Theirs/Ours: Cities and Villages in Ukrainian Literature and Culture

Theirs/Ours: Cities and Villages in Ukrainian Literature and Culture

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May 22-24, 2014


The speakers at the conference will be Ukrainian and Polish scholars: cultural researchers, literary scholars, sociologists, linguists-researchers. The event is organized by the East Slavonic Philology Institute at Jagiellonian University, the Department of Ukrainian Studies, and with support from the Center for Urban History of East Central Europe (Lviv).

The main goal of the conference is to highlight the reflections on the motives and the main depictions  in the study of the conflict between cities and villages, which once again – in light of recent events – has become an important issue for understanding change and social activism in Ukraine. Conference participants will discuss the following questions:

- motives for escaping from the village / the city;
- perceptions of cities / villages in literary works and in public opinion;
- rural idyll vs urban apocalypse (and vice versa?);
- strategies of "using" (or maybe conquering?) cities in Ukrainian literature and culture;
- the city – that is what? The image of the city in literature and culture.

Traveling from village to city or vice versa may be the cause of development, or it may be the way to destruction. Freedom in turn is associated with one or the other environment. Where do such ideas originate, how are they spread, who are their creators, and why do they participate in this discussion? What eras, literary circles, social groups "choose" the city, and which ones choose the village and why? Finally, how do proponents of comparative studies view the issue, in comparison with the literature of neighboring nations?


Сover Image: View of Khreshchatyk street, 1880-1890. Central State Kinofotofono Archive after G.S. Pshenychny / Urban media archive