Fellows for Academic Year 2017-2018

Polina Barskova

Polina Barskova

Associate Professor of Russian Literature, Hampshire College

Title of Research: 

"Ukrainian Poetry in the Time of Crisis"


This project explores an urgent and exciting phenomenon: the developments in Ukrainian poetry in the years after the upheaval of the 2014 Euromaidan and during the Russo-Ukrainian “hybrid-war” in Donbas. Barskova argues that it is within the realm of poetical expression that the Ukrainian literary identity is being shaped today. Following the idea by the Russian Formalist Yuri Tynianov about the significance of “smaller literary forms” for the dialogue between the aesthetic and the political discourses, she suggests looking at the field of contemporary Ukrainian poetry as a rhetorical laboratory where new forms of political expression are being worked out.
The goal of this project is to create an extensive map of what is happening in Ukrainian poetry today in response to the political events—to aesthetically, ideologically, and linguistically trace trajectories of international and inter-linguistic influence. Barskova is also interested in exploring which institutions support this momentum of literary intensity— such as publishing houses, festivals, and social media—and, most importantly, what efforts of dialogue are taking place through translation. Such a study does not exist at the present moment, neither in Ukraine nor in the West, and a project like this could be beneficial for the richly developing Ukrainian literary scene.

John Harvard

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