Visiting Professor Lada Kolomiyets delivers keynote at "Russian-Ukrainian Memory Wars"


Visiting Professor Lada Kolomiyets delivers keynote at "Russian-Ukrainian Memory Wars" Conference in New York City on September 16, 2023.

2023 UHES Program Memory-Wars.pdf

"Ukrainian Historical Encounters Series" Special Event entitled "Russian-Ukrainian Memory Wars in Western Academia and Media" 

Within the framework of yearly "Ukrainian Historical Encounters Series," this year's Special Event was entitled "Russian-Ukrainian Memory Wars in Western Academia and Media." The conference was held and sponsored by the Center for US-Ukrainian Relations, the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America, Ukrainian Free Academy of Sciences, the Ukrainian Institute of America, and the Ukrainian National Information Service. It took place in live format at the Ukrainian Institute of America, NYC, on September 16, 2023, and consisted of three highlight focus sessions and two panel discussions geared to take a fresh, critical look at the manner in which Russian history and Ukrainian history have been treated/depicted in two key Western informational arenas – academia and media – as well as examine the interplay between the two "narratives" in the said settings.


Featured Speaker: Lada Kolomiyets

'Lost in Translation': The Interpretational Component in the RU-UA Memory Wars


The lecture raises a timely question of the cultures of war and the significance of digital discourse accompanying real warfare. Employing critical discourse analysis, I reveal Russian political slogans and statements as deprived of their propagandistic effect in Ukrainian parodistic translation and digital folklore. Close linguistic analysis shows how the Kremlin's manipulative discourse on the ongoing war against Ukraine constructs a "correct" reality for the population of Russia while Ukrainians are actively debunking imperial myths via humorous deconstructive translation on social media. The war caused a boost in verbal and visual arts challenging "the Putin myth" in the form of digital folklore, or people's direct, sustained engagement through technology in ways that span the globe. Due to social networks and the media, the Ukrainian lexicon has been replenished with a number of words and phrases that reflect the realities of war. In the global arena, the Ukrainian language has become a source of borrowings and a trendsetter in the field of neologisms.

Since mankind has entered the new age of cyberwars, it is language that is being used as the main weapon in virtual battles. It is remarkable that, in the process of deconstruction in the digital space, Ukrainians overcome not only Russian imperial myths, but also their own centuries-old national traumas. The humor of the Ukrainian people has become a kind of "meaningful anti-aircraft defense" (Larysa Masenko), which helps to defend against Russian propaganda and preserve morale. The grassroots spontaneous laughing pop culture that is peculiar to the Ukrainian linguistic resistance during the war—this is what has stunned the world media from the very first days of Russian full-scale invasion. Linguistic battles play an important role today as a means of resistance and a weapon that destroys the Kremlin's plans for enslavement and assimilation.  

Lada Kolimiyets Winter 2024 Courses

COLT 19.06/RUSS 38.27: Decolonizing Translation
Winter 2024

Distributives: LIT and NW

JWST 34.04/COLT54.01/RUS38.29: Surviving Totalitarianism: Jewish Ukrainian Writers and Translators
Spring 2024

RUSS 38.28/COLT 50.01: Literature and Ideology in Eastern Europe
Spring 2024

Distributives: LIT, NW