Contemporary Ukrainian Literature (LIT2433.01)

Alexandar Mihailovic

Ukrainian literature has always been informed by an internal diversity that puts it at odds with the imperial narratives and national mythologies of its more powerful neighboring countries. In this course, we will familiarize ourselves with Ukrainian literature and cinema beginning with the so-called ‘Orange Revolution’ of 2004 and ending with the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine. We will pay particular attention to the languages in which much of the literature is written and spoken–primarily Ukrainian and Russian–and to Ukraine’s understanding of itself as a “small nation” whose existence is, in the words of Milan Kundera, “not a self-evident certainty but always a question, a wager, a risk.”

The anarchist punk sensibility of Serhiy Zhadan’s poetry and prose, the collaborative work of the Jewish poets Liudmila and Boris Khersonsky, the political surrealism of Yuri Andrukhovych’s and Andrei Kurkov’s novels, and the innovative genre crossings of Oksana Zabuzhko’s feminist critiques of daily life are the major touchstones of Ukrainian literature prior to the invasion of the country on February 24, 2022. In the period of the war, we will focus on the attempts of writers, filmmakers, and journalists to use autofiction and blurring of lines between creative nonfiction and documentary narrative modes, as strategies for coming to terms with trauma and the attempted eradication of cultural identity.


Learning Outcomes:



Delivery Method: Fully in-person
Course Level: 2000-level
Credits: 4
M/Th 10:00AM - 11:50AM (Full-term)
Maximum Enrollment: 20
Course Frequency: One time only

Categories: Literature , Fully In-Person , All courses
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