The Sacralization of the Holodomor: The Role of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the USA and the Memorial Church in Bound Brook

Tuesday, April 26, 2016
2:00 pm
1201 International Affairs Building (420 West 118th Street)

Please join the Ukrainian Studies Program at the Harriman Institute for a presentation by Professor Frank E. Sysyn, University of Alberta, CIUS.

Most discussions on the study and memory of the Holodomor stress the role of the Ukrainian diaspora.  Yet despite the assumptions of the significance of the Ukrainian diaspora, relatively little research has addressed the memory of the Great Famine (as the Holodomor was known for most of the period from the 1930s to the 1980s) in the diaspora. We lack studies of  the institutions and events through which memory was cultivated and inculcated and memorialization was conducted. Certainly one of the most significant institutions to be examined is the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. This paper concentrates on the role of sacralizing the Holodomor and the representation of those who died as Martyrs, with special reference to the erection of the Memorial Church. It also addresses questions of when the interpretation of the Great Famine as a Ukrainian national tragedy arose and how many victims were estimated to have died. The paper places the memorialization of the Holodomor in the context of the evolution of the Ukrainian diaspora community and its political activities as anti-Soviet emigres and members of the Captive Nations lobby. The crucial roles of Metropolitan Ioan Teodorovych and Archbishop (later Patriarch) Mstyslav Skrypnyk will be examined.

Frank E. Sysyn is director of the Peter Jacyk Centre for Ukrainian Historical Research at the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, professor in the Department of History and Classics at the University of Alberta, and editor in chief of the Hrushevsky Translation Project. A specialist in Ukrainian and Polish history, he is the author of Between Poland and the Ukraine: The Dilemma of Adam Kysil, 1600–1653 (1985), Mykhailo Hrushevsky: Historian and National Awakener (2001), and studies on the Khmelnytsky Uprising, Ukrainian historiography, and early modern Ukrainian political culture. He is also coauthor, with Serhii Plokhy, of Religion and Nation in Modern Ukraine (2003) and coeditor, with Martin Schulze Wessel, of Religion, Nation, and Secularization in Ukraine (2015).  He is a member of the executive committee of the Holodomor Research and Education Consortium and coeditor, with Andrij Makuch, of Contextualizing the Holodomor: The Impact of Thirty Years of Ukrainian Famine Studies (2015). Professor Sysyn, who has taught frequently at Columbia University, heads the Advisory Committee of the Ukrainian Studies Program at the Harriman Institute.

This event is free and open to the public.

For more information please contact Dr. Mark Andryczyk at 212-854-4697 or at ma2634@columbia.edu