Omeljan Pritsak Book Prize in Ukrainian Studies

2022 Citation Recipient

Yuliya Ilchuk

The Omeljan Pritsak Book Prize in Ukrainian Studies, established in 2019 and sponsored by the Ukrainian Research Institute at Harvard University, recognizes a distinguished book in the field of Ukrainian studies that was published in the previous calendar year. The primary founder of Harvard’s Ukrainian Research Institute and the first Mykhailo S. Hrushevs’kyi Professor of Ukrainian History at Harvard, Omeljan Pritsak was an esteemed scholar of broad scope and erudition, who treated Ukrainian history and culture in close connection with the history and culture of its neighbors.

Winner: Yuliya Ilchuk

Title: Nikolai Gogol: Performing Hybrid Identity (University of Toronto Press)

In Nikolai Gogol: Performing Hybrid Identity, Yuliya Ilchuk provides a detailed analysis on the perceptions of Nikolai Gogol’s national identity to argue that Gogol’s cultural identity became a “hybrid identity” through a series of “negotiations” between imperial influence and cultural values. Through her extensive knowledge of Gogol’s life and work, Ilchuk describes the assimilation of Ukrainians into the greater Russian Empire, emphasizing the role of Ukrainian intellectuals in developing Russia’s imperial culture. Most impressive, however, is Ilchuk’s theoretically rich approach to hybridity as a defining interpretive method and how she explores new fields of network analysis in order to incorporate translation studies, digital humanities, performance studies, and sociolinguistic modes of self-fashioning. In addition, her use of computer-assisted methods to analyze text is revolutionary in the field. Ilchuk’s innovative theoretical methods will likely be replicated to analyze the lives and works of other prolific writers from the region.

Honorable Mention: Olena Palko

Title: Making Ukrainian Soviet: Literature and Cultural Politics under Lenin and Stalin (Bloomsbury Publishers)

In Making Ukraine Soviet: Literature and Cultural Politics under Lenin and Stalin, Olena Palko skillfully challenges center-periphery assumptions about institutional centers of gravity for framings of Ukrainian and early Soviet literary production, by her transnational coverage of Ukraine and its fascinating debates over cultural politics.