PUSHKIN CLUB: 'Two Languages, One Culture?' Ukrainian and Russian Language Literature and Culture in Ukraine

Ukraine is a diverse and complex place. This complexity is often presented in media and scholarship about the country in terms of sharp divisions between opposing linguistic preferences, cultural canons and historical myths. Yet a closer look at Ukrainian society and culture reveals not sharp divisions, but rather blurred lines, intriguing paradoxes and multiplicities. Far from making Ukrainian culture dysfunctional, these factors are precisely what give it its remarkable dynamism. The talk will discuss the above by focusing on the interrelations between Ukrainian and Russian language literature in Ukraine, and will examine Ukraine literature as a unique site of the overlapping and confluence of diverse cultural legacies.

Uilleam Blacker is Lecturer in Comparative Russian and East European Culture at the UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies. His research focuses on cultural memory and urban space in Poland, Russia and Ukraine, and his book, Memory, Forgetting and the Legacy of post-1945 Displacement in Eastern Europe, will be published in 2016. He has also translated the work of several contemporary Ukrainian writers.