'Voices of Ukraine' to Showcase Ukrainian Writers and Scholars Through Readings and Conversation

The eight-part virtual series will offer readings by Ukrainian writers and scholars, many of whom will participate from their war-torn country.

In the weeks after Russia invaded Ukraine in February, Ainsley Morse, an assistant professor in the Department of Russian, and Victoria Somoff, an associate professor of Russian, were approached by students, colleagues, friends, and neighbors with questions about Ukraine's history, culture, and language. 

The two scholars pointed out various resources, but they strongly believed that enhanced understanding of the country could only come about through the words of Ukrainians themselves. 

This conviction was the impetus for "Voices of Ukraine," a virtual series launching Sept. 29 that will feature readings and conversations with prominent Ukrainian writers, poets, translators, and scholars, many of whom will take part in the program from Ukraine. The format will include a Q&A section that gives audience members a chance to ask questions. 

Sponsored by the Leslie Center for the Humanities, the series will be moderated by Yuliya Komska, an associate professor of German Studies, as well as by Morse and Somoff. It will be free and open to the public, with eight sessions on the following Thursdays, from 12 to 1:15 p.m.: Sept. 29, Oct. 13, Oct. 27, Nov. 10, Jan. 12, Jan. 26, Feb 9, and Feb. 23. Pre-registration is required at dartgo.org/ukrainevoices.
"For many people across the world, the ongoing brutal war in Ukraine conducted by Russia has led to the discovery of Ukraine and the Ukrainians who have shown remarkable heroism and solidarity in their fight against a numerically and militarily superior aggressor," says Somoff. 
Adds Morse: "The series will offer a platform for Ukrainian artists and scholars to share their poetry, prose, and perspectives, and to illuminate our understanding of the war." 
The series will also be incorporated into several undergraduate courses being taught on campus this fall, including a comparative literature seminar, "Poetry and/after War", and an advanced Russian language course.

The Sept. 29 session will feature Oleksandr Kabanov, an award-winning writer, journalist, literary critic, and translator; and acclaimed Kyiv-based poet, editor, and blogger Oleh Kotsarev.