Sashka in Kabul?: How to tell a Soviet war story
May 4, 2020
In May, join us for a conversation between Dr. Mayhill Fowler, Associate Professor at Stetson University and Fulbright Scholar in Ukraine, and Dr. Sofia Dyak, Director of the Center for Urban History.

The conversation will focus on Dr. Fowler’s book project War Stories: Theater on the Frontlines of Socialism, on PrikVO, the Theater of the Carpathian Military district in Soviet Ukraine, which was one of the seven official, professional military theaters across the Soviet Union. We will discuss how the story of PrikVO challenges us to rethink the history of theater in Lviv, in Ukraine, and in Eastern Europe more broadly. We will focus on the theater itself, its rise, its heyday, its demise, its post-Soviet transformation and its (often invisible) legacies today. Central to this story is war, and theater’s ability--and inability--to tell a true war story. More broadly, how is a true war story ever possible? Throughout the conversation we will return to the themes of the stories we tell, why we tell them, and why our stories matter for how we understand ourselves and the place in which we live. Ultimately, PrikVO is a Lviv story, a story of this city and the people who called it home for their lives and careers. 

The event will be taking place online. You can find the information about time and other details later, on the website, and social media of the Center.

Dr. Mayhill C. Fowler (Ph.D. Princeton) is associate professor of history at Stetson University. She teaches and researches the cultural history of Ukraine, and has published widely on theater, film, and revolutionary culture. Her first book, Beau Monde on Empire's Edge: State and Stage in Soviet Ukraine (Toronto, 2017), tells the story of the making of culture both Soviet and Ukrainian through a collective biography of young artists and officials in the 1920s and 1930s. She is completing two projects: War Stories: Theater on the Frontlines of Socialism, which investigates how societies explain war and entertain soldiers, through the lens of the former Soviet Army Theater in Lviv, and Comrade Actress: Soviet Ukrainian Women on the Stage and Behind the Scenes, which re-thinks the avant-garde through  Eastern European women. She was a postdoctoral fellow at the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute (2012) and the Petro Jacyk Postdoctoral Fellow at University of Toronto, (2012-2013). She holds an MFA from the National Theater Conservatory and a BA from Yale University.  She is a Fulbright Research Scholar in Ukraine 2019-2020.

Image from the collection "Zinaida Dekhtiareva photographs," Private collection of Bohdan Kozak.