From Promise to Terror: Ukrainian Socialists between Imperial Austria, Poland, and Soviet Ukraine

Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Marshall D. Shulman Seminar Room (1219 IAB)
Please join the Harriman Institute for a lecture by Dr. Iryna Vushko (Hunter College).
This talk explores the lives and political trajectories of two Ukrainian socialists -- Semen Vityk and Mykola Hankewych–– who started their careers in the Austrian Empire and parted ways to the Soviet Union and Poland after 1918. Before 1918, Hankewych and Vityk lived parallel lives: they received similar education, became socialists, co-founded the Ukrainian Social-Democratic Party of Galicia, were elected to the imperial parliament, and shared similar views on politics. Both endorsed the empire and supported cooperation with other nationalities (most notably Galician Poles) within the framework of imperial institutions. Their lives diverged radically after 1918. Hankewych stayed in Poland and remained committed to the idea of Polish-Ukrainian cooperation. Vityk immigrated to Soviet Ukraine to help build communism there.
In her presentation, Dr. Vyshko will trace Vityk's and Hankewych's lives from the East to the West, and back: from Lviv to Vienna, before 1918, and from Vienna to Lviv, Kyiv, Kharkiv and Siberia, thereafter. Through the example of Hankewych and Vityk, she will analyze how the ideas of statehood, nation, and socialism, shaped during the empire, became adjusted in two different types of successor states, independent Poland and the Soviet Union.
Iryna Vushko is an Assistant Professor of History at Hunter College, CUNY.  She holds a Ph.D in history from Yale University, where she specialized in East-European history.  Her presentation is part of the project "From Empire to Nation State: the Habsburg Factor in European Politics" that analyzes the transition from the Austrian Empire to successor states in interwar Europe.