A lecture “Patriarchal Matriarchy: Feminist Analysis of Traditional Ukrainian Culture” by Oksana Kis

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In February 27, 2015 historian and anthropologist, Ph.D., senior researcher of the Institute of Ethnology at National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine Oksana Kis visited Chernivtsi with the assistance of NGO “Quadrivium”.

Kis 4.phpIn February 27, 2015 historian and anthropologist, Ph.D., senior researcher of the Institute of Ethnology at National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine Oksana Kis visited Chernivtsi with the assistance of NGO “Quadrivium”. During the visit she delivered a public lecture “Patriarchal Matriarchy: Feminist Analysis of Traditional Ukrainian Culture”.
Oksana Kis’ scientific interests embrace women’s history and feminist anthropology, oral history and gender transformation in post-socialist countries. Oksana Kis is an author of more than hundred scientific publications in Ukraine, the USA, Canada, France, Germany, Russia, Belarus, Sweden and the UK. She is a scholar of a number of prestigious academic exchange programs (for example, the Fulbright Program in 2003 and 2011), an intern at leading universities in North America. She has a teaching experience in the universities of Ukraine, the USA and Canada. Since 2010 Oksana Kis is a head of the Ukrainian Association of Researchers of Women’s History www.womenhistory.org.ua.
During the public lecture Oksana Kis said that Ukrainian traditional culture has been considered to be matriarchal. Men and women, writers and artists, journalists and even scientists, and with them politicians of different ideological orientations and levels confidently repeat this idea that should serve as an argument in favor of exclusive and original progressivity of Ukrainian nation comparing to adjacent.
Numerous advocates of the matriarchal idea of Ukrainians operate with the list of arguments, which is not so long. Actually, all those arguments were formulated by renowned Ukrainian historians, ethnographers and folklorists still on the verge of the XIX and XX centuries.
However, in any case, before appealing to the “matriarchal” Ukrainian heritage and experience, we should first impartially and critically look at everyday life, norms and customs of Ukrainians and, honestly, admit, that ordinary Ukrainian women of the past did not have any matriarchal experience either in its original sense (power) nor in its modern sense (gender equality).
The audience, who came to the event, revealed a high level of activity, asking many questions related to the topic of the public lecture and the contemporary gender relations, issues of sexism, place and role of Ukrainian women and men in society.
In the framework of the event Oksana Kis presented a book “A Woman in Traditional Ukrainian Culture of the Late XIX – Early XX Century”.


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