The Harvard Ukrainian Summer Institute (HUSI) has officially begun its 2016 program, with the summer session starting on June 18. The students in this year’s class - the 46th for HUSI - come from all over the United States and Ukraine, bringing their unique talents and interests to form a dynamic and ambitious group.
Our HUSI program offers two main tracks: An 8-credit Ukrainian language course (with Volodymyr Dibrova) that prepares students to conduct graduate research with Ukrainian documents, and two 4-credit subject matter courses exploring the history, politics, and culture of Ukraine. Our 2016 subject classes are “Revolutionary Ukraine: Avant-garde Literature and Film from 1917 to the Euromaidan of 2014” (George G. Grabowicz) and “Society, Culture, and Politics in Modern Ukraine” (Serhiy Bilenky).
The seven-week program also includes a number of activities, lectures, and special events to immerse students in the academic life of Ukrainian Studies and Harvard University. An integral part of the Harvard Summer School, HUSI gives students a true Ivy League experience, including access to the expansive library collections and world-class museums.
Meet the class: A few HUSI 2016 students
Continuing the trend of recent years, graduate students constitute the greatest portion of the 2016 class. Fifty-eight percent are currently MA or PhD candidates, while 17 percent are undergrads, and 8 percent are at the postdoctorate stage in their career. The final 17 percent are professionals with an interest in Ukraine. Literature is a primary focus for at least half of the class, while other common interests include history and culture. Ukrainians represent 42 percent of the group, while the rest are from all corners of the United States, from Cambridge to El Paso, Texas.
These students were attracted to HUSI for a number of reasons, including HURI’s reputation in the Slavic and Eastern European Studies field as well as Harvard’s renowned resources. For many, learning Ukrainian in a focused, intensive manner will fuel their research capabilities and help them advance their academic pursuits.
“I’m excited to learn Ukrainian to aid my dissertation research,” said Sarah McEleney, a PhD candidate in Slavic Languages and Literature at the University of Virginia. “While at HUSI, I hope to enhance my capabilities as a scholar while learning the Ukrainian language and learning about Ukraine’s culture and history.”
Patrick Osborne, who comes from Fresno, CA, and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Russian Cultural History and the Arts at the European University at Saint Petersburg, wants to learn more about the economic and financial history of Ukraine and about institutions in post-Soviet states.
“I want to do a PhD dissertation on the legal and financial history of Ukraine, examining how past trends can help predict future success for Ukraine and this part of the world,” he said. “I chose HUSI because it seems like it is a ‘one of a kind’ program, and I want to surround myself with the best and brightest minds in the field of Ukrainian Studies.”
Another PhD student, Grace Mahoney is researching Russian and Ukrainian literature and visual culture from the Soviet and post-Soviet periods. She is particularly interested in institutions of memory such as museums and forms of cultural dissidence and public expression. At HUSI, she’s eager to meet fellow Ukrainianists.
Margaryta Malyukova is an undergraduate studying comparative literature and society at Columbia University. While she loves travelling around her native Ukraine, she looks forward to viewing her country through an academic lens.
“At HUSI, I am excited to explore 20th century Ukrainian literature and history, which will not only help me learn more about my country but will also allow me to choose a direction for my major,” she explained.
A Harvard graduate student in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literature, Sara Jo Powell studies the interaction between religion and literature, modernism, and the folkloric in literature. Recently she has become especially interested in these topics as they relate to Ukrainian literature, the post-colonial narrative in Ukraine, and the interaction between the Roman Catholic Church, the Ukrainian Uniate Church, and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Studying Ukrainian at HUSI will enable her to read Ukrainian literature in the original.
One of our ‘professionals’, Anatole Sykley brings a good dose of world experience to HUSI. Born in Melbourne, Australia, to Ukrainian immigrants, he’s been living in Cambridge, MA, for 29 years, working in hi-tech industries. Now that he’s retired, he’s exploring history, especially how Ukraine and other nations were impacted by World War I and how Ukraine contributed to the conflict. At HUSI, he’ll improve his grasp of the Ukrainian language.
“My daughter has been to HURI’s summer school, so I thought, ‘Why not me, too?’ If I ever find a secret letter of Symon Petliura to the Irish Rebels in Dublin, 1916, my research skills from HURI will equip me to make use of it!” he quipped.
With such a diverse class lined up, we look forward to bringing everyone together for some lively conversations, hard work, and a good amount of fun.
A warm welcome, HUSI 2016!