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The Jewish World in Ukrainian Short Fiction
Members of the Oyflebung community building a temporary kitchen, Crimea, 1925. Courtesy of the JDC Archives.

The Jewish World in Ukrainian Short Fiction

Khrystyna Semeryn, Ukrainian independent researcher, journalist, and writer

The Jewish World in Ukrainian Short Fiction

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The Jewish World in Ukrainian Short Fiction of the Late 19th and Early 20th Centuries

Series: Ukrainian-Jewish Voices


In the late 19th century, as well as the first few decades of the 20th century, an interest in short fiction was sparked across the European continent. Ukraine was no exception. Ukrainian short fiction at the turn of the 20th century offers a wide scope of images, experiences and relationships, as well as the achievements, breakthroughs and difficulties of the time. Multicultural life was in full swing, and Jewish culture in particular was among the noticeable subjects focused on in Ukrainian literature.

How did Ukrainian short fiction writers represent Jews and Jewish life as well as Ukrainian-Jewish relations? Based on over one hundred pieces of literature, we will delve into the details of Ukrainian literary imagery of the Jewish world. From representations of the Jewish body to dramatically varying images of Jewish women; from the educational discrimination of Jews by the Russian empire to Soviet crackdowns; from images of Jewish agricultural colonies to Jewish settlements being set on fire during pogroms, and so forth. By tracing the anthropology, social conditions and literary topography of the Jewish world in Ukrainian short fiction, this lecture seeks to present new angles of viewing Ukrainian-Jewish literary encounters.

Khrystyna Semeryn is an independent researcher, journalist, and writer. She is currently a research fellow in the AAJR-Fordham-NYPL Fellowship for Ukrainian Scholars, as well as a virtual visiting researcher at Northwestern University. In addition, she is an expert for the Ukrainian Cultural Foundation and the Ukrainian Book Institute, she has served in the past as a consultant for the Ukrainian Book Institute.

In 2018, she completed the MA program at the National University of Ostroh Academy with honors  and completed her PhD dissertation shortly after. She was awarded the first prize of the Serhiy Kemsky Award, as well as the top prize in a competition of art critics from the Kaniv International Sculpture Symposium, in addition to first prize in a competition of young analysts from the Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation (all in 2021). She was also awarded the first prize in an all-Ukrainian research competition titled, "Preserving the Memory of the Holocaust” in 2019, and others. Since 2019, she has been a member of the Ukrainian Association for Jewish Studies. Her current interests include cultural memory, gender and feminist criticism, Jewish studies, Ukrainian literature, sculpture, multiculturalism, creative industries, disinformation and cultural policy analyses.


Wednesday, August 10, 8 pm Israel / 7 pm CET / 6 pm UK / 1 pm EST


Wednesday August 10th 13 Av 08:00 - 09:00


Khrystyna Semeryn


Online Zoom Event Map

For whom?

General public





Members of the Oyflebung community building a temporary kitchen, Crimea, 1925. Courtesy of the JDC Archives.