NEW YORK – During the fall 2020 semester, Columbia University’s Ukrainian Studies Program at the Harriman Institute is offering six courses that study various aspects of Ukraine as well as organizing a series of events in Ukrainian studies at the university. Due to the pandemic, all courses and events for the semester will be held online. The online events will be open to the public, but registration will be required.
On Wednesdays at 2:10-4 p.m., Prof. Alexander Motyl will teach the course “Ukraine in New York” – a multidisciplinary exploration of the Ukrainian American community in New York City from its beginnings in the late 19th century to the present. The course focuses on the history, demographics, economics, politics, religion, education and culture of the community, devoting particular attention to the impact thereon of the New York setting, shifting attitudes towards American politics and culture and homeland politics and culture, and the tensions encountered in navigating between America, Soviet Ukraine and independent Ukraine.
Ambassador Valeriy Kuchynskyi will teach a course titled “Ukrainian Foreign Policy: Russia, Europe and the U.S.,” which will be held on Tuesdays at 2:10-4 p.m. The newly revised seminar-like course deals with the performance of independent Ukraine on the international arena, its relationship with major powers – Russia, Europe and the U.S. – and the trajectory of its foreign policy. Having illegally annexed Crimea and conducting a proxy war in eastern Ukraine, Russia has challenged the basic principles of international law and numerous bilateral agreements, and threatened global peace and security. What is to be done to rebuff the aggressor? Can diplomacy still play a role? These and other issues are dealt with in this course. Special emphasis is made on the assessment of the current conflict with Moscow and on the new trends in foreign policy doctrine. The issues of national security and the current political situation are dealt with extensively. The course delivers first-hand insights by a career diplomat who has been actively involved in the implementation of Ukrainian foreign policy for over three decades.
Dr. Yuri Shevchuk will teach the course “Soviet, Post-Soviet, Colonial and Post-Colonial Cinema.” The course will discuss how filmmaking has been used as an instrument of power and imperial domination in the Soviet Union as well as in the post-Soviet space since 1991. A body of selected films by Soviet and post-Soviet directors that exemplify the function of filmmaking as a tool of appropriation of the colonized, and their cultural and political subordination by the Soviet center, will be examined in terms of post-colonial theories. The course will focus both on Russian cinema and often overlooked work of Ukrainian, Georgian, Belarusian, Armenian, etc. national film schools and how they participated in the communist project of fostering a “new historic community of the Soviet people” as well as resisted it by generating, in hidden and, since 1991, overt and increasingly assertive ways their own counter-narratives. Close attention will be paid to the new Russian film as it re-invents itself within the post-Soviet imperial momentum projected on the former Soviet colonies. This course will take place Tuesdays at 6:10-10 p.m.
Three levels of Ukrainian language instruction will be taught this fall by Dr. Shevchuk: Elementary will be taught on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 11:40 a.m.-12:55 p.m., and Intermediate on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 10:10-11:25a.m. Advanced Ukrainian will be presented in a course titled “Advanced Ukrainian Through Literature, Media and Politics,” which will take place on Mondays and Wednesdays at 2:40-3:55p.m. This content-based modular course is designed to develop students’ capacity to use the Ukrainian language as a research and communication tool in a variety of specialized functional and stylistic areas that include literary fiction, scholarly prose, printed and broadcast journalism. It is designed for students with an interest in the history, politics, literature, culture and other aspects of contemporary Ukraine, as well as those who plan to do their research, business or reporting about Ukraine. The course is taught in Ukrainian. Being equivalent to an advanced language course, the proposed course will further develop students’ proficiency in grammar to enable them to narrate and describe in major time frames with adequate command of aspect. The study of grammar includes patterns of word formation, participles, gerunds, an in-depth study of such difficult subjects as verbal aspect, verbs of motion, stylistic and functional stratification of language, and communicative sentence perspective.
Several events have already been scheduled for the fall semester. On September 24 at noon, Dr. Markian Dobczansky (Harriman Institute, Columbia University) will give the talk “Soviet Ukrainian Urbanism: Factories, Higher Education and Nationalities Policy in Kharkiv”; on October 22 at noon Dr. Leah Batstone (Hunter College, CUNY) will give a lecture titled “Between Serialism and Suprematism: Nikolai Roslavets’ Modernist Music”; and on November 24 at noon Dr. Valentyna Kharkhun (Nizhyn Mykola Gogol State University) will present “Dealing with a Contested Past: ‘Monument Wars’ in Ukraine and in the U.S.A.”
All of these events will be held virtually as Zoom webinars and streamed via YouTube Live. They will not be in-person events. Registration will be required. Please see the Ukrainian Studies Program webpage (https://harriman.columbia.edu/programs/ukrainian-studies-program) for more details.
The Ukrainian Film Club will be presenting films throughout the semester beginning with “The Lost Petition” (1972), directed by Borys Ivchenko, on September 23 at 7 p.m.
Other Ukrainian studies events, including those presented by the Ukrainian Film Club of Columbia University, will be held throughout the semester and will be posted on the Ukrainian Studies Program webpage once their dates and times are confirmed.
September 8 is the first day of classes. For more information about courses or the Ukrainian Studies Program at Columbia University, readers may contact Dr. Mark Andryczyk at email@example.com or 212-854-4697.
Courses at Columbia are open to students from other universities in the New York metropolitan area seeking credit. Please contact the university at which you enrolled to determine whether it participates in this manner with Columbia University. Some courses are also open to outside individuals interested in non-credit continuing studies.
Additionally, through the Lifelong Learners program, individuals over 65 years of age who are interested in auditing courses may enroll at a discount rate as Lifelong Learners. Please visit the Columbia University School of Continuing Education for more details: http://www.ce.columbia.edu/auditing/?PID=28.