The Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies (CIUS) at the University of Alberta celebrated its fortieth anniversary in 2016. On 14–15 October 2016, it held a two-day conference at the University of Alberta entitled “Ukrainian Studies in Canada: Texts and Contexts.” Scholars from Canada and abroad participated in five round tables on the following topics: “Foundations of Ukrainian Studies,” “New Challenges for Ukrainian Studies,” “Ukrainian-Canadian Studies,” “Teaching Ukrainian Studies,” and “Community Outreach.”
CIUS made available a limited number of travel awards to enable graduate students residing outside of Edmonton to attend the conference at the University of Alberta.
Six students registered in a graduate-level program of study in the humanities or social sciences at a post-secondary institution in Canada were the recipients of these awards.
At the conference, they had the right of asking the first questions before questioning was opened up to the general public. They designed and displayed a poster of up to 600 words describing their research.
Transcriptions of the conference proceedings, which are currently being worked on, will be made available electronically to the public on CIUS’ website in March 2017.
Please find the biographies of the six graduate student attendees (also the student travel award recipients) below:
1. Nataliya Bezborodova, MA, Modern Languages and Cultural Studies, University of Alberta, Edmonton. She worked at the Kule Folklore Center and Bohdan Medwidsky Ukrainian Folklore Archives at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada. Her previous degree is in Linguistics and Translation Studies, and it was focused on cultural diversities and misunderstandings based on different cultural origin in the area of international English-language communications. Her recent research explores textual representations and protest lore of Ukrainian protests in winter 2013-2014 in social media, particularly, on Facebook, and the way of re-articulation of national identity and formation new attitudes.
Currently she is a PhD student of the Memorial University of Newfoundland. She is interested in interdisciplinary approach including anthropology, ethnography, folklore, cultural and religious studies.
Her work experience includes academic conferences, exchange seminars and guest lectures administration, international cultural projects (European Humanities Research Center and St. Clément’s Center, Communion and Dialogue of Cultures, 2010-2013), ethnographic research methods and archives (Kule Folklore Center and Bohdan Medwidsky Ukrainian Folklore Archives, 2013-2016), trust-building initiatives, cultural dialogue and education seminars (2009-2010). She worked in “Duh i Litera” Publishing House, one of the leading Ukrainian publishers in academic Humanities, international NGOs and academic institutions.
Research interests: ethnic, national and religious identity, community building, belonging, imagining, collective memory construction, space and place, vernacular religion, intangible cultural heritage.
2. Genia Boivin is a PhD student at University of Alberta. Previously, she studied Film at Université de Montréal and Fine Arts at Concordia University, and graduated With Distinction in 2006. She completed an MA in Ukrainian Folklore with specialization in dance at the University of Alberta in 2010. In addition, she studied abroad in L’viv, Ukraine and in Trondheim, Norway. Her present research project focuses on the representation of the national ideological ethos in animated films from the United States, the former Soviet Union, and France. Genia’s research interests target a broad range of cultural representation in the media, including storytelling, body culture, cyberbodies, as well as concepts of the Self and the Other. Genia taught French language at the University of Alberta from 2011 to 2015. She is the recipient of the 2014 Faculty of Arts Graduate Student Teaching Award and in 2015, was nominated by students to give the Last Lecture at the University of Alberta. She is also an instructor of French Canadian folklore in the Envision long-distance education program at the University of Sudbury since 2011, and is presently writing a course manual on mythmaking in the media for this program.
3. Kassandra Luciuk is a 3rd year PhD Candidate in the Department of History at the University of Toronto. Her dissertation explores how power, ethnicity, and politics were negotiated in Cold War Canada. It shows how the construction of a politically coherent Ukrainian Canadian identity was the deliberate result of ongoing negotiations; the Canadian state contracted out the production of “good Canadians” to Ukrainian brokers who concomitantly instilled the values and rhetoric of liberal democracy in their constituents. Her dissertation also looks at the transformation of Ukrainian displaced persons from mercenaries of socio-political control into a political force in and of themselves. As DPs increased their cultural and political capital, they began making unprecedented demands on the state, engraining themselves in Canadian brokerage politics. Kassandra’s most recent publications explore the relationship between the internment of Ukrainian Canadians during World War One, the Ukrainian Canadian left, and the politics of redress and the appropriation of Taras Shevchenko by competing factions of the Ukrainian Canadian community during the Cold War.
4. Kirsten Tarves is a graduate student of Slavic Studies at the University of Manitoba. She has a BA in Russian and Ukrainian from the University of Manitoba, and will begin her MA in Slavic Studies in January at the same university. Her current primary areas of interest are Russian and Ukrainian literature and folklore.
5. Klavdia Tatar is a 3rd year PhD student in the School of Political studies at the University of Ottawa. She is a member of the University of Ottawa’s Chair of Ukrainian Studies. She completed an MA in history at the University of Manitoba in 2014. Her current research project focuses on studying political activism of the Ukrainian diaspora in Canada since 1991.
Her broader research interests focus mainly on the areas of international and domestic politics, migration and ethnic lobbying, diaspora studies and transnationalism, and Eastern European politics, in particular the international relations of Russia, Ukraine and Turkey. Ms Tatar has worked as an advisor and a researcher for various stakeholders, inside and outside academia. In 2016 she become a founder of Ottawa-based research organization, PoliSens.
6. Viktoriya Thomson is a fifth year candidate in the Department of Political Science at Carleton University, Ottawa working on her Doctoral thesis entitled, “From the Orange Revolution to Euromaidan – the political culture of Ukrainian society from 2004 to 2014.” Her research concerns the changes that occurred in the political culture of Ukraine after the Orange Revolution and their impact (if at all) on the level of spontaneous mobilizations of citizens during Euromaidan. She presented different parts of her research during the 2015 CPSA conference as well as during the 9th and 7th ECPR General conferences in Montreal and Bordeaux. She wrote her MA Thesis on “Political Opposition in Ukraine and its effectiveness” in 2008 at Carleton University. She visited Ukraine as an election observer during 2012 and 2014 parliamentary elections, and moved to Canada from Ukraine in 2003.