The annual Ukrainian Studies Research Showcase (USRS) has and continues to serve as a unique academic opportunity for students enrolled in University of Saskatchewan undergraduate Ukrainian Studies courses or who are undertaking graduate study. The USRS invites budding academics to share their research with both their peers and the community at large.
Organized by the University of Saskatchewan Ukrainian Students’ Association (USUSA) in partnership with the Prairie Centre for the Study of Ukrainian Heritage, this year’s showcase was held on the evening of February 5, 2019. Three undergraduate students delivered presentations: Tiana Kirstein, Matthew Selinger, and Adrian Aquino.
Matthew Selinger delivered remarks on the historical tension existing around Ukrainian nationalism and anti-semitism, which is currently being exploited by the Russian government in its ongoing conflict with Ukraine. He argued that, by addressing Ukraine’s turbulent past, Ukrainian democracy and its modern patriotic ethic could be strengthened in the conflict with Russia.
Finally, Mr. Aquino examined factors that have led to the recent Ukraine crisis, arguing that Russia’s distorted perception of national identity (linked as it is to an imperial past) along with President Vladimir Putin’s desire to restore Russia as a global superpower, have placed the nation on a collision course with both Ukraine and the West. He further explored the issue of international sanctions, and how Russian aggression will ultimately fail in an increasingly globalized political environment.
The evening ended with a reception organized by the USUSA, allowing the conversation to continue in an informal setting.