Recent publication by Mykola Riabchuk, EURIAS Fellow 2013/2014


Ukraina. Syndrom postkolonialny [Ukraine. Postcolonial syndrom, in Polish].

Mykoła Riabczuk, Kolegium Europy Wschodniej, Wroclaw, 2015. 256 p.


A két Ukrajna [Two Ukraines, in Hungarian].

Mikola Rjabcsuk, Budapest: Örökség Kultúrpolitikai Intézet, 2015. 292 p.


The ongoing Russo-Ukrainian war, euphemistically called “the Ukraine crisis”, has revealed a dramatic gap between the imaginary Ukraine created by three centuries of the Russian imperial mythmaking and the real Ukraine that evolved as an alternative and ultimately a bold denial of those efforts. A collection of essays published originally in Ukrainian (2011) and translated eventually, in a revised and updated form, into Polish (2015) and Hungarian (2016), discusses political, cultural, and historiographic problems of Russo-Ukrainian relations from a postcolonial perspective.

The story of Robinson Crusoe and Friday provides a conceptual metaphor for the in-depth analysis of the Russian-Ukrainian as arguably idyllic (or brotherly, in a Soviet and post-Soviet parlance) but in fact determined exclusively by Friday’s acceptance of Robinson’s superiority and his own subservience. As soon, however, as Friday insists on his own historical subjectness and human dignity, and demands a reciprocal respect for his language, and culture, and real name, he immediately becomes Robinson’s worst enemy – a savage that gone wild or got hacked by some alien Robinson as a ‘foreign agent’. Critical discourse analysis is applied to deconstruct the supremacist discourses of imperial dominance, as well as various forms in which the dominant discourses are internalized and adopted by the colonized people, and often are reproduced even after the end of political subjugation.

The new chapters added to the Polish and Hungarian editions, and published also in English as separate articles, examine Russian stereotypes of Ukrainians as crucial elements of imperial mythmaking, manipulation and discursive dominance and, nowadays, as parts and parcels of the unscrupulous propagandistic war. 


Some chapters of the book, in the earlier article-type forms, are available also in English:


'Cultural Fault Lines and Political Divisions: The Legacy of History in Contemporary Ukraine', in L. Zaleska Onyshkevych & M. Rewakowicz (eds), Contemporary Ukraine on the Cultural Map of Europe (Armonk NY: M.E.Sharpe, 2009), p. 18-28. here


'Colonialism in another way. On the applicability of postcolonial methodology for the study of postcommunist Europe', Porownania, vol. 13, 2013, p. 47-59. here


'Western ‘Eurasianism’ and the ‘New Eastern Europe’: Discourse of Exclusion', Postcolonial Europe, 2 December 2011. here


'The Ukrainian ‘Friday’ and the Russian ‘Robinson’: The Uneasy Advent of Postcoloniality', Canadian American Slavic Studies, vol. 44, nos. 1-2 (2010), p. 5-20. here


'Ukrainian Culture after Communism: Between Post-Colonial Liberation and Neo-Colonial Enslavement', in Pawel Laufer (ed.), A Report on the Condition of Culture and NGOs in Ukraine (Lublin: Kultura Enter, 2012), p. 12-23. here


'Revising the Totalitarian Legacy in a Post-Colonial Country: Ukraines Post-1991 Experience', in Zdzislaw Krasnodebski et al. (eds), Politics, History and Collective Memory in East Central Europe (Hamburg: Reinhold Krämer Verlag, 2012). here


'Bandera’s Controversy and Ukraine’s Future', Russkii Vopros, no. 1, 2010. here


'Neither Heroes nor Villains', Transitions Online, 6 February 2008. here


'Whose Crisis? Russian Intelligentsia and the Ukrainian Question – Coming to Terms', Porownania, vol. 15, 2014, p. 199–208. here


'Ukraine’s Third Attempt', Harriman Magazine, vol. 2, no. 1, 2014, p. 26-31. here