Reflecting on MERCZbau| Arts and Human Rights in Ukraine


Reflecting on MERCZbau: Art and Human Rights in Ukraine

A panel of experts will gather to consider how Orientalist ideas have shaped scholarship, culture, and power dynamics in the Slavic world. 

Date and time
Thu, October 6, 2022
5:00 PM – 7:00 PM CDT

Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society
5701 South Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637

Register to attend at the following link:



How have Orientalist ideas shaped scholarship, culture, and power dynamics within the Slavic world? In what ways have Orientalist and anti-imperialist discourses responded to geopolitical shifts and population transfers across the borderlands of Eastern Europe? More urgently, how should we revise our understanding of East/West divides in light of the Russian invasion of Ukraine? These questions lie at the heart of Slavs and Tatars’ exhibition MERCZbau, currently on view at the Neubauer Collegium. Participants at this panel will gather to consider the lost history of multinational coexistence in Lviv that is projected into an imagined/counterfactual present by the exhibition. We will also explore the shifting meanings of the “East” at a moment when globalization and humanitarian crisis make it impossible to disentangle East and West – or art and politics.


Boriša Falatar (Head of Kyiv Office, 2020–2022, OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine)

Leah Feldman (Associate Professor of Comparative Literature, University of Chicago)

Markian Prokopovych (Associate Professor of Modern European Cultural History, Durham University)

Dieter Roelstraete (Curator, Neubauer Collegium)

Tara Zahra (Roman Family Director, Neubauer Collegium)


This panel discussion is jointly organized by the Neubauer Collegium and the Pozen Family Center for Human Rights at the University of Chicago. Free and open to the public. Persons with disabilities who need an accommodation in order to participate should contact