Shevchenko and Italy

Tuesday, November 15, 2016
12:00pm – 1:30pm
Marshall D. Shulman Seminar Room (1219 International Affairs Building)

Please join the Ukrainian Studies Program at the Harriman Institute, Columbia University for a presentation by Giovanna Brogi (Associazione Italiana di Studi Ucraini).

Taras Shevchenko never was in Italy, but many echoes of Italian literature and art are to be found in his works. The most strinking echoes come from Dante’s Divine Comedy. In other cases we may speak rather of intertextual analogies and participation in European zeitgeist. This is the case of Sadok vyshnevyj and the lyrics of the greatest poet of Italian Romanticism Giacomo Leopardi.  However, Shevchenko’s mental landscape of Italy is connected mainly with his conception of religion and his elaboration of evangelical values. Italy, which Shevchenko knew only through descriptions and engravings, through books and poems of European Romanticism, is represented by the Ukrainian poet through a few extremly realistic (even hyper-realistic) scenery and dramatis personae, but develops into a set of mythical images of universal and perennial value.

Giovanna Brogi was Professor of Slavic Studies and Ukrainian literature at the University of Milan until November 2014. She has been President of the Italian Association of Slavic Studies and is now President of the Italian Association of Ukrainian Studies. Foreign member of the Ukrainian Acedemy of Sciences, she has received a laurea honoris causa at the Ivan Franko University of Lviv and the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy.

She has organized several conferences and written articles and books on the Historiography of Renaissance and Baroque in the Slavic countries and in the European tradition, Baroque literature of Ukraine with comparative approach to Western European and Russian literature, and Plurilinguism and multiculturalism in Ukraine (16th-18th century). Her newest field of interest is Taras Shevchenko in the context of European Romanticism.

This event is free and open to the public.