The 21st Annual Mohyla lecture was delivered by Dr. Serhy Yekelchyk, Professor of Slavic Studies and History at the University of Victoria, and current president of the Canadian Association for Ukrainian Studies. The lecture was held on February 15th in the Shannon Library at St. Thomas More College, and was entitled One Hundred Years of Modern Ukrainian Statehood.
Dr. Yekelchyk is the 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 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 members, and guests present. It was followed by an informal reception in the Shannon Library.