Imagine living in a democratizing country that used to be part of a multiethnic empire based on authoritarian rule- how would your cultural and national identity be defined by this? Students in Dr. Angela Kachuyevski’s Spring 2020 Global Field Study (GFS) course, “Identity and Democratization in Ukraine,” will explore these questions.
Stemming from her research as a spring 2018 J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship award recipient, which was continued during her year-long sabbatical in the 2018-19 academic year, Dr. Kachuyevski hopes students will not only learn about Ukrainian national identity, but their own as well.
“One of the things they’re going to start off with in my class is with some discussion and reflection on what it means to be an American. What are American national values? What is our national identity?” said Dr. Kachuyevski, associate professor in the Department of Historical and Political Studies. “Starting off with these kinds of questions will open them to exploring how a student their age, in what they assume is probably a very different country, thinks about those same kinds of topics.”
As part of the class, Arcadia students will be put into pairs with Ukranian students at Karazin National University in Kharkiv or Mechnikov National University in Odessa. While on the GFS in May, students will have the opportunity to meet in-person and present their collaborative research that was completed throughout the semester.
“I’m excited to open this incredible country to more Americans, because most people don’t know very much about Ukraine,” said Dr. Kachuyevski. “It’s a really fascinating and wonderful country. I’ve taken students to Ukraine before, I’ve had colleagues visit me, and everybody comes away in love with this country.”
Dr. Kachuyevski began her Fulbright work in February 2018 as a researcher and visiting professor at Karazin National University. Her research explores how Russian-speaking Ukrainians perceive their place within post-Maidan Ukraine. She is one of three current faculty members to earn Fulbright awards in the past four years. In 2016, Dr. Jennifer Riggan, professor in the Department of Historical and Political Studies, received the Teaching/Research Fulbright award to study how civic education has been implemented in Ethiopian secondary schools, and in 2019, Dr. Jim Casey, associate professor of English, received the Fulbright Teaching award for the University of Debrecen, Hungary.