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Vitaly Chernetsky

Humanities - Slavic and Eurasian Languages & Literatures, Slavic Languages & Literatures
Associate Professor
Director, Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies
Primary office:
785.864.2359
Wescoe Hall, 2140
University of Kansas
1445 Jayhawk Blvd.
Lawrence, KS 66045-7594


Summary

Representation of Jewish life in Russian and East European literature and film (late 19th century to the present), the cultural dialogue and collaboration between Jews and their Slavic neighbors

Education

Teaching

Russian literature and culture (film, theatre, visual arts); Ukrainian literature and culture; East and Central European literatures and cultures; Central Asian literatures and cultures; intellectual history of Russia and Ukraine; cultural aspects of globalization; postmodernism/postmodernity; Modernism/modernity; modernist and postmodernist writing worldwide; postcolonial theory and postcolonial writing; identity and community; diasporic cultures; nationalism and ethnicity; literary and cultural theory; cultural studies; film and film theory; feminist theory; gender studies; LGBT studies; language pedagogy.

Research

Russian literature and culture (film, theatre, visual arts); Ukrainian literature and culture; East and Central European literatures and cultures; Central Asian literatures and cultures; intellectual history of Russia and Ukraine; cultural aspects of globalization; postmodernism/postmodernity; Modernism/modernity; modernist and postmodernist writing worldwide; postcolonial theory and postcolonial writing; identity and community; diasporic cultures; nationalism and ethnicity; literary and cultural theory; cultural studies; film and film theory; feminist theory; gender studies; LGBT studies; language pedagogy.

Research Interests

  • Russia
  • Ukraine
  • Russian literature
  • Ukrainian literature
  • Soviet literature
  • Soviet culture
  • Soviet film
  • Soviet cinema
  • Post-Soviet culture
  • Post-Soviet literature
  • Eastern Europe
  • Central Europe
  • East European literature
  • East European culture
  • East European cinema
  • Central Asia
  • Central Asian cinema
  • Central Asian film
  • Gender studies
  • LGBT studies
  • Globalization
  • Postmodernism
  • Literary theory
  • Cultural theory
  • Cultural studies
  • Film theory
  • Translation
  • Diaspora
  • Diasporas
  • Diasporic cultures

Selected Grants

Ukraine’s Ongoing Social Transformation and Its Literary Representations. National Endowment for the Humanities. (8/31/2015). Federal. Status: Funded

Jewish Studies Program statement in solidarity with protests against police brutality

Beloved community,

As an academic program in the University of Kansas, we stand in solidarity with Black Americans -- including Black Jewish people -- and everyone hurting after the senseless, brutal murder of George Floyd and all people targeted by systemic racism and injustice in our country. We continue to be committed to our core values of diversity, equity, and inclusion. This morning, the Association for Jewish Studies sent out an email reminding us that as scholars of Jewish Studies, we are keenly aware of the devastating impact of discrimination and violence against minority groups. Dr. Cécile Accilien, the Chair of the KU Department of African and African-American studies, shared with us the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”

The Jewish Studies academic community is rich and diverse – it includes scholars and students who are Jewish and non-Jewish, scholars and students of all ethnic and racial backgrounds and from multiple denominations and creeds, people who are immigrants (like myself) and those who are American-born. The Bible commands: צֶ֥דֶק צֶ֖דֶק תִּרְדֹּ֑ף tzedek tzedek tirdof, which translates into English as “Only justice shall you pursue” (Deuteronomy 16:20). In this well-cited verse, the Hebrew word tzedek, or justice, repeats twice. There can be many explanations of the repetition – textual interpretation in all its many forms is a beloved pursuit for many of us. Today, I am going to give you my own interpretation -- though I am sure that it already exists somewhere in the treasury of Jewish exegesis. One tzedek, or justice, you must pursue for yourself and for people like you; that is, perhaps, the justice that is easiest to understand, because we keenly feel injustices committed against ourselves and people like us. The other tzedek is the justice you must pursue for the sake of people who are not like you. It is often a harder lesson, but a necessary one. The justice, or tzedek, which we pursue thus also becomes a gift of chesed, of lovingkindness that enriches all of us.

 

In solidarity,

Dr. Renee Perelmutter,

Director of the Jewish Studies Program

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