Holodomor Memorial Day : the November 2022 Slavonic items of the month

The fourth Saturday of November is Holodomor Memorial Day, which marks the loss of millions of Ukrainians in the man-made famine of 1932/33.  Today, of course, the day of remembrance occurs during another man-made horror in Ukraine, as Russia’s war continues to take a terrible toll on Ukraine and Ukrainians.

We marked the 80th anniversary of the Holodomor in 2013 with a blog post about one particular book (here) and wrote again about the Holodomor in 2019, when the libraries put on a pop-up exhibition to tie in with a Cambridge Ukrainian Studies screening of the film ‘Mr Jones’ about the Welsh journalist whose unflinching reports of the horrors he saw were too easily ignored (blog post here). Continue reading

Ukrainian Cassandras, witnesses, and killjoys

The title of this blog post is taken from Dr Sasha Dovzhyk’s tweet about her lecture (‘Ukrainian Cassandras’) given this week as part of the important series of talks called ‘Rethinking Slavonic Studies’ arranged by the University’s Slavonic Studies Section and CamCREES.

One of Dr Dovzhyk’s slides; to the right is a bust of the national poet Taras Shevchenko, now with a Russian bullet through his forehead

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The problems of successful upbringing : the October 2022 Slavonic item of the month

This month’s item is yet another lovely arrival through the donation from the New York Shevchenko Scientific Society Library.  Problemy uspishnoho vykhovanni︠a︡ provides a 20-chapter guide to raising children.  Vykhovanni︠a︡ can also mean education, but the chapter list makes it quite clear that the book is about bringing children up more generally.  The book covers birth and new parenthood, first steps and nursery, some coverage of early school years, general topics such as behaviour, interest, authority, and music, and the spiritual education of children.  There are also chapters about language and about nurturing national consciousness in the family – both interesting since the book was written and published in the US with the Ukrainian diaspora its primary audience. Continue reading

Liberation and Ukraine : a talk and exhibition (17 and 18 November)

The Liberation Literature Lecture, which has traditionally focused on France, will this focus on Ukraine.  This post provides details about the talk and an accompanying exhibition which we warmly invite local Ukrainians to co-curate with us.

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The war on Russian writers against the war on Ukraine

A blurry Leonid Parfenov at an event in London in 2011

Next week will see the launch of collaborative work to bring some of the UL’s Ukrainian material together into a pop-up exhibition.  This week, we will focus briefly again on the effect Russia’s war on Ukraine is having on its own country, this time through the prism of the leaked list of authors that the Moscow Dom Knigi bookshop network have apparently banned their staff from putting on display (a full ban is thankfully not in place); an article in Russian about this can be found here.  The ban largely relates to the authors’ appearance on the list of ‘foreign agents’ (inoagenty) this blog has mentioned before, which ultimately boils down to their stance against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

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