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Ukraine and the World at the Tenth Anniversary of the Revolution of Dignity: A Round Table on the Role of Culture in the Midst of Ongoing Russo-Ukrainian War

Presenter(s): Vitaly Chernetsky (University of Kansas), Tamara Hundorova (Princeton University), Christine Emeran (New School), Lesya Kalynska (Filmmaker, NYU), TJ Collins (Film producer, Poseidon), Olha Onyshko (Filmmaker, American University)

October 28, 2023 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm


In conjunction with the theatrical release of the acclaimed documentary A Rising Fury that follows its heroes from the start of the protests at the Maidan in 2013 to the escalation of Russia’s war against Ukraine in 2022, the Shevchenko Scientific Society in the US is honored to host a round table that brings together filmmakers and academics, to reflect on the role of culture in the context of history in the making, as Ukrainians first rose to reject attempts to deny their European aspirations and impose Russian-style authoritarian rule and shortly thereafter had to fight to protect their country’s independence and freedom against the Russian invasion. How can film directors, musicians, writers, journalists, scholars, and other creatives help overcome the Ukraine fatigue in the West? What are the most effective ways to educate the public about Ukrainian history and continue to inspire people around the world to help Ukraine win against Putin’s totalitarian regime?

Chair: Dr. Vitaly Chernetsky (University of Kansas) Participants: Tamara Hundorova (Princeton University), Christine Emeran (New School, NCAC), Lesya Kalynska (Filmmaker, NYU), TJ Collins (Film producer, Poseidon), Olha Onyshko (Filmmaker, American University)


Vitaly Chernetsky is a Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Kansas. He is the author of Mapping Postcommunist Cultures: Russia and Ukraine in the Context of Globalization (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2007; Ukrainian-language version, 2013) and of articles on modern and contemporary Slavic and East European literatures and cultures where he seeks to highlight cross-regional and cross-disciplinary contexts. A book in Ukrainian, Intersections and Breakthroughs: Ukrainian Literature and Cinema between the Global and the Local, is forthcoming from Krytyka. He co-edited a bilingual anthology of contemporary Ukrainian poetry, Letters from Ukraine (2016), and an annotated Ukrainian translation of Edward Said’s Culture and Imperialism (2007), and guest-edited a special issue on Ukraine for the film studies e-journal KinoKultura (2009). His translations into English include Yuri Andrukhovych’s novels The Moscoviad (2008) and Twelve Circles (2015) and a volume of his selected poems, Songs for a Dead Rooster (2018, with Ostap Kin). Translations of Sophia Andrukhovych’s novel Felix Austria and of Winter King, a poetry collection by Ostap Slyvynsky (with Iryna Shuvalova) are forthcoming. He is a past president of the American Association for Ukrainian Studies (2009-2018) and the current first vice president of the Shevchenko Scientific Society in the U.S. Prof. Chernetsky is serving in 2023 as Vice President/President-Elect of the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES), and will serve as its president in 2024.

Prof. Tamara Hundorova is Principal Research Scholar at Shevchenko Institute of Literature (Kyiv)and Associate Fellow at Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute. Currently she is Research Schola rand Lecturer at Princeton University. She is the member of PEN Ukraine. She is the author of Lesia Ukrainka. Knyhy Sybilly (2023), The Post-Chornobyl Library. The Ukrainian Postmodernism of the 1990s (2019), Tranzytna kul’tura. Symptomy postkolonial’noitravmy (2013), Kitsch i Literatura. Travestii (2008), Franko i/ne Kameniar (2006); Feminamelancholica. Stat’ i kul’tura v gendernij utopii Ol’hy Kobylians’koi (2002) and others. Her field of interests are modernism, postmodernism, feminism, postcolonial studies and history of Ukrainian literature. She taught the courses at Harvard University (USA), Toronto University (Canada), Greifswald University (Germany), Ukrainian Free University (Germany), Kyiv-Mohyla University (Ukraine),Kyiv National University (Ukraine). Prof. Hundorova is a former Fulbright Scholar (1998, 2009),Visiting scholar of Monash university (Australia, 1991) and a recipient of Yacyk Distinguished Fellowship (2009), Shklar fellowship (HURI, 2001-2002), Foreign visitors fellowship (Hokkaido University, 2004), MUNK School of Global Affair fellowship (University of Toronto, 2017), and Fellowship of Philipp Schwartz-Initiative of Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung (University of Giessen).

Lesya Kalynska is a Ukrainian-American NYC based award-winning director, producer, and screenwriter. Born and raised in Kyiv, Ukraine, she holds a PhD in Literature and an MFA in film writing and directing from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Lesya then worked in Kyiv as a director of a docuseries about World War II “Level of Secrecy 18”. After completing several award-winning short films Kalynska wrote, directed, and produced the feature documentary “A Rising Fury” about the Russo-Ukrainian war that was filmed for nearly 10 years. The World Premiere took place at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2022. It was the winner of several awards including the Supreme Jury Award and the Best International Director Award at the Melbourne Documentary Film Festival. The film was nominated for the Bronze Horse Award at the Stockholm FF, Best Documentary at the Warsaw IFF and the Golden Duke Award at the Odessa IFF.

Christine Emeran is director of the Youth Free Expression Program at the New York based non-profit, National Coalition Against Censorship(ncac.org). She writes on contemporary issues about young people, social media and social movements in the U.S. and Western/Eastern Europe. Dr. Emeran is a Fulbright Fellow and the author of New Generation Political Activism in Ukraine 2000–2014 (Routledge, 2018),a book chapter titled “The March for Our Lives Movement in the USA: Generational Change and the Personalization of Protest” featured in a global social movement book series, When Students Protest: Secondary and High Schools (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2021), a book chapter titled “Students Fight Back Against School Censorship” featured in an edited manuscript, Sociological Research and Urban Children and Youth (Emerald Publishing, In Press/2023), and a book chapter “Censoring Books in Schools Hits a Crisis Point” featured in Project Censored’s State of the Free Press (In Press/2023). An international researcher as well as an academic, Dr. Emeran has taught political theory and sociology at Manhattan College, NY, St. John’s University, NY, and Sciences Po Paris, France.

TJ Collins is an award-winning filmmaker with over a dozen films produced including short and feature narratives. His feature film debut WILLETS POINT received the Audience Award at the Long Island International Film Expo and was theatrically released in the fall of 2010 with positive reviews in the New York Times. He is a NALIP Producers Academy and Screenwriters Lab Fellow 2009. Additionally, his screenplay THE DRIVEN was one of ten nationally selected projects for the NALIP Screenwriters Lab sponsored by The Walt Disney Company, NBC Universal, FOX and HBO. Collins completed the narrative feature sports drama THE DRIVEN serving as writer, director and producer and the film held its World Premiere at the 25th Dances With Films Festival – NYC edition. Since 2016 Collins also produced and co-wrote a feature documentary about the war in Ukraine A RISING FURY. The film premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in June of 2022 and is the winner of the Supreme Jury Prize at the Melbourne Documentary Film Festival. The theatrical premiere of A RISING FURY is planned for the fall of 2023. FILM THREAT Magazine gives the film 10/10 and hails it as “One of the best films of the year”.

Olha Onyshko is an award-winning Ukrainian documentary filmmaker and script writer whose works include Women of Maidan (2017 Best Documentary, Fort Myers Film Festival) and Three Stories of Galicia (screened in 12 countries and translated to 4 languages). Olha’s documentary in progress Quo Vadis? is about a Polish hotel owner helping 270 Ukrainian refugees, 32 of which still live in his hotel. Her script She Who Became Queen about  Olga of Kyiv, won the Best Unproduced script at the Madrid International Film Festival. Olha currently lives and works in the Washington D.C. area, where she teaches a visual storytelling workshop called My Story – My Power. She is a teaching artist at Docs in Progress and has taught photography and Foundation of Arts at Thomas Wootton Highschool. Her current photo collection, The Universe Within – Restore Your Light is a traveling exhibit.  Olha spotlights stories that bring hope, empower vulnerability and awaken the goodness of humanity. Her favorite memories involve growing up on the outskirts of Lviv, Ukraine, where she played in the rose garden planted by her grandfather Yulko near their long standing family well, listened to his endless stories and watched her grandfather’s doves circling above. Some of these stories she recorded in her two upcoming fairytale books “Legends of Water” (November 2023)  and “The Song of Freedom ” (January of 2024)


October 28, 2023
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm


Shevchenko Scientific Society
63 Fourth Avenue
New York, NY 10003 United States
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(212) 254-5130