Literary history as provocation of national identity, national identity as provocation of literary history: The case of Ukraine

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Empirical research into political sentiments gives force to the proposition that, in the context of the 2013–14 Euromaidan and subsequent war, Ukrainian national identity, for most of its history predominantly ethno-cultural, has undergone changes justifying its qualification as ‘civic’. In this article I discuss the ethno-cultural orientation, conventional during the 19th and 20th centuries, of Ukrainian literary history, a scholarly genre that has a tradition of promoting the cause of Ukrainian nation-building; I identify contemporary examples of discourses in the literary sphere – literary works themselves, literary anthologies and the public statements and debates of writers – that embody or applaud
civic identities akin to those in evidence on the Euromaidan; and I reflect upon the values, inclusive and multicultural, that a Ukrainian national literary history rhetorically in harmony with post-Euromaidan sentiment would evince.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)74-89
Number of pages16
JournalThesis Eleven: Critical Theory and Historical Sociology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Euromaidan
  • literary history
  • national identity
  • Ukraine

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