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"Anatomy of the Unsaid: Along the Taboo Lines of Female Participation in the Ukrainian Nationalist Underground"

October 5, 2012 - 12:00pm to 1:15pm
Encina Hall West, room 208

Free and open to the public

with Olena Petrenko, Research Fellow, Ruhr University Bochum       

RSVP encouraged by 10/2

Lunch will be served

Today, the history of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (ОUN) and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) remains one of the most controversial fields of the remembrance culture. The current research in Ukraine evokes opposing evaluations: on the one hand, they are celebrated as martyrs who devoted their lives to the struggle of Ukraine; on the other hand, they are portrayed as merciless gangsters and murderers of ordinary civilians. Although such a two-dimensional scheme does not consider numerous in-between positions, it represents the historical development of the East and the West of today's Ukraine. This complex ambivalence, which exists in the current culture of remembrance as well as in the research field, also relates to the female participation in the OUN and UPA underground. For years, their presence was suppressed by the Soviet side and Ukrainian emigrants. Today it looks like they could celebrate their heroines' status, at the same time such problematic issues as participation in acts of violence and their involvement in the Security Service of the OUN and UPA have no place either in the memoir literature, or in research. In addition to an evaluation and definition of an appreciation of female participation in historiography and memoir literature, Petrenko will speak about women's participation in violent acts and its dynamics, which accelerates in the post-war period when women were actively enlisted by Soviet power as well as by the underground fighters.

Olena Petrenko is a Research Fellow at Ruhr University Bochum. She has published on similar topics in both German and Ukrainian. She studied history at Kyiv and Bochum, completing a dissertation titled “Women in the Armed Ukrainian Underground, 1942-1954.”

Event Sponsor: 
Clayman Institute for Gender Research, CREEES Center for Russian, East European & Eurasian Studies
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