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The National Awakening in Ukraine, 1859–1863: Students in Kharkiv and Kiev Universities

Description: CIUS Seminar Audio Part 1 and 2.

Dr. Roman Serbyn, of the history department at Universite du Quebec a Montreal, presented this year's last seminar which was entitled, "The National Awakening in Ukraine, 1859–1863: Students in Kharkiv and Kiev Universities."

Heightened student activism emerging in post- Crimean Russia took on a specific, national coloring in the two universities situated in Ukraine. During this first "movement to the people", student activists drew closer to the common folk and, through the Ukrainian peasantry and the still un-Russified nascent working class, rediscovered Ukrainian language and culture. As "khlopophilism" blended with "Ukrainophilism" student activism found intellectual reinforcement in the Romantic literary tradition of the popular works of Taras Shevchenko and Marko Vovchok, as well as in the Ukrainian schools of Polish and Russian literature. A desire to promote the Ukrainian language, as well as a feeling of social debt, prompted students to set up Ukrainian language Sunday schools.

More radical students organized in clandestine groups such as the revolutionary-minded Kharkiv Secret Political Society and the more moderate, or at least more heterogenous, Kyiv Student Hromada. Ukrainian student radicalism, leaning towards an eventually autonomous if not completely independent Ukraine, was acquiring a national consciousness and beginning to assert itself as a movement allied to, but independent of, Polish and Russian movements. The Ukrainian movement was also winning a grudging recognition, from Poles and Russians, as a partner in the common struggle against the tsarist regime. This development was cut short by the aborted Polish insurrection and renewed repression against Ukrainians. From then on, Ukrainophilism fell back into political moderation while the Russian radical movements siphoned off Ukrainian radicals into their own increasingly centralist organizations.

Found in CIUS Newsletter Vol 3 Issue 2 (Spring 1979)
Author: CIUS
Publisher: CIUS
Date: March 26, 1979
Contributor: Roman Serbyn
Language: English, Ukrainian
Original Format: Magnetic tape, audio cassette

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CIUS, “The National Awakening in Ukraine, 1859–1863: Students in Kharkiv and Kiev Universities,” CIUS-Archives, accessed August 19, 2019, http://cius-archives.ca/items/show/1995.
Unless otherwise noted, this work is subject to a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International license .