imaginative gift. The establishment of the Eugene and Daymel Shklar Fellowships in Ukrainian Studies is a major event not only in the history of the institute and of Harvard, but also a development of great importance for the international community of scholars in Ukrainian, Slavic, and East European studies broadly defined.”

The Eugene and Daymel Shklar postdoctoral fellowship program, announced in November 2000, provides support for scholars in Ukrainian studies to perform research at Harvard and to complete publication projects. Each of this year’s fellows will write a book-length manuscript for future publication on subjects concerning Ukraine’s history and the continuing development of its political and cultural identity. While in Cambridge, the Shklar Fellows are expected to participate fully in the intellectual life of the Harvard community, including interactions with Harvard faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates. They will also make use of the extensive resources of the Harvard University Library system, which includes the most sizable collection of Ukraine-related books and other library materials outside Eastern Europe.

Among the projects to be undertaken by the Shklar Fellows are two studies on Ukrainian literature and one on Ukrainian language. Tamara Hundorova, a principal research fellow at the Institute of Literature in Kyiv, will be analyzing the cultural reality of Ukraine and its correspondence to the postmodern condition in the aftermath of the Chernobyl disaster. More specifically, she will consider how the Chernobyl accident, when read as a cultural and apocalyptic “text,” serves as a metaphor of postmodern consciousness as it developed in Ukraine during the 1990s in the works of writers such as Volodymyr Dibrova, Oksana Zabuzhko, Iurii Andrukhovych, and Bohdan Zholdak.

Aleksandra Hnatiuk, associate professor at Warsaw University, will also be considering through the prism of literature the transformation of Ukrainian cultural identity. Her study, however, will look at the transformation of Ukrainian national identity throughout the 20th century and its relationship to notions of “Europeanness.” She will particularly focus on the place of Ukrainian culture in the East-versus-West debate in the works of writers from the 1920s, 1930s, and 1990s.

Also interested in questions of identity, but from an anthropological and sociolinguistic point of view, Laada Bilaniuk, assistant professor at the University of Washington, will be preparing a manuscript that analyzes the contemporary sociocultural processes in Ukraine through the paradigm of language. Her work examines variations in language ideology in Ukraine, and how regional, historical, ethnic, gendered, and other social dimensions help shape these beliefs.

The issue of nation- and state-building will be the subject of two separate studies in the field of political science. Stephan Shulman, assistant professor at Southern Illinois University, will be continuing his investigation of the sources of, and obstacles to, nation-building in Ukraine. He will investigate economic, demographic, and cultural factors, as well as foreign influences, affecting Ukrainian nationhood. Ultimately, his study will attempt to identify the main obstacles facing Ukrainian leaders seeking to construct a strong and unified nation.

Volodymyr Kulyk, research fellow at the Institute of Political and Ethno-National Studies in Kyiv, will be preparing a manuscript that analyzes the competing discourses of those elite groups of writers, dissidents, Rukh leadership, and party nomenklatura, who determined the evolution of the Ukrainian state idea during the period 1986 to 1991. He will investigate how the elite presented and publicized their discursive ideas, and how these ideas led to the emergence of independent Ukraine, as well as to the state’s incomplete democratic transformation.

Of a more historical nature will be the studies proposed by Volodymyr Kravchenko and Oleksander Halenko. Kravchenko, who is a professor at Kharkiv State University, will work on a book on the role of the historic region known as “Ukraine of Free Communes” (Slobidska Ukraïna), whose center is Kharkiv, in the formation of the modern Ukrainian nation during the period 1750 to 1850. He will focus on the administrative, political, social, economic, and cultural changes of this region in the course of its integration into the Russian Empire, and how these changes affected both its regional and national self-identity.

Halenko, senior researcher and candidate of sciences at the Institute of Political and Ethno-National Studies in Kyiv, will use Harvard’s Byzantine and Genoese resources to complete his study on the political, economic, social, and demographic layout of the Ottoman province of Kefe (Kafa in Crimea) based on two extant tax-registers for this province from the first half of the 16th century. His study, which will include graphic and cartographic materials, accompanied by the transcription of these tax-registers, will help “contextualize” the Turkish, or Ottoman, heritage in the history of Ukraine.

The postdoctoral fellowships are funded through a series of annual grants to Harvard University from the Eugene and Daymel Shklar Foundation, a charitable organization incorporated in California.