Oleh Kotsyuba: HURI's New Manager of Publications

Oleh Kotsyuba Manager of PublicationsThe Ukrainian Research Institute at Harvard University is pleased to welcome Dr. Oleh Kotsyuba as its new Manager of Publications. No stranger to HURI and with extensive experience in publications, Kotsyuba is a welcome addition to our team.

Kotsyuba is a longstanding member of the HURI community. He was involved with the Institute throughout his graduate studies at Harvard, where he earned his PhD, and most recently as a Jaroslaw and Nadia Mihaychuk Postdoctoral Research Fellow. A regular participant at HURI seminars and lectures, Kotsyuba has actively contributed to HURI’s academic discussions, and has given presentations at HUSI and the Seminars in Ukrainian Studies. As a Mihaychuk Research Fellow, he worked on the strategies used by Ukrainian writers of the late 1970s and 1980s to disengage from the Soviet state.

Kotsyuba received a broad academic training in Ukraine, Germany, and the United States. He earned his undergraduate degree, together with a professional degree in teaching, at the University of Ternopil where he majored in German and English Literatures and Languages, and in World Literature. He later earned master’s degrees in English from Wayne State University in Detroit, MI, and in Comparative Literature, Computational Linguistics, and Computer Science at Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich, Germany. He went on to receive his PhD in Slavic Languages and Literatures at Harvard, writing a dissertation on Ukrainian and Russian writers of the 1970s and 1980s.

In addition to these academic qualifications, Kotsyuba has a substantial background in publishing, management, and digital media. Most recently, he worked as Acquisitions Editor at Academic Studies Press (ASP), where he oversaw more than twenty book series in Slavic, East European and Central Asian studies. As part of his duties, he solicited and edited manuscripts, negotiated contracts, invited peer reviews, and budgeted and supervised numerous book publications. In his position, Kotsyuba strongly contributed to the further development of the series in Ukrainian Studies at ASP.

Prior to ASP, Kotsyuba worked with the Krytyka Journal and Publishing House. As Chief Online Editor and Director of the Web Project, he oversaw the programming of a complex website that combined publishing with sales and subscription management. He solicited manuscripts and supervised the work of a team of editors, translators, and marketing staff.

Kotsyuba also commands a solid background in business and management. At FriendScout24 GmbH in Munich, Germany, he hired and oversaw a team of customer service agents, developed guidelines for internal processes and customer communication, and prepared financial and performance reports. He went on to become the Manager for International Business, which involved coordinating product management, programming, translation, PR and marketing in the course of the product rollout in Spain, France, Switzerland and the Netherlands. Still later, as the Manager for Online Marketing at Plan.NET Media GmbH, Kotsyuba managed online content advertisement campaigns for such large companies as Apple, BMW, and LEGO.

On this strong foundation, Kotsyuba steps into the role of HURI’s Publications Manager with ambitious plans to continue the legacy of the program as well as to adapt it to the demands of present-day academia.

“The initial mission of the Institute’s publications program was to publish what no one else would, at a time when Ukrainian studies as a field didn’t really exist,” he noted. “Now, the Ukrainian studies field is thriving. Therefore, the role of our publications program is evolving.”

Staying true to HURI’s original mission, Kotsyuba will continue support for fundamental research and translations that serve as key resources for academics in the US, Ukraine, and beyond -- works that commercial and large university presses are unlikely to publish due to their niche subject matter. At the same time, Kotsyuba aims to expand the scope of HURI’s publications to include topics that are more contemporary and respond to the new demands in the fields of humanities and social sciences. Passionate about comparative studies, Kotsyuba sees great potential in Ukrainian history, culture, and literature to contribute to subfields and broader theoretical problems -- not least because Ukraine has historically always been an “intersection” – cultural, linguistic, political, and economic. One need only consider Rus’ dynastic ties to Western Europe, parallels between Ukraine and Ireland’s multilingual and anticolonial struggles, and Ukraine’s physical location bridging East and West to gain a sense of the broad relevance of Ukraine-related topics.

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In the short term, Kotsyuba will be working closely with Dr. Halyna Hryn, Harvard Ukrainian Studies journal editor, to institute tools and procedures for the journal aimed at streamlining article submission, peer review, book review, and publication processes. “The nature of publishing in general and academic publishing in particular has radically changed in the past thirty years,” Kotsyuba remarked, “and so we need to adapt to these changes to effectively compete with the wealth of content out there. It’s no longer enough to simply publish a well-founded and well-edited study – self-publishing nowadays already accomplishes that – but at stake is the distribution of knowledge that reaches its target audience and informs the general public. To this end, new means are required and a multidimensional approach is key for success of publications today.” The publication in a number of media – such as Internet, video, and audio – together with bold promotion efforts will become a priority for HURI publications. He also envisions a separate website for the journal that would allow for timely publication of articles online, even before they appear in print. Another priority is reducing the time from submission to publication, and increasing the frequency of the journal’s appearance, returning to the original format of more compact but more frequently published journal issues. “It is an honor to work on this reform of the journal with such talented and qualified editor as Dr. Halyna Hryn,” Kotsyuba noted.

As for the monographs and translations, he plans to bring the background projects out into the open so that forthcoming works are anticipated by both the academic and general audience. The unique publication program in Early Ukrainian Literature would be continued, and he aspires to launch a translation project to fill in the gaps in the availability of works of Ukrainian literature in English and in documents pertaining to Ukrainian history. The general direction of the publication program would be broadened to include more publications in social sciences, and on Ukrainian history and culture. He also would like to strengthen the outreach efforts of the publications program and invite young and established scholars from adjacent fields to publish with HURI, emphasizing the comparative aspect of Ukrainian studies. “With Dr. Michelle Viise as the monographs editor, our publications program is exceptionally well positioned to move in that direction,” he noted.

Reflecting on the past, Kotsyuba underscored the great progress that HURI publications has achieved in the last 45 years, thanks to his immediate predecessor Marika Whaley and those who preceded her, as well as many other colleagues who in their different roles have contributed to the success of HURI publications. With the Institute’s leadership firmly in support of these ambitious goals, Kotsyuba is well prepared to continue the work of his predecessors and guide HURI’s publications program through the challenges and opportunities ahead.

Dr. Kotsyuba can be reached at kotsyuba@fas.harvard.edu for inquiries about publishing with HURI.

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