Next week will see various events in Cambridge to mark the grim anniversary of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. This post gives details of a few of these, with references to books where appropriate.
The lecture ‘Revisiting the History of the Ukrainian Language’ will be given on 23 February (5.30pm, Knox Shaw Room, Sidney Sussex) by Professor Michael Moser of the University of Vienna. We have got Prof. Moser’s New contributions to the history of the Ukrainian language on order. Among the books by him that we have already got in the library is his 2014 Language policy and the discourse on languages in Ukraine under president Viktor Yanukovych (25 February 2010-28 October 2012).
The 24th itself will see Professor Vitaly Chernetsky’s (University of Kansas, and President-Elect of the Association for Slavic, East European & Eurasian Studies) give the lecture ‘Russia’s War Against Ukraine Confronting Epistemic Injustice’. This will be the 2023 Annual Cambridge Stasiuk Lecture in Contemporary Ukrainian Studies and it will start at 5.30pm in the Umney Theatre of Robinson College. Among the books by Prof. Chernetsky that we have are his 2007 Mapping postcommunist cultures Russia and Ukraine in the context of globalization; MMLL also has the 2013 Ukrainian edition of this.
There will be a #Stand With Ukraine candle-lit vigil at 7pm on Kings Parade on the 24th, organised by Cambridge4Ukraine and the Cambridge University Ukrainian Society.
For those who can’t do an outdoor vigil, CamRUSS, the local non-University Cambridge Russian-Speaking Society, is holding an anti-war poetry evening also at 7pm. The book that the event will focus on is an anthology of anti-war poetry translated into English: Disbelief edited by Julia Nemirovskaya.
On Saturday, Cambridge4Ukraine will lead a 2-hour march from the Hills Road War Memorial to King’s Parade, starting at 2pm.
Do keep an eye on Cambridge4Ukraine’s excellent events diary and do remind yourselves of their incredible work to support Ukrainians in Cambridge and surroundings and in Ukraine. Here is their page about donating to their work or directly to Ukraine-based initiatives: https://www.cambridge4ukraine.uk/support-ukraine/donate
Next week, we will provide a summary of anniversary-related exhibitions and similar initiatives in Cambridge libraries. Do visit the MMLL Faculty Library display, on already – details here.
Since librarians work with what we call controlled vocabularies to ensure standard forms of catalogue data such as author names and subject headings, it might be useful to mention before finishing this post the significance of language when talking about the war. It is Russia’s war against Ukraine, and it is important to name the aggressor. That means that it is better to try to avoid terms like “the Ukraine conflict” or “the war in Ukraine” without reference to Russia. Remember also that while 2022 saw the full-scale invasion by Russia, Russia has been an illegal occupier and aggressor in Ukraine since 2014, so it is worth bearing that context in mind; Russia has effectively been at war against Ukraine for nearly 9 years, not 1. In terms of Library of Congress subject headings, there is, unfortunately, the heading Ukraine Conflict, 2014- (this apparently follows the standard pattern for headings for “undeclared” wars), but there is now the more specific heading Ukraine—History—Russian Invasion, 2022- to use for the ongoing invasion too.
Plus – do please refer to Ukraine as “Ukraine” and not “the Ukraine”. The latter form was dropped in 1991 in the light of Ukraine’s independence, as this 2012 BBC article explains.