Fall 2018 Courses in Ukrainian Studies

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Points: 4

Wednesdays, 2:10-4pm

Instructor: Alexander J Motyl

This course that offers a multidisciplinary exploration of the Ukrainian-American community in New York City from its beginning in the late 19th century to the present.  The course focuses on the history, demographics, economics, politics, religion, education, and culture of the community, devoting particular attention to the impact thereon of the New York setting, shifting attitudes towards American politics and culture and homeland politics and culture, the tensions encountered in navigating between American, Soviet Ukraine, and independent Ukraine.

Alexander J Motyl can be reached at




Regional Institute


Points: 3

Tuesdays, 2:10pm-4:00pm

Instructor: Valerii Kuchynskyi

The newly revised 3 point seminar-like course deals with the performance of independent Ukraine on the international arena, its relationship with major powers - Russia, Europe and the US - and the trajectory of its foreign policy. Having illegally annexed Crimea and conducting a proxy war in Eastern Ukraine, Russia has challenged the basic principles of international law, numerous bilateral agreements and threatening global peace and security. What is to be done to rebuff the aggressor? Can diplomacy still play a role? These and other issues are dealt with in this course. Special emphasis is made on the assessment of current conflict with Moscow and on the new trends in foreign policy doctrine. The issues of national security and current political situation are dealt with extensively. The course delivers first-hand insights by a career diplomat, who has been actively involved in the implementation of Ukrainian foreign policy for over three decades. The format of the course will encourage active dialogue and analytical reflection on the part of the students. The course is aimed at attracting both graduate and advanced undergraduate students.  

Ambassador Kuchynskyi can be reached at:






Points: 3

Instructor: Markian Dobczansky

Wednesdays, 4:10-6PM

Cities encapsulate the social, political, and economic processes of their time and studying them offers a window into the societies that produce them. This course explores the institution of the city across Eurasia from the nineteenth century to the present. Before World War I, rapid urbanization began to significantly alter how the Russian Empire was run, how its economy functioned, and how its various peoples interacted. With the rise of Soviet socialism, the “socialist city” became an object of intense discussions, while experimental architecture, massive public works projects, and the Soviet forced labor economy changed the face of cities across Eurasia. The Cold War ushered in a new era of state-sponsored nuclear research, competition over consumer goods, and a new Soviet role in the so-called Third World. Finally, with the collapse of Soviet socialism, cities were simultaneously nationalized and globalized.

The Soviet city is at the core of the course, while its predecessors, imitators, and successors are also considered. In taking this course, students will examine broader processes and trends through focused case studies of cities such as Moscow, St. Petersburg/Leningrad, Tashkent, Lviv, and Berlin. Students will learn to think about these cities in a comparative context as well as to tease out what was specific to the experience of socialism. By examining primary sources, scholarly work on urban history, and films, students will become familiar with the urban experience in Eurasia and how it has been portrayed.

Markian Dobczansky can be reached at






Points: 4

Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays,11:40am-12:55am

Instructor: Yuri Shevchuk

Designed for students with little or no knowledge of Ukrainian. Basic grammar structures are introduced and reinforced, with equal emphasis on developing oral and written communication skills. Specific attention to acquisition of high-frequency vocabulary and its optimal use in real-life settings.






Points: 4

Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, 10:10am-11:25am

Instructor: Yuri Shevchuk

Prerequisites: UKRN W1102 or the equivalent. Reviews and reinforces the fundamentals of grammar and a core vocabulary from daily life. Principal emphasis is placed on further development of communicative skills (oral and written). Verbal aspect and verbs of motion receive special attention.






Points: 3

Mondays and Wednesdays, 1:10pm-2:25pm

Instructor: Yuri Shevchuk

Prerequisites: UKRN W2102 or the equivalent. The course is for students who wish to develop their mastery of Ukrainian. Further study of grammar includes patterns of word formation, participles, gerunds, declension of numerals, and a more in-depth study of difficult subjects, such as verbal aspect and verbs of motion. The material is drawn from classical and contemporary Ukrainian literature, press, electronic media, and film. Taught almost exclusively in Ukrainian.




Comparative Literature/Slavic


Points: 3

Tuesdays, 6:10pm-10:00pm

Instructor: Yuri Shevchuk

The course will discuss how filmmaking has been used as an instrument of power and imperial domination in the Soviet Union as well as on post-Soviet space since 1991. A body of selected films by Soviet and post-Soviet directors which exemplify the function of filmmaking as a tool of appropriation of the colonized, their cultural and political subordination by the Soviet center will be examined in terms of postcolonial theories. The course will focus both on Russian cinema and often overlooked work of Ukrainian, Georgian, Belarusian, Armenian, etc. national film schools and how they participated in the communist project of fostering a «new historic community of the Soviet people» as well as resisted it by generating, in hidden and, since 1991, overt and increasingly assertive ways their own counter-narratives. Close attention will be paid to the new Russian film as it re-invents itself within the post-Soviet imperial momentum projected on the former Soviet colonies.

Dr. Shevchuk can be reached at:



Courses at Columbia are open to students from other universities in the New York metropolitan area seeking credit.  Please contact the university at which you enrolled to determine whether it participates in this manner with Columbia University.  Some courses are also open to outside individuals interested in non-credit continuing studies. Additionally, through the Lifelong Learners program, individuals over 65 years of age who are interested in auditing courses, may enroll at a discount rate as Lifelong Learners. Please visit the Columbia University School of Continuing Education ( for more details.

September 4th is the first day of classes and September 14th is the final day to register for a class.

For more information about courses or the Ukrainian Studies Program at Columbia University, please contact:

Dr. Mark Andryczyk
(212) 854-4697