USUSA Student Research Colloquium
On February 15, 2017, the first-ever University of Saskatchewan Ukrainian Students Association (USUSA) research colloquium was held at STM. The objective of the colloquium was to showcase before a general audience the research being conducted by graduate and undergraduate students studying in the Ukrainian Studies field and/or writing on subjects that pertain to Ukraine. Reflecting student interests, the presentations were on a wide range of topics. Ashley Halko-Addley spoke on the rituals of baptism in the Ukrainian Orthodox Church as a rite of incorporation. Nykole King examined the historical sources for competing ethnic and civic nationalisms in modern Ukraine. Marnie Howlett, an MA candidate in the Dept. of Political Studies, looked at how the idea of a ‘Ukrainian nation’ was reconceptualised as a political community in the wake of the Maidan. Meanwhile, Mitch Dowie, also an MA Political Studies student, discussed Stephen Harper’s foreign policy engagement with Ukraine during the recent conflict using a Neo-classical Realist framework.
Presenter, Marnie Howlet
The evening affair was well-attended by a supportive and enthusiastic crowd of students and community members. Conversation carried over to a reception held in the Atrium. The success of the event suggests that it will be an annual affair. A shining example of the extraordinary energy of the Ukrainian student body on the UofS campus, the colloquium represents not only academic excellence academically but demonstrates strong organizational leadership.
The event was sponsored by the Prairie Centre for the Study of Ukrainian Heritage which provides the USUSA with financial assistance and institutional support.
Presenter, Nykole KIng
Presenter, Ashley Halko-Addley
Presenter, Mitch Dowie
Professor Marta Dyczok of the University of Western Ontario delivered the 20th annual Mohyla Lecture the title of which was What’s Changed? The Evolution of Ukraine’s Media Since Independence. Author of Ukraine’s Euromaidan: Broadcasting through Information Wars with Hromadske Radio (2016), Dr. Dyczok is a specialist on political developments in the post-Soviet space with special interest in the media.
Prof. Dyczok spoke of the evolving nature of the media landscape in Ukraine, drawing attention to the impact of globalization and the continuing influence of Russia on both the telecommunications and digital platforms. She emphasized the important role of public broadcasting and the politics around the creation of Hromadkse Radio and Hromadske TV. Noting the recent transformation of Ukraine’s state media into a public broadcaster, Prof. Dyczok suggested this was a possible ‘game-changer’ in as much as it might allow for greater accountability and transparency – an important consideration in the context of the hybrid Russo-Ukrainian conflict (which extends to the information sphere) and the wider efforts at democratization.
The 2017 Mohyla Lecture, delivered February 17, 2017, marks the 20th anniversary of the Mohyla Lecture Series. Created at St. Thomas More, it is the premier academic event devoted to Ukrainian Studies at the University of Saskatchewan. This year’s event was co-sponsored by the Ukrainian Canadian Congress – Saskatchewan Provincial Council. The event was organized and hosted by the Prairie Centre for the Study of Ukrainian Heritage.
On December 1-2, Ukrainian Oral History Association (UOHA) hosted in Kharkiv an international Symposium “Oral History in Times of Change: Social Contexts, Political Challenges, Academic Standards”. The conference marked UOHA’s 10th anniversary and was organized at Karazin National University in cooperation with Prairie Centre for the Study of Ukrainian Heritage. Dr. Khanenko-Friesen traveled to Kharkiv to deliver a Keynote address “How Oral History Changed the Nation: Truth and Reconciliation in Canada.” The presentation was well received and offered an opportunity for the conference participants to consider various models of national reconciliation in post-conflict societies around the world.
Dr. Khanenko-Friesen offering concluding comments, in partnership with Dr. Oksana Kis, UOHA conference organizer.
The Prairie Centre for the Study of Ukrainian Heritage offers scholarships in support of University of Saskatchewan graduate students at the MA level, who are working on Ukraine, Ukrainian-Canadian or other subjects relevant to the Ukrainian experience. MA Scholarships in the amount of $1500 are provided in direct support of the thesis-writing phase for students registered with the University of Saskatchewan’s College of Graduate Studies and enrolled in a graduate degree program. In 2015-16, Mitch Dowie, an MA candidate in the Department of Political Studies, was awarded a scholarship for his thesis proposal “Agency and Moral Clarity: Stephen Harper’s post-Maidan Ukraine Policy.” The expected date of completion is Fall 2017.
PCUH Scholarship Recipient, Mitchell Dowie
USUSA Executive at Holodomor Film Screening
The University of Saskatchewan Ukrainian Students’ Association (USUSA) and the Prairie Centre for the Study of Ukrainian Heritage collaborated in hosting two events on campus for Holodomor Awareness Week. On November 22, the film “The Living” (Живі) was screened in STM’s Father O’Donnell Auditorium. Students and members of community attended the screening, which served as a community outreach event. Those in attendance asked questions, shared comments, and otherwise engaged in conversation on this important topic.
On November 24, a ceremonial vigil at the Lesya Ukrainka Statue brought a crowd of 60 people together. Lead by STM’s Campus Minister Fr. Andre Lalach, prayers were conducted for the millions of Ukrainian men, women, and children who died during the Great Famine-Terror or Holodomor. The purpose of both events was to commemorate but also to bring awareness to the genocide on the University of Saskatchewan campus. As part of the commemorative program and as a consciousness-raising activity, around campus USUSA students strategically placed stalks of grain tied with black ribbon and an attached note identifying the famine.
November 24 Holodomor Vigil on Campus
November 24 Holodomor Vigil on Campus
Years in the making, No Free Man: Canada, the Great War, and the Enemy Alien Experience, Dr. Bohdan Kordan’s latest book was recently published by McGill-Queen’s University Press. The work traces the evolution and consequences of Canadian government policy towards immigrants of enemy nationality during the Great War, when 8,579 were interned and tens of thousands were subjected to a mass surveillance system that monitored their movement and activities. The book examines the ways in which the political and legal status of enemy subjects configured the policy and practice of internment in Canada and how this process – magnified by the challenges of the war – affected the broader concerns of public order and national security.
On 27 October 2016, the book was formally launched at Saskatoon’s McNally Robinson Booksellers. The event is part of a national speaking tour funded by a grant from the Endowment Council of the Canadian First World War Internment Recognition Fund. The tour will include a series of presentations in Toronto, Montreal, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Calgary, Victoria, and Ottawa.
Book Launch of ‘No Free Man’ at McNally-Robinson Booksellers, Saskatoon
The PCUH was proud to co-host with the STM Dean’s Office the annual reception for Ukrainian Studies on Thursday, October 20th. Current students enrolled in the program and others were in attendance this year, along with STM faculty and community supporters.
The Associate Dean of St Thomas More College, Dr. Darrell McLaughlin, welcomed the students to the college as the home of Ukrainian Studies on the UofS campus. He spoke of the program and how it has benefitted numerous students over the years. Prof. Natalia Khanenko-Friesen, chair of the interdisciplinary program, provided information on the requirements of the degree and of the opportunities students could avail themselves, including STM’s Spring Session in Ukraine (a study abroad program) as well as scholarships and awards in Ukrainian Studies made available through the college. Prof. Kordan, PCUH Director, spoke about the role of the centre on campus. He highlighted the centre’s financial support for course instruction, students, and their activities. He also mentioned the importance of experiential, non-classroom learning as an additional way to discover Ukrainian culture and identity, which the centre also champions.
Ashley Halko-Addley at the 2016 Ukrainian Studies Reception
Ashley Halko-Addley, co-president of the University of Saskatchewan Ukrainian Students’ Association was also on hand, encouraging students to consider association membership as a way to connect with other students interested in Ukrainian life on campus and announced to the attendees that the Ukrainian Students Association had just been formally recognized as a student’s group affiliated with St Thomas More College.
A conference celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies drew a large number of academics from across Canada, the US and Europe to discuss the state of Ukrainian Studies in Canada. Held at the University of Alberta October 14-15, the conference focused on the changing post-secondary landscape and its impact on Ukrainian Studies. In addition, challenges and innovations in the field were discussed. PCUH Faculty Associates, Professors Khanenko-Friesen and Kordan were invited to speak at the gathering.
In a panel discussion on Ukrainian Canadian Studies, PCUH Faculty Associate Prof. Natalia Khanenko-Friesen noted the importance of strategic engagement. She highlighted the potential of community-based scholarship and her work on oral history with the PCUH as a rich and invaluable resource. She also forcefully argued for the need to work with other Canadian institutions to capitalize on the potential inherent in collaboration and with young scholars in Ukraine who increasingly are making contributions to the field.
For the panel ‘Teaching Ukrainian Studies’ Prof. Kordan, drawing on the experience of the PCUH, discussed the vital role centres might play in backstopping program under threat and argued not only for innovation in programming but also providing experiential learning opportunities to students as an alternative to teaching exclusively in the area of Ukrainian Studies where faculty resources are scarce.
For the conference program and a video transcript of the proceedings, see
Professor Natalia Khanenko-Friesen, Professor of Anthropology and PCUH Research Associate, was recently recognized with the 2015-16 St Thomas More College Teaching Award, granted to a faculty member based on student nominations and recommendations from an adjudicating faculty committee. The committee cited Professor Khanenko-Friesen’s commitment to community engaged learning, use of creative pedagogical tools, and innovative forms of teaching in the classroom as the basis for the award.
Joining St Thomas More College (STM) in 2001, Dr. Khanenko-Friesen played a key role in developing both the college’s Ukrainian Studies Minor degree and the study abroad offering –‘Spring Session in Ukraine’. The ‘Spring Session in Ukraine’ is conceived as an intensive language and culture immersion program coordinated jointly by St. Thomas More College and the University of Saskatchewan. It is offered overseas in Ternopil, Ukraine in co-operation with a partner institution, Ternopil National Pedagogical University. From the program’s inception, Dr. Khanenko-Friesen was instrumental in engaging STM students with this opportunity abroad and teaching students a culture course to complement their language training. Both the Ukrainian Studies Minor degree and Spring Session in Ukraine programs are supported by the PCUH.
STM Courses taught by Natalia Khanenko-Friesen:
ANTH 111.3 Introduction to Sociocultural Anthropology
ANTH 227.3 Cultures of Central and Eastern Europe
ANTH 233.3 Anthropological perspectives on Ukraine
ANTH 330.3 Oral History and Storytelling: Anthropological perspectives
INTS 202.3 Ukrainian History and Culture: An Introduction
RLST 413.3 Ritual and Narrative: Anthropological Perspectives