The Reading Revolution in the Galician Ukrainian Countryside: Mshanets, 1870-1914

Monday, November 17, 2014
Marshall D. Shulman Seminar Room (1219 IAB, 420 West 118th Street)
Please join the Ukrainian Studies Program at the Harriman Institute for a talk by Professor Frank E. Sysyn.
This presentation will be a micro-history of the spread of literacy for the inhabitants of one Carpathian mountain village between 1870 and 1914. On the basis of archival material, memoirs, and interviews, the presentation examines the institutions and mechanisms through which reading and writing were disseminated, including a monastery school, private tutoring, instruction in the church, the reading room, and the village school. In addition to examining the reasons literacy began to be valued, including improvements in agriculture and migration to the New World, the presentation seeks to convey individual responses to reading and writing in the era just before the First World War. The significance of literacy for the Ukrainian national movement and the formation of national communities is also touched upon.
Frank E. Sysyn is director of the Peter Jacyk Centre for Ukrainian Historical Research at the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, professor in the Department of History and Classics at the University of Alberta, and editor in chief of the Hrushevsky Translation Project. A specialist in Ukrainian and Polish history, he is the author of Between Poland and the Ukraine: The Dilemma of Adam Kysil, 1600–1653 (1985), Mykhailo Hrushevsky: Historian and National Awakener (2001), and studies on the Khmelnytsy Uprising, Ukrainian historiography, and early modern Ukrainian political culture. He is also coauthor, with Serhii Plokhy, of Religion and Nation in Modern Ukraine (2003). Professor Sysyn, who has taught frequently at Columbia University, heads the Advisory Committee of the Ukrainian Studies Program at the Harriman Institute.