Saturday, December 12, 2009

17th Annual J.B. Rudnyckyj Distinguished Lecture

Photo courtesy of Dr. Oksana Zabuzhko

On Thursday, November 19, 2009, the 17th Annual J.B. Rudnyckyj Distinguished Lecture took place at the U of M Archives & Special Collections (330 Elizabeth Dafoe Library). This year's guest speaker was the celebrated Ukrainian writer, critic and public figure, Dr. Oksana Zabuzhko. Dr. Zabuzho's lecture was titled, "The Death of Don Juan: Modernism, Feminism, Nationalism - Rethinking Ukrainian Literature". She spoke on the theme of the Don Juan legend, and how the renowned Ukrainian writer Lesia Ukrainka, reworked this legend in her best known drama, Kaminnyi hospodar = The Stone Master, so as to make the central character a woman, Donna Anna, rather than the traditional male figure of Don Juan. Dr. Zabuzhko also spoke on how this traditon of the Ukrainian heroine reverberates throughout Ukrainian history and culture, and how it eventually paved the way for Ukraine gaining her independence in 1991.

Members of the university and external communities attended this special event. Following the lecture, a reception was held, allowing those attending the lecture to meet and speak with Dr. Zabuzhko. In addtion, she kindly autographed several of her books that are held in the Elizabeth Dafoe's Slavic Collection.