Generational Trauma as an Agent of Post-Soviet Transformation: 25 Years of New Ukrainian Literature. A lecture by Tamara Hundorova, 9 March, 7pm

DATE: 9 March 2018

TIME: 7pm

VENUE: Ukrainian Institute, 79 Holland Park

Admission: The event is free but registration is required. Please register here.

The talk will be held in English. Moderated by Marina Pesenti, Director, Ukrainian Institute London. 


Generational identity is term referring to common experience of a specific historical situation, such as war, revolution, or an economic crisis. Dr Hundorova look at the last 25 years of modern Ukrainian literature through the prism of generations and their traumas.

After the fall of totalitarianism in 1989, the alienation from the Soviet past was a cause of a post-totalitarian trauma not only for the older generation of parents who grew under the Soviet system but also for the young and even children who had partial or no experience at all of living in that system. 

Dr Hundorova's idea is that post-totalitarian generational solidarity becomes a defining point of the literary transformation in Ukrainian literature of the 1991-2017. Oksana Zabuzhko, Yurii Andrukhovych, Serhii Zhadan, Sofia Andrukhovych, Oleksandr Ushkalov, Oleksandr Mykhed, Myroslav Laiuk – all of them represent a post-Soviet generation but their generational consciousness and their Zeitgeist are different.

While the 1990s generation escaped into their ‘Inner Mongolia’, the millennials generation, by contrast, assert themselves via their real presence in this world. The post-Orange Revolution generation, in its part, is traumatized by disappointments at the Revolution’s failure. The post-Maidan generation is a generation affected by the unfolding hybrid giving rise to feelings of uncertainty and instability, severing ties between parents and children, challenging one’s sense of historical continuity.  

How these trans-generational traumas are represented in texts, and how this consciousness does work in literature and through literature? Those are the questions our speaker will try to answer. 


Prof. Tamara Hundorova is a Chair of the Department of Literary Theory and Comparative Literature at the Institute of Literature of the NAS of Ukraine, a Dean at the Ukrainian Free University, Munich and an Associate Fellow at the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute.

She is the author of 10 books, including Tranzytna kultura. Symptomy postkolonial’noji traumy (2013); Pisliachornobyl’s’ka biblioteka. Ukrains’kyj literaturnyj postmodernism (2005, second edition 2013); Kitsch i literatura. Travestii (2008); Proiavlennia slova. Dyskursiia rannioho ukrains’koho modernizmu (1997, second edition 2009); Femina melancholica. Stat' i kul'tura v gendernij utopii Ol'hy Kobylians'koi (2002) and numerous publications on modernism, postmodernism, feminism, postcolonial studies and history of Ukrainian literature.

She is the editor of Ievropeiska melancholia (2008); Modernism pislia postmodernu (2008); Postkolonializm. Generatsii. Kultura (with A.Matusiak, 2014).  
Prof. Hundorova taught at Harvard University (USA), Toronto University (Canada), Greifswald University (Germany), Ukrainian Free University (Germany), Kyiv-Mohyla University (Ukraine). 

She is a former Fulbright Scholar (1998, 2009) and a recipient of Yacyk Distinguished Fellowship, Shklar fellowship of the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute, 21st Century COE Program Foreign Visitors Fellowship at the Center of Slavic and Eurasian Studies of the Hokkaido University, and the MUNK School of Global Affair (University of Toronto).  Prof. Hundorova is a member of the Edvisory Board of  Harvard Ukrainian Studies (USA), EAST/West: Journal of Ukrainian Studies (Canada), Postcolonial Europe (Sweden), Porowninia (Poland).