The Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies (CIUS), press release
7 August 2013
Specialists from Canada, France, Italy, Ukraine and the United States will gather in Toronto September 27–28 to examine the impact of research to date on the Ukrainian Famine of 1932–33. Contextualizing the Holodomor—A Conference on the Eightieth Anniversary is organized by the Holodomor Research and Education Consortium (HREC) of the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, University of Alberta.
“The concept is to look at how the study of the Holodomor and academic inquiry over the past thirty years have informed or had an impact on our understanding of a range of disciplines,” said Dr. Frank Sysyn, head of HREC’s executive committee and director of the Peter Jacyk Centre for Historical Research.
It was only in the 1980s that academics began to seriously study the Ukrainian Famine of 1932-1933, spurred largely by the appearance of Robert Conquest’s ground-breaking The Harvest of Sorrow. The discussion around Conquest’s book amounted to a sea change in academia. Although the literature on the Famine is now considerable, many issues remain hotly debated, such as the relation of the Holodomor to famine in the Soviet Union, intentionality, and the question of genocide. The fields to receive particular attention at the conference are Ukrainian history, Soviet history, communism, Stalinism and genocide. Each subject will be presented by a specialist, followed by a discussant.
In the first session, Andrea Graziosi of the University of Naples will explore the question What impact has the study of the Holodomor had on our understanding of Soviet history? Dr. Graziosi is widely recognized as a leading authority on Soviet history. David Marples, University of Alberta, will serve as the discussant, and the session will be chaired by Peter Solomon, University of Toronto.
What impact has the study of the Holodomor had on our understanding of Stalinism? Is the focus of the second session, featuring Françoise Thom of Sorbonne University, Paris. Dr. Thom is a prominent sovietologist and the author of numerous works on the Soviet Union and former Soviet Union. The discussant will be Mark von Hagen of Arizona State University; and the chair, Piotr Wróbel, University of Toronto.
Norman Naimark of Stanford University will address the question What impact has the study of the Holodomor had on our understanding of genocide? Professor Naimark is the author of Stalin’s Genocides (2010) and a highly regarded specialist on Russia and the Soviet Union. Douglas Irvin of Rutgers University will serve as discussant, with Doris Bergen from University of Toronto chairing.
On day two of the conference, Olga Andriewsky of Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario, will examine the impact of the study of the Holodomor on our understanding of Ukrainian history. Professor Andriewsky is a specialist in twentieth-century Ukrainian, Russian, and Soviet history. Serhii Plokhii, Director of the Ukrainian Research Institute at Harvard University, will serve as discussant, and Paul R. Magocsi of University of Toronto will chair.
In the final session, Stanislav Kulchytsky of the Institute of the History of Ukraine, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, will address the impact of the study of the Holodomor on our understanding of communism. Dr. Kulchytsky is widely regarded as one of the foremost figures in Holodomor studies in Ukraine today. Liudmyla Hrynevych, also of the Institute of the History of Ukraine and HREC’s representative in Ukraine, will serve as discussant; and Volodymyr Kravchenko, Director of the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, University of Alberta, will chair.
The final speakers of the conference are Roman Serbyn, Université du Québec à Montréal, whose talk is entitled “From Great Famine to the Holodomor: A Reflection on the Evolution of a Conceptualization.” Frank Sysyn, University of Alberta, will conclude the presentations with remarks on HREC and its research plans. HREC will present Dr. Serbyn an award during the conference in recognition of his unparalleled contributions to the study and understanding of the Holodomor.
HREC is providing twelve young academics stipends to support their attendance at the conference. The stipends are intended to allow scholars early in their careers to deepen their knowledge of the Holodomor by learning from and engaging with leading specialists. Among the applicants for stipends are students of history, psychology, sociology, the law, theatre, and political science.
The first day of the conference, Friday, September 27, will be held at the Campbell Conference Facility at the Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto. The second day, Saturday, September 28, will be held at St. Vladimir Institute. A reception at the offices of HREC and the Ukrainian Canadian Research and Documentation Centre, both located on the premises of St. Vladimir Institute, will bring the conference to a conclusion. The conference is cosponsored by the Petro Jacyk Program at the Centre for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies (CERES) at the University of Toronto, the Ukrainian Canadian Research and Documentation Centre, and St. Vladimir Institute, with generous support from the Ukrainian Studies Fund, the Canadian Foundation for Ukrainian Studies, and the Canadian Ukrainian Congress.
Given the caliber of the scholars who have agreed to participate, the conference promises to be an event of great significance. The conference papers will be published and should constitute a major contribution to Holodomor studies.
HREC was established through generous funding from the Temerty Family Foundation. HREC conducts and supports research and study of the Holodomor and engages in a range of activities to promote teaching about the Holodomor in schools. HREC held a conference specifically for teachers and educators in May.
Registration for the conference (note there is separate registration for day one and day two) is now open at: http://munkschool.utoronto.ca/ceres/events/ For more information about the conference or HREC, contact Marta Baziuk at [email protected].