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August 2017

Exhibition: Image of Ukraine (Образ України)

August 22 @ 8:00 am - December 8 @ 5:00 pm
FedEx Global Education Center, 301 Pittsboro St
Chapel Hill, NC 27516 United States
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‘Bird of Paradise,’ by Olena Zintchouk “Image of Ukraine (Образ України): Exploring Ukrainian Culture through Embroidery and Painting” highlights two traditional Ukrainian folk art forms – vyshyvka (Ukrainian embroidery) and Petrykivka (a Ukrainian style of painting named after its city of origin). The exhibition explores Ukrainian culture through the lens of decorative folk art, delving into the history and cultural significance of traditions central to the lives of Ukrainian families both in North Carolina and Ukraine.…

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September 2017

The Future of the EU: a View from Central Europe

September 5 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

Recent series of economic, security, and political crises culminating in the UK decision to exit the European Union have sparked a new round of discussions on the EU’s future. This talk will examine the stakes in the most recent attempts to reform the European Union. It will review both the agenda for and means toward a more resilient EU against the backdrop of latest political changes across Europe and rising multitude of political preferences within Central European EU member states.…

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Opening reception: Image of Ukraine (Образ України)

September 14 @ 5:30 pm - 8:00 pm

A free public reception celebrating the "Image of Ukraine (Образ України): Exploring Ukrainian Culture through Embroidery and Painting” exhibition will feature a keynote lecture by Natalie Kononenko on "Ukrainian Folk Art: Magic and Meaning" and will be followed by demonstrations and Ukrainian food. Dr. Kononenko is Professor and Kule Chair in Ukrainian Ethnography in the Department of Modern Languages and Cultural Studies at the University of Alberta in Canada. Formerly she served as Assistant Dean and Chair of the Slavic Department…

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Stonewall Never Happened: Conceptualizing Queer History and Rights in Russia and Eastern Europe

September 20 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

For the LGBTQ+ community in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, 1989 held out the promise of new freedoms and opportunities. As communist regimes collapsed across Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union disintegrated, emerging liberal democratic regimes seemed to herald a bright future to LGBTQ individuals. 1989 was supposed to be for queer East Europeans what 1969 and Stonewall symbolized for LGBTQ Americans: a year of sexual liberation and political emancipation. This talk explores how LGBTQ rights in Eastern…

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Being A Father Is Not a Sissy Business: The Cult of Soviet Fatherhood After Stalin

September 21 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

This presentation examines a fundamental shift in how Soviet cinematographers reconfigured the notion and practice of fatherhood. After Stalin’s death in 1953, Soviet directors made active and emotive paternity central to what it means to be a Soviet man. This shift was significant because men’s identities were “domesticated” and their lives more firmly tied to the home rather than the public sphere. The “drama” of men’s lives—as depicted in post-Stalinist film—occurred around the family hearth rather than the blast furnace or…

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October 2017

Re-Electing President Putin: Protest, Elections, and Regime Stability in Russia

October 6 @ 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm

A year ahead of the March 2018 presidential elections, the Kremlin is engaging in two risky strategies. First, it projects that President Putin would win re-election with seventy percent of the vote and seventy percent turnout, a very high bar even in controlled elections. Second, in collaboration with the Moscow Mayor, President Putin launched a massive reconstruction project that would relocate twenty percent of city residents. The rapid implementation of the vague policy abrogated property rights and sparked a new…

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Papers, Please!: Enacting Soviet Power in a Postwar Ukrainian Village

October 12 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

This presentation is part of a book project about the Sovietization of Ukraine after World War II. It examines the process of making territories “Soviet” in Transcarpathia, a southwestern region that formerly belonged to Czechoslovakia. In particular, it details how Sovietization enforced border control in the small village of Bila Tserkva on the Romanian border. In 1949, the state launched an investigation into the village, arresting seven men, all of whom belonged to the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and accusing them of anti-Soviet activity and…

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November 2017

The Politics of History in East Central Europe after 1989: From Liberal Consensus to Memory Wars

November 15 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

The politics of history has been one of the constitutive elements of the new democracies in East Central Europe after 1989. ‘Coming to terms with the communist past’ was especially important as a means of securing the legitimacy of new democratic regimes. The communist past increasingly became a field of political struggle with distinct variants of politics of memory being used as expedient political tools. The most visible of these was the anti-communist memory politics symbolized by newly created, powerful…

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International Civil Servants by Day: The Cold War of Everyday Life in the UNESCO Secretariat, 1956-1967

November 16 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

This presentation will focus on a chapter from a larger project on Soviet participation in the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in the 1950s and 1960s. It presents a case study of the daily lives of Soviet citizens who worked in the international civil service of the UN during the Cold War. Detailing the trials, tribulations, and triumphs of Soviet professionals recruited by the state as part of a broader Soviet campaign to challenge Western domination of UN administrations, the…

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