Natalie Kononenko

Natalie KononenkoKule Chair Emerita

Natalie Kononenko was the first holder of the Kule Chair in Ukrainian Ethnography (2004-2019). She came to the University of Alberta from the University of Virginia where she was professor of Slavic Languages, Literatures, and Folklore.

After studying at Cornell University, Kononenko received a BA from Radcliffe College. She then went on to earn her MA from Harvard University. Her PhD, also from Harvard University, was awarded jointly by the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures and the Department of Near Eastern Studies. Kononenko has done field work in Türkiye, the Soviet Union, and Ukraine, and is now exploring fieldwork opportunities in Canada.

Kononenko has written or contributed to books on Ukrainian epic, Ukrainian folktales, Turkish minstrelsy, and, most recently, contemporary Ukrainian legends. Her book, Ukrainian Minstrels: And the Blind Shall Sing received the Kovaliv Award and the American Association for Ukrainian Studies best book prize. She has published numerous articles in Ethnologies, Slavic and East European Journal, and Slavic Review, among others journals. She has contributed entries on Ukrainian folklore to a number of encyclopedias and is currently working on a book about Ukrainian ritual.

Kononenko's Ukrainian Traditional Folklore website has won extensive grant support and has been used internationally as a learning object. She has served on the editorial boards of numerous journals and for many years has been an editor of Folklorica, the Journal of the Slavic and East European Folklore Association.

Representative Publications

Ukrainian Minstrels: And the Blind Shall Sing, M.E. Sharpe, 1998.
Slavic Folklore: A Handbook, Greenwood, 2007.
Invitation to a Wedding, Ukrainian Museum in New York exhibit catalogue, 2010.