The 2018 Kobzar Literary Award ceremony was held in Toronto, March 1. The gala dinner saw five shortlisted finalists, including PCUH faculty Professors Natalia Khanenko-Friesen and Bohdan Kordan, read selections from their nominated books. Co-editors Lisa Grekul and Lindy Ledohowski were awarded the prize of $20,000 for their book Unbound: Ukrainian Canadians Writing Home.
The biennial Kobzar Award, presented by the Shevchenko Foundation, recognizes a Canadian work that most effectively presents a Ukrainian Canadian theme. These may include fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and drama. Speaking of the shortlisted books, the jury members praised the writers for their “creativity and insightful understanding of Ukrainian-Canadian identity, culture and history.” The 2018 Kobzar Literary Award shortlist included:
- Lisa Grekul and Lindy Ledohowski, ed. for Unbound: Ukrainian Canadians Writing Home, published by University of Toronto Press (2016) – Winner
- Bohdan S. Kordan for No Free Man: Canada, the Great War and the Enemy Alien Experience, published by McGill-Queen’s University Press (2016)
- Natalia Khanenko-Friesen for Ukrainian Otherlands: Diaspora, Homeland, and Folk Imagination in the Twentieth Century, published by University of Wisconsin Press (2015)
- Erin Moure for Kapusta, published by House of Anansi Press (2015)
- Alexandra Risen for Unearthed: Love, Acceptance, and Other Lessons from an Abandoned Garden (a memoir), published by Viking, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Ltd. (2016)
For more information on the shortlisted publications, see http://open-book.ca/index.php/News/This-Story-Has-Lessons-for-all-Canadians-The-2018-Kobzar-Literary-Award-Finalists-on-Ukrainian-Canadian-Writing-Culture
Dr. Serhy Yekelchuk, U of Victoria, the 2018 Mohlya lecturer.
21st Annual Mohyla lecture was delivered by Dr. Serhy Yekelchuk, Professor Slavic
Studies and History at the University of Victoria and current president of the Canadian Association for Ukrainian Studies. The lecture was entitled One Hundred Years of Modern Ukrainian Statehood. Professor Yekelchyk is author of six books on Ukrainian history and Ukrainian-Russian relations, including Ukraine: Birth of a Modern Nation (OUP, 2007), which has been translated into five languages. His monograph, Stalin’s Citizens: Everyday Politics in the Wake of Total War (OUP, 2014), was the recipient of the best book award from the American Association of Ukrainian Studies. Dr. Yekelchyk’s most recent book is The Conflict in Ukraine (OUP, 2015). He is currently completing a history of the Ukrainian Revolution of 1917–1920.
This year’s lecture was dedicated to the 100th anniversary of Ukrainian People’s Republic’s (UNR) declaration of independence which was meant to break ties with Russia while establishing a modern democratic Ukrainian state. Prof. Yekelchuk talked about the meaning of this historic event as a continuation of the longer Ukrainian historical tradition of statehood. He discussed in what way the proclamation and defeat of the UNR influenced twentieth-century struggles for a free and independent Ukraine, which emerged in 1991, and whether the current conflict with Russia is a replay of the “hybrid war” the Bolsheviks conducted against the UNR in 1918.
The 2018 Mohyla lecture was held on February 15, 2018 in Shannon Library, St. Thomas More College. The event was hosted by the Prairie Centre for the Study of Ukrainian Heritage and co-sponsored by the Ukrainian Canadian Congress – Saskatchewan Provincial Council. This year’s lecture was well attended with about thirty students, faculty and guests present. It was followed by informal reception in the Shannon Library.