Kule Chair Projects

The Kule Chair in Ukrainian Ethnography is an endowed professorial position established in 2004 through a major donation from Drs. Peter and Doris Kule to the University of Alberta. The research focus of the Kule Chair is on collecting and sharing observations related to Ukrainian folklore, customs and traditions, experiences, perspectives, and everyday practices in Ukraine and the diaspora. The Kule Chair is administered through the Kule Folklore Centre and is also responsible for teaching Ukrainian folklore, media studies, and related courses in the Department of Modern Languages and Cultural Studies (MLCS).  In addition, the Kule Chair is currently the Interim Curator of the Bohdan Medwidsky Ukrainian Folklore Archives.
The Kule Chair is only the second endowed professorship ever in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Alberta. The position was first held by Dr. Natalie Kononenko from 2004 to 2019 and is now held by Dr. Larisa Sembaliuk Cheladyn.

As Kule Chair, Dr. Larisa Sembaliuk Cheladyn, continues to advance the Chair's mission through her research and community engagement.
She is a well-known Ukrainian Canadian artist and illustrator.  Her research and academic interests are related to visualizing cultural identity in the context of print and digital media expressions specifically through printmaking, textiles and fashion, family and community photographic documentation, as well as comics and graphic novels.

In her role as the Kule Chair, Larisa teaches four courses per year and attends to a variety of research projects including exhibit installations and publications. She also serves as a community liaison for the Kule Folklore Centre and acts as a mentor for graduate students funded by scholarships managed by the Kule Folklore Center.


The Kule Chair is dedicated to teaching folklore and media studies in the Department of Modern Languages and Cultural Studies. Courses offered incorporate interdisciplinary and experiential learning opportunities related to general folklore, mythology, and Ukrainian customs and traditions. Recent and upcoming courses include:

  • FOLK 204 - Forms of Folklore
  • FOLK 205 - History of Folklore Studies
  • SLAV 204 - Slavic Mythology & Folklore
  • SLAV 320 – Ukrainian Canadian Culture
  • SLAV 399/MTS 499 – Special Topics - Comics, Memes & Tattoos

Detailed information about each course can be accessed HERE.

In addition to teaching undergraduate courses, the Kule Chair currently convenes meetings for the Kule Folklore Graduate Research Assistants and supervises practicum students in the BFA printmaking program.

Current Research Projects

The Kule Chair engages in research projects related to Ukrainian Canadian Ethnography.  Current research includes the following:

The Ukrainian Voice Legacy Mosaic


Larisa’s work on the Ukrainian Voice Legacy Project


Voice Legacy Mosaic is an extension of Dr. Sembaliuk Cheladyn’s interest in visualizing cultural identity.  As a research-creation project, the process involves the remediation of printing blocks used by Trident Press Ltd. (Winnipeg) in Ukrainian and English language publications printed and distributed between 1910 and 1980. The meta-data collected from the images will be shared as a digitally interactive mosaic which will tour across Canada in 2024.  Supporting Funds have been granted in part by the Shevchenko Foundation, SUS Foundation, St. John’s Legacy Foundation, and the Alberta Ukrainian Self-Reliance League. Ongoing research and mosaic preparation is interdisciplinary and public based - supported by graduate students in MLCS, students in the BFA printmaking program, and volunteers from the community. 

The Maydanyk Digital Archives



Self Portraits
Larisa (2022) Jacob (1926)


As an extension of her PhD dissertation, “Maydanyk’s Memories: A Juxtaposition of Time and Space”, Dr. Sembaliuk Cheladyn continues to expand and maintain the digital archives of the artist/cartoonist Jacob Maydanyk. Funding for this project is provided in part by Oseredok Ukrainian Cultural and Educational Centre and the SUCH Network.  The initial draft of the website and supporting dissertation can be accessed online HERE.

Recent Publications

In 2022-23 Larisa Sembaliuk Cheladyn published two articles related to her current research.  They can be found in Zakhidn’okanads’kyi zbirnyk (Vol. L, 2022) on Ukrainian-Canadian visual art and photography. They are: “Life’s Lessons Taught on The Streets of Winnipeg: The Didactic Art Of Jacob Maydanyk” and "The Ukrainian Press Mosaic Project: Remediation as an Approach to Preservation." An Open Access version of these single-authored publications is available at https://doi.org/10.7939/r3-nbr1-7z07.

Larisa also contributed to the first two volumes of Lena and Thomas Gushul – Life in Front and Behind the Camera, published in 2022 and 2023 by the Kule Folklore Centre.

She also presented the research paper, “Visualizing Solidarity: Wearing Propaganda,” for the Canadian Association of Slavists (CAS) Annual Conference at the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences (Congress 2023).

Works in Progress

  1. Out of the Kiln: Sharing Traditions in Clay. Curated by Dr. Sembaliuk Cheladyn, this is an exhibition sponsored by the Alberta Council for the Ukrainian Arts. Opening date: Nov 3, 2023.

  2. Uncle’s World,” a publication based on the life of Jacob Maydanyk and his comic book Вуйкова книга [Uncle’s Book] (1930), which was the first comic book published in Canada. Pending Publication.


Updates from the Kule Chair 

Update September 2023

Update June 2023

Update December 2022


Dr. Larisa Sembaliuk Cheladyn
Kule Chair of Ukrainian Ethnography