Identity Politics of Stateless Ethnic Groups. The Case of Carpatho-Rusyns and Silesians.

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Thursday, October 5th, 2017

Thursday, October 5, 20174:00PM - 6:00PM208N, North House, 1 Devonshire Place
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The meaning of the struggle for recognition and identity politics or politics of difference in Central and Eastern European countries has gained significance after the political transformation of the nineties, with the appearance of demands for the emancipation of many ethnic groups aiming to recognize their differences and specificity of culture. The lecture will describe two of such groups: Silesians and Carpatho-Rusyns, for which the democratization of social life opened the way to fight for recognition by the states in which those groups live. The aim of the presentation is to reconstruct the strategies of the struggle for recognition and identity politics of Carpatho-Rusyns and Silesian activists in relation to the signalized by Thomas H. Eriksen universal “grammar of identity politics”. Simultaneously, basing on analysis of states policy towards aspirations of Silesians and Carpatho-Rusyns it will show the fundamental difficulties in achieving legal recognition and protection, which involve groups of unknown status, stateless minority, divided in terms of identity, whose right to emancipation is challenged by various social actors.

Ewa Michna PhD habil., is a sociologist associated professor at the Institute of American Studies and Polish Diaspora, Jagiellonian University, Cracow. Her research interests focus around ethnic and national minorities in Central and Eastern Europe, the struggle of minority communities for their recognition and the identity politics of ethnic leaders. Authors of Łemkowie. Grupa etniczna czy naród? (The Lemkos. An Ethnic Group or a Nation?), Kwestie etniczno-narodowościowe na pograniczu Słowiańszczyzny wschodniej i zachodniej. Ruch rusiński na Słowacji. Ukrainie i w Polsce (Ethnic and National Issues in the Borderlands of Eastern and Western Slavic World. The Rusyn Movement in Slovakia, Ukraine and Poland).


Olga Kesarchuk


Ewa Michna
Associate professor at the Institute of American Studies and Polish Diaspora, Jagiellonian University, Cracow

Paul Magocsi
The John Yaremko Chair of Ukrainian Studies, University of Toronto

Piotr Wrobel
Associate Professor; Kostanty Reynert Chair of Polish History, University of Toronto

Main Sponsor

Petro Jacyk Program for the Study of Ukraine


The John Yaremko Chair of Ukrainian Studies

Center for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies

The Konstanty Reynert Chair of Polish Studies


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