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. To put the study and Ukrainian's path into perspective, the volume includes case studies of other multilingual nations that have had to negotiate language policy.
The Battle for Ukrainian: A Comparative Perspective
Edited by Michael S. Flier and Andrea Graziosi
paperback, 636 pages, $29.95
View the table of contents here.
In 1863 the Valuev Circular restricted the use of the Ukrainian language in the Russian Empire. In the 150 years since, Ukrainian has followed a tortuous path, reflecting or anticipating tsarist, Soviet, and post-Soviet history. This volume documents that path through studies that tell of the language’s emergence in southern Rus´, its shifting fortunes in the Russian Empire and Soviet Union, and its variable status after 1991. The Ukrainian-Russian relationship and the Moscow-based political power promoting the latter loom large. Nonetheless, Ukrainian can usefully serve as a prism for assessing 150 years of imperial disintegration and reformation, and worldwide state and nation building—a period in which languages have been created, promoted, and repressed, or have come to coexist in multilingual nations. 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.