Columbia University in the City of New York

Harriman Institute




Conference. Ukrainian Statehood 1917-1921: Institutions and Individuals

On February 24 and 25, 2017, the Ukrainian Studies Program at the Harriman Institute of Columbia University organized a conference entitled Ukrainian Statehood 1917–21: Institutions and Individuals that commemorated the 100-year anniversary of the Ukrainian Revolution and the creation of the modern Ukrainian state.

The conference focused both on the important institutions that were founded under the Ukrainian Central Rada/Ukrainian National Republic, the Ukrainian State of Hetman Pavlo Skoropadsky, the Ukrainian National Republic under the Dyrectoria, and on the individuals that formed them. These state institutions proved to be essential in organizing and giving structure to Ukrainian political, educational, cultural and religious developments at that time. The successes and failures of these initiatives provided models that were both emulated and adjusted in subsequent years and that continue to inform Ukrainian nation-building efforts today. The conference examined the lasting impact of these individuals and institutions on Ukrainian culture and scholarship.

The two-day conference featured panels focusing on political, academic and religious institutions, literature, visual art and music as well as on memoirs and archives of this period. Among the people and organizations that were examined at Ukrainian Statehood 1917–21: Institutions and Individuals are: Volodymyr Vynnychenko, Heorhii Narbut, Ahatanhel Krymsky, Kyrylo Stetsenko, Serhii Iefremov, Yuri Mezhenko, Pavlo Khrystiuk, Mykhail’ Semenko, the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church, The Union for the Liberation of Ukraine, the National Library, The Ukrainian State Academy of Arts and the Kyiv Conservatory.

A characteristic shared by many of the aforementioned individuals is that they were involved in several fields and institutions at once: the academic, literary and political activities intersect in one variety of individual, while the religious, political and musical in another. Ukrainian Statehood 1917–21: Institutions and Individuals allowed theses particularities to be analyzed from different angles. Another important aspect underlying both institutions and individuals of this period—emigration—was also be touched upon in multiple panels.

Participating in Ukrainian Statehood 1917–21: Institutions and Individuals were scholars from the US, Canada and Ukraine, including: Andrew Fedynsky, Olena Haleta, Tamara Hundorova, Oleh Ilnytzkyj, Valentyna Kharkhun, Myroslava Mudrak, Victor Ostapchuk, Marko Stech, Melanie Turgeon, Maxim Tarnawsky, Mark von Hagen, and Zenon Wasyliw.

The first day of Ukrainian Statehood 1917–21: Institutions and Individuals concluded with a reception while the second day closed with a concert focusing on priest, composer and UNR government minister Kyrylo Stetsenko and the genre of the Ukrainian Art Song, which he developed at that time and which has been recently rehabilitated. The concert took place at the Ukrainian Institute of America (co-organizer of the conference) and featured Monica Whicher (soprano), Andrea Ludwig (mezzo soprano) and Albert Krywolt (piano). The entire conference, including the reception and the concert, was free and open to the public.

Conference Program


International Conference

February 24 -25, 2017
Columbia University

Friday, February 24, 2017
Room 1512 – International Affairs Building (420 West 118th St)

Panel One (1:30-3:30PM)

Chair: Martha Bohachevsky-Chomiak

Mark von Hagen “Reading Pavlo Khrystiuk’s ‘Notes and Materials’: Why the Ukrainian Revolution Matters for Historians of the Russian Revolutions”

Zenon Wasyliw “Revolution in Faith: The Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church and its Impact on the Ukrainian Village”

Andrew Fedynsky “Working Toward a National Ukrainian Outcome to the Great War: The Union for the Liberation of Ukraine and Other Materials at the Ukrainian Museum-Archives”

Panel Two (4:00-6:00PM)

Chair: Myroslava Tomorug Znayenko

Victor Ostapchuk “Ahatanhel Krymsky—Orientalist, Ukrainianist, and Permanent Secretary, 1918-1928: The Ukrainian Revolution’s Struggle for an Academy”

Maxim Tarnawsky “Serhii Iefremov: Politician, Publisher, Publicist, and Scholar”

Olena Haleta “Traditional Building: The National Library as a ‘Revolutionary Project’ by Yuri Mezhenko”


Saturday, February 25, 2017
Room 1512 – International Affairs Building (420 West 118th St)

Panel Three (11:00AM-1:00PM)

Chair: Ambassador Valeriy Kuchynskyi

Myroslava Mudrak “The Making of a Brand—The Shaping of Identity: The Life and Legacy of Heorhii Narbut”

Marko Stech “An ‘Academic Revolution’: The Ukrainian State Academy of Arts and Kyiv Conservatory in the Revolutionary Kyiv of 1917-19”

Melanie Turgeon Broken Harp Strings: The Art Songs of Kyrylo Stetsenko and the Ukrainian Art Song Project”

Lunch Break (1:00-2:30PM)

Panel Four (2:30-4:30PM)

Chair: Yuri Shevchuk

Tamara Hundorova “Volodymyr Vynnychenko’s Novel ‘Across the Line’ as Psychoanalysis of the Ukrainian Revolution”

Valentyna Kharkhun “‘Ukrainian History Should Be Read with Bromine’: Vynnychenko’s Image of the Ukrainian Revolution”

Oleh Ilnytzkyj “Revolution, National Culture and the Avant-Garde: Mykhail’ Semenko as Impresario of a New Ukraine”

Ukrainian Art Song Concert (7:30PM)

Ukrainian Institute of America (2 East 79th St, New York, NY 10075)


Andrea Ludwig (mezzo soprano)

Monica Whicher (soprano)

Albert Krywolt (piano)


Presented by the Ukrainian Studies Program at the Harriman Institute, Columbia University.

Organized in collaboration with The Ukrainian Institute of America.

The conference is free and open to the public.