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Re-placing ethnicity : literature in English by Canada’s Ukrainians Grekul, Lisa 2003

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RE-PLACING ETHNICITY: LITERATURE IN ENGLISH BY CANADA'S UKRAINIANS by LISA MICHELE GREKUL B.A., The University of Alberta, 1997 M.A., The University of Alberta, 1999 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF T H E REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in T H E F A C U L T Y OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department of English) We accept this thesis as conforming to £he required standard T H E UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA June 2003 © Lisa Michele Grekul, 2003 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of tyr:|U^V\ The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada DE-6 (2/88) A B S T R A C T This study traces the development of prose, poetry, drama, and (creative) non-fiction written in English by Canadians of Ukrainian descent during the twentieth century. The thesis argues that, although Ukrainian Canadian literature has been under-represented in Canadian and Ukrainian Canadian studies, it makes a substantial contribution to ongoing debates about the ways in which individuals (re)define their sense of self, community, history, and home in the process of writing. Chapter One provides an overview of Ukrainian Canadian history, and outlines the development of a Ukrainian Canadian literary tradition. Chapter Two examines the assimilationist rhetoric articulated by such non-Ukrainian Canadian writers as Ralph Connor, Sinclair Ross, and Margaret Laurence, as well as that of Vera Lysenko (author of Yellow Boots, 1954, the first English-language novel by a Ukrainian Canadian). Chapter Three focuses on Maara Haas's novel The Street Where I Live (1976), George Ryga's play A Letter to My Son (1981), and Andrew Suknaski's poetry (published in Wood Mountain Poems, 1976; the ghosts call you poor, 1978; and In the Name ofNarid, 1981), and explores these writers' responses to the policies and practices of multiculturalism. Chapter Four identifies the shift toward transnational or transcultural discourses of individual- and group-identity formation in Janice Kulyk Keefer's and Myrna Kostash's writing, especially that which records their travels "back" to Ukraine. The central argument of the thesis is that if Ukrainian Canadians are to maintain meaningful ties to their ethnic heritage, they must constantly—if paradoxically—re-invent themselves as Ukrainians and as Canadians. In examining this paradox, the study I l l draws parallels between Lysenko and Kulyk Keefer, both of whom rely on conventional narrative techniques in their writing and privilege nation-based models of identity that marginalize the experiences of ethnic minorities. Haas, Ryga, Suknaski, and Kostash, by contrast, experiment with multiple languages and genres: shaped, thematically and formally, by their experiences as hybrid subjects, their texts illustrate that ethnicity is less product than process; less fixed than fluid; constantly under construction and open to negotiation. The concluding chapter of the thesis, reflecting on the past and the present of Ukrainians in Canada, calls for the next generation of writers to continue re-imagining their communities by pushing the boundaries of existing language and forms. T A B L E O F C O N T E N T S Abstract ii Table of Contents iv List of Figures v Acknowledgments vi Chapter 1 Ethnic Minority Writing in Canada and the Ukrainian Canadian Literary Tradition 1 Chapter 2 (Un)settling the West: Postcolonial Representations of Ukrainian Canadians, 1900- 1970 52 Chapter 3 Developing a Tradition: Ukrainian Canadian Literature and Multiculturalism, 1971 - 1984 122 Chapter 4 (Re)imagined Communities: Ukrainian Canadian Literature, 1985-2000 : 213 Chapter 5 Ukrainian Canadian Literature: Legacies, Old and New 334 Works Cited 398 V LIST O F FIGURES Fig. 1 The Glendon Perogy, January 2001 393 Fig. 2 The Mundave Kolbasa, May 2001 394 Fig. 3 The author at the Vegreville Pysanka, July 2002 395 A C K N O W L E D G M E N T S I wish to thank my good friends Jodie Sinnema, Tobi Kozakewich, Wendy Foster, and Laurie McNeill for their advice and encouragement. Special thanks to my professors Dr. Laurie Ricou and Dr. Glenn Deer who have devoted countless hours to my project, and who have given me invaluable guidance over the past four years. Dr. W.H. New has been teacher, mentor, and—above all—dear friend. Thank you, Bill. For their love and support, I am deeply grateful to my family: Marshall, Gloria, Jana, and Chad Grekul, and Jacqueline Pollard. Only my husband Patrick, though, truly knows what has gone into this thesis. Pat, I could not have gotten through without you. Thank you for standing by—and sometimes carrying—me along the way. I dedicate this thesis to Patrick's late baba, Lena O'Neill. 1. Ethnic Minority Writing in Canada and the Ukrainian Canadian Literary Tradition Introduction In 1977, when Myrna Kostash published her first book, everyone in my family bought a copy of it. While I was too young at the time to share my parents', aunts', and uncles' excitement about All ofBaba's Children, I grew up listening to stories about how Kostash conducted her research; how she spent several months in Two Hills getting to know the residents and learning about their history; how she went on to write about the community and its people. A small, predominantly Ukrainian Canadian town in northeastern Alberta, Two Hills is the community around which my maternal and paternal great-grandparents settled after immigrating to Canada from Ukraine at the turn of the twentieth century. My family members (especially those who still live in the Two Hills area) were thrilled when All of Baba 's Children came out because the book put their community on the map. They were proud. No one had ever published a book about Two Hills before. But All of Baba's Children was more than a book about Two Hills: it was a book about Ukrainians written by a fellow Ukrainian, one of their own. They all bought copies. In my relatives' farmhouses, where literary books are far less common than the Farmers' Almanac and Reader's Digest magazine, my aunts and uncles kept their copies of All of Baba's Children in prominent places—on coffee tables and fireplace mantles. My parents (the first in their respective families to go to university) placed their copy in our living room bookshelf beside other important books—our set of encyclopedias; my dad's Complete Works of Shakespeare; the Bible. 2 That I grew up knowing few specific details about Kostash's book isn't altogether surprising: because no one in my family actually read All of Baba's Children, no one talked about the actual content of the book. I knew that it was a novel; one of my uncles, apparently, made an appearance in it as a minor character. Although I recall hearing that Kostash caused some controversy by making communists, or communism, part of her plot, I don't remember anyone in my family being particularly bothered by this. Kostash might not have gotten all of her facts quite right, but my relatives were willing to forgive her for it. What mattered is that she had written a story about us; about Ukrainians. For members of my family, All of Baba's Children became a cultural artifact, on a par in many ways with Ukrainian Easter eggs and embroidered tablecloths: something to be displayed as a symbol of their culture. I didn't read All of Baba's Children either—at least not until I was approaching the end of my undergraduate degree. During my fourth year at the University of Alberta, in 1997,1 signed up for two courses on Canadian literature, one a survey of the field, the other more specifically focused on "Alberta Writing." Both classes were taught by instructors who encouraged their students to think critically about the inclusiveness of the Canadian literary tradition, and about issues of representation. Of all the texts we read in my Canadian literature classes, I most vividly remember a book that appeared on our reading list for "Alberta Writing." The text was Marusya Bociurkiw's The Woman Who Loved Airports (1994), a collection of stories in which Bociurkiw writes about being a Ukrainian Canadian and a lesbian. I was stunned by it. In fact, while we weren't scheduled to study Bociurkiw's text until late in the term, I read it first. I read it in one 3 sitting. I went on, eventually, to write my term paper on it. And, in the process of writing that paper, All of Baba's Children came down from my parents' bookshelf. Why did I finally decide to read Kostash's book? In the first place, I didn't like The Woman Who Loved Airports. My feeling at the time was that Bociurkiw made her sexuality seem interesting, daring, and complex, but that she reduced her experiences of ethnicity to painted eggs and cabbage rolls. Her stories made Ukrainians out to be narrow-minded and intolerant, incapable of understanding (much less accepting) homosexuality. I disliked The Woman Who Loved Airports because I believed that Bociurkiw was representing all Ukrainians and she wasn't representing "us" properly. I wanted my classmates to read a text that would portray Ukrainian people in a better light; a text that would function in our class, as All of Baba's Children functioned in my family, as a positive symbol of Ukrainian Canadian culture. For my term paper, I decided to read All of Baba's Children and compare it to The Woman Who Loved Airports because I knew that Kostash had told a different story, one that spoke more directly to—or, rather, of—my own experiences as a Ukrainian Canadian. I had nowhere else to turn. I didn't know of a single other text written by a Ukrainian Canadian author. In my mind, I had two choices: Kostash or Bociurkiw; All of Baba's Children or The Woman Who Loved Airports. I discovered, very quickly, that Kostash was no antidote to Bociurkiw. To set the record straight, All of Baba's Children is not a novel: it is, rather, a journalistic work of non-fiction about the history of Two Hills. This alone would have been enough to throw me into a tailspin—I expected a story—but Kostash's history was hard to follow; it wasn't chronological; it mixed historical facts with statements made by residents ofthe 4 town about their way of life and Kostash's own thoughts about her identity as a Ukrainian Canadian. I couldn't figure out what she was trying to say. The book might have been focused on Two Hills, but Kostash appeared to be commenting on all Ukrainians in Canada. On the one hand, she was critical of the ways in which Anglo-Canadians had discriminated against Ukrainians who, as a result, were forced to assimilate to Anglo-Canadian culture. At the same time, she suggested that assimilation was normal and natural—a good thing, basically, because it enabled Ukrainians to get ahead in their new country. At certain points in All of Baba's Children, Kostash gave the impression that Ukrainians were hard-working, God-fearing people with a rich and vibrant cultural heritage; at other points, she criticized them for fighting with each other about politics and religion, and for being sexist and anti-Semitic. All of Baba's Children wasn't much help to me. Ironically, the book that my family members had held up as a symbol of the beauty and endurance of their culture painted a highly ambivalent picture of Ukrainians in Canada. For my term paper, I ended up writing less about The Woman Who Loved Airports and All of Baba's Children than about my own—decidedly positive—experiences growing up as a fourth-generation Ukrainian Canadian. I was fortunate. My professor could have dismissed the paper as unscholarly and, worse, uninformed; re-reading it now, I cringe. I made two particularly troubling assumptions: first, that when an ethnic minority writer publishes a literary work, she speaks on behalf of her entire ethnic community; second, that the job of the ethnic minority writer, as spokesperson of her community, is to sing praises of her people and their way of life. To her credit, I think, my professor—herself a creative writer from an ethnic minority background—chose not to castigate me for the assumptions that I'd 5 made. She suggested, instead, that I try my hand at writing creatively about my ethnic identity. In retrospect, I believe that she wanted me to learn first-hand about the kinds of challenges faced by ethnic minority writers: how to balance their sense of responsibility to themselves, to their ethnic groups, and to their writing itself. She must have guessed that I would rethink my ideas about the role of the ethnic writer by becoming (or trying to become) just such a writer. I took the advice of my professor, at first, as a call-to-arms: where Kostash and Bociurkiw had failed (they were still the only Ukrainian Canadian writers I knew about and neither, to my mind, had accurately represented Ukrainian Canadians), I would succeed. I set out to write the Great Ukrainian Canadian Novel. At the end of my fourth year—as my then-boyfriend, now-husband can attest—I spent many late nights feverishly sketching out plot-lines, making notes on characters, and outlining themes. My intentions, in the beginning, were at best vague. I had no experience as a creative writer and, hence, no idea how to go about writing a novel. I envisioned a story that would capture the essence of Ukrainian Canadian-ness, and that would give Ukrainian Canadian and non-Ukrainian Canadian readers alike a sense of the inherent beauty and vitality of Ukrainian culture. By the time I entered the M A program at the University of Alberta, a few months after finishing my undergraduate degree, I was well into a first draft of my novel. In 1997,1 enrolled in a year-long graduate seminar in creative writing, and brought chapters of my book to the class each week for feedback and guidance. Sing For Me, Kalyna! doubled, eventually, as my M A thesis. 6 But in the two years that it took me to write my thesis/novel, my attitude toward the project changed dramatically. Early on, in fact, I gave up my self-appointed task of speaking on behalf of all Ukrainian Canadians and glorifying Ukrainian Canadian culture. Why did I abandon my early visions for the book, and my initial goals? In the first place, as I laid out the initial plans for my novel—a loosely autobiographical story of one young woman's coming-of-age as a Ukrainian Canadian—I also began thinking very seriously, for the first time, about the meaning of my ethnicity; and, in doing so, I realized that my own experiences—growing up at a particular time and in a particular place—couldn't possibly reflect the experiences of all Ukrainian Canadians. In fact, when I really thought about it, I started to wonder if I had enough Ukrainian-ness to write about. I took Ukrainian language classes in elementary school and, for ten years, I did Ukrainian dancing. At home, we ate Ukrainian food. But I didn't (and still don't) speak Ukrainian. My parents never took my sister and brother and me to the Greek Orthodox church in which they were raised. Why, I wondered, didn't they try harder to make us Ukrainian? Because I grew up during the 1970s and 1980s, I learned from an early age about multiculturalism in Canada, and about the importance of promoting and preserving cultural diversity. But in 1997, multiculturalism started to look more and more like a sham. The Great Ukrainian Canadian Novel seemed out of reach. All of Baba's Children and The Woman Who Loved Airports began to make sense to me. I kept writing, though—encouraged, now, by Kostash and Bociurkiw who gave me permission, in a way, to confront my mixed feelings about being Ukrainian. I also began searching for other books written by Canadians of Ukrainian descent—something, 7 perhaps, that I should have done while I was working on my Bociurkiw paper. But when I was writing about The Woman Who Loved Airports, near the end of my undergraduate degree, I was still a relative newcomer to Canadian literature (having only recently discovered a world of writing beyond Margaret Atwood, Farley Mowat, and W.O. Mitchell), and I had yet to identify and pursue my own research interests (independent of course syllabi and class reading lists). As a graduate student, I was learning how to push beyond course material by taking my critical work in new directions. I found not one but several novels—Illia Kiriak's Sons of the Soil (1939-45); Vera Lysenko's Yellow Boots (1954); Maara Haas's The Street Where I Live (1974); and Janice Kulyk Keefer's The Green Library (1996). I discovered Myrna Kostash's Bloodlines: A Journey Into Eastern Europe (1993), a work of non-fiction that included an account of her travels to Ukraine. I came upon numerous poets (Andrew Suknaski, Jars Balan, George Morrissette, Helen Potrebenko) and playwrights (George Ryga, Ted Galay, Michael Nimchuk, Larry Zacharko). Many Ukrainian Canadian writers, I learned, had produced work in multiple genres (Haas and Kulyk Keefer had written poetry and short fiction; Potrebenko and Ryga had written novels). When I read their work, moreover, I realized that none had attempted to speak on behalf of all Ukrainian Canadians; that few, if any, seemed concerned about glorifying their culture. They wrote, instead, about the challenges of maintaining their ethnic identity in Canada; about the benefits and drawbacks of being second- or third-generation Ukrainian Canadians; about their ambivalent attitudes toward history, language, and home. Again and again, I encountered writers whose work reminded me of All of Baba's Children and The Woman Who Loved Airports and I began to appreciate what they were 8 all doing: they were writing literature. Their texts were focused on the specific experiences of Ukrainian Canadians but, in terms of their broad thematic concerns and formal structures, they were accessible and relevant to any reader. I decided that I wanted my novel to succeed in the same way—as a work of literature about the unique and complex experiences of Ukrainian Canadians, yet meant for a universal audience. And so I wrote in the voice of, and on behalf of, a single character whose attitude toward her cultural heritage is decidedly ambivalent. Sing For Me, Kalyna! is narrated by Colleen Lutzak, a Ukrainian Canadian girl who grows up on the prairies. A comic bildungsroman, the novel takes place in northern Alberta and southern Africa. Colleen (Kalyna, in Ukrainian) is an aspiring musician who struggles to make sense of her identity as a woman, a Ukrainian Canadian, and an artist. Her story raises a number of questions about Ukrainian Canadian communities: it foregrounds the fact that not all Ukrainian Canadians experience and express their ethnicity in the same way; and it challenges idealized or romanticized conceptions of Ukrainian Canadian culture. But the novel also, more generally, explores the ways in which an individual's identity is shaped by her experiences of ethnicity and "race"; gender and sexuality; regionalism, nationalism, and transnationalism. As I worked through the first draft of Sing For Me, Kalyna!, and as I shared portions of it with my classmates in our creative writing class, I came to see that my main character's Ukrainian-ness, while obviously an important aspect of her identity, wasn't the only one; and more importantly, perhaps, I realized that my own Ukrainian-ness, which provided the impetus for the novel, wasn't the only factor impelling me to continue writing it. I saw myself—and wanted to be seen—not as a Ukrainian Canadian 9 writer at work on a Ukrainian Canadian novel but simply as a writer, struggling with her first book. My classmates were unconvinced. I was surprised, really, at how firmly the ethnic label stuck, and how my ethnicity influenced their perception of my writing. They believed that I was jumping on the multicultural bandwagon by writing one of those hackneyed "who-am-I" ethnic books. Such books, in one classmate's opinion, might be popular with particular readers (Ukrainian Canadians, in the case of my novel) but they held no appeal for mainstream audiences. While I tried to argue for the broad literary merits of my "who-am-I" ethnic book (I pointed to my use of language and my experimentation with form), my classmate couldn't get past the dominant theme of my work (Ukrainian Canadian identity). He insisted that, if it were published, the novel would never be read by more than a small group of readers (Ukrainian Canadians). In 1999, shortly after I moved to Vancouver and entered the Ph.D. program at the University of British Columbia, I placed my novel with Coteau, a small press based in Regina, Saskatchewan. The excitement, though, of eventually seeing my first book in print (we decided that it required substantial revision and wouldn't be published until 2003) was mitigated by my concerns about how, where, and by whom the novel would be received. Would it be marketed as a Ukrainian Canadian book or as a Canadian book? Would it be reviewed in Ukrainian Canadian magazines and newspapers or in mainstream Canadian media? Would it attract Ukrainian Canadian readers or Canadian readers? Readers from the prairies or from across the country? Coteau had previously published works by Ukrainian Canadian writers (Larry Warwaruk's The Ukrainian Wedding and Janice Kulyk Keefer's and Solomea Pavlychko's Two Lands, New Visions: 10 Stories From Canada and Ukraine both came out in 1998), so the press was an obvious choice for me. I was, and am, grateful for the careful attention that my editors at Coteau have given to my manuscript, and for the encouragement that they have given me. I suspect that few other presses—and certainly no big publishing house—would have risked taking on my project, not only because of its Ukrainian Canadian content, but also because of my status as a first-time writer. Nonetheless, after I signed on with Coteau, I began worrying about the future of Sing For Me, Kalyna!. From the perspective of my classmates in our creative writing class, only Ukrainian Canadians would be interested in my novel. But would Ukrainian Canadians actually read it? Or would they simply buy it (like my family members who had bought Kostash's book) and put it on display? Ultimately, my concerns became the starting point of this project, my Ph.D. thesis. Troubled by the likelihood that my novel might never be read by Ukrainian Canadians, much less non-Ukrainian Canadians—troubled, too, by the possibility that it would never be studied by Canadian literary scholars or taught in their Canadian literature courses—I decided to undertake a book-length critical study of literature written in English by Canadians of Ukrainian descent that would draw attention to the contribution Ukrainian Canadian writers have made to Canadian literature. Over the course of my thesis, I intended to (1) trace the emergence of the Ukrainian Canadian literary tradition; and (2) illustrate, through close readings of select texts, the relevance of these texts to ongoing debates within Canadian literary studies (debates about ethnicity, "race," and gender, for example; nationalism and transnationalism; multiculturalism and transculturalism). Combining postcolonial literary theories with formalist reading 11 strategies, I would argue for the inclusion of Ukrainian Canadian literature within Canadian literary studies. My thesis would begin to clear—or claim—a space, I thought, in Canadian literary studies for Ukrainian Canadian literature (including my own novel); I would convince scholars to study this literature, teachers to teach it, and readers to read it. I had in mind, at first, an audience of Canadianists; my argument, initially, was going to hinge on the ways in which Canadian literary studies have marginalized ethnic minority writers and their works. For proof, I had an extensive body of Ukrainian Canadian texts that had received little—and in many cases no—attention in either Canadian literary journals or book-length critical studies on Canadian literature. But as I began to plan and research this project, and as I learned about the numerous Ukrainian Canadian studies programs that exist in this country, my sense of audience changed. I realized that I needed to address Ukrainian Canadian and non-Ukrainian Canadian scholars alike. I discovered that, while Ukrainian Canadian scholars had developed an extensive network of institutes, centres, and programs of study, they had relegated Ukrainian Canadian literature (especially texts written in English) to the margins of their scholarly agenda. They had produced an impressive body of work related to Ukrainian Canadian history, politics, and culture (mainly folk culture) but had given considerably less attention to Ukrainian Canadian prose, poetry, drama, and non-fiction. In the smattering of essays on Ukrainian Canadian literature that had been published, moreover, I found scant evidence to suggest that scholars had critically engaged with this literature—with the language, for example, structure, style, and complex themes of the texts. Many 12 Ukrainian Canadian writers had explicitly or implicitly addressed the difficulties of maintaining their ethnic and national identity, or had drawn attention to fractures and fissures within the Ukrainian Canadian community, or had criticized dominant, often celebratory, discourses of multiculturalism; and they had done so in works that experimented in exciting ways with language and form. But Ukrainian Canadian literary scholars seemed interested only in those texts (Vera Lysenko's Yellow Boots comes to mind) that supported their own ideas about Ukrainian Canadian ethnicity—texts that affirmed their understanding of Ukrainian Canadians as a unified community of individuals who, despite physical hardship and intense social pressures to assimilate to Anglo-Canadian culture, had retained many aspects of their unique ethnic heritage while, at the same time, ascending the socioeconomic hierarchies of Canadian society. These scholars tended to focus on certain writers who perpetuated this narrative of progress while ignoring the many writers who too glaringly challenged it. How could I blame Canadian literary scholars for overlooking Ukrainian Canadian literary texts if Ukrainian Canadians scholars—those who seemed to be in the perfect position to teach others (Ukrainian Canadians as well as non-Ukrainian Canadians) about the existence and value of Ukrainian Canadian literature—had made no attempts to make these texts visible through their own scholarly work? With this book, then, I have taken a first step toward retrieving Ukrainian Canadian literature from the margins of Ukrainian Canadian studies programs and re-placing it within the context of Canadian literary studies. I have done so both as a writer and a scholar who wants the large number and rich variety of English-language Ukrainian Canadian texts to be read. I want to see these texts written about, critically, in 13 mainstream literary journals and scholarly books, and I want them to be included on reading lists for courses in Canadian literature. The inclusion of Ukrainian Canadian literary texts in Canadian literary studies will not only provide readers with insight into Ukrainian Canadian history and culture: it will also give them an understanding of the exciting ways in which a particular group of writers have pushed, and continue to push, the boundaries of language and form; and, more generally, it will encourage scholars to continue exploring the literary traditions of various other ethnic minority groups. But I confess, too, that as a fourth-generation Ukrainian Canadian, I have written this book with the future of my ethnic group in mind. My hope is that, as Ukrainian Canadian texts are increasingly drawn into current debates going on in Canadian literary circles, students from Ukrainian Canadian backgrounds will discover the valuable contribution that Ukrainian Canadian writers have made to Canadian literature. Maybe, if All of Baba's Children is on their parents' bookshelves, they will decide to read what Kostash actually has to say about being Ukrainian Canadian; maybe they will seek out other stories by Ukrainian Canadian writers; and maybe they will be inspired to write their own. Critical Contexts Literature in Canada is rich with texts by writers for whom the process of writing involves an active, and often highly troubled, negotiation between their cultural ethnicity and national identity. Since the early1970s—as a result, in part, of Lester B. Pearson's Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism (1963), Pierre Trudeau's announcement of a "Policy of Multiculturalism within a Bilingual Framework" (1971), 14 and the passing of the Multiculturalism Act (1988) by Brian Mulroney's government— myriad changes in the publishing, reviewing, teaching, and critiquing of Canadian literary texts have increasingly reflected the relevance of so-called "racial" and "ethnic" minority writing to mainstream Canadian literary studies.1 My thesis, broadly speaking, is a study of one ethnic minority literature: literature written in English by Canadians of Ukrainian descent. In addition to analyzing literary works by Ukrainian Canadians, I examine the extensive cultural studies network that has developed within the Ukrainian Canadian scholarly community; illustrate the limitations of current Ukrainian Canadian literary studies; and suggest alternative approaches to the study of Ukrainian Canadian literature. By emphasizing the importance of historicizing and contextualizing constructions and expressions of ethnicity, I argue against the conflation of ethnography and ethnicity. Ideas about ethnicity, I suggest, shift and change over time as they intersect with dominant discourses of (post)colonialism, assimilation, multiculturalism, and transnationalism, as well as issues of "race," gender, sexuality, and class. By undertaking a critical study of Ukrainian Canadian literature, I enter ongoing discussions about the treatment of ethnic minority literatures within mainstream Canadian literary studies: the ways in which multiculturalism has both facilitated and undermined the representation of ethnic minority literatures in mainstream literary discourse. Importantly, while I use the terms "ethnic minority" and "mainstream" literatures 11 distinguish between "racial" and "ethnic" minority writing because, as Winfried Siemerling suggests, "[e]thnicity has . . . been rejected sometimes as a serviceable category by those who feel that it might depoliticize issues by conflating them, for instance those concerning minorities in general with those concerning visible minorities" (11). My thesis focuses specifically on "ethnic" (not "visible" or "racial") minorities. 15 throughout much of my thesis, I use them cautiously and provisionally. Conscious of the possibility that such terms, by perpetuating a rigid division between centre and margin (Anglo-Canadian versus non-Anglo-Canadian cultural practices and institutions), fail to account for the heterogeneity and fluidity of both, I explore the extent to which ethnic minority literatures have been incorporated into the institutionalized structures of Canadian literary studies, particularly in the last decade. I take as my point of departure the assumption that, from the 1970s onward, studies of ethnic minority literatures are becoming more common, but that Ukrainian Canadian writing remains under-represented in Canadian literary scholarship.3 What defines an ethnic minority text, an ethnic minority writer, an ethnic minority critic? Can we distinguish between existing ethnic minority and mainstream literary traditions and textual practices? And, if so, how do we effectively include ethnic writing in mainstream Canadian literary studies? These questions foreground some ofthe key issues frequently addressed by scholars whose work centres on ethnic minority writing; the variety and the complexity of their perspectives on ethnic minority writing, however, illustrate the inherent difficulties of arriving at any simple answers. 2 Because I focus on the English Canadian literary institution, I use the term "mainstream" Canadian literary studies to refer to literary scholars' numerous activities including writing, publishing, editing, reviewing, and teaching within the context of English Departments in Canadian universities. I use the term "ethnic minority" literary studies to refer to similar scholarly activities undertaken in relation to ethnic minority texts within the context of either English Departments or other academic disciplines (for example, Ukrainian Canadian cultural studies programs). 3 In "Canadian Ethnic Minority Literature in English" (1994), Enoch Padolsky surveys a broad range of ethnic minority literatures (by writers, for example, of Czech, Hungarian, Dutch, Arab, West Indian, East Asian, and Ukrainian descent), paying particular attention to the scholarly reception of this writing. He suggests that "[i]n the post-Second World War period, and especially from the late 1970s onwards, the number of Canadian minority writers increased dramatically, along with the range of groups represented" (364). Although he questions the "inroads made by minority texts and writers into the Canadian canon" (375), Padolsky acknowledges that minority writers receive recognition within the literary institution through awards, conferences, anthologies, bibliographic projects, literary histories, journals, teaching, critical books and articles (366-73). As I will discuss at length later in this chapter, however, very little scholarly work exists in relation to the substantial body of Ukrainian Canadian literature in English. 16 Many would argue that Canadian culture—including Canadian literature—is marked by its diversity: "[t]o read Canadian literature attentively," says W.H. New in ,4 History of Canadian Literature (1989), "is to realise how diverse Canadian culture is . . . It is the cultural plurality inside the country that most fundamentally shapes the way Canadians define their political character, draw the dimensions of their literature, and voice their commitment to causes, institutions and individuality" (1-2). Canada's colonial legacies are British and French—Hugh McLennan's "two solitudes" has become a sort of symbolic shorthand for describing Canada's dominant anglophone and francophone cultures (Aponiuk l)4—but Canada has always also comprised a vast array of cultural groups and, from its beginnings until the present day, Canadian literature has been shaped (at least in part) by writers whose backgrounds are neither British nor French.5 Linda Hutcheon and Marion Richmond, in the introduction to their controversial anthology Other Solitudes: Canadian Multicultural Fictions (1990), suggest that "we are all immigrants" to this place (n.p.); that the Canadian literary canon has always been, by definition, multicultural, and that Canadian literary studies have always embraced ethnic minority writing (13).6 Indeed, some of the earliest Canadian writers to achieve 4 As W.H. New points out in Borderlands: How we talk about Canada (1998), Hugh MacLennan borrowed the term "two solitudes" from the German poet Rainer Maria Rilke. "In Rilke, and in MacLennan's epigraph, the phrase in full reads: 'Love consists in this, / that two solitudes protect, / and touch, and greet each other'" (26). In its original context, then, the phrase emphasizes the connection between "two solitudes" while in popular rhetoric the phrase is decontextualized and ironically "functions to reinscribe a self-congratulatory divisiveness" (26). 5 Furthermore, the terms "British" and "French" are themselves reductive, glossing over differences within these groups (for example, Irish, Scottish, and Welsh within the category of British; Breton, Norman, and Provencal within the category of French). 6 Hutcheon and Richmond anticipate Werner Sollors's notion (as articulated in Theories of Ethnicity [1996]) that ethnicity is a trait shared by all people and not simply by minority groups. "We are all immigrants," of course, is a quotation from Margaret Atwood's The Journals of Susanna Moodie (1970). ln Scandalous Bodies: Diasporic Literature in English Canada (2000), Smaro Kamboureli discusses at length the critical reception of Hutcheon and Richmond's anthology (162-74) as well as Hutcheon's response (in "Multicultural Furor: The Reception of Other Solitudes" [1996]) to the debate surrounding their anthology. 17 canonical recognition—Laura Salverson, Frederick Philip Grove, and A . M . Klein, for example—came from ethnic minority backgrounds (Padolsky, "Canadian Ethnic Minority" 373; Kamboureli, Making a Difference 1). And certainly Watson Kirkconnell's substantial work on Canadian literature in languages other than English and French— including his annual review (1937-1965) in the University of Toronto Quarterly— provides evidence that the study of ethnic minority writing is not a recent phenomenon (Siemerling 5; Woodsworth 24). To some extent, then, the argument that Canadian literary studies have always reflected Canada's cultural pluralism is a supportable one. At the same time, a number of literary scholars have advanced rather less positive (though equally salient) arguments about the inclusion of ethnic minority literatures in Canadian literary studies. Following the advent of official multiculturalism in the 1960s —and particularly in the 1990s—scholars have criticized institutionalized multicultural ideology and its effects on the Canadian literary institution. In his introduction to Writing Ethnicity: Cross-cultural Consciousness in Canadian and Quebecois Literature (1996), for example, Winfried Siemerling cautions that "demographics, settlement patterns, political representation, and official policies of multiculturalism do not find their direct equivalences in either literature or literary studies" (4). He argues that, at present, when ethnic minority texts are studied in the context of Canadian literature, they often are read for their ethnic particularities and, as such, their value is perceived as more sociological than literary or aesthetic (7). Similarly, Enoch Padolsky, in "Canadian Ethnic Minority Literature in English" (1994), suggests that while the production and study of ethnic minority has increased in recent years—in part bolstered by multicultural funding (366)—this writing has nonetheless made little impact on mainstream literary 18 studies. Ethnic minority texts, according to Padolsky, are too often published by small, minority-oriented presses; these texts are rarely reviewed, moreover, and studied primarily by minority critics (375). Natalia Aponiuk, too, remarks that "in an ironic commentary on Canada's official policy of multiculturalism, the advent, the implementation, and the funding of multicultural policies have assisted in fixating literature produced in Canada in two distinct categories—that of the 'first and founding nations' and that of the 'other solitudes'" (1). For scholars such as Siemerling, Padolsky, and Aponiuk, multiculturalism—far from encouraging the inclusion of ethnic minority literatures in Canadian literary studies—has contributed to the marginalization of these literatures within the mainstream Canadian literary institution. In fact, these arguments foreground the fundamental concern in all debates about the relation between ethnic minority writing and mainstream Canadian literary studies: to what extent does multiculturalism actually promote ethnic diversity? Here again, in their evaluations of multicultural ideology, scholars are divided. Charles Taylor and Will Kymlicka8 (working, respectively, in the disciplines of philosophy and political science) argue, for instance, that multiculturalism or liberal pluralism is a favourable model for 7 Certainly some minority writers are published by large presses (including, for example, Joy Kogawa, Rohinton Mistry, Wayson Choy, Rudy Wiebe, and Janice Kulyk Keefer). But Padolsky says that "many minority writers are still being published, individually or in anthologies, in group-specific journals or by group-run, small, or regional presses" (375). Indeed, the majority of Ukrainian Canadian writers (among them Andrew Suknaski, Maara Haas, Marusya Bociurkiw, Helen Potrebenko, George Morrissette and Larry Warwaruk) are published by small presses (such as Thistledown, NeWest, Lilith, Lazara, Turnstone, and Coteau). "Further," Padolsky writes, "production conditions on the margins, which is where much minority writing and criticism can be found, tend to entail 'marginal' problems: distribution of texts is often difficult, reviews are fewer and less prominent, libraries are less likely to carry texts, publishing houses are less able to reprint them, teachers less likely to teach them, students to write theses on them, critics less likely to find them, write on them, and be published" (375). In a related discussion of ethnic minority literary studies, Sneja Gunew calls for continued "intervention" in the "public cultural arena": she identifies the need for scholars to publish, edit, and review in "mainstream contexts rather than always in special-interest journals" (Framing Marginality 15). 8 Taylor, Multiculturalism: Examining the Politics of Recognition (1994); and Kymlicka, Multicultural Citizenship: A Liberal Theory of Minority Rights (1995). 19 protecting minority rights. Other writers and intellectuals—most notably Neil Bissoondath—criticize multiculturalism for the way in which, in practice, it encourages the ghettoization of minority groups and, hence, discourages their full participation in the nation state.9 Still other minority critics and theorists, such as Himani Bannerji and Roy Mik i , 1 0 see multiculturalism as an ideology that pays superficial attention to difference: not unlike Bissoondath, they condemn the ways in which the practice of multiculturalism tends toward exoticism and stereotype." But these critics' central argument is that multiculturalism overlooks the inherent material inequalities between cultural groups. Put another way, multiculturalism evokes difference in order to neutralize it (Bannerji 109). In terms of literary studies, the token inclusion of ethnic minority texts in mainstream scholarly work is often cited as one way that multiculturalism, in practice, neutralizes difference. Padolsky suggests, for example, that although some ethnic minority writers have received critical—even canonical—attention in Canadian literary studies [t]he list of established minority writers is relatively short, and an incommensurate percentage of criticism has addressed this short list. Furthermore, much of the criticism of canonized minority writers has treated them in relation to 'mainstream' categories: Grove and Wiebe as Prairie writers, Klein and Layton as modernist poets, Ondaatje and Cohen as post-modern writers. Other minority writers seem to function 9 Bissoondath, Selling Illusions: The Cult of Multiculturalism in Canada (1994). 1 0 Bannerji, "On the Dark Side of the Nation" (1996); and Miki, Broken Entries: Race Subjectivity Writing (1998). " See Maria Ng's "Chop Suey Writing: Sui Sin Far, Wayson Choy, and Judy Fong Bates" (1998) in which Ng critiques literary representations of Chinese Canadians that "maintain a set of stereotypical images . . . grounded in Chinatown" (172). Ng calls for a "wider and more inclusive representation of Chinese Canadians lives" (184), one that acknowledges the complex and heterogeneous experiences of Chinese Canadians. In "The Emergence of'Asian Canadian Literature': Can Lit's Obscene Supplement?" (1999), Guy Beauregard suggests that, in their "fictionalized representations of localized spaces," Chinese Canadian writers such as SKY Lee and Fred Wah engage with cultural stereotypes in order to challenge readers' assumptions about stereotypical Chinese Canadian culture (72). 20 within the canon as 'token' immigrant or 'ethnic' writers (e.g. Laura Salverson, John Marlyn, Adele Wiseman). ("Canadian Ethnic Minority" 376)12 Not unlike Padolsky, Smaro Kamboureli also argues that the token inclusion of ethnic minority texts in mainstream literary studies fails to challenge fundamentally traditional understandings of Canadian literature.13 She cautions, however, not against the tendency to read ethnic minority texts in relation to "mainstream categories" but against the tendency to view ethnic minority writers merely as representatives of their ethnic groups: "[Representing Canada's multiculturalism with a spattering of only one or two authors, making such writers visible only by viewing them as representative of their cultural groups, does virtually nothing to dispel the 'marginality' attributed to those authors" (Making a Difference 3). But if ethnic minority texts should be approached neither "in relation to 'mainstream' categories" nor "as representative of cultural groups," then how should they be approached? Should literary scholars alter their aesthetic sensibilities to accommodate the cultural particularities of ethnic minority texts? Precisely what form should engagements with ethnic minority literature take? The underlying problem for scholars of ethnic minority literature, as articulated by Sneja Gunew in Framing Marginality: Multicultural Literary Studies (1994), "centre[s] upon the paradox of emphasising the difference of that which, eventually, you are seeking to incorporate within the 1 2 Padolsky acknowledges the difficulties of making claims about canonicity: he admits that "there is not much published analysis in this area" but suggests nonetheless that "some generalizations could probably be made (with appropriate reservations)" (376). While he suggests that critics often examine the works of canonized ethnic writers (such as Grove, Wiebe, Klein, Layton, Ondaatje, and Cohen) in relation to mainstream categories, Padolsky could make a reverse argument: that these established ethnic writers initiate discussion of ethnicity within the mainstream literary institution. 1 3 Roy Miki reads the critical reception of Joy Kogawa's Obasan as an instance of "token" inclusion in the Canadian literary canon (136). 21 mainstream" (3). Gunew suggests that various theoretical frameworks— psychoanalytical, feminist, and postcolonial, for example—can be effectively used to draw ethnic minority literatures into mainstream literary debates. Smaro Kamoureli, in Scandalous Bodies: Diasporic Literature in English Canada (2000), similarly asserts that "ethnic literature defies a unified approach" (vii); scholars, rather, must attend to the "cultural, historical, and ideological" specificities of ethnic minority texts (viii). Clearly the elaboration of critical and theoretical approaches to ethnic minority literatures requires that literary scholars undertake more projects focused on the multiple dimensions of ethnic minority texts. Interestingly, however, whereas mainstream scholars of Canadian literature have placed the concept of a Canadian canon under scrutiny—calling attention to regional, gendered, sexual, racial, and ethnic diversity in Canadian literary texts—scholars of ethnic minority literatures such as Joseph Pivato persist in affirming that these literatures are culturally unified and unique, impeding wide-ranging discussions and debates about the nature of ethnic minority writing. In "Representation of Ethnicity as Problem: Essence or Construction" (1996), Pivato argues that one must belong to the ethnic group one studies (some First Nations and feminist critics advance similar arguments about indigenous and women's writing). According to Pivato, "[f]or a person from outside the minority group to presume to speak about the experience of (and for) persons from the marginalized group is not just a political problem but an aesthetic one as well" (51). But as long as ethnic minority literary scholars assume "insider" positions of authority as they implicitly assert their exclusive ability to speak for (or on behalf of) ethnic minority communities and their literatures, ethnic minority literary criticism will remain "outside" the mainstream. The study of 22 ethnic minority literatures may be increasing, but if these literatures are to become part of Canadian literary studies, much work remains to be done with regard to the comprehensive study of specific ethnic minority literatures and the engagement of these literatures in current theoretical debates that include and also—crucially—transcend ethnicity. Project Overview Nurtured by some three generations of Ukrainian Canadian writers, the Ukrainian Canadian literary tradition is an important component of Ukrainian Canadian cultural production; Ukrainian Canadian scholars, moreover, have given serious attention to the study of Ukrainian Canadian culture, particularly since 1970. The problem, however, is that Ukrainian Canadian studies programs rely on particularly limited—usually folkloric or ethnographic—notions of Ukrainian Canadian ethnicity that impede wide-ranging discussions about the multiple dimensions of Ukrainian Canadian texts. This is not to say that folklore and ethnography provide inherently negative frameworks for articulating ethnic identity. Ukrainians in Canada have retained vibrant traditions related to song, dance, visual arts, and food, and these traditions have contributed to the maintenance of cohesive Ukrainian Canadian communities.14 Multiculturalism, moreover, has been instrumental in preserving Ukrainian Canadian folkways. For the Ukrainian Canadian scholarly community, too, multiculturalism has been ostensibly positive: multicultural 1 4 See Natalka Faryna's Ukrainian Canadiana (1976), Zonia Keywan's Greater Than Kings: Ukrainian Pioneer Settlement in Canada (1977), Jars Balan's Salt and Braided Bread: Ukrainian Life in Canada (1984), Manoly Lupul's Continuity and Change: The Cultural Life of Alberta's First Ukrainians (1988), and Ramon Hnatyshyn and Robert Klymasz's Art and Ethnicity: The Ukrainian Tradition in Canada (1991). 23 funding supports, for example, the centres, institutes, presses, and journals that have been established for the study and promotion of Ukrainian and Ukrainian Canadian culture. Yet Ukrainian Canadian writers frequently criticize multicultural ideology and its repercussions for hyphenated Canadians; in their works, they often probe the relationships between ethnic and national identity, ethnic and "racial" identity, ethnic and gendered identity; and, perhaps most importantly, many Ukrainian Canadian writers experiment with narrative style and genre in their attempts to articulate the complex, uneasy realities of their hybrid subjectivities. So when Ukrainian Canadian literary texts are approached only through historical and ethnographic frameworks—when they are uncritically lauded as part of the enduring Ukrainian Canadian cultural legacy—their writers' potential contribution to other debates is left unexplored. My feeling is that the Ukrainian Canadian scholarly community's enduring commitment to the promotion of Ukrainian culture—in segregated Ukrainian Canadian studies programs, and under the rubric of multiculturalism—has paradoxically contributed to the under-representation of Ukrainian Canadian literature in mainstream Canadian literary discussion and debates. But rather than simply critiquing the current state of Ukrainian Canadian literary studies, in the chapters that follow I conduct close readings of select Canadian and Ukrainian Canadian texts. I suggest that existing work on Ukrainian Canadian literature—insofar as it privileges moments of immigration and hence relies (implicitly or explicitly) on notions of ethnic "purity" or cultural "authenticity"—overlooks the inherently heterogeneous nature of ethnic subjectivity. By attending to the complex issues addressed in Ukrainian Canadian writing—and, specifically, in writing by second-and third-generation Ukrainian Canadians—I argue that pure or authentic constructions 24 of ethnicity exist more as imagined ideals than as practical realities. Eclipsed or eroded by dominant discourses of nationhood and nationality, ethnicity in Ukrainian Canadian texts is often experienced and expressed as an absence—something that exists in the past (but not the present), in the ancestral homeland (but not here). Unlike many immigrant ethnic minority writers who are able to retain more concrete ties to their countries of origin, Ukrainian Canadian writers must recreate or re-imagine those ties. Divided into five chapters, my project follows a rough chronology of Ukrainian Canadian literary production (in English) during the twentieth century. In the present, introductory, chapter of the thesis, I provide a general overview of Ukrainian Canadian history, paying particular attention to the development of Ukrainian- and English-language literature, as well as the establishment of Ukrainian Canadian studies programs. Chapters Two, Three, and Four are structured around periods of time dominated by particular cultural and political discourses; in each of these chapters, I preface my readings of select Ukrainian Canadian texts (prose, poetry, drama, and non-fiction) with a brief overview of the social, cultural, and political realities of specific historical moments. My assumption is that Ukrainian Canadian works must be read for the ways in which their authors respond to (reject, resist, affirm, challenge) shifting public discourses of ethnicity and nationality. In Chapter Two (1900 to 1970), I examine the assimilationist rhetoric articulated by such non-Ukrainian Canadian writers as Ralph Connor (in The Foreigner: A Tale of Saskatchewan, 1909), Sinclair Ross (in As For Me and My House, 1941), and Margaret Laurence (in A Jest of God, 1966). I read Vera Lysenko's Yellow Boots (1954), the first English-language novel by a Ukrainian Canadian, as a text that reinforces discourses of assimilation even as it appears to 25 anticipate—and indeed embrace—multicultural models of nationhood and nationality. In Chapter Three (.1970 to 1984), I focus on Maara Haas's novel The Street Where I Live (1976), George Ryga's play A Letter to My Son (1981), and Andrew Suknaski's poetry (published in Wood Mountain Poems, 1976; the ghosts call you poor, 1978; and In the Name of Narid, 1981), and I explore these writers' ambivalent responses to the policies of practices of multiculturalism. In Chapter Four (1985-2000), as I turn my attention to Janice Kulyk Keefer's novel The Green Library (1996) and her family history Honey and Ashes: A Story of Family (1998), as well as two works of non-fiction by Myrna Kostash {Bloodlines: A Journey Into Eastern Europe, 1993; and The Doomed Bridegroom: A Memoir, 1998), I identify a shift from multicultural to transnational or transcultural discourses of individual- and group-identity formation. My discussions of Kulyk Keefer's and Kostash's writing about their travels "back" to Ukraine centre on these writers' attempts to (re)define their sense of self, community, history, and home by "returning" to their ethnic homeland. The conclusion at which I arrive over the course of this project is that if Ukrainian Canadians are to maintain meaningful ties to their ethnic heritage, they must constantly— if paradoxically—re-invent themselves as Ukrainians and as Canadians. In Chapter Five, as I examine this paradox, I draw parallels between Lysenko and Kulyk Keefer, both of whom rely on conventional narrative techniques in their writing and privilege nation-based models of identity that marginalize the experiences of ethnic minorities. Haas, Ryga, Suknaski, and Kostash, by contrast, experiment with multiple languages and genres: shaped, thematically and formally, by their experiences as hybrid subjects, their texts illustrate that ethnicity is less product than process; less fixed than fluid; constantly 26 under construction and open to negotiation. The next generation of Ukrainian Canadians—to whom I turn my attention in the conclusion of the thesis—must continue to (re)invent themselves through new languages and forms in order not simply to preserve and pass on but to actively re-imagine their ethnic identities. Ukrainians in Canada Ukrainians represent one of the largest ethnic minorities in Canada, and their history is characterized by strong traditions of social organization, political activism, and cultural production. As numerous historians and demographers point out, Ukrainians immigrated to Canada in three distinct waves: from the 1870s until 1914, approximately 170,000 Ukrainians settled in Canada; in the late 1920s, some 68,000 Ukrainians immigrated; and, between 1947 and 1950, a further 32,000 arrived.15 As a result, Ukrainians became (and remain) one of the largest ethnic communities in Canada—a point frequently underscored by Ukrainian Canadian scholars.16 Scholars, too, in numerous (and sometimes romanticized) descriptions of Ukrainian immigration and 1 31 cite figures provided by Frances Swyripa in "From Sheepskin Coat to Blue Jeans: A Brief History of Ukrainians in Canada" (1991), but exact immigration figures, in fact, are difficult to determine (particularly in the early years) because, upon arriving in Canada, many ethnically Ukrainian immigrants were identified according to the state from which they came (i.e. Austria, Hungary, Russia, Poland). As Orest Subtley suggests, in Ukrainians in North America (1991), "if one glanced at a map of Europe in 1900, there was no country called 'Ukraine' to be found. Indeed, for many centuries there had been no Ukrainian state, no time when the Ukrainians had ruled themselves . . . Under the circumstances, at the turn of the century Ukrainians had difficulty defining their national identity" (3). Some Ukrainians identified themselves as "Galician" or "Bukovynian" (according to the provinces from which they came) and others used the term "Ruthenian," the "old historic" name for Ukrainians (Marunchak 64). Immigration figures for the first wave of immigration vary from 100,000 (Gerus and Rea 7; Yuzyk 12) to 200,000 (Marunchak 64; Woycenko 15); for the second wave, from 45,000 (Yuzuk 12) to 70,000 (Marunchak 373); and, for the third wave, from 31,000 (Balan, Salt and Braided Bread 12) to 40,000 (Marunchak 571). 1 6 According to Swyripa, by 1941, Ukrainian Canadians were the fourth largest ethnic group in Canada (behind British-, French-, and German-Canadians); by 1981, they had fallen to fifth place (supplanted by Italian-Canadians) (Swyripa, "From Sheepskin Coat" 18). In Creating a Landscape: A Geography of Ukrainians in Canada (1989), Lubomyr Luciuk and Bohdan Kordan suggest that in 1989 Ukrainians (with a population of 529,615) still ranked fifth in size of all ethnic groups in Canada. Over time, however, ethnicity becomes increasingly complex and difficult to track with accuracy (given multiple "mixed" ethnic 27 settlement, emphasize the unity and cohesion of Ukrainians in Canada. But from the outset of immigration, the homogeneity of the Ukrainian community in Canada has been less real than constructed or imagined. Ukrainian Canadians have long been divided along religious and political lines, not only between but also within immigrant waves. Immigrants carried with them existing "Old Country" tensions between members of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church and the Ukrainian Greek-Orthodox Church, and between adherents of pro-Soviet and pro-nationalist ideologies. Mennonite and Jewish Ukrainians, though rarely mentioned in accounts of Ukrainian Canadian history, also immigrated to Canada. Descendants of Ukrainian immigrants differ, moreover, in terms of their ethnic and national allegiances: whereas some maintain strong ties with their Ukrainian heritage (in some cases constructed ties through the practice of culture, in other cases actual social, political, and economic ties with Ukraine), others identify themselves only nominally as "Ukrainian Canadian," and still others see themselves as simply "Canadian." The first wave of immigration (1870s-1914) comprised largely uneducated, impoverished peasant farmers from the (then Austro-Hungarian) western provinces of Galicia, Bukovyna, and Transcarpathia: they were members of a "subjugated" (Swyripa, origins). Statistics from the 1996 census regarding Ukrainian Canadian ethnicity, for example, are difficult to interpret because they include "single" and "multiple" responses. Statistics Canada states that in 1996 the population of Ukrainian Canadians was 1,026,475 (making Ukrainian Canadians the ninth largest ethnic group in Canadian). But a significant number of these Ukrainian Canadians (694,790) reported multiple (unspecified) ethnic ancestries as well ( 1 7 Lubomyr Luciuk and Bohdan Kordan, for example, write that, upon arrival in Canada, Ukrainians "no longer remained locked into the parochialism of village or regional loyalties and politics but became increasingly conscious of a national Ukrainian identity . . . Ukrainians, living in bloc settlements of the Prairies or in inner city ghettos like North End Winnipeg, came to think of themselves as a group, bound together by religious, cultural, socio-economic, and political ties" (np). See also Paul Yuzyk's Ukrainian Canadians: Their Place and Role in Canadian Life (1967), Ol'ha Woycenko's The Ukrainians in Canada (1968), and Michael Marunchak's The Ukrainian Canadians: A History (1982). 28 "From Sheepskin Coat" 12) nation who sought a fresh start overseas. According to Jars Balan: [statistics paint a grim picture of what life was like for peasants in the Austro-Ffungarian empire in the latter half of the nineteenth century. And they show that while suffering was widespread throughout the lower classes, the most victimized group of all were the Ukrainians. They had not only the lowest standard of living (the per-capita income in Galicia was one-tenth that in the rest of Austria), but the highest mortality rate in the empire (hovering between forty and forty-eight deaths per thousand in the Ukrainian part of Galicia, compared to twenty-eight per thousand in the Polish part). In addition, Ukrainians had smaller landholdings and larger debts; were more afflicted with disease; and had less access to medical care than their peasant counterparts in other provinces. (Salt and Braided Bread 4) Having heard stories about cheap, abundant land in Canada—"a quarter section of 160 acres for a $10.00 fee" (Gerus and Rea 7)—many Ukrainians were enticed to immigrate20 and the vast majority formed rural bloc settlements in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta. During the early years of settlement, it was not uncommon for immigrant women to clear and cultivate land while immigrant men left their homesteads to obtain ready cash through mining, lumber, or railway work (Marunchak 88-9). In historical scholarship, much is made about the early Ukrainian pioneers' love of the land and their unshakeable faith in the new life that it promised them. Accounts of early homesteading experiences are rife with descriptions of the immigrants' physical and spiritual endurance 1 8 According to Balan, most Ukrainian Jews and Mennonites claimed—and continue to claim—Russian roots (16-7). See Gerald Tulchinsky's Taking Root: The Origins of the Canadian Jewish Community (1992) and Frank H. Epp''s Mennonites in Canada, 1786-1920: The History of a Separate People (197'4). 1 9 Ukrainians also immigrated to the United States and to South America (especially Brazil). See Orest Subtelny's Ukrainians in North America (1991). 2 0 Wasyl Eleniak and Ivan Pillipiw are generally acknowledged as the first Ukrainians who immigrated to Canada (1891) and their "news" apparently spread quickly, causing a "sensation at home" (Gerus and Rea 5). Dr. Joseph Oleskiw also visited Canada in 1895 and wrote a pamphlet ("About Free Lands") that circulated widely among Ukrainians—Marunchak calls him "their Moses of a sort, leading them to a promised land" (29). Clifford Sifton's immigration policy is also frequently cited as crucial to encouraging Ukrainian migration to Canada (Woycenko 11; Gerus and Rea 7; Marunchak 71). 2 1 According to Marunchak, 94% of Ukrainian immigrants settled in the western prairie provinces (67). 29 in the face of hardship. Ukrainian settlers rapidly adjusted to their new surroundings: they not only built homes but also schools, churches, and reading societies (chytalny).22 A number of Ukrainian-language newspapers were soon established in Canada (all in Winnipeg) by the relatively small number of educated individuals who immigrated in the first wave.23 Unlike immigrants of the first wave, immigrants of the second wave (1919-1939) comprised two "categories" of people: "war-impoverished peasants" and members of the "persecuted nationalistic intelligentsia" (Gerus and Rea 12). Most came from eastern Galicia (which had fallen under Polish rule following the First World War) and were fleeing the economically and politically oppressive Polish state.24 Historians suggest that immigrants of the second wave were, on the whole, more educated and nationally conscious than those of the first wave, and, while the majority settled in the prairie provinces, a significant number of "interwar" immigrants remained in southern Ontario (Gerus and Rea 13). These new immigrants threw their support behind existing (usually Chytalny grew out of the Prosvita movement, established in Ukraine in 1868. Prosvita, according to Marunchak, "organized reading societies, co-operatives and credit unions" (161), and chytalny gave "even illiterate farmers access to a broad range of literature—technical, political, and creative—through the books, newspapers, and pamphlets that were read aloud for their benefit" (Balan, Salt and Braided Bread 7). 2 3 Some of the most prominent newspapers of this period (all published in Winnipeg) included Kanadiiskyi Farmer/Canadian Farmer (1903), founded by the Liberal party, and Robochyi Narod/Working People (1909), which provided a voice for the Ukrainian Social Democratic Party. Ranok/Dawn (1905) served proselytizing purposes on behalf of the Presbyterian Church; Ukrainskyi Holos/Ukrainian Voice (1910) was a pro-nationalist newspaper that also advocated for an independent Ukrainian Orthodox Church; and Kanadiiskyi Rusyn/Canadian Ruthenian (1911) reflected the views of the Ukrainian Catholic Church (Gerus and Rea 10). A large number of other newspapers "appeared and collapsed with startling rapidity" (Gerus and Rea 10): Marunchak discusses these at length (238-96). 2 4 In the early 1920s, the Polish government confiscated large Galician estates from wealthy individuals and the Orthodox Church. Although 91% of the region's population consisted of Ukrainian peasants "engaged in subsistence farming," 300,000 Polish farmers were brought into the region and the confiscated land was then redistributed among them. The Polish authorities simultaneously embarked on a "relentless programme of enforced assimilation," closing down Ukrainian schools and arresting hundreds of Ukrainian students, soldiers, and political activists. In 1930, Marshal Pilsudski's military government formally initiated the "pacification" of western Ukraine which resulted in widespread atrocities toward Ukrainians (Balan, Salt and Braided Bread 8-10). 30 pro-nationalist) Ukrainian political organizations, such as the Ukrainian Self Reliance League (1918), and they also established Canadian branches of associations founded in Ukraine, such as the "rather curious conservative-monarchist" United Hetman Organization (1918) (Gerus and Rea 14). Partly in response to the pro-communist Ukrainian Labour-Farmer Temple Association (1918), the Ukrainian National Federation (1932) was formed—strongly supported by militant nationalist immigrants of the second wave (Gerus and Rea 15). At the same time, a number of new church-related organizations were formed (most notably the Ukrainian Catholic Brotherhood [1932]), adding to the long list of existing organizations supported by the Ukrainian-Catholic and Ukrainian-Orthodox Churches.25 In 1940, the Ukrainian Canadian Committee was formed, a "national committee, which spoke for all but the Communists who rejected it and were rejected by it," and which has since played "an indispensable role in the encouragement and preservation of Ukrainian cultural life" (Gerus and Rea 15). During and after the Second World War, Ukrainians continued to publish numerous newspapers and became increasingly involved in Canadian politics (i.e. as elected representatives in provincial and federal governments). Immigrants of the third and final wave (1947-1952) were primarily political Again, see Marunchak for a detailed discussion of these and other groups (393-423). In Creating a Landscape: A Geography of Ukrainians in Canada (1991), Luciuk and Kordan provide a rather more concise overview of important Ukrainian Canadian political and religious organizations (17). 2 6 Marunchak (434-40) discusses Ukrainian Canadians' involvement in provincial and federal governments during this period. He also discusses the emergence of new newspapers (Canadian Sitch, Truth and Liberty, Veterans News, and The Truth, for example, all published in Winnipeg) as well as the continuity of existing newspapers (especially Ukrainian Voice and Canadian Ukrainian) (470-98). 2 7 For a detailed look at the third wave of immigration, see Lubomyr Luciuk's Searching for Place: Ukrainian Displaced Persons, Canada, and the Migration of Memory (2000). Ukrainians continued (and continue) to immigrate to Canada, though in much smaller numbers. As Swyripa points out, restrictions placed on emigration by the former Soviet Union resulted in a "trickle of newcomers." She suggests that, by 1991, Ukrainian Canadians were "overwhelmingly Canadian born" ("From Sheepskin Coat" 18). 31 dissidents and intellectuals, refugees from all parts of Ukraine seeking asylum from Stalin's oppressive communist regime; "forcibly removed to western Europe as Nazi slave labor, they refused repatriation to the Soviet Union . . . at the war's end" (Swyripa, "From Sheepskin Coat" 17). These highly educated, politically active immigrants (referred to in derogatory terms as "DPs" or "Displaced Persons") settled almost exclusively in large southern Ontario and Quebec urban centres; most of them came from urban backgrounds in Ukraine and were therefore drawn to the "booming factories and business opportunities in the major cities of central Canada" (Balan, Salt and Braided Bread 12). Marunchak describes third-wave immigrants as "teachers, doctors, economists, engineers, lawyers, university lecturers . . . poets, writers, painters and journalists" (571). Although several Ukrainian organizations in Canada, including the Ukrainian Canadian Committee, provided assistance to the new immigrants, "acute tensions" quickly developed between the emigre community and the "established and overwhelmingly Canadian-born Ukrainian community" (Gerus and Rea 18). According to O.W. Gerus and J.E. Rea, the "reluctance and often outright refusal of the newcomers to join existing organizations, their nationalistic arrogance and elitism and their determination to convert the established organized life to their own political purpose (the liberation of Ukraine) was one source of difficulty" (18). Canadian-born Ukrainians, on the other hand, "considered themselves responsible for the good fortune of the newcomers" and "resented the seeming lack of gratitude on the part of the former DPs for the work of the pioneers in facilitating the resettlement of the refugees and for winning acceptance of the Ukrainian fact in Canada in the first place" (Gerus and Rea 18). Conflicts between new Ukrainian immigrants and Ukrainian Canadians are frequently— 32 but briefly—touched upon by historians. More often than not, in their discussions of Ukrainians in post-Second World War Canada, scholars choose to focus on the cohesive nature of the Ukrainian Canadian community, emphasizing the collective achievements of Ukrainian Canadians in professional and cultural spheres.28 Ukrainian Canadian Literature Beginning with the arrival of the first immigrants in Canada, Ukrainians developed and nurtured strong traditions of artistic expression—music, dance, folk and visual arts; and, not surprisingly, given Ukrainians' commitment to preserving and recording their way of life, literary arts have long occupied a central position in Ukrainian Canadian cultural production. In scholars' work on the history of Ukrainians in Canada, special attention is often given to the emergence of Ukrainian Canadian belles lettres—literature, that is, written in Ukrainian by Canadians of Ukrainian descent. Just as Ukrainian Canadian history is organized around the three waves of immigration, so too is Ukrainian Canadian literature discussed in terms of three distinct periods: "Pioneer," "Interwar," and "Refugee" (Balan, Yarmarokxvii). According to Balan, the "literature produced by each of these immigrations experienced a period of vigorous growth followed by gradual decline, with at least some authors finding a place for themselves in the history of Ukrainian Canadian letters" (Yarmarok xvii). The notion, however, that Ukrainian writing in Canada "encompasses three distinct phases of creativity"—that this writing is "almost exclusively immigrant" in character, having been produced by "natives 2 8 See Paul Yuzyk's Ukrainian Canadians: Their Place and Role in Canadian Life (1967), Ol'ha Woycenko's The Ukrainians in Canada (1968), Michael Marunchak's Ukrainian Canadians: A History (1982), and Ramon Hnatyshyn and Robert Klymasz's Art and Ethnicity: The Ukrainian Tradition in Canada (1991). Marunchak's text includes numerous photographs of prominent Ukrainian Canadians. 33 of Ukraine, some emigrating as youths, others as adults" (Balan, Yarmarok xvii)— implicitly excludes the significant body of literature witten in English by descendants of Ukrainian immigrants. In fact, Ukrainian Canadian literature includes a broad range of writing in Ukrainian and in English, in various genres, by emigre writers and by second-and third-generation Ukrainian Canadians. The first literary works by Ukrainian Canadian writers (so-called "Pioneer" writers) were written in Ukrainian and appeared in North American Ukrainian newspapers: as early as 1898, in the American newspaper Svoboda (established in 1893, and published in Jersey City, New Jersey, with circulation in Canada as well as the United States), Canadian Ukrainians began to publish poetry. In their work, such poets as M . Gowda, Ivan Drohomeretsky, Dmytro Rarahowsky, Pawlo Krat, and Wasyl Holowatsky addressed "social problems, social injustices, and injustices done to the average human being" (Marunchak 300).29 The first published books of poetry, such as Theodore Fedyk's (1873-1941) anthology of poems Songs of Canada and Austria (1908) and Rarahowsky's collection Songs of the Laborers (1908), explored the hardships of immigrants and the pioneers' longing for their homeland. Other prominent poets of this early period include Sawa Chernetsky-Chaly (1873-1934), Wasyl Kudryk (1880-1963), and Semen Kowbel (1877-1965), all of whom published their work in Svoboda and Canadian Farmer. The first writers of prose were Reverend Nestor Dmytriw (nd), whose satiric short stories portrayed the tensions between Ukrainian and non-Ukrainian cultures, and Apolinariy Novak (1888-1961), whose stories thematized the exploitation of Ukrainian immigrant labourers. Many of the early prose writers, such as Zhymont Dates are not available for all of these writers, though Marunchak provides the following: Dmytro Rarahowsky (1878-1957) and Pawlo Krat (1882-1952) (299). 34 Bychynsky (1880-1947), Onufrey Hykawy (1886-1945), and Myroslav Stechishin (1883-1947), also wrote poetry, worked as editors of Ukrainian newspapers, and translated English literature into Ukrainian. Although most of these writers were men, some Ukrainian women—Mary Adamowska (1890-1963), Anna Pruska (1895-1947), and Catherine Novosad (1900-1975), for example—published during the "Pioneer" period. Other prominent writers of the time include John Pawchuk (1884-1966), John Novosad (1886-1956), Michael Kumka (1893-1967), Dmytro Hunkewyck (1893-1958), Dmytro Solanych (1876-1941), Panteleymon Bozyk (1978-1944), Peter Chaykowsky (1888-1938), Wasyl Chumer (1882-1963), and Illia Kiriak (18 8 8-195 5).30 Kiriak's three-volume, epic novel Sons of the Soil (1939-45; translated 1959) is widely recognized as the first Canadian novel written in Ukrainian. Between the two World Wars, Ukrainian literature in Canada developed in new directions as the Ukrainian Canadian literary landscape became more complex: not only did a number of new writers arrive in Canada, but existing writers, according to Michael Marunchak, "implant[ed] themselves deeper and deeper in the Canadian soil" (499). Marunchak provides a long list of writers—including Volodymyr Kupchenko (1897-1966), Alexander Lukowy (1904-1962), Hryhory Mazuryk (1898-1963), and Mykyta Mandryka (1886-1979)—who immigrated to Canada between the wars and whose Ukrainian-language literary works and political tracts reflected their aspirations for an independent Ukrainian state (530-533). Additionally, in the 1920s, a number of Marxist-oriented writers arrived in Canada and began working as a group called "The Overseas 3 0 For a more detailed discussion of the "Literature of the Pioneers," see Marunchak (297-311) and M.I. Mandryka's History of Ukrainian Literature in Canada (1968) (29-62). 35 Hart," led by Myroslav Irchan (1896-1937) and John Kulyk (1896-1941) (Marunchak 533-4). At the same time, many Ukrainian writers, some Canadian-born, began experimenting with English as well as writing in Ukrainian. Although still publishing (almost exclusively) in Ukrainian newspapers, such writers as Onufriy Iwach (1900-1964), Stephan Doroschuk (1894-1945), John Danylchuk (1900-1942), Joseph Wizniuk (1900-1975), and Hryhoriy Skehar (1891-1957) increasingly identified themselves as Ukrainian Canadians and articulated in their works the unique perspectives of hyphenated citizens.32 In the decades following 1945, with the arrival of a relatively large number of Ukrainian dissident writers, the emergence of numerous second- and third-generation Ukrainian Canadian writers, and—crucially—the burgeoning of both Canadian and Ukrainian Canadian publishing houses, Ukrainian Canadian literature continued to flourish. Although the "once-vibrant Ukrainian literature of the pioneer and interwar eras" had begun to wane as "the children and grandchildren of the first two immigrations overwhelmingly wrote in English," the "third-wave immigrants became the bearers of the tradition of Ukrainian-language writing in Canada" (Yarmarok xv). And, from the substantial body of writing produced by emigre writers in the decade after the Second World War, it would appear that Ukrainian-language writing in Canada enjoyed one last creative period. In their poetry and prose, emigre writers of the third wave, such as 3 1 In her bibliography to Men in Sheepskin Coats: A Study in Assimilation (1947), Vera Lysenko lists the dates of publication for Sons of the Soil as 1928-1943. Mandryka, however, says that "only in 1939 was [Kiriak] able to publish the first volume; the last one in 1945" (73). 3 2 Again, see Marunchak (499-536) and Mandryka (63-147). 3 3 Woycenko, in The Ukrainians in Canada (1968), lists the following (then) active publishers of Ukrainian Canadiana, all based in Winnipeg: National Publishers Limited (associated with Canadian Farmer), New Pathway Publishers, Trident Press (associated with Ukrainian Voice), the Ukrainian Book Club, the Ukrainian Cultural and Educational Centre, Nasha Kultura, and the Ukrainian National Home (140). 36 Volodymyr Skorupsky (1912-1985), Ulas Samchuk (1905-?), Ivan Bodnarchuk (1914-?), Svitlana Kuzmenko (1928-?), Borys Oleksandriv (1921-1979), and Yar Slavutych (1918-?), thematized "the longing for one's native land and the unfulfilled yearning to return" as well as the experiences of immigrants in Canada (Balan, Yarmarok xvi). 3 4 As Jars Balan suggests, however, almost all Ukrainian-language authors in Canada have been immigrants from Ukraine: for the "progeny of Ukrainian immigrants, English has become not only the lingua franca but virtually the mother tongue, which is hardly surprising considering the intense and constant assimilatory pressures exerted on linguistic minorities in Canada" (Balan, Yarmarok xviii). By the 1970s, without "continued immigration from Europe"—without new authors and audiences whose mother tongue is Ukrainian—the Ukrainian-language literary legacy virtually came to an end. "It is, of course," says Balan, "still possible that a Canadian-born author may yet make a contribution to the legacy of literature produced in Ukrainian . . . but so far, Ukrainian writing has had a difficult time rooting itself in Canadian soil" (Yarmarok xvii-xviii). Indeed, since 1970, roughly, the Ukrainian Canadian literary tradition has been sustained primarily by writing in English by Canadians of Ukrainian descent. With the publication of Vera Lysenko's Men in Sheepskin Coats: A Study in Assimilation in 1947, a new wave of writing—English-language literature by second- and third-generation Ukrainian Canadians—began to emerge. Lysenko, in fact, went on write two novels, Yellow Boots (1954) and Westerly Wild (1956). That all three of her works were written in English and were published not by a Ukrainian Canadian press but . See Marunchak (664-670) and Mandryka (148-236). Yarmarok: Ukrainian Writing in Canada Since the Second World War (1987) includes selected works by emigre writers of the third wave as well as more detailed biographical information about these writers. 37 by a mainstream Canadian press (Ryerson) illustrates the movement of some Ukrainian Canadian writers from ethnic enclaves to more broadly "Canadian" contexts.35 Lysenko's exploration, moreover, of Ukrainian immigrants' and their descendants' assimilation to multicultural Canadian society anticipated both the official implementation of multicultural policy and subsequent writers' interest in the effects of multiculturalism on Ukrainian Canadian communities. In the multicultural milieu of the 1970s and 1980s a substantial body of Ukrainian Canadian literature began to develop, much (though not all) of it focused on ethnic experience, including tensions between ethnic and national identity.36 A number of prose writers, such as Gloria Kupchenko Frolick (The Green Tomato Years, 1985; The Chicken Man, \9%9; Anna Veryna, 1992), Yuri Kupchenko (The Horseman ofShandro Crossing, 1989), and Larry Warwaruk (The Ukrainian Wedding, 1998) depicted the rural pioneer experiences of early Ukrainian settlers in primarily realist works of fiction. Other fiction writers—Maara Haas (The Street Where I Live, 1976) and Ludmilla Bereshko (The Parcel From Chicken Street and Other Stories, 1989), for example—explored the experiences of immigrants in urban settings. In many of these works, as well as in some plays by Ted Galay (After Baba's Funeral, 1981) and George Ryga (A Letter to My Son, 3 5 This statement needs to be qualified. Nearly all Ukrainian-language texts published prior to 1947 were published by Ukrainian Canadian presses such as National Publishers Limited, New Pathway Publishers, Trident Press, the Ukrainian Book Club, the Ukrainian Cultural and Educational Centre, Nasha Kultura, and the Ukrainian National Home. Lysenko's involvement, then, with a non-Ukrainian Canadian press is significant. But, while all of the English-language works that I go on to discuss were also published by non-Ukrainian Canadian publishers, the vast majority of works were published by small presses catering to specific audiences (prairie publishing houses such as Coteau, Thistledown, Tree Frog, NeWest, and Turnstone; feminist presses such as Press Gang and Lazara). 3 6 Many Ukrainian Canadian texts published during the 1980s received direct financial assistance from Multiculturalism Canada, or the Office of Multiculturalism, Secretary of State, or Alberta Culture and Multiculturalism—for example, Andrew Suknaski's In the Name of Narid(1981), Jars Balan and Yuri Klynovy's Yarmarok: Ukrainian Writing in Canada Since the Second World War (1987), Ludmilla Bereshko's The Parcel From Chicken Street and Other Stories (1989), Gloria Kupchenko Frolick's The Chicken Man (1989), and Yuri Kupchenko's The Horseman ofShandro Crossing (1989). 38 1981), conflicts between Ukrainian pioneers and their "Canadianized" children are thematized. Andrew Suknaski, one of the most prolific Ukrainian Canadian poets, published a prodigious number of poetry pamphlets and collections (including Circles, 1970; This Shadow of Eden Once, 1970; In Mind Ov Xrossroads Ov Mythologies, 1971; Leaving, 1974; Leaving Wood Mountain, 1975; Blind Man's House, 1975; Octomi, 1976; Wood Mountain Poems, 1976; Ghost Gun, 1978; The Ghosts Call You Poor, 1978; East of Myloona, 1979; In the Name ofNarid, 1981; and The Land They Gave Away: New and Selected Poems, 1982). For Suknaski, the similarities between Ukrainian and First Nations experience have been a primary concern. George Morrissette (Finding Mom at Eaton's, 1981, Prairie Howl, 1977) and Brian Dedora (White Light, 1987) have used poetry to address aspects of their mixed ethnic backgrounds (Ukrainian and First Nations in Morrissette's case, Ukrainian and Celtic in Dedora's). Beginning in the late 1970s, though, some of the most formally and thematically provocative Ukrainian Canadian literature was written by women writers of Ukrainian descent. In novels, short fiction, and poetry by Helen Potrebenko (No Streets of Gold: A Social History of Ukrainians in Alberta, 1977; A Flight of Average Persons: Stories and Other Writings, 1979; Walking Slow, 1985; Taxi!, 1986; Life, Love and Unions, 1987; Hey Waitress and Other Stories, 1989; Riding Home, 1995) and Marusya Bociurkiw (The Woman Who Loved Airports, 1994; Halfway to the East, 1999), the act of writing becomes an overtly political act as these writers explicitly criticize patriarchal and heterosexist social structures, as well as capitalist economic structures. Works of non-fiction, or creative non-fiction, by such writers as Myrna Kostash (All of Baba's Children, 1977; Bloodlines: A Journey Into Eastern Europe, 1993; The Doomed 39 Bridegroom: A Memoir, 1998), and Janice Kulyk Keefer (Honey and Ashes: A Story of Family, 1998) challenge traditional literary genres as well as folkloric expressions of Ukrainian Canadian ethnicity: their accounts of traveling "back" to Ukraine revisit familiar themes of history, home, and identity from new perspectives. Ukrainian Canadian Studies That Ukrainian Canadian literature in English developed alongside discourses of multiculturalism is no coincidence: nor is it coincidental that Ukrainian Canadian cultural studies programs (and scholarship related to Ukrainian Canadian history, culture, and politics) emerged with the introduction and institutionalization of multiculturalism. Although Professor Kost Andrusyshen established the "Chair of Ukrainian Language Studies" at the University of Saskatchewan in 1945 (Marunchak 732), and although some scholarly texts related to Ukrainians in Canada were published prior to the 1960s— Charles Young's The Ukrainian Canadians: A Study in Assimilation (1931), for example, William Paluk's Canadian Cossacks: Essays, Articles and Stories on Ukrainian Canadian Life (1943), Vera Lysenko's Men in Sheepskin Coats: A Study in Assimilation (1947), and Paul Yuzyk's The Ukrainians in Manitoba: A Social History (1953)—no concentrated unfolding of Ukrainian Canadian scholarship occurred until discussions about multiculturalism began to take place. Not surprisingly (given their history of political activism), Ukrainian Canadians—and, in particular, Ukrainian Canadian scholars—played an active, if not central, role in lobbying for the institutionalization of multiculturalism. In the decades before the Canadian Multiculturalism Act was formally passed (1988), the Ukrainian Canadian scholarly 40 community responded to growing public interest in the notion of a multicultural nation by mobilizing its resources and establishing the foundations for a complex network of Ukrainian Canadian cultural studies. In 1963, when Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson launched the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism, Ukrainian Canadians, many of whom had experienced political oppression in the Old Country, balked at institutionalized anglophone and francophone cultural hegemony: "[a]mong the briefs submitted to the B&B Commission by various ethnocultural organizations, the largest share came from the Ukrainian Canadian community" (Bociurkiw 105).37 According to Bohdan Bociurkiw, Ukrainian Canadians undoubtedly played the leading role in the development and dis-semination of the ideas and policy demands that eventually crystal-lized into the policy of multiculturalism. This role was rooted un-doubtedly in their historical aversion to assimilation, as well as in political causes underlying much of Ukrainian emigration from the Old Country, a strong sense of collective responsibility for the preservation of the group's ethnocultural values in Canada while these values were being suppressed by the alien rulers of Ukraine, the lasting commitment of Ukrainian churches to the preservation of the national cultural-linguistic heritage, the group's highly developed capacity for grass-roots organization, and the nature of Ukrainian settlement in the Prairie provinces. (100-1) 3 1 See The Cultural Contribution of the Other Ethnic Groups (1967), the fourth volume of the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism (edited by A. Davidson Dunton and Andre Laurendeau). Because it gives equal attention to multiple ethnic groups, this volume of the report does not reflect the overwhelming interest of Ukrainian Canadians in opposing bilingualism and biculturalism. See, too, The Muses, the Masses and the Massey Commission (1992), Paul Litt's study of the 1949 Royal Commission on National Development in the Arts, Letters and Sciences. The Massey Commission, as it became known, was "specifically directed only to investigate broadcasting, federal cultural institutions, government relations with voluntary cultural associations, and federal university scholarships" but it "parlayed these instructions into a crusade for Canadian cultural nationalism" (3). Lift writes that ethnic groups (including Ukrainians) "were demanding recognition"; however, the "cultural lobby as a whole was too concerned about the survival of its own cultural tradition to get worked up about the plights of other minorities. Biculturalism was an accepted fact based on a historic and necessary accommodation, but there seemed to be no reason why new immigrant groups should not assimilate" (113). 41 Between 1963 and 1971, groups such as the Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC), the Association of United Ukrainian Canadians (AUUC), the Ukrainian Canadian University Students' Union (SUSK), and the Ukrainian Professional and Business Federation, as well as prominent individuals and representatives from the Ukrainian Canadian press, voiced their staunch disapproval of a bipartite model of nationhood. At public forums and conferences, in newspaper articles and scholarly papers,38 Ukrainian Canadians reiterated the argument that bilingualism and biculturalism would "[condemn] . . . other ethnic groups to an inferior, 'non-founding' status and their cultures to eventual submersion in one of two 'official cultures'" (Bociurkiw 105). As an alternative to the proposed "B&B" framework, Ukrainian Canadians called for the federal government to "support the efforts of all ethnocultural groups to maintain and develop their cultural-linguistic heritage"; they suggested that a federal ministry of culture be established to "recognize and give unlimited support to all the cultures of the Canadian multicultural society" (Bociurkiw 105). Interestingly, when Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau eventually announced his new policy of multiculturalism within a bilingual framework, in October, 1971, he did so at a meeting of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress (Hryniuk and Luciuk 3). Discussions among Ukrainian Canadians about multiculturalism, however, did not wane following Trudeau's announcement: now the work of consolidating multicultural policy—and Ukrainian Canadians' status within a multicultural state—began. Between 1971 and 1988, Ukrainian Canadian scholars convened on numerous occasions to For a fuller discussion of Ukrainian Canadians' participation in debates about multiculturalism, see Bohdan Bociukiw's "The Federal Policy of Multiculturalism and the Ukrainian Canadian Community" (1978). See also Marunchak (725-31). 42 formulate strategies for preserving and promoting the Ukrainian way of life in Canada. The All-Canadian Conference on Ukrainian Studies Courses, for example, held in Winnipeg in 1974, brought together university professors from across the country (and across disciplines) to discuss the development and coordination of Ukrainian studies in Canadian universities (Marunchak 732). In 1977, at the University of Alberta, Ukrainian Canadian historians and political scientists gathered for a conference on Ukrainian Canadians, Multiculturalism, and Separatism where they evaluated the current political situation of Ukrainians vis-a-vis Quebec. Identifications: Ethnicity and the Writer in Canada (a conference held at the University of Alberta in 1979) brought debates about multiculturalism into the literary arena, giving both writers and literary scholars the opportunity to discuss the unique concerns surrounding ethnic minority writing. (In fact, while the conference title suggests cross-cultural perspectives, the primary focus of the conference was Ukrainian literature in Canada. As Winfried Siemerling points out, this is hardly surprising given that the conference was organized by the Canadian Institute of Canadian Studies on the occasion of the seventy-fifth anniversary of Ukrainian publishing in Canada [26].) But in the Identifications conference proceedings, statements made by Ukrainian Canadian writers such as Maara Haas and George Ryga illustrate that they felt ethnic labels segregated them from the Canadian writerly community: they refused, therefore, to identify themselves as "Ukrainian" Canadian writers, preferring instead to be seen as "Canadian" writers or simply as "writers." As Maara Haas said, in a panel discussion, 3 9 In 1988, the Research Institute for Comparative Literature at the University of Alberta hosted the Literatures of Lesser Diffusion conference in Edmonton. The conference proceedings, edited by Joseph Pivato, Steven Totosy de Zepetnek, and Milan V. Dimic, include essays on a wide variety of ethnic minority literatures. 43 [i]t takes great discipline on my part not to vomit when I hear the word ethnic. My reflex action is to spit on the word that was spat on me in my formative years of the middle thirties. Dirty ethnic, rotten Slavic ethnic, ghetto freak ethnic. I was hyphenated, set apart by the English, Scottish, Irish factors outside the ghetto. Each time the word ethnic rears its hyphenated head, the odour of a clogged sewer smelling of racism poisons the air. (Balan, Identifications 136) For Haas, the ethnic label was "alienating, segregating, hyphenating": it "hyphenate[d] the writer off the scene" (136). Similarly, Ryga said, [w]e're discussing Canadian literature in a Canadian context and everything that implies. As a contributor to that literature, I find it difficult to see myself as a so-called hyphenated Canadian . . . When I wake up in the morning, I check myself out to see if I am still a man. Having determined that I am, I then face the world on its merits . . . I do not live in the past. I do not live in my father's frame of reference. (140-2) Ironically, while multiculturalism—the ideology so vigorously advocated by many Ukrainian Canadians—had given Ukrainian Canadian writers opportunities to write about their experiences as hyphenated Canadians, some of these writers were simultaneously critical of the ways in which multiculturalism relegated them and their work to the margins of Canadian literary discourse. Of course, despite some Ukrainian Canadian writers' uneasiness with identifying themselves, or being identified, as ethnically distinct from other Canadian writers, Ukrainian Canadian scholars, often capitalizing on multicultural funding opportunities, continued to work toward establishing distinct Ukrainian Canadian studies programs within Canadian universities. In 1976, the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies was established at the University of Alberta and the University of Toronto. Broadly focused on Ukrainian studies in Canada and internationally (especially in Ukraine), the CIUS supports a press that publishes the Journal of Ukrainian Studies as well as scholarly 44 books. In addition to running the Stasiuk Program for the Study of Contemporary Ukraine, the Ukrainian Canadian Program, the Ukrainian Church Studies Program, and the Kowalsky Program for the Study of Eastern Ukraine, the CIUS has also undertaken several large scholarly projects including the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, and the Canada Ukraine Legislative and Intergovernmental Project. In 1979, the Chair of Ukrainian Studies was founded at the University of Toronto and, in 1981, the Centre for Ukrainian Canadian Studies (which publishes the Canadian Ethnic Studies journal) was established at the University of Manitoba, providing courses in Ukrainian (and Ukrainian Canadian) literature, folklore, history, and arts. More recently, in 1989, the University of Alberta introduced its Ukrainian Folklore Program. Headed by the Huculak Chair of Ukrainian Culture and Ethnography, the Ukrainian Folklore Program offers students (at the undergraduate and graduate level) courses in folk song, dance, art, rites of passage, and calendar customs. The University of Saskatchewan, too, in 1999, reorganized its Ukrainian studies program: the Prairie Centre for the Study of Ukrainian Heritage and the newly founded Heritage Press are directed by the Lesya Ukrainka Chair of Ukrainian Studies. Not surprisingly, as Ukrainian Canadian Studies were consolidated, a significant body of scholarly work on Ukrainians in Canada began to emerge. Many historians and ethnographers 4 0 have produced or edited studies of Ukrainian Canadians which broadly 4 0 See Paul Yuzyk's Ukrainian Canadians: Their Place and Role in Canadian Life (1967); Ol'ha Wo