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C-RRC Panels and Events at ASEEES 2017 | Chicago

ASEEES Chicago
Transgressing Identity: Choosing (Not) to Be Carpatho-Rusyn
Thursday, November 9, 3:00 to 4:45pm
Marriott Downtown Chicago, 3rd, Cook
In a review of Paul Robert Magocsi’s With Their Backs to the Mountains (2015), the anthropologist Chris Hann offered a sobering prediction about the prospects of Carpatho-Rusyn nation-building in the future. “The national awakening has yet to impact substantively on the majority of the population,” he argued: “Sadly, I rather doubt that it ever will.” Indeed, while Carpatho-Rusyn Studies as a field has made great strides in recent years, many Rusyns at home and abroad have largely assumed the identity of their countries of citizenship or that of a neighboring people. As each participant has recently conducted fieldwork on Rusyn communities in Europe (Halemba, Cantin) and the United States (Latanyshyn, MacGaffey), this roundtable investigates the factors that have caused particular Rusyn groups to opt in to (and out of) Rusyn identity. Halemba’s monograph Negotiating Marian Apparitions (2015) analyzes how religious and political factors have shaped the Ukrainian orientation of the village of Dzhublyk. Cantin’s doctoral dissertation “Peak Experiences and Hegemony Resistance” (2012) explores what has motivated Rusyns in Slovakia’s Prešov Region to participate in or to resist ethnicity-constructing projects. Latanyshyn’s fieldwork focuses on the fluidity of Lemko-Rusyn and Ukrainian identity at American folk festivals. And MacGaffey’s monograph Coal Dust on Your Feet (2013) investigates the intersection of class and ethnic identity in Shamokin, Pennsylvania’s Lemko-Rusyn community. Through the discussion of their ongoing research, the panelists will debate the push and pull factors influencing the maintenance and loss of Rusyn identity across historical and geographic contexts.

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2015 ASEEES Conference Panels

ASEEES 2015 Schedule

Join the C-RRC at the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES) convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where a wide range of scholars will present their work on Carpatho-Rusyn history, language, and literature.

Presenters include:

  • Thomas Bird (CUNY-Queens College)
  • Elena Boudovskaia (Georgetown University)
  • Wayles Browne (Cornell University)
  • Sándor Foldvari (University of Debrecen)
  • Bogdan Horbal (New York Public Library)
  • Edward Kasinec (Columbia University)
  • Pat Krafcik (Evergreen State College)
  • Nick Kupensky (Yale University)
  • Sarah Latanyshyn (University of California-Santa Barbara)
  • Paul Robert Magocsi (University of Toronto)
  • Robert Rothstein (University of Massachusetts-Amhearst)
  • Elaine Rusinko (University of Maryland-Baltimore County)
  • Maria Silvestri (Timo Foundation)

The conference will take place from November 19th to 22nd at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown. Visit for more information.


The same weekend, on Sunday, November 22nd at the Bohemian National Hall in New York City, Paul Robert Magocsi, scholar and a major force behind the modern Carpatho-Rusyn revival, will discuss present-day instability in Eastern Europe made worse by the interest of Putin’s Russia and Orban’s Hungary in Ukraine’s Transcarpathian region (historic Subcarpathian Oblast), territory of former Czechoslovakia until 1939. He will also introduce his latest book With Their Backs to the Mountains: A History of the Carpathian Rus’ and Carpatho-Rusyns. The event is free and open to the public.

Visit…/en/ev/823/page/0 for more information.

Finally, Nick Kupensky will lead the inaugural walking tour of Emil Kubek’s Mahanoy City on Sunday, November 22nd. Kubek, who lived and worked in Mahanoy City from 1904 to 1940, is one of the most prolific Carpatho-Rusyn writers. While his poetry and prose are taught in European universities, he remains a relatively unknown figure in North America. The walking tour will visit the places in Mahanoy City that inspired his work, including St. Mary’s Byzantine Catholic Church, the West End Cafe, West Railroad Street, the former location of John Žinčak Smith’s grocery store, the former location of the American Rusyn Messenger, John Žinčak Smith’s beautiful mansion, and St. Mary’s Cemetery (where Kubek and Smith are both buried). Additionally, Drew Skitko from the Philadelphia Opera will perform a musical adaptation of Kubek’s “My Native Land,” which was set to music by the Carpatho-Rusyn cantor Michal Bilansky. A reception featuring traditional Carpatho-Rusyn cuisine and Hungarian wine will follow the event. Emil Kubek’s Mahanoy City is free and open to the public.

For information about how to attend, contact Nick Kupensky at or visit