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November 22, 2000

CIUS Meets with Denver's Ukrainian Community

The annual meetings of the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies provide a forum for scholarly exchange and a meeting place for organizations such as the American Association for Ukrainian Studies. This year's meeting was held November 8-12 in Denver. As in years past, CIUS associates organized a panel on Ukrainian-Russian relations. The theme of this year's panel was "Intellectual Origins of the Russian-Ukrainian Entanglement". Chaired by Professor Paul Bushkovitch of Yale University, CIUS presenters included Dr. Bohdan Klid, who read a paper on "Claiming Sovereignty over Rus': The Russian-Ukrainian Historical Debate"; Dr. Zenon Kohut, who gave a paper on "Ukraine and the Intellectual construction of the All-Russian Empire"; and Dr. Serhii Plokhy, who spoke on "Orthodoxy and the Idea of Russian-Ukrainian Unity in the First Half of the Seventeeth Century". Dr. Frank Sysyn was the discussant on the panel.

The meetings occur in a different city each year. At times, they are held in cities like New York, Chicago, Boston and other centres with large Ukrainian communities, where specialists in Ukrainian studies frequently give public lectures. In other years, they are held in cities off the Ukrainian beaten track, such as Phoenix, Seattle, St. Louis and this year Denver. When the conference was held in Phoenix, Pricilla Huntworth, an energetic activist for the Ukrainian community, organized a meeting of scholars with the Phoenix Ukrainian community. In Seattle, the Petro Jacyk Centre for Ukrainian Historical Research held a book launch for the Hrushevsky Translation Project in co-operation with the Seattle community.

This year CIUS associates were pleased to respond to an initiative by Denver community members Marta Arnold, president of the Ukrainian National Women's League of Denver, and Danylo Tkach, to hold an information meeting with the Ukrainian community. The meeting was organized by the Ukrainian National Women's League of Denver, which was preceded by a reception hosted at the hall of Transfiguration of Our Lord Ukrainian Catholic Church.

After members of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of St. Mary's Protection arrived at the excellent lunch, a video prepared for the twentieth anniversary of the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies was shown, which introduced the Denver community to the history of CIUS and its accomplishments. The visitors were then greeted by Father Peter Bohdanowycz, pastor of the Transfiguration parish, after which CIUS director, Dr. Zenon Kohut, spoke on "CIUS on the Eve of its 25th Anniversary". He was followed by Dr. Frank Sysyn, director of the Jacyk Centre, who gave a talk on "The Petro Jacyk Centre and the Hrushevsky Translation Project". Dr. Serhii Plokhy, Ukrainian Church Studies Program director then completed the series of presentations, speaking on on "Mykhailo Hrushevsky and the History of the Ukrainian Cossacks". Following these presentations, Halyna Myroniuk of the Immigration History Research Centre, University of Minnesota, who had also given a lecture at the AAASS conference, made an appeal to Ukrainian organizations to preserve their archives and consider donating them to the Minnesota centre.

The more than 60 participants at the meeting posed questions on the Hrushevsky translation project and on CIUS activities. Many purchased volumes one and seven of the History of Ukraine-Rus'. Institute associates were struck by the warm response from this relatively small community that is quite distant from major Ukrainian centres in the US and Canada.

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