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Ireland�s Great Famine or �an Gorta M�r� (1845�51) and Ukraine�s �Holodomor� (1932�33) occupy central places in the national historiographies of their respective countries. Acknowledging that questions of collective memory have become a central issue in cultural studies, this volume inquires into the role of historical experiences of hunger and deprivation within the emerging national identities and national historical narratives of Ireland and Ukraine. In the Irish case, a solid body of research has been compiled over the last 150 years, while Ukraine�s Holodomor, by contrast, was something of an open secret that historians could only seriously research after the demise of communist rule. This volume is the first attempt to draw these approaches together and to allow for a comparative study of how the historical experiences of famine were translated into narratives that supported political claims for independent national statehood in Ireland and Ukraine. Juxtaposing studies on the Irish and Ukrainian cases written by eminent historians, political scientists, and literary and film scholars, the essays in this interdisciplinary volume analyse how national historical narratives were constructed and disseminated � whether or not they changed with circumstances, or were challenged by competing visions, both academic and non-academic. In doing so, the essays discuss themes such as representation, commemoration and mediation, and the influence of these processes on the shaping of cultural memory.
On 17 April 2012, in the bilingual Ukrainian Week, Hennadiy Kazakevych reminded his readers that, 90 years earlier, Ireland had gained its independence from the British Empire, while simultaneously the hopes of militant Ukrainian nationalists were crushed by the Bolsheviks emerging victoriously from the Russian Civil War. Whatever the historical accuracy of this piece, historians of empire have so far paid surprisingly little attention to the many parallels between the histories of Ireland and Ukraine, then provinces of crucial importance for both powers.
An obvious similarity, it would seem, is the centrality of two famines for the development of modern Ireland and modern Ukraine. The traumatic nature of these events has led these peoples, in the words of Kai Erikson, ‘to feel estranged from the rest of humanity’ and consequently to see their cultural group as somehow distinctive. This combined with the predominance of the national history paradigm leads more often than not to exclusive treatments of both tragedies, usually with an emphasis on the uniqueness of sufferings incurred either by the Irish or by the Ukrainian people. Comparative research on the Great Famine and the Holodomor has so far been attempted mainly in the realm of economic history and principally in the context of global enquiry into the occurrence of famines across time and space.
With the aid of our Almighty Lord Jesus Christ and the prayers of the Mother of God … our pious Tsar and Grand Prince Ivan Vasilievich, crowned by God, Autocrat of all Rus', fought against the infidels, defeated them finally and captured the Tsar of Kazan' Edigai-Mahmet. And the pious Tsar and Grand Prince ordered his regiment to sing an anthem under his banner, to give thanks to God for the victory; and at the same time ordered a life-giving cross to be placed and a church to be built, with the uncreated image of our Lord Jesus Christ, where the Tatar colours had stood during the battle.
On 2 (15) October 1552, Russian and allied Tatar troops stormed what was left of the Kazan Kremlin after a short siege. As the chronicle reported, the tsar ordered the surviving male defenders of the city except for the Khan to be put to death as traitors, and the remaining buildings were symbolically consecrated and Christianized. Already the contemporary Russian chroniclers understood the conquest of Kazan and the subsequent incorporation of the Khanate into Muscovite body politic as an unprecedented incident and a turning point in history: for the first time Moscow's Grand Prince conquered and annexed a sovereign, military power and economically developed neighbouring Muslim state.
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