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Yuliya Ilchuk, Assistant Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures, Stanford Univ.: "Making Sense of Hybrid Cultural Production in the Russian Empire: The Case of Nikolai Gogol"

Event Type
Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures
101 International Studies Building, 910 S. Fifth St., Champaign
Oct 30, 2019   5:00 - 6:00 pm  
Yuliya Ilchuk, Assistant Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures, Stanford University
Free and open to the public.
Valeria Sobol

Abstract: During the post-Soviet transition, both Russia and Ukraine have been preoccupied with defining their national codes, while showing little interest in regional identification and hybrid cultures and languages. I hope that my research on hybrid cultural production in the empire during the time of Nikolai Gogol will rectify the situation and further the postcolonial and decolonial studies within the Slavic literary field. In my talk, I will demonstrate how Nikolai Gogol and the Ukrainian intellectuals of his time (Orest Somov, Vasyl Narizhnyi, Panteleimon Kulish, and Mykola Kostomarov) contributed to the creation of a heterogeneous imperial culture in their efforts to translate Ukrainian “otherness” for the metropolitan audience, in their hybrid language practices, and in various strategies of ethnic disguise and camouflage. The broader theoretical questions are considered as well: whether hybridity, considered in the Russian-Ukrainian context, can provide an alternative to the essentialist categories of “pure” and “authentic” national identities, and how writing simultaneously to the imperial and national audiences can help us rethink the ethnic communitarian and civil liberal traditions not as opposed but as inseparable phenomena in nation-building.


{This event is made possible by the Dmytro Shtohryn Endowment in Ukrainian Studies.}


Speaker bio: Yuliya Ilchuk earned a B.A. in Teaching Russian as a Foreign Language from National Pedagogical University in Kyiv (Ukraine), an M.A. in Comparative Literature from “Kyiv-Mohyla Academy,” and a Ph.D in Slavic Languages and Literatures from the University of Southern California.

Her major research interests fall under the broad heading of cultural exchange, interaction, and borrowing between Russia and Ukraine. Her upcoming book, Nikolai Gogol’s Hybrid Performance, revises Gogol’s identity and texts as ambivalent and hybrid by situating them in the in-between space of Russian and Ukrainian cultures. Studies of hybridity have also informed her recent research projects on othering, protest culture, and memory on the move as socio-cultural responses to the war in Eastern Ukraine.

In her ongoing research projects and teaching, she integrates traditional humanistic approaches to the text with computer assisted methods. Some of her recent projects include distant network analysis of the Russian realist novels as models of the emerging liberal society; geo-spatial analysis of the post-Soviet transformation of the city as a rhizome with multiple, non-hierarchical relationship between the old and new urban cultures; a study of Ukrainian atomopolises as spaces for the intensive implementation of lost utopian Socialist ideals; and a study of memory and space in protracted displacement in contemporary Ukrainian literature and film on/by refugees.

She has also published scholarly articles on the topics of contemporary Russian and Ukrainian culture and society and translations of the contemporary Ukrainian poetry.

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