Academic Diplomacy and Cultural Cold War in Soviet Ukraine

Wednesday, February 17, 2016
12:00 pm
Marshall D. Shulman Seminar Room (1219 International Affairs Building, 420 West 118th St.)

Please join the Ukrainian Studies Program at the Harriman Institute, Columbia University for a presentation by Sergei Zhuk (Ball State University).
Using the personal histories of Soviet Americanists, experts in U.S./Canadian studies in Soviet Ukraine, Sergei Zhuk explores their various functions in “academic diplomacy” between the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War. These Ukrainian Americanists not only advised the Soviet government about American politics and culture, they also promoted the publication of Mario Puzo’s The Godfather and Erich Segal’s Love Story in Soviet Ukraine in the early 1970s.
Paradoxically, academic dialogue about détente in the 1970s between Ukrainian scholars and their Canadian and American colleagues of Ukrainian origin not only influenced the research interests of Soviet Ukrainian Americanists, but also contributed to the formation of their Ukrainian identity. Since the 1970s, intensive contacts with the Ukrainian diaspora pushed the Soviet Ukrainian intellectual elite into the direction of building a separate (from Russia) Ukrainian national modernity in Ukraine, using the intellectual, economic, and cultural experience of those American Ukrainians who had already contributed to the creation of the modern North American civilization.
Sergei Zhuk, a former Soviet expert in U.S. history, especially in the social and cultural history of colonial British America, is Associate Professor of Russian and East European History at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. He is currently a Visiting Associate Professor at Columbia.
This event is free and open to the public.
For more information please contact Dr. Mark Andryczyk at 212-854-4697 or at