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Carolina Seminar with Trevor Erlacher (History, UNC)
December 8, 2016 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
The Götterdämmerung of Ukraїnophilia: Dmytro Dontsov, Ukrainian Nationalism, and the Entangled Eastern Front, 1914-1921
The First World War transformed the borderlands of the Russian, German, Austro-Hungarian, and Ottoman Empires into a shatter zone of national and social revolutions, and failed or fledgling states. Entangled in a web of “total” war, colonial occupations, espionage, propaganda, and sedition, Berlin, Vienna, and Petrograd targeted one another’s “home fronts,” practicing a repercussive divide-and-conquer strategy that militarized domestic class and ethnic relations, and fatally undermined the conservative, multinational dynasties. An instructive case of this dynamic on the Eastern Front was the relationship between Ukrainian nationalists and the Central Powers, which forged a tenuous alliance on the basis of a common enmity to Russian imperialism (whether tsarist, liberal, or Bolshevik). Some circles of the civil, military, and intellectual leadership of the German Reich and the Dual Monarchy supported the idea of Ukrainian statehood as an anti-Russian bulwark, while many Ukrainians, including loyal Habsburg subjects in East Galicia, POWs of the Russian army, and exiles from the Russian Empire, sided with the Central Powers with an eye toward gaining independence in the peace. This presentation explores the wartime activity and political thought of one such exile, Dmytro Dontsov (1883-1973), the chief ideologue of Ukrainian integral nationalism (a protofascist ideology that developed into an organized force during the 1920s and 1930s).
Trevor Erlacher is a Ph.D. candidate in the History Department at UNC-Chapel Hill. He conducted a year of research in the state archives of Ukraine and Canada with support from the Fulbright Program and the Canadian Institute for Ukrainian Studies, and is completing his dissertation on the intellectual history of Ukrainian integral nationalism, which uses the biography of this ideology’s chief architect, Dmytro Dontsov, as a framework.
The Carolina Seminar: Russia and Its Emipres, East and West is co-sponsored by the Carolina Seminar Program, the UNC Department of History, and the Duke Council for European Studies. Please note that the participants will give an overview of their projects, but will not read a formal paper. Instead, papers or book chapters will be posted here ahead of time for those who are interested in attending and participating in the discussion.