Denys Shatalov: The Import of the Cossack Idea
The Import of the Cossack Idea: The Folklore Publications and Spreading of the Cossack Idea in Galicia
Exploring the collections of Ukrainian folklore, which were published in Galicia in the middle of the nineteenth century, it seems that the so-called “Cossack myth”, which is one of the foundations of modern Ukrainian identity, was already popular in Galicia at that time. Surprisingly, Galicia was neither a Cossack region, even at the Cossacks’ heyday, nor is it linked with them in the public opinion. This project now explores the role of Western Ukrainian folklore collections of the first half of the nineteenth century in the process of spreading the “Cossack myth” as an element of Ukrainian modern nation-building. The project aims at finding answers to several research questions: Why are there so many “Cossack songs” in Western Ukrainian collections? Did the Rusyns really sing about the Cossacks or did the collectors were just confused about it? How did Galician people imagine the Cossacks that they sang about? The overall research question is what influence these collections had on intellectuals imagining a united people of Little Russia and Galicia by means of “Cossackness”, and, more broadly, on the formation of a modern Ukrainian nation.
Denys Shatalov obtained his MA in history in 2012 and his PhD in 2016, both from Oles Honchar Dnipropetrovsk National University, with a thesis on Ukrainian Cossacks in the social opinion in the second half of the eighteenth to the first half of the nineteenth century. Since January 2015 Denys has been a research fellow at the Ukrainian Institute for Holocaust Studies and the Jewish Memory and Holocaust in Ukraine Museum. But, along with his engagement in Holocaust studies and teaching, he continues his research devoted to imagination and representation of the Little Russian and Russian society in the first half of the nineteenth century. His main focus is on the phenomenon of Ukrainian Cossacks and how they are imagined as part of modern Ukrainian identity. Denys’ is also interested in the intellectual history of Ukraine and Russia in the first half of the nineteenth century, the history of memory, reading and literature, the everyday knowledge about the past, and Ukrainian national projects in the first half of the nineteenth century. His recent publications include Imaginations about Cossacks (2017) and Representation of the Cossacks appearance of the end of XVIII – the middle of the XIX century: texts, graphics and everyday imaginations. Part 1–3.