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GCSC KNL | Prof. Vitaly Chernetsky (University of Kansas, USA): "My Own Private Ukraine: Utopia and Queer Futurity in Dark Times"

This event is a cooperation between GCSC/RCSC, GiZo & the Chair for East and West Slavic Literatures at JLU


Jan 24, 2023 from 06:00 to 08:00 (Europe/Berlin / UTC100)


GCSC (MFR) & Online (BBB)

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Engaging with the thought of queer theorists José Esteban Muñoz, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, and Michael Snedicker, as well as Ukrainian feminist literary scholar Solomia Pavlychko, this talk explores the expressions of queer desire and utopian hope in Ukrainian literature and film, seeking sources for perseverance and optimism in the dark times of the current war. From the pioneering articulations of queerness in the texts of Olha Kobylians’ka and Ahatanhel Kryms’kyi in the 1890s through the late-modernist explorations by V. Domontovych and Emma Andiievs’ka and developing further in the work of contemporary authors in prose, poetry, and film, it seeks to uncover and trace a persistent utopian impulse that survived and regrew despite the lengthy history of repression, violence, and trauma.


// Prof. Vitaly Chernetsky (The University of Kansas, USA) is Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Kansas. A native of Ukraine, he began his university education at Moscow State University, and continued it at Duke University, arriving in the US as an exchange student in the fall of 1989. He received his MA (1993) and PhD (1996) in Comparative Literature and Literary Theory from the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to coming to KU in 2013, he taught at Columbia, Northeastern, and Miami University (Ohio), and has held research fellowships at Cornell and Harvard.

Chernetsky’s profile as an educator and researcher combines comprehensive and wide-ranging work on Ukrainian, Russian, and other Slavic literatures and cultures with a variety of cross-disciplinary engagements, most notably with film, gender and LGBTQ+ studies, Jewish studies, translation studies, and diaspora/migration studies. Throughout his academic career, he has striven to help bridge the relative isolation in which Ukrainian studies—and even more broadly, Slavic/East European/Eurasian studies—often find themselves within the humanities and the social sciences. He has consistently sought to bring Ukraine and the broader East European/Eurasian region and its cultural riches to the forefront of global attention, and to help global socio-cultural developments illuminate the evolution, current state, and promise of Ukraine and the broader region and their cultures and societies.


To join the Keynote Lecture online, please refer to the GGK/GCSC KNL Announcement (sent per e-mail to the newsletter subscribers) or contact Dr. Jens Kugele. (The meeting is accessible shortly before 18:00.)