In the early 2000s, Ukrainian authors turned to entertaining and attention-grabbing potential of children’s detective stories and adventure fiction to familiarize their young readers with topics from Ukrainian history. This presentation will characterize the peculiar genre conglomerate in which detective plots gravitated around historic artefacts and places where notable historic events took place – thus promoting a mental map of the national space and a narrative of collective memory. The Crimean Peninsula was given a very peripheral place on this mental map, if any, before the occupation in 2014. The second part of the presentation shows how, paradoxically, Crimea and its indigenous inhabitants, Crimean Tatars, get centered in stories for children and young adults about national memory more often in the late 2010s.
Daria Semenova is primarily interested in the potential of genre fiction to shape the readers’ understanding of the world and themselves. She has recently defended her doctoral dissertation entitled “At Home and Away: Community Belonging in Polish, Russian, and Ukrainian Adventure Fiction, 1918-1960,” at UIUC. The current presentation is part of her next research project dedicated to space and memory in Ukrainian fiction for children and young adults since independence.