Ukrainian Intelligentsia in Post-Soviet L'viv: Narratives, Identity and Power

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Overview

Intelligentsia assumes the right to speak in the name of the entire nation and to extrapolate its own tastes, values and choices to it. Therefore, intelligentsia’s voices have been in many ways decisive in the discussions about Ukrainian national identity, which gained momentum in the post-Soviet Ukrainian society. The historical and cultural cityscape of L’viv is an especially apt site for investigation of the nexus intelligentsia-nation not only in the Ukrainian, but in the East-Central European context. This ...

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Ukrainian Intelligentsia in Post-Soviet L'viv: Narratives, Identity, and Power

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Overview

Intelligentsia assumes the right to speak in the name of the entire nation and to extrapolate its own tastes, values and choices to it. Therefore, intelligentsia’s voices have been in many ways decisive in the discussions about Ukrainian national identity, which gained momentum in the post-Soviet Ukrainian society. The historical and cultural cityscape of L’viv is an especially apt site for investigation of the nexus intelligentsia-nation not only in the Ukrainian, but in the East-Central European context. This borderline city, while not being a remarkable industrial, administrative or political centre, has acquired the reputation of a site of unique cultural production and a principal center of the Ukrainian nationalist movement throughout the twentieth century. Here the popular conceptions of intelligentsia have been elaborated at the intersection of various cultural, historical and political traditions. This study addresses Ukrainian-speaking intelligentsia and intellectuals in L’viv both as a discursive phenomenon and as the social category of cultural producers who in the new circumstances both articulate the nation and are articulated by it.

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Editorial Reviews

Alexandra Hrycak
This book makes an important contribution to studies of post-Soviet intellectuals. It draws on extensive interviews and ethnographic observation conducted in L'viv, the Western Ukrainian city that provided the foundation for the Ukrainian national independence movement. Narvselius develops a perceptive account of the practices and discourses through which intellectuals in this city imagine and articulate alternatives to Soviet institutions. The author explores with great subtlety the narratives of ethics, culture, and public space through which intellectuals developed a deep sense of community after the region was annexed to Soviet Ukraine and analyzes how they make sense of the uncertainties they now face in post-Soviet Ukraine.
Canadian Slavonic Papers
Eleonora Narvselius’s book tackles one of the most elusive social groups in a rapidly transforming social and physical landscape of a very unusual post-Soviet city. ... This book proves that, despite the economic cataclysms of the post-Soviet period and the intelligentsia’s significantly weakened social status, the group remains an important player in the post-Soviet cultural landscape. ... Narvselius’s book is the most extensive and sophisticated treatment of L'viv’s intelligentsia during the two decades that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union. It is a must-read for anyone working on cities, social change, and cultural projects in post-Soviet Ukraine.
Europe-Asia Studies
In her compelling study of the L'Viv Intelligentsia, Eleonora Narvselius brings to life the tale of the relationship of the intelligentsia, the city of L’viv in western Ukraine and the idea of the nation. . . .Bolstered by an impressive array of interviews, printed and online articles, and visual sources, Narvselius’ work provides an original and fresh perspective on the issues at stake. . . .[T]he book presents a brilliant picture of those who can be seen as the winners of the collapse of the Soviet Union. . . .Eleonora Narvselius’ study is well-argued, the findings are clearly presented and the proposed theoretical and methodological parts may be helpful for researchers working in a similar field. The book is highly recommended to all those who are interested in contemporary Ukraine, the intelligentsia and postsocialist societies in general.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780739164686
  • Publisher: Lexington Books
  • Publication date: 4/5/2012
  • Pages: 432
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Eleonora Narvselius holds her Ph.D. in Ethnic Studies from Linköping University (Sweden) and degree in ethnology from Kyiv University (Ukraine). She launched her scholarly career at the Ethnology Institute in L’viv, a research institution at the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. She has conducted her fieldwork in different L’viv milieus in the course of more than 10 years. Presently she is affiliated with the Centre for European Studies at Lund University (Sweden).

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Table of Contents

Introduction
Chapter 1: Approaching Intelligentsia
Chapter 2: Intelligentsia and Problematics of Culture, Nation, Class and Power
Chapter 3: A Historical Stage for Intelligentsia’s Projects: Polyethnic, Multicultural, Nationalist Daily L’viv
Chapter 4: Incarnations of the Protagonist: Old Intelligentsia—New Intelligentsia—Pseudo-Intelligentsia—Non-Intelligentsia
Chapter 5: Between Kham and Knight: The L’viv Intelligentsia’s “Others” and Alter Egos
Chapter 6: Intelligentsia’s Spaces in L’viv
Chapter 7: Empowering Projects of the L’viv Intelligentsia and Intellectuals after the End of Soviet Rule: Narratives about L’viv’s Centrality and Peripherality
Chapter 8: Empowering Projects of the L’viv Intelligentsia and Intellectuals after the End of Soviet Rule: Narratives about (Be)longing, Ambiguity and Cultural Colonization
Chapter 9: Opening a Pandora’s Box: Collective Memories and “Blank Spots” of the Ukrainian Past in Historical Narratives of the L’viv Intelligentsia
Conclusions: Intelligentsia in L’viv: The Power of Location and Narration

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