The Russian-Ukrainian Conflict: A Clash of Civilizations?

Tuesday, November 22, 2016
1510 International Affairs Building (420 W 118th St)

Please join the Ukrainian Studies Program at the Harriman Institute, Columbia University for a presentation by Professor Frank E. Sysyn (University of Alberta, CIUS).

Note venue change (event was originally scheduled in 1219 IAB).

The current Russian-Ukrainian conflict has brought to the fore a number of unresolved issues that have simmered throughout the twentieth century. On the one side is the Russian question that includes elements of imperial traditions, Eurasianism, Orthodoxy, and all-Russian identity. On the other is the Ukrainian question that involves elements of Ukrainian national distinctiveness, religious pluralism, state-building, and Ukraine’s place in Europe. Throughout the twentieth century Russian thinkers from Nikolai Trubetzkoy to Alexander Solzhenitsyn found the Ukrainian national movement a challenge to their concepts of Russian identity. The Maidan, the seizure of the Crimea, and the Russian-Ukrainian conflict have brought unresolved issues to a head. The talk will deal with the roots of the current clash and its present state, with special attention to the role of religious thought and institutions.

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 Khmelnytsky Uprising, Ukrainian historiography, and early modern Ukrainian political culture. He is also coauthor, with Serhii Plokhy, of Religion and Nation in Modern Ukraine (2003) and coeditor, with Martin Schulze Wessel, of Religion, Nation, and Secularization in Ukraine (2015).  He is a member of the executive committee of the Holodomor Research and Education Consortium and coeditor, with Andrij Makuch, of Contextualizing the Holodomor: The Impact of Thirty Years of Ukrainian Famine Studies (2015). Professor Sysyn, who has taught frequently at Columbia University, heads the Advisory Committee of the Ukrainian Studies Program at the Harriman Institute.

This event is free and open to the public.