Tamara Hundorova and Uilleam Blacker discussed the work of Lesia Ukrainka (Larysa Kosach, 1871-1913), a Ukrainian modernist, feminist and anti-colonial thinker, in the context of Russia’s war in Ukraine and the move towards decolonizing the study of Russia and Eastern Europe. Lesia Ukrainka is a canonical figure in Ukraine, known for her fiery poems opposing Russian colonial rule in Ukraine and praising freedom. Her most accomplished works were her dramas, however, which transform stories and myths drawn from European and world culture into feminist and anti-imperial allegories: these with their focus on imperial violence, the importance of freedom and the twisting of truth, have much to teach us today.
Professor Tamara Hundorova is head of the Literary Theory Department at the Institute of Literature, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. She is the author of many books on contemporary and modern Ukrainian culture. Her most recent book, Lesia Ukrainka: The Book of the Sybil, is a study of Lesia Ukrainka’s work and life.
The book is being translated into English by Uilleam Blacker as part of the IWM’s Paul Celan Translation Fellowship.
IWM Permanent Fellow Katherine Younger introduced the speakers of the evening.
A recording of the online webinar is available here: