Narrative Identity in Ukrainian-American Studies. A Culture Talk by dr. Iryna Dumchak

Within the program of academic mobility, involving professors and students of the Technical University of Liberec, a public lecture "Farewell to the Motherland: Narrative Identity in Ukrainian-American Studies" was held by dr. Iryna Dumchak. A famous Ukrainian-American writer Askold Melnyczuk was invited to participate in the event. The attention was focused on a cultural context related to the development of narrative identity embodied in “its origins in conversations between parents and their young children to the articulation of sophisticated meaning-making strategies in the personal stories told in adolescence and the emerging adulthood years”.
Ukrainian/Canadian/Jewish narrative identity which could be traced in Askold Melnyczuk’s, Irene Zabytko’s, Claire Messud’s, Jonathan Safran Foer’s stories is represented through the prism of searching themselves not only within the context of their ancestors’ homeland but also due to the conditions of the new reality where they, ancestors, happened to live and survive and their children were born and tried understanding their “double” identity. Farewell to motherland as a border situation is observed in the characters’ attempts to leave their past behind or/and live with memories to the end of the life with/without their right for the future. A lively discussion with the American writer Askold Melnychuk was in accord with the issues of the Ukrainian identity of today the Ukrainians defend in the war against Russia, as well as with the support of Ukraine in the Western society, the development of a writer in American-Ukrainian conditions and the reflection of their identity through the prism of narratives in their work.