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“Reply of the Zaporozhian Cossacks,” by 19th century Ukrainian-born Russian painter Ilya Yefimovich Repin. (Public domain.)

Internationally known Ukrainian history expert to speak at OSU

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Media Contact: Elizabeth Gosney | CAS Marketing and Communications Manager | 405-744-7497 |

The Oklahoma State University Department of History will welcome Ukrainian and Russian history scholar Dr. Johannes Remy to Stillwater on Feb. 21, as part of the Fae Rawdon Norris Foundation for the Humanities’ Speaker Series.  

A historian at Wilfrid Laurier University in Canada, Remy has been published widely on the subject of Ukrainian and Russian history, including his most recent book, Brothers or Enemies: The Ukrainian National Movement and Russia from the 1840s to the 1870s. His upcoming talk at OSU — timed around the 1-year anniversary of Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine — will focus on “Freedom in Ukrainian Thought — Past and Present,” and examine the historical roots of Ukraine’s resistance to Russia.  

“There is a long-standing discourse of freedom in Ukrainian history,” said Dr. Jason Lavery, regents professor of history and faculty host for Remy’s visit to Stillwater. “In this discourse, freedom has been understood as what separates Ukraine from Russia.”  

An expert on the country’s national identity, Remy has written on the importance of the Ukrainian language in the country’s resistance to Russia — a fact borne out by Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky’s commitment to speaking in Ukrainian even though his first language is Russian. Remy’s talk will also give audience members the opportunity to ask about other symbols of past and present importance, such as Kiev, the sunflower and Ukraine’s blue and yellow flag.  

“Students seem very curious about the present-day implications of Russia’s war on Ukraine,” said Dr. Brian Hosmer, professor and head of the Department of History. “It’s been on the front page and in social media feeds for nearly a year now, and people have questions about the history and future of Ukrainian resistance. That’s why we feel so fortunate to bring someone with Dr. Remy’s expertise to campus.” 

“Freedom in Ukrainian Thought” will take place at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 21, in the Parlor Room of the Social Sciences and Humanities Building on the corner of University and Monroe in Stillwater. The talk is free of charge and open to the public, with sponsorship coming from the Fae Rawdon Norris Foundation for the Humanities, the Ashley-D’Alessandro Fund and the OSU Department of History.

For more information, visit the OSU Department of History website or call 405-744-5680.  

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