HURI: Yurii Kosach's Pro-Soviet Stance in the USA, 1950s-1960s


Monday, February 26, 2018, 4:15pm to 6:00pm


CGIS South, S050, 1730 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA

The Ukrainian Research Institute at Harvard University members of the Harvard community and the general public

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imageSpeaker: Olha Poliukhovych, Ph.D., National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy; Fulbright Scholar at HURI

The reception of Yurii Kosach (1908–90), eminent Ukrainian émigré prose writer, dramatist, poet, essayist, and editor, was formed almost exclusively upon his so-called controversial character, which overshadowed his brilliant literary works. This is a one-dimensional label which does not consider the complexity of the broader cultural and historical background of his time. In my presentation I analyze Kosach’s so-called Soviet-oriented activities, i.e. his collaboration with pro-Soviet journals and newspapers. Among such occasional collaborations, I will consider his editing of the journal Za synim okeanom (Behind the Blue Ocean, 1959-64) published in New York. Kosach’s so called pro-Soviet stance is a complicated phenomenon and it involves such factors as his conflict with the Ukrainian nationalists, his émigré status, and his lifelong feeling of belonging to Ukraine. My talk aims to interpret both social and individual conditions which forced Kosach to edit this journal; the journal’s content (especially his literary works); and its perception among the Ukrainian-American community in the USA.

Read a Q&A with Olha Poliukhovych:

Olha Poliukhovych

Ph.D., National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy; Fulbright Scholar at HURI

Olha Poliukhovych holds a PhD Degree in Philosophy and Literature from the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy (2015). She teaches several courses at the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy (Department of Literature). She is also Managing Editor of the Kyiv-Mohyla Humanities Journal ( Olha Poliukhovych’s most recent publication is: “The Artist’s Longing and Belonging: Cultural Sensitivity in Yurii Kosach’s Narratives.” Kyiv-Mohyla Humanities Journal 3 (2016): 143–159. Poliukhovych’s research interests include exile and émigré literature, nation, identity politics, power relations, memory studies, gender studies, and ideology, among others. Currently Olha Poliukhovych is a Fulbright Research Fellow at the Ukrainian Research Institute, Harvard University.