Making Home in Times of Peace and War: Oral History of Ukrainian Displaced Persons in Alberta post-2022

20 November 2023

Folklore Lunch: Making Home in Times of Peace and War: Oral History of Ukrainian Displaced Persons in Alberta post-2022

Presented by Dr. Natalia Khanenko-Friesen, Huculak Chair

November 24, 2023 | 12pm MST | Kule Folklore Centre

(In-person presentation)

As of November 16, 2023, 1,189,320 people have applied for Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel (CUAET) visa, nearly 922,590 have been approved and 198,642 people arrived.  Based on the oral history project “Making Home in Times of Peace and Times of War: Ukrainian Displaced Persons in Canada” currently underway, this presentation explores the trajectories and experiences of the newly arrived Ukrainians in Canada in the context of the ongoing Russian war in Ukraine and their interactions with Canadians and the Ukrainian Canadians. Analysing the content and narrative strategies of the recorded interviews, this presentation explores the questions — What does home mean to those who have left the war-struck homeland? How do the narrators relate and reformulate their sense of home in times of displacement, loss and related trauma? How does the host country environment affect the evolving redefinitions of home for the Ukrainians?

Natalia Khanenko-Friesen is an oral historian and cultural anthropologist currently serving in the roles of the director of the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies and Huculak Chair in Ukrainian Culture and Ethnography, both in the Faculty of Arts, University of Alberta, Canada. Her research interests include oral history, vernacular culture, diasporic and ethnic identities, labor migration, and immigrant letter writing. She authored or (co)edited the following books monographs, "Ukrainian Otherlands: Diaspora, Homeland and Folk Imagination in the 20th Century (U of Wisconsin Press, 2015); "The other world, or ethnicity in action: Canadian Ukrainianness at the end of the 20th century" (Smoloskyp Press, 2011); "Orality and Literacy: Reflections Across Disciplines" (U of Toronto Press, 2011) and "Reclaiming the Personal: Oral History in Post-Socialist Europe" (U of Toronto Press, 2015).

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