Teaching Ukrainian Culture as if it were Russian

A former public affairs officer at the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine explained to me a few years ago how they were trying to help Ukrainian institutions to train Ukrainians to tell Ukraine’s story to the world, “because,” he said, “at this point wherever you look, Russia is telling Ukraine’s story.” I thought of this comment… Continue reading Teaching Ukrainian Culture as if it were Russian

The South, Russia, and Other Places of Occupation

A friend of mine said the other day that he never really felt he understood the deep-seated tensions of the American South until, during a year he spent as a Fulbright Scholar in Belgrade, a local man commented on his attempts to grasp that country’s deep-seated tensions by noting, “It’s hard to understand when your… Continue reading The South, Russia, and Other Places of Occupation

Crossing Seven Silences (in two parts): 1

I am tempted by phrases such as the silence of ignorance, and the silence of hatred, but ignorance is so very rarely silent, and hatred even less so. I am also tempted—let’s get these all out at the start—by the definite article, that “the” that would suggest these silences are the silences, the only ones… Continue reading Crossing Seven Silences (in two parts): 1