Beyond the Battle: Insights from HURI's Latest Book on Language in Ukraine

Graziosi feature

The Battle for Ukrainian: A Comparative Perspective is the most up-to-date examination of the history and status of the Ukrainian language. The articles gathered in this book are the fruit of a conference organized to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Valuev Circular, which restricted the use of the Ukrainian language in print. With case studies of countries with similar language situations and contributions from linguists, historians of languages, sociolinguistics, literary specialists, historians, and political scientists, this work is broad in region and discipline.

While the Ukrainian language’s "tumultuous path" is centuries old, as the Valuev anniversary attests, news headlines today are a constant reminder that the role of Ukrainian remains a matter of public and political debate, with implications for nation-building. In this article, Michael S. Flier, Andrea Graziosi, and Volodymyr Kulyk offer insights from the book and comments on its significance.

Welcome, HUSI Class of 2017!

Sophia Wilson, HUSI instructor

The Harvard Ukrainian Summer Institute (HUSI) began its 47th annual program on Saturday, June 17. During the weekend, students from around the country and the world kicked off the start of the summer term with orientation activities.

Over the next few months, our students, faculty, and guest speakers will create the strong community that sets HUSI apart from other academic summer programs. We’re excited to see the unique contributions each student brings, drawing on their diverse backgrounds, interests, and experiences. As the program progresses, the students will share their reflections and insights on our HUSI blog, so check back often for a little taste of life at the Institute. For now, meet a few of our students and join us in welcoming them!

The Battle for Ukrainian: A New Book from HURI Publications

The Battle for Ukrainian

HURI is pleased to announce the publication of its latest volume, The Battle for Ukrainian: A Comparative Perspective. Edited by Michael S. Flier and Andrea Graziosi, this collection of 24 articles is a monumental study of the Ukrainian language and its place in Ukraine over the course of 150 years.

Case studies of Gaelic, Finnish, Yiddish, the Baltic group, and of language policy in Canada, India, and the former Yugoslavia illuminate similarities and differences in a dialogue construed broadly in chronological, comparative, international, and transnational terms. The result is an interdisciplinary study that is essential for understanding language, history, and politics in Ukraine and in the postimperial world. 

This book can be ordered on the Harvard University Press website and on Amazon. 

HURI’s MAPA Project Travels the World

MAPA Presentation

Earlier this year, HURI’s MAPA team—which includes Kostyantyn Bondarenko (MAPA Project Director), Serhii Plokhii (MAPA Project Faculty Director), and Viktoria Sereda (MAPA Project Research Fellow)—added a new project to the MAPA website. The History and Identity webmap takes survey data (gathered through a project Sereda has been working on and by other sociological centers) to depict historical memory and identity in contemporary Ukraine.

The MAPA program has been presented around the world at conferences and academic events. The team showed audiences how to use MAPA, offered their analyses based on the data, and used MAPA to visually depict information in research presentations. Many of these presentations are available online, with links to videos included in this roundup article.

HURI Fellows 2004-2005

Lilya Berezhnaya currently is a research fellow at Central European University, Budapest, where she earned her Ph.D. in history in 2003. She will spend four months at Harvard (February–May 2005) to work on the topic “Death and the Afterlife in Early Modern Ukrainian Culture.” Berezhnaya will study attitudes toward death and the afterlife as they were manifested in the Catholic, Orthodox, and Uniate cultures of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The fellowship is funded by the Dr. Roman and Patrylo Moroz endowed gift in support of research fellows at HURI, and by the Oksana Czeredarczuk Folwarkiw Ukrainian Fund.

Serhiy Bilenky, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Toronto, earned his kandydat degree in history in 2001 from Shevchenko National University of Kyiv. He will spend eight months at Harvard (September–April 2005), working on the topic “Eastern Europe in Search of a Nation: Romantic Nationalism and Imagined Communities in Ukraine, Poland, and Russia in the 1830s and 1840s.” He will examine how modern Polish, Ukrainian, and Russian national identities were constructed and mapped during the Romantic period 1830–1850. This fellowship is funded by the Ukrainian Studies Fund, Inc. endowed gift in support of research in Ukrainian studies at HURI, and the Ihor and Oksana Humeniuk Ukrainian Fund in support of research in Ukrainian history.

Ihor Chornovol currently holds the title of Researcher at the Ivan Krypiakevych Institute of Ukrainian Studies, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine in Lviv. He earned his kandydat degree in history in 1995 from the same institution. He will spend four months at Harvard (September–December 2004), working on the topic “‘Wild West’ and ‘Wild Fields’: The Frontier in American and Ukrainian History.” His research will focus on a comparison of Ukrainian and American history in the context of Frederick Jackson Turner’s theory of the “frontier.” This fellowship is funded by the Mr. and Mrs. Alex Woscob endowed gift in support of scholars conducting research on issues related to Ukrainian history.

Amelia Glaser recently completed her Ph.D. in literature at Stanford University. From September through December 2004, she will conduct research on the topic “To Market: Jewish-Slavic Exchange in East European Literatures.” In particular, she will assess the importance of marketplace exchange in the literatures of nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Ukraine (Ukrainian, Russian, and Yiddish). This fellowship is funded by the Michael Novak endowed gift fund in support of HURI fellows.

Henry Hale, an assistant professor of political science at Indiana University, earned his Ph.D. in 1998 at Harvard. During the summer of 2004, Hale worked at the Institute on the topic “Ukraine’s Drive for Independence and Theories of Ethnic Politics,” focusing on the question of how much “identity” politics lies at the root of separatism, especially in Ukraine and Uzbekistan. Continuing this research in the fall of 2004, he plans to develop new theoretical insights into identity to explain how and under what conditions ethnicity matters in political events. This fellowship is funded by the Wolodymyr Smigurowskyi endowed gift in support of scholarship at HURI.

Ihor Papusha is lecturer of philology at Ternopil State Pedagogical University. He earned his kandydat degree in literature in 1998 from Shevchenko National University of Kyiv. At Harvard, he will be in residence for eight months (September 2004–April 2005), conducting research on the topic “Ukrainian Literature in Narrative Perspective.” Comparative in nature, this study will address problems pertaining to the study of narratology in Ukrainian literature in both European and American contexts. This fellowship is funded by the Dr. Jaroslaw and Nadia Mihaychuk endowed gift in support of postdoctoral research at HURI.

Liudmila Sharipova is Sustasoma Research Fellow at Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge University, where she received her Ph.D. degree in 1999. She will spend four months at Harvard (February–May 2005), conducting research on the single surviving manuscript of Petro Mohyla’s “Knyha dushi,” a rendition into Ukrainian of the famous work by Thomas à Kempis entitled The Imitation of Christ. Her hypothesis is that this study will yield deeper insights into Mohyla’s point of view on religious issues as he began his ecclesiastical career, as well as some of the broader applications by Ukrainian Orthodox literati of Western sources in the early modern period. This fellowship is funded by the Lubomyra Hladky endowed gift in support of visiting scholars’ research at HURI.

Tomasz Stryjek is adjunct professor at the Institute of Political Studies, Polish Academy of Sciences, where he received his Ph.D. in 1996. While at Harvard (September–December 2004), he will examine the broad issues of nation and nationalism by analyzing categories evident in twentieth-century Soviet social thought and in various theories of history developed by independent Ukrainian thinkers, including many in the diaspora. This fellowship is funded by the Mr. and Mrs. Alex Woscob endowed gift in support of scholars conducting research on issues related to Ukrainian history.



Wednesday, July 5, 2017 7:15pm - 9:00pm

German Perceptions and Policies toward Ukrainians of the Generalgouvernement, 1939-1945
Pawel Markiewicz, Jagiellonian University, Krakow

Room S-050, CGIS South, Harvard University

Full Calendar


Serhii Plokhii, HURI Director

December 22, 2016. Foreign Policy. The Dissolution: Why Did the Collapse of the Soviet Union Go So Wrong? 

December 22, 2016. Wall Street Journal. Serhii Plokhy on Soviet espionage.

December 22, 2016. Boston Globe. Book Review: Assassination 101, KGB style.

December 21, 2016. New Pathway. Toronto Annual Ukrainian Famine Lecture 2016.

December 6, 2016. Voice of America. Interview: 25 лет после распада СССР: «Историю обмануть не удалось».

December 1, 2016. Україна Модерна. Сергій Плохій: “Україна змінюється: я відчуваю себе тут сьогодні більш-менш нормальним істориком України, який не мусить платити за свої тексти.”

October 1, 2016. Укрінформ. Україна має союзників для побудови відносин з адміністрацією Трампа.

August 24, 2016. Громадське Радіо. Я написав книгу, щоб іноземці розуміли українську історію, — професор Гарварду. 

August 24, 2016. Hromadske. How Ukrainians Were Responsible For The End Of The Cold War (YouTube). 

August 19, 2016. Hromadske Radio.Shadow of the 1991 Moscow Coup Today. 

August 19, 2016. Громадське Телебачення. Україна зіграла вирішальну роль у розпаді СРСР після путчу — Сергій Плохій (YouTube).

May 23, 2016. New Eastern Europe. To and for Europe: Review of 'The Gates of Europe: A History of Ukraine'.

May 23, 2016. New Eastern Europe. Plokhy awarded as "Ambassador of New Europe."

May 18, 2016. The Financial Times. Ukraine sings to a tune of new national pride.

March 5, 2016. Україна Модерна. Вийти за межі: міркування над епілогом «Останньої імперії» Сергія Плохія 

March 1, 2016. Chornobyl: The Tombstone of the Reckless Empire. 

January 10, 2016. The Daily Beast: Are Russians and Ukrainians the Same People?

December 24, 2015. The Telegraph. The Gates of Europe by Serhii Plokhy, review: 'an indispensable guide to a tragic history'.

December 12, 2015. Голос Америки. Чому імперське бачення веде до війни та що собою являє українська нація - Гарвардський історик.

December 3, 2015. The Independent. The Gates of Europe, A History of Ukraine by Serhii Plokhy, book review.

December 2015. H-Net. Zayarnyuk on Plokhy, 'The Gates of Europe: A History of Ukraine'.

October 26, 2015. Publishers Weekly. The Gates of Europe: A History of Ukraine. 

October 11, 2015. El País. Las sombras del imperio. 

October 8, 2015. Wirtualna Polska. Kulisy rozpadu ZSRR. Serhii Plokhy dla WP: zadecydowały negocjacje przywódców Rosji i Ukrainy.

September 2, 2015. Kirkus Reviews. The Gates of Europe: A History of Ukraine. A sympathetic survey of the history of Ukraine along the East-West divide, from ancient divisions to present turmoil.

August 15, 2015. The Future of the Past: The Ukraine Crisis in the Historical Perspective.

May 18, 2015. History of the final days of the USSR wins Pushkin House Russian Book Prize.

May 18, 2015. «Последняя империя» Сергея Плохия была объявлена победителем Русской Книжной Премии Пушкинского Дома 2015.

May 5, 2015. Serhii Plokhii on Hromadske International "The Sunday Show".

April 22, 2015. Scholar Reframes Vision Of Cold War’s End. Serhii Plokhy interviewed by Marta Dyczok. 

April 17, 2015. The Globe and Mail. The Soviet Union didn’t die.

March 30, 2015. Lionel Gelber Prize Announces 25th Anniversary Winner. 

March 6, 2015. Сергій Плохій: «Суспільство, яке сьогодні твориться, вимагає іншої історії…».

March 6, 2015. Pasaulis neišmoko 1938–1939 m. pamokų. O Lietuva? (in Lithuanian) 

March 4, 2015. Serhii Plokhii Discusses 'The Last Empire'. 

March 3, 2015. Тиждень.ua. Для багатьох уперше виникає образ Росії як іншого й дедалі частіше як ворога.

July 27, 2014. The Last Empire: The Final Days of the Soviet Union by Serhii Plokhii.

July 14, 2014. The Dissolution of the Soviet Union.

June 24, 2014. Chronicling the Last Empire.

June 21, 2014. World History - "The Last Empire: The Final Days of the Soviet Union" - Book TV.

June 9, 2014. The Ghosts of ’91.

June 2, 2014. The Last Empire. The Final Days of the Soviet Union.

June 2, 2014. Then and Now. Ukraine and Russia, Money and Politics.

May 21, 2014. The Moscow Times: Plokhy's 'The last empire' is the best account of the Soviet collapse yet

May 18, 2014. Book Review. Plokhy's 'The Last Empire' Is the Best Account of the Soviet Collapse Yet.

May 12, 2014. The Takeaway. Eastern Ukraine Votes, Pro-Russian Separatists Claim Victory.

May 3, 2014. Сергій Плохій: «Історики мають перейти від пропаганди місцевих «правд» до написання історії нації, де фігуруватимуть усі регіони, включно із Кримом».

February 25, 2014. The New York Times. The West Must Work With Russia.

February 21, 2014. Here & Now. What Ukraine’s History Tells Us About Its Future.

February 21, 2014. The Takeaway. Violence & Political Unrest Continues to Erupt in Ukraine.

February 20, 2014. The Ohio Channel. Ukraine: Headed for Revolution?

February 20, 2014. Bloomberg's Radio. Harvard’s Plokhii Calls Ukraine Violence Unprecedented.

February 20, 2014. Harvard Gazette. Confrontation in Ukraine.

February 19, 2014. National Catholic Register. Ukraine at the Breaking Point: 26 Dead, but Spirit Undefeated.

February 19, 2014. KQED Radio. Violence Grows in Ukraine.

February 19, 2014. National Geographic. Q&A: Ukraine's Dangerous Turn Has Roots in History.

January 27, 2014. Majority Report: Ukraine Protests Explained.

December 27, 2013. National Catholic Register. Ukraine’s ‘Maidan’ Protests Are Spiritual as Well as Political.

December 4, 2013. NPR’s On Point with Tom Ashbrook. Ukraine Splits Over East-West Economic Rivalry.

Christian Raffensperger, HURI Associate

Anne Applebaum, HURI Affiliate

Oxana Shevel, HURI Associate

Nadiya Kravets, HURI Research Fellow

HURI Shapes US View on Ukraine

Olga Onuch, HURI Affiliate

MAPA Project

Yuri Shevchuk, HURI Affiliate

Volodymyr Dibrova, Preceptor at Slavic Department, Editor at HURI

Volodymyr Sklokin, Shklar Fellow 2014-15

Roman Szporluk, Mykhailo S. Hrushevs'kyi Professor of Ukrainian History, Emeritus, Harvard University

Copyright © 2017 The President and Fellows of Harvard College

Address: 34 Kirkland Street, Cambridge, MA 02138
Hours of operation: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. EST
Phone: 617-495-4053
Fax: 617-495-8097
E-mail: huri@fas.harvard.edu