Instructor: Serhii Tereshchenko

No prerequisites. Taught in English.

This course surveys contemporary Ukrainian literature and film in light of Independent Ukraine's social and political developments since 1991. We will look at how writers and filmmakers change their identities within historical contexts, in particular the change in self-presentation both before and after the upheavals of 1991, 2004, 2014, and 2022.  Rather than the traditional framework of Ukrainian–Russian relations, we focus on the connection between Ukrainian democratic movements (such as Ruch) with Polish ones (such as Solidarność). 

For the duration of this class, we will be reading fiction that offers an introspective look at the process of maturing into an adult and letting go of routine behaviors in order to adapt to changing conditions. We’ll discuss such topics as adolescent sociality, literature from wartime, memoirs of identity dissociation, journeys to peculiar parts of Ukraine, hedonistic lifestyles, juvenile delinquency, and the pursuit of one's own political self-actualization. Authors we will read include Stanisław Lem, Olga Tokarczuk, Andrzej Stasiuk, Tanya Malyarchuk, Oksana Zabuzhko, Serhiy Zhadan, and others. No prerequisites. All texts are available in English translation. Fulfills Core Requirement WCr.