"Let books be your dining table, / And you shall be full of delights. / Let them be your
And you shall sleep restful nights" (St. Ephraim the Syrian).

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Ukraine and Europe

Perhaps--given the semi-regular appearance of "Ukraine" in Western headlines over the last few years, given the Russian annexation of Crimea and then its war in the Donbas, and given the present struggle for a united and autocephalous Orthodox Church in Ukraine (about which see my interview with Nick Denysenko and his must-read book on the subject)--we might finally expect that Western readers will lose some of their ignorance about the country and acquire some deeper understandings of its history, culture, and future.

One resource to aid that process was recently published. A wide-ranging collection by some important scholars, including one of its editors Serhii Plokhy, is now out in hardback: Ukraine and Europe: Cultural Encounters and Negotiations, eds. G.B. Bercoff, M. Pavllyshyn, and S. Plokhy (University of Toronto Press, 2017)

About this collection we are told:
Ukraine and Europe challenges the popular perception of Ukraine as a country torn between Europe and the east. Twenty-two scholars from Europe, North America, and Australia explore the complexities of Ukraine’s relationship with Europe and its role the continent’s historical and cultural development.
Encompassing literary studies, history, linguistics, and art history, the essays in this volume illuminate the interethnic, interlingual, intercultural, and international relationships that Ukraine has participated in. The volume is divided chronologically into three parts: the early modern era, the 19th and 20th century, and the Soviet/post-Soviet period. Ukraine in Europe offers new and innovative interpretations of historical and cultural moments while establishing a historical perspective for the pro-European sentiments that have arisen in Ukraine following the Euromaidan protests.

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