Literature, Language and Identities in Post-Soviet Ukraine
The objective of this course is to seek the connection between literary production and identity construction in present-day Ukraine. The main question to be considered is how various identities (national, ethnic, territorial, religious, class and gender) are reflected in contemporary Ukrainian literature and whether or not works of literature exert any influence on forming these identities in the post-Soviet reality. The social role of the literary work and its creators underwent drastic shifts in the aftermath of the fall of the Soviet empire. This course will study the dynamics behind these changes and will address the issues of cultural hybridity, bilingualism, and the decentralization of the literary process since 1991. Major literary trends in post-Soviet Ukraine and the most representative texts of the past two decades will also be examined. Students will be encouraged to support their interpretations with a variety of theoretical, literary-critical, and historical sources. Primary readings include (but are not limited to) the selections from the writings of Oksana Zabuzhko, Solomiia Pavlychko, Yuri Andrukhovych, Mykola Riabchuk, and Andrey Kurkov.