Austin Charron Lecture
Oxford - Harrison Hall 204
Tuesday, March 3, 2020, 1 – 2:30pm
The Crimean Tatars are a Turkic-speaking Muslim people indigenous to the Crimean peninsula. Once viewed with a degree of mistrust or apprehension by many of their fellow Ukrainian citizens who believed their loyalties and affinities lay instead with Turkey, the Crimean Tatars are now celebrated as members of the Ukrainian civic nation and body politic to a degree never before achieved—a bittersweet outcome of Ukraine’s de facto loss of Crimea itself. While most Crimean Tatars remain in Russian-occupied Crimea, some tens of thousands have relocated to the Ukrainian mainland as internally displaced persons (IDPs), including much of their political, cultural, and economic elite. Thanks to their steadfastly pro-Ukrainian position and vital contributions to post-Euromaidan discourses of Ukrainian civic nationhood, Crimean Tatar IDPs have emerged as a crucial emblem of Ukrainian multiculturalism—a component of renewed efforts to assert Ukrainian agency and to narrate a civic, territorially-framed Ukrainian identity.
Based on ethnographic fieldwork conducted within communities of Crimean IDPs in the cities of Kyiv and Lviv, this talk will address the evolving role that Crimean Tatars have played in discourses of Ukrainian identity and nationhood before and after the Euromaidan and the annexation of Crimea in 2014. Viewing Ukraine through a postcolonial lens that highlights the state’s ethnic multiplicities and cultural hybridities as a byproduct of its colonial legacies, this talk will consider the process of how Crimean Tatars became Ukrainians, how Ukraine became “Crimean Tatar-ized,” and the recent contributions of Crimean Tatar IDPs to discourses of Ukrainian-ness. This talk will also address the ways in which the Crimean Tatars’ relationship to the Ukrainian state remains somewhat contentions despite such recent progress, namely in the ongoing debate concerning the symbolic and aspirational declaration of a Crimean Tatar national autonomy within Crimea.
Event Title: Discourses of Ukrainian Nationhood Before and After 2014
Tuesday, March 3 at 1:00pm
Harrison Hall, Room 204
349 E. High St., Oxford, OH 45056