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The 2022 Studium Carpato-Ruthenorum is cancelled.

The Studium Carpato-Ruthenorum is an annual Rusyn language and cultural immersion program organized and hosted by the Institute for Rusyn Language and Culture at Prešov University since 2009.

The 2022 Studium Carpato-Ruthenorum is cancelled.

In cooperation with our colleagues at the Institute for Rusyn Language and Culture at Prešov University, the Carpatho-Rusyn Research Center will share the dates, details, and application via email and social media as soon as the decision has been made to hold this event in person, on-site again.

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Statement from C-RRC against Russian aggression in Ukraine

The Carpatho-Rusyn Research Center stands in solidarity with our colleagues, family, and friends in Ukraine who are heroically fighting against Russian aggression.

We support the territorial integrity of Ukraine, condemn the horrific actions of the Russian government, and will continue to stand together for a free, democratic Ukraine.

Карпато-русинський науковий центр висловлює солідарність з нашими колегами, друзями та родичами в Україні, що героїчно борються проти російської агресії.

Ми підтримуємо територіальну цілісність України, засуджуємо жахливі дії російської влади та будемо й надалі виступати за вільну демократичну Україну.


Карпато-русинськый научный центер высловлює солідарность из нашыми колеґами, приятелями и родинов в Україні, што ся геройськы борют против російської аґресії.

Мы пудтримуєме територіалну цілость Україны, осуджуєме страшні діяня російської влады и будеме й надале выступати за слободну демократичну Україну.


Карпато-русинский научный центр выражает солидарность с нашими коллегами, друзьями и родственниками в Украине, героически борющимися против российской агрессии.

Мы поддерживаем территориальную целостность Украины, осуждаем ужасающие действия российских властей и будем и впредь выступать за свободную демократическую Украину.

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Announcing the 2021 Summer Seminars: Register today!

The Carpatho-Rusyn Research Center is pleased to invite you to the 2021 Summer Seminars, presented by the John and Helen Timo Foundation. This year’s exciting series features interactive presentations sharing new work in Carpatho-Rusyn Studies, and important discussions about what it means to be Carpatho-Rusyn today.

The Summer Seminars will take place the week of July 12, 2021, from Monday to Friday, at noon ET every day. These are all live events that will include the opportunity to ask questions to the presenters. All of the presentations will also be recorded and shared later on YouTube.

The seminars are free to attend, but registration is required. Please share this information with anyone you think may be interested: this is a great opportunity to engage with your friends and family and share Carpatho-Rusyn history and culture!

The Program

How the Carpatho-Rusyns Were Taught to Think Like White People: A Conversation with Dr. Robert Zecker

Monday, July 12, 2021 – noon ET: Drawing upon his monographs Race and America’s Immigrant Press: How the Slovaks were Taught to Think Like White People (2013) and “A Road to Peace and Freedom”: The International Workers Order and the Struggle for Economic Justice and Civil Rights, 1930-1954 (2018), Professor Robert Zecker (Saint Francis Xavier University) will speak about how Carpatho-Rusyns in North America in the early 20th century understood concepts of race, class, and ethnicity.

Stefan M. Pugh’s Вітаєме! Welcome! A Textbook of Rusyn: A Conversation with Dr. E. Wayles Browne 

Tuesday, July 13, 2021 – noon ET: The renowned linguist E. Wayles Browne (Cornell University) will speak about how he came to study the Rusyn language and his role in helping finish Stefan M. Pugh’s Вітаєме! Welcome!: A Textbook of Rusyn (2021), the first Rusyn textbook designed specifically for a North American university curriculum.

The Poetics and Politics of Andrii Karabelesh: A Lecture by Dr. Nick Kupensky

Wednesday, July 14, 2021 – noon ET: The vice president of the Carpatho-Rusyn Research Center will speak about the life and legacy of the Carpatho-Rusyn modernist writer Andrii Karabelesh (1906-1964), the bard of Subcarpathian Rus’ during the interwar period, a survivor of the Nazi concentration camps, and target of ideological attacks in Communist Czechoslovakia.  

Young Carpatho-Rusyn Professionals in America: A Roundtable with Alexandra Benc, Johna Cook, and Izzy Fernando

Thursday, July 15, 2021 – noon ET: Three young Rusyn professionals in the United States discuss how they learned about their Rusyn roots, how their Rusyn identity has shaped their college years, and how being Rusyn has influenced their professional trajectories.

Young Carpatho-Rusyn Professionals in Europe: A Roundtable with Tomaš Kalynyč, Myhal’ Lyzhechko, Peter Štefaňák, and Marta Watral

Friday, July 16, 2021 – noon ET: Four leading Rusyn activists in Europe speak about how they have contributed to Rusyn culture in their countries, how they have incorporated their Rusyn identities into their professions, and their thoughts on the state of Rusyn culture in Europe today. 

Register today!

You only have to register once to have access to all five events, and there is no cost to attend. We sincerely hope you’ll join us for all of them!

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Supporting the 2021 Census in Slovakia and Poland

The Carpatho-Rusyn Consortium of North America is a voluntary coalition of the North American Carpatho-Rusyn cultural organizations. Among other goals, the Consortium organizes and supports efforts surrounding Carpatho-Rusyns during the Census in the United States. This year, the Consortium asks for your support as countries in the Carpatho-Rusyn homeland – especially Slovakia and Poland – hold their censuses this year. Our Carpatho-Rusyn community is most vibrant when our community is strong and supported in the homeland, and increased numbers of Rusyns in the censuses in Slovakia and Poland this year will increase the visibility of Carpatho-Rusyns in those countries, helping organizers measure impact and gain critical support for programming to support continued language and cultural revival.

We hope you’ll use this as an opportunity to connect with your friends and relatives both in the Carpatho-Rusyn homeland, and here in North America. Share with your personal networks why it’s important to you to be part of the global Carpatho-Rusyn community.

We’ve created some tools to help you start the conversation:

All of these can be sent as they are, or you can make them your own! We also encourage you to follow and share social media supporting the census in Slovakia (web, Facebook, #smerusyny) and Poland (web, Facebook, Instagram). Share with #rusyncensus to make it easier for everyone to find!

In every census since 1989, the number of Rusyns in Slovakia has grown, as has the number of Lemkos in Poland. This is our chance this decade to help grow those numbers even more.

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2020 Summer Seminars

Carpatho-Rusyn Research Center 2020 Summer Seminars presented by the John and Helen Timo Foundation

The Carpatho-Rusyn Research Center is pleased to invite you to the 2020 Summer Seminars, presented by the John and Helen Timo Foundation. This exciting series features interactive presentations with some of the most prominent Carpatho-Rusyn American scholars working today.

The six seminars are thematically split into two groups:

  • Great Carpatho-Rusyn Americans
  • Being Carpatho-Rusyn American

The Summer Seminars will take place throughout June, July, and August 2020. These are all live events that will include the opportunity to ask questions to the presenters.

The seminars are free to attend, but registration and a free Zoom account are required. Please share this information with anyone you think may be interested: this is a great opportunity to engage with your friends and family and share Carpatho-Rusyn history and culture!

How to register

Individual registration is required for each presentation by clicking the link following each description. If you want to attend only one seminar, you can register for just one, but we sincerely hope you’ll join us for all of them!

Upon successful registration, you will receive an email with a link unique to you to join the webinar at the designated time.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020 – 1PM ET

A conversation with Professor Paul Robert Magocsi (University of Toronto) about his new biography of the Carpatho-Rusyn American politician Gregory Zhatkovych. Moderated by Professor Nick Kupensky (United States Air Force Academy). Watch here.

Thursday, July 2, 2020 – 3PM ET

A lecture and discussion by Professor Nick Kupensky (United States Air Force Academy) about the Carpatho-Rusyn American writer Emil Kubek. Moderated by Maria Silvestri (Timo Foundation). Watch here.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020 – 7PM ET

A lecture and discussion by Professor Elaine Rusinko (University of Maryland — Baltimore County) about the Carpatho-Rusyn American artists Andy Warhol and Julia Warhola. Moderated by Maria Silvestri (Timo Foundation). Watch here.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020 – 1PM ET

A lecture and discussion by Professor Pat Krafcik (The Evergreen State College) about the Carpatho-Rusyn children’s book “In the Seventy-Seventh Kingdom”: Carpatho-Rusyn Folktales.” Moderated by Professor Nick Kupensky (United States Air Force Academy). Watch here.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020 – 10am ET

A roundtable discussion with Michael Bolds, Ifetayo Bolds-Jacob, Bethany Sromoski, and Maria Silvestri about growing up as a Carpatho-Rusyn American. Moderated by Professor Nick Kupensky (United States Air Force Academy). Watch here.

Tuesday, August 18, 2020 – 11am ET

A conversation with Bogdan Horbal (New York Public Library) about his professional successes as a Lemko Rusyn in the United States. Moderated by Professor Nick Kupensky (United States Air Force Academy). Watch here.

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Andy Warhol: His Art and Ethnic Roots

Panel discussion at the Ukrainian Museum, New York City on February 15, 2019

Paul Robert Magocsi

The task given to me by the organizers of this panel is to comment on the question of Andy Warhol’s ethnicity. My remarks will touch briefly on three topics: cultural appropriation; national identity; and the Warhola family. But before addressing those issues there are a few caveats about art and national identity that I wish to mention.

As much as I understand the visual arts, most artists are not concerned with their ethnic or national identity. They may ponder their role as creative artists but they are generally not concerned about an identity that may or may not be defined by the language they speak or the country where they were born.

To be sure, there have been exceptions, most particularly nineteenth-century artists whose deliberately chosen images of historical themes were often inspired by their deep patriotism and desire to serve their nation. Among such painters were Jan Matejko among the Poles, Alfonse Mucha among the Czechs, and Viktor Madarász and Bertalan Székely among the Hungarians, to name but a few.

Whereas representational art lends itself to depicting patriotic subjects, abstract art by its very nature precludes the ethnic or national factor. Although a representational artist, Warhol did nothing that purposefully reflected his specific ethnic identity or that could be construed to be in the service of the nation—any nation. Perhaps it is for this reason that the organizers of this panel wisely included in its title a reference not to Warhol’s ethnicity, but to his ethnic roots. And if implicit in the panel’s title is a question, I would think an answer is quite straightforward: Andy Warhol’s “national” identity was American; his ethnic roots—Carpatho-Rusyn.

Of course, it is true that until recently most people never heard of Carpatho-Rusyns, just as they have never heard of most other stateless peoples, whether Kashubes, Ladins, Frisians, or Sami, to name but a few of numerous such examples in Europe alone. And so, when Andy died in 1987, prompting a spate of biographical works about him, most writers needed a label when addressing his background. American seemed insufficient. Why not Czechoslovak, which Warhol himself used on occasion (but which meant nothing in ethnic terms), or Polish, or Slovak, or Ukrainian? All those ethnonyms were more or less known phenomena. The ethnonym Carpatho-Rusyn, even in its English form Ruthenian, was certainly not.

Now we may turn to the three topics I noted at the outset, the first of which is cultural appropriation. Considering the setting where our discussion is taking place, the Ukrainian Museum, I cannot help but be reminded of all those great “Russian” artists, like the abstract painter Kazimierz Malevich and sculptor Alexander Archipenko in the early twentieth century, or “Russian” writers like Nikolai Gogol in the early nineteenth century. Their ethnicity, like Warhol’s, has almost always been distorted by authors who facilely associate them with the state (the Russian Empire) where they were born and functioned. Their ethnic roots, on the other hand, were indisputably Ukrainian (or in the case of Malevich, someone of Polish heritage born in Ukraine). Therefore, one cannot help but have sympathy for Ukrainians who accuse most art historians, museum curators, and the general media of cultural appropriation; in other words, rendering Ukrainians as Russians.

However, the victim, in this case Ukrainians, can in other circumstances quite easily become the perpetrator. Even a sophisticated and nuanced scholar such as our panel chairman Professor Alexander Motyl, proposed in an article published in a scholarly journal by Harvard University that if one might not quite call Andy Warhol a Ukrainian, he nevertheless ostensibly belongs to the culture of Ukraine. Not Ukrainian, but belonging to the culture of Ukraine? I’ll leave that to others to determine what difference, if any, there is between the two.

Like Russians, Ukrainians—both before and certainly since they have obtained an independent state—have bordered at times on becoming themselves cultural imperialists. How else can one explain claims by Ukrainian patriots in Ukraine and abroad1 that Warhol’s ethnicity is Ukrainian? And why is the Ukrainian Museum in the New York holding an exhibit of some of Warhol’s art? Is it because Warhol is a famous American artist, or is it because of some ostensible Ukrainian connection? And is it possible to square the two aspects of the assertion by Professor Motyl that Warhol, without being Ukrainian, nevertheless “belongs at least partly to the culture of Ukraine.”2

To address that curious formula, let us look ever so briefly at the socio-cultural context of the Warhola family. It is common knowledge that Andy was an American born in Pittsburgh.3 His parents, however, both father and mother, came from a mountain village, Miková, in the pre-World War I Hungarian Kingdom, which is located in an area that after the war became part of the new state of Czechoslovakia, today Slovakia.

How, then, can one speak of Andy Warhol belonging to the culture of Ukraine? If this is not cultural appropriation of the most misconstrued kind, I don’t know what else it is. Aside from the birthplace of Andy’s parents, in a village whose inhabitants were at various times Hungarian, Czechoslovak, and Slovak citizens—never Ukrainian—the Warhola family language was neither Hungarian, nor Czech, nor Slovak, but Rusyn or Ruthenian.

These realities are usually dismissed by Ukrainian commentators based on their own self-serving argument and belief that there is no Rusyn or Ruthenian language. For them Rusyn is a dialect of Ukrainian. Hence, speakers of that dialect are, ipso facto, Ukrainians.

The question of non-recognition of Carpatho-Rusyns as a distinct people is part of a long tradition of many peoples who have their own state, but who deny the existence of distinct ethnolinguistic groups who they claim as their own. Hence, in the nineteenth century, from the perspective of the German public, Luxembourgers were not a distinct nationality and Luxembourgish not a language but simply a dialect of German. In the twentieth century we have seen Bulgarians denying the distinct national existence of Macedonian Slavs, and in the twenty-first century Poles denying the distinct national existence of Silesians. The list could go on.

Back to the Warhola family. As for genealogy, my colleague Professor Elaine Rusinko has completed groundbreaking detailed archival research which proves that both the paternal and maternal sides of Andy Warhol’s forbears were for the most part of Carpatho-Rusyn ethnicity and of the Byzantine (Greek)-rite Catholic faith.4 Most important was the socio-cultural context in which the Warhola family—and Andy—functioned. In Pittsburgh, the family did not associate with the local Ukrainian community and did not attend the Ukrainian branch of the Byzantine (Greek)-rite Catholic Church. Andy’s family members did not intermarry with Americans of Ukrainian background. Why did they not have anything to do with the Ukrainian-American community? Because they did not feel themselves to be—and, therefore, were not—Ukrainians.

Instead, Andy was baptized in the Byzantine Ruthenian Catholic Church; his entire family belonged to that denomination; and one of his nephews—encouraged by Andy—attended the Byzantine Catholic Seminary. Andy’s two older brothers and other family members intermarried with Americans of Slovak or of Carpatho-Rusyn background. In New York City, Andy attended regularly Catholic churches, at first together with his mother (who lived with him) the Byzantine Ruthenian Catholic Church on Second Avenue and 15th Street. Neither mother or son ever attended the nearby Ukrainian Byzantine Catholic churches nor did they interact with Ukrainian Americans on Manhattan’s Lower East Side.

If scholars and biographers feel the need to talk about Andy Warhol’s ancestral heritage and wish to link it to a people who have their own state, then, to use Motyl’s formula, it could be said that Andy belongs at least partly to the culture of Slovakia, but certainly not to the culture of Ukraine. The reality, however, is that Warhol’s state or “national” affiliation was American. And since all Americans come from somewhere, that somewhere—or as Andy would prefer “nowhere”—is historic Carpathian Rus’ in the heart of Europe. No cultural appropriation, Slovak or Ukrainian, is necessary for Andy Warhol, who undoubtedly is an American artist of Carpatho-Rusyn ethnic heritage.

NOTES

1 On the claims of the Ukrainians and other groups to make Andy Warhol “their own,” see Elaine Rusinko, “We Are All Warhol’s Children”: Andy and the Rusyns, Carl Beck Papers in Russian and East European Studies, No. 2204 (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh, 2012), pp. 9-14.

2 Alexander J. Motyl, “Was Andy Warhol Ukrainian?,” Harvard Ukrainian Studies, XXXII-XXXIII [2011-2014], Part 2 (Cambridge, Mass., 2015), p. 554. In one of his recent novels, Who Killed Andrei Warhol? (Santa Ana, Calif., 2007), Motyl dropped all nuances, describing Andy as “the son of a Ukrainian worker” (p. 75) and his mother “as Ukrainian in her features as one can possibly imagine” (p. 77). Functioning in the role of a novelist, Motyl may be excused for such exaggerations on the grounds of poetic license, but this is nonetheless an egregious example of cultural appropriation.

3 Actually,  Warhol’s birthplace was not determined until the last decade of his life, precisely because of Andy’s typical pattern of making up stories about his life, including contradictory dates (at various times between 1927 and 1931) and places (Philadelphia, Cleveland, Newport, Rhode Island) of birth. [Paul Robert Magocsi], “Andy Warhol,” Carpatho-Rusyn American, III, 2 (Fairview, N. J., 1980), p. 2.

4 Elaine Rusinko, “Andy Warhol’s Ancestry: Facts, Myths, and Mysteries,” January 7, 2019

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Studium Carpato-Ruthenorum 2019

Prešov University in Prešov, Slovakia, announces its ninth annual three-week Studium Carpato-Ruthenorum International Summer School for Rusyn Language and Culture to be held from June 9 – 29, 2019. The program is hosted by the university‘s Institute of Rusyn Language and Culture. Prešov University is the only university in the Slovak Republic offering a full-time academic program in Rusyn language and literature accredited for both the B.A and M.A. in Rusyn Language and Literature.

The Studium summer school is intended for those interested in studying the Rusyn language and the history of the Carpatho-Rusyns, including high school (18 and over) and college students, as well as Slavists and any who wish to broaden their knowledge of East Slavic language, history, and culture. Participants can expect to acquire a familiarity with or strengthen their competency in the Rusyn language, as well as gain an understanding of Carpatho-Rusyn history, culture, literature, and ethnography.

The Studium Carpato-Ruthenorum is held on the campus of Prešov University, at 17th of November Street, #15 (ulica 17. Novembra, č. 15), with the dormitory, cafeteria, and classroom building all located in close proximity. Instruction is provided by university professors, distinguished Slavists, and specialists in Carpatho-Rusyn studies from Slovakia, Ukraine, the United States, and Canada. The language of instruction, in parallel courses, is either Rusyn or English. The program offers 20 hours of history lectures and 20 hours of language instruction. A ten-hour minicourse in Carpatho-Rusyn ethnography will also be offered in both English and Rusyn as part of the curriculum. Extra practice sessions outside of the classroom will help participants strengthen their conversational skills. Participants who complete the program receive official certificates from the Studium, and transcripts will be available for students who wish to earn credits for the program through their home universities.

Click here for more information. [PDF]
Click here to download the application. [Word]

View photos and more from past years on Facebook.

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Studium Carpato-Ruthenorum 2018

Prešov University in Prešov, Slovakia, announces its ninth annual three-week Studium Carpato-Ruthenorum International Summer School for Rusyn Language and Culture to be held from June 10 – 30, 2018. The program is hosted by the university‘s Institute of Rusyn Language and Culture. Prešov University is the only university in the Slovak Republic offering a full-time academic program in Rusyn language and literature accredited for both the B.A and M.A. in Rusyn Language and Literature.

The Studium summer school is intended for those interested in studying the Rusyn language and the history of the Carpatho-Rusyns, including high school (18 and over) and college students, as well as Slavists and any who wish to broaden their knowledge of East Slavic language, history, and culture. Participants can expect to acquire a familiarity with or strengthen their competency in the Rusyn language, as well as gain an understanding of Carpatho-Rusyn history, culture, literature, and ethnography.

The Studium Carpato-Ruthenorum is held on the campus of Prešov University, at 17th of November Street, #15 (ulica 17. Novembra, č. 15), with the dormitory, cafeteria, and classroom building all located in close proximity. Instruction is provided by university professors, distinguished Slavists, and specialists in Carpatho-Rusyn studies from Slovakia, Ukraine, the United States, and Canada. The language of instruction, in parallel courses, is either Rusyn or English. The program offers 20 hours of history lectures and 20 hours of language instruction. A ten-hour minicourse in Carpatho-Rusyn ethnography will also be offered in both English and Rusyn as part of the curriculum. Extra practice sessions outside of the classroom will help participants strengthen their conversational skills. Participants who complete the program receive official certificates from the Studium, and transcripts will be available for students who wish to earn credits for the program through their home universities.

Click here for more information.

View photos and more from past years on Facebook.

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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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