Events - 31.05.2016 - 00:00 

"Jews and Ukrainians: one thousand years of interaction"

Author and Professor Yohanan Petrovsky-Shtern (Northwestern University, Chicago) will give a public presenation on "Jews and Ukrainians: one thousand years of interaction" at the University of St.Gallen. The interactive lecture is based on his book with the same title and will be held on Tuesday, 7 June 2016 (10.15, room 01-208).

31 May 2016. There is much that ordinary Ukrainians do not know about Jews and that ordinary Jews do not know about Ukrainians. There is even more that Jews and Ukrainians do not know about themselves. And there is much that the general public does not know about these two peoples who have lived together for more than a thousand years in the lands that today comprise Ukraine. Recently, this country has been portrayed as part of eastern European bloodlands and associated with the darkest moments in the history of its peoples.

Placing tragic moments of Ukrainian-Jewish history

Without discarding anti-Ukrainian bias, Petrovsky-Shtern suggests placing tragic moments of Ukrainian-Jewish history into a perspective and considering Ukrainians and Jews in Ukraine – and their interaction – from different vantage points. It might appear after reading Petrovsky-Shtern's newest work and listening to his lecture that going beyond bias and the desire to get rid of them could lead to a much deeper understanding, inter-ethnic sympathy and desire to know better the religion, history, and culture of the Other, be that the Jew or the Ukrainian.

Early modern and modern Jewish history

Yohanan Petrovsky-Shtern is professor of Jewish history and Jewish studies at the Department of History at Northwestern University, Chicago. He teaches early modern and modern Jewish history, introduction to Judaism, Jewish mysticism, and Jewish themes in world literature. Petrovsky-Shtern has taught at various institutions, including the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, University of Jerusalem, Free Ukrainian University in Munich, University of Warsaw and Harvard University.

He has published several books, including Jews in the Russian Army, 1827-1917: Drafted into Modernity (2008), The Anti-Imperial Choice: the Making of the Ukrainian Jew (2009), Lenin’s Jewish Question (2010), and The Golden Age Shtetl: a new History of Jewish life in East Europe (2014 and 2015).

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