Year XX, Issue 5-6 (223-224)

May 2016
Aleksandr Dmitriev. Philologists-Autonomists, and Autonomy from Philology in Late Imperial Russia: Nicholas Marr, Jan Baudouin de Courtenay, and Ahatanhel Krymsky.
Vakhtang Kebuladze. Imagined Nation.

Book Reviews in this Issue

Summary of this Issue

The May-June, 2016 issue of Krytyka opens with the first part of an article on “Philologists- Autonomists, and Autonomy from Philology in Late Imperial Russia: Nicholas Marr, Jan Baudouin de Courtenay, and Ahatanhel Krymsky” by Aleksandr Dmitriev, a Russian historian of science and ideology, Leading Research Fellow at the Poletayev Institute for Theoretical and Historical Studies in the Humanities (Higher School of Economics). The article first appeared in the journal Ab Imperio (2016, № 1) and reviews the lives and scholarship of three renowned philologists of “non-Russian” ethno-confessional background. Dmitriev treats them as paradigmatic instances of political projects of national autonomy during the first decades of the twentieth century and as parts of more general conceptual transformations. The three protagonists of this article embodied the three main paradigms of political response to the new epistemological situation. Marr stood for a modernized imperial political entity, Baudouin de Courtenay was a federalist, and Кrymsky developed the position that in many ways anticipated the early postcolonial analysis of the 1950s.

In “Imagined Nation,” Vahtang Kebuladze, Ph.D., Professor of the Theoretical and Practical Philosophy Department at Taras Shevchenko Kyiv National University, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies at NaUKMA, writes about the transformation of Russian sociohistorical reality and the nature of Russian rulers who wrongly equated power with violence. The author compares the modern Russian state to a vacuum that sucks in neighboring countries.

Jacobus Delwaide, Ph.D. in Political Science, historian and journalist, explores recent political events in the UK in his article “Exit, Folly, and Tragedy: The ‘Brexit’ Referendum.” Quoting and commenting on the responses of various observers, he writes that organizing this referendum had a double purpose: negotiating better terms with the EU, particularly concerning labor mobility, and, having obtained these terms, checkmating the Europhobe Conservative far right and the UK Independence Party. Though fuelled by domestic developments and concerns, the referendum result does signal trouble for the EU.

In his “Referendum Democracy in Ukraine: History and Prospects,” Volodymyr Kampo, a prominent Ukrainian lawyer and an expert on constitutional law, analyzes the background and character of the national referendums in Ukraine from the time of independence. The author is convinced that a balanced legislation on referendums could replace the need for people to take to the streets. Instead, the problems that had to be decided by referendum were decided by the Maidan.

Harun Yilmaz, British Academy Research Fellow at Queen Mary University of London, an expert on the history, politics, national identities and political propaganda in Ukraine, Central Asia and the Caucasus, in his “A Victory for Democracy? On the Forces Behind the Failed Coup D’etat and the Consequences for Democracy in Turkey” examines the progress of the military coup in Turkey which took place on the night of July 15, 2016. This Fall Krytyka will publish a new book by Vyacheslav Likhachev, Israeli historian and social activist, From the Maidan to the Right. Revolution, War and the Extreme Right in Ukraine (2013–2016). Here we include a fragment of this book, “On Both Sides of the Front,” which deals with the involvement of radicals in the confrontation in Donbas.

“God and a Can of Spray Paint Are With Us” by Grace Mahoney, a PhD student in Slavic Languages and Literatures at University of Michigan (she lived in Ukraine from 2014–2015 as a U.S. Fulbright student researcher), reviews post-revolutionary activist street art in Ukraine. It is an art form that not only articulates and propagates such principles as dignity, freedom, solidarity, cooperation and social responsibility, but also establishes public space as a place for conversation and community engagement.

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