Shevchenko and His Readers

Thursday, February 20, 2014
12:00 pm
Marshall D. Shulman Seminar Room (1219 IAB), 420 West 118th Street
In commemoration of the 200 year anniversary of Taras Shevchenko’s birth the Ukrainian Studies Program at the Harriman Institute invite you to a lecture by Prof. Taras Koznarsky (University of Toronto) entitled “Shevchenko and His Readers.”
The presentation will focus on the phenomenon of Shevchenko as he shaped his charismatic role in Ukrainian society (imagined community).  Why did French-educated Ukrainian noble ladies compete to get their hands on his first book Kobzar?  How did the older and younger intelligentsia respond and connect to Shevchenko as a persona and his works?  What does the critical reception of Shevchenko reveal about the position of the Ukrainian (and Little Russian) discourse (literature, folklore, history) within Russian imperial culture of the late 1830s-1840s? How did the Third Department (police) read Shevchenko, translating his texts into Russian, in order to prepare the inflammatory dossier of the arrested poet for his majesty Nicholas I’s verdict? 
Taras Koznarsky is an associate professor at the University of Toronto, where he teaches Ukrainian, Russian and comparative Slavic literature and culture courses.  His research interests include Ukrainian-Russian literary relationships in the nineteenth century, the shaping of modern Ukrainian cultural and national identity, and the text of Kyiv: constructions of the city in Ukrainian, Russian, Jewish, and Polish literary and cultural imaginations, 1800s-2000s. His current manuscript projects examine the working of ethno-cultural stereotypes of Ukrainians and Russians in the shaping of Gogol’s literary career; and the Trial of Beilis as a battle of media and political and cultural imaginations in which the text of Kyiv as a frontier city plays a pivotal role.
This event is free and open to the public.