[Aaus-list] a modest proposal

Ksenya Kiebuzinski ksenya.kiebuzinski at utoronto.ca
Sat Mar 22 14:39:04 EDT 2014

Dear Colleagues,

I was going to write that HURI probably has such a list of experts, as I remember, back in the day, that there was a list of specialists compiled to serve as book reviewers for the Harvard Ukrainian Studies. Also, the old AAUS website used to be public, and there one could find members categorized by discipline. This information is now closed to members only.

Let me suggest that we not forget our information specialists (e.g. librarians). We have expertise in access to, and dissemination and archiving of information (for example, see: http://www.aseees.org/news-events/aseees-blog-feed/online-guides-resources-about-crisis-ukraine). We also keep abreast of the state of publishing in Ukraine, and also monitor appointments to and policies of archives there. In the 1990s, journalists used to contact me at the HURI Library for help with fact checking. This doesn't happen anymore, and I'm not sure if this is because the news turns over so quickly, or if this is yet another sign of the deterioration of independent media. I, for one, would not mind making myself available to assist in the verification of information.

We may also want a list of scholars who will be equipped to assist lawyers with a possible increase in refugee claims. Such a list should include those of us well versed in issues of ethnicity, nationality, language, religion, gay rights, etc.

This now brings me to a broader issue of grassroots dissemination of information about Ukraine. Such a movement needs to be sustained over time, as was done in the 1960s-1970s, and not just react to crises. We have a huge, and perhaps untapped, group of people who could help in this effort. These are the alumni of HUSI, former Fulbright Ukraine participants, Peace Corps volunteers, and, I hope, the revived SUSTA (Federation of Ukrainian Student Organizations of America). Why not write to them with a tip sheet on efforts that can be done at a local or university level? Who among us has a way to establish contact?

Steven Seegel provided me with some excellent ideas for such grassroots activism, to which others could add their two cents. To get things started:

*         Interviews on local NPR stations

*         Invite guests/speakers to public conferences and university sponsored events

*         Student radio (a very free medium, where humor and irony of The Onion sort ("Dear Vladimir Putin, thanks for coming to our rescue and putting us on the brink of World War III") work far better than middle-aged earnestness)

*         Student newspapers (at the high school and university level, along the lines of "interview with an expert"; students love to see their names in print; interviews can be easily passed along by Facebook or Twitter; they do occasionally talk to parents)

*         "Testimonials" and speakers in synagogues/churches, local libraries, book clubs, travel groups, community colleges, and extension schools

*         Presentation on a colorful, fascinating, or tragic family relative to a local genealogy group

*         MOOC on "Ukraine and the world"

In other words, the idea is to communicate individual stories, face-to-face, of the type "I am a Ukrainian," and such an effort should be happening on campuses and cities throughout the States.

I know much of the above is happening, and am grateful for the work being done on behalf of Ukraine by friends and colleagues.


Ksenya Kiebuzinski | Head, Petro Jacyk Central & East European Resource Centre |
130 St. George Street | Toronto, ON  M5S 1A5 CANADA
416-978-1288 (M-W); 416-978-4826 (Th-F) | http://pjrc.library.utoronto.ca/ https://www.facebook.com/petrojacyk

From: Aaus-list [mailto:aaus-list-bounces at ukrainianstudies.org] On Behalf Of Plokhii, Serhii
Sent: Saturday, March 22, 2014 1:01 PM
To: Holodomor Research and Education Consortium; ajmotyl at andromeda.rutgers.edu
Cc: aaus-list at ukrainianstudies.org
Subject: Re: [Aaus-list] a modest proposal

Dear Colleagues,

HURI has such a list (that is how we are dealing with the media requests since December), and some people on our list, including myself, are also on the list of experts put together by the people at the  UCCA. We are currently adding new names to our list and will be happy to provide it to the AAUS.

Vitaly, many thanks for taking initiative to compile a comprehensive list of experts.

Best wishes,

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