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Kassandra L. Luciuk

Kassandra L. Luciuk

The Eugene A. Forsey Prize

2022

Kassandra L. Luciuk, “Making Ukrainian Canadians:  Identity, Politics, and Power in Cold War Canada,” Ph.D. dissertation, University of Toronto, 2021.

This exhaustive study of the history of organizations competing to represent Ukrainian-Canadians from World War II to the 1970s explains why conservative nationalists ultimately achieved “a totalized hegemony” over progressives with ties to the Soviet Union. Though working-class progressives had dominated the pre-war Ukrainian community, government intervention and media bias during the Second World War and Cold War allowed the generally wealthier nationalists, whose attacks on the progressives included a sanctioned “low-level terrorist campaign,” to eliminate the competition. State-endorsed public events and media representations systematically isolated the progressives to the benefit of the nationalists. Though nationalists and progressives embraced many of the same cultural influences, and the two opposed communities could potentially have represented different elements of a diverse ethnic community, support from power structures outside the Ukrainian communities ensured that the broader public’s understanding of Ukrainian life in Canada would fix solely on the nationalist cultural perspective that was “fixed and immutable, untouched by the vitiating relentlessness of modernity and secular thought.” Kassandra Luciuk’s lucidity in laying bare the anti-democratic process that produced a one-sided nationalist victory makes an important and timely historiographic contribution.