Nov 3, 11 am Pacific/2 pm Eastern/9 pm Kyiv
Ukrainian Writers Making and Breaking the Autobiographical Pact
A Lecture by Dr. Iaroslava Strikha (Kyiv)
Details here; and registration here.
In Ukraine, the country that during long stretches of its history could not be a political reality but rather an entity persevered as a literary fact, the question of “what does it mean to be a Ukrainian writer?” was often conflated with “what does it mean to be Ukrainian?” In this lecture, Iaroslava Strikha will outline the shifting conventions of self-representation in autobiographies of Ukrainian writers from the 1890s through the mid-20th century, with particular focus on archival sources from the tumultuous period of the 1920s and the 1930s. Autobiographies, with their attention to the formation of the narrating self, became a fascinating laboratory for articulating new identity models on the intersection of aesthetic experiments and bureaucratic categorizations, ethnographic research and demands of self-preservation. Stitching together various sources, from familial letters to questionnaires for biographical encyclopedias, Strikha analyzes how autobiographers wrote back against the empire, proposing new configurations for Ukrainian literature and Ukrainian identity.
Iaroslava Strikha lives in Kyiv with her puppy Joy, and works as a literary translator. She is the Ukrainian translator of Art Spiegelman’s Maus, as well as of works by Henry David Thoreau, Julian Barnes, Kate Atkinson, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Paul Auster, and Don DeLillo, among others. She holds a PhD in Slavic Languages and Literatures from Harvard University.
Sponsored by the department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Washington.