Year XVІ, Issue 1–2 (171–172)

January 2012
Halyna Koynash. The Only Voice Against
Svitlana Filonova. Poor People in Crimson Pants
Volodymyr Yermolenko. The Illusions of Morality
Oksana Forostyna. Concerning the Ukrainian Body
Tetyana Ogarkova. Cioran: One Person, Two Lives
Oleksandr Bogomolov, Oleksandr Lytvynenko. Russian Soft Power in Ukraine: in word and deed
Serhiy Kudelia. Is Political Science Possible in Ukraine?
Freeman Dyson. Science on the Rampage
Judith Halberstam. Traffic in Genders
Vasyl Makhno. Poland-2011: Peripheries and Borderlands
Tania Maliarchuk. Kyiv, a Personal City Guide



The January-February, 2012 issue of Krytyka opens with “The Only Voice Against” by Halyna Koynash, which explores an ambient lack of sensibility to violations of human rights and to illegality in Ukrainian society. The Ukrainian journalist Svitlana Filonova takes up the same issue in her “Poor People in Crimson Pants”, an overview of poverty which also links up with the 2011 German documentary “The Other Chelsea” by Jakob Preuss and with a well-known Soviet movie of Perestroika times, the anti-utopian “Kin-dza-dza”. 

Volodymyr Yermolenko, a Ukrainian philosopher and essayist, and Oksana Forostyna, associate executive editor of Krytyka, address the ongoing attacks on freedom of expression in Kyiv by focusing in their essays, respectively, on the meaning of morality in “The Illusions of Morality”, and on the indifference of Ukrainian intellectuals to despotism and sanctimoniousness in “Concerning the Ukrainian Body”.

The challenges and setbacks of intellectuals in former dark ages comes up again in “Cioran: One Person, Two Lives”, an essay by Tetyana Ogarkova of the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, on the intellectual biography of the Romanian/French philosopher Emil Cioran.

Oleksandr Bogomolov, president of the Kyiv-based Association of Middle East Studies (Center for Middle East Studies), and Oleksandr Lytvynenko, of the Council for Foreign and Security Policy (Kyiv), continue their studies of Russian soft power in their “Russian Soft Power in Ukraine: in word and deed” (see Krytyka no. 11–12, 2011), examining how the concept of soft power applies to the role of the Russian cultural legacy, the Orthodox Church, and of NGOs in Ukraine.

In his “Is Political Science Possible in Ukraine?” Serhiy Kudelia of George Washington University points to the gap between academic standards and approaches in Ukrainian political science and its global, particularly Western, counterpart. He calls for a new generation of political scientists, independent both of existing institutions and of politicians, who could reboot the system; an evolutionary approach to raising standards no longer seems possible to him.

Another kind of gap, the gap between amateur physicists (natural philosophers) and the academic establishment, is the focus of the article “Science on the Rampage” by Freeman Dyson. Dyson, a professor of physics at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, a writer, and US government advisor, reviews the book Physics on the Fringe: Smoke Rings, Circlons, and Alternative Theories of Everything by Margaret Wertheim. Both Freeman Dyson (a fellow of the American Physical Society, a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and a fellow of the Royal Society of London), and Margaret Wertheim are part of the academic establishment, though both consider, why “one set of self-proclaimed experts” deserves more attention than the other. Krytyka publishes the translation of this article as the exclusive partner of The New York Review of Books in Ukraine.

In her “Traffic in Genders” Judith Halberstam provides a vivid introduction to gender studies, explaining the basic points and terms, and recounting the milestones of queer studies, such as the works by Sigmund Freud, Michel Foucault, and Judith Butler. The article is based on the lecture Halberstam delivered in the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy in 2011, and is published with the support of the Heinrich Bцll Foundation in Ukraine.

The issue concludes with two essays: “Poland-2011: Peripheries and Borderlands” by Vasyl Makhno, a Ukrainian poet and essayist, and “Kyiv, a Personal City Guide” by the Ukrainian writer Tania Maliarchuk. Vasyl Makhno at one point moved from Ternopil, a small city in Western Ukraine, to New York. As a New Yorker he traveled the Polish peripheries, the homeland of Czesіaw Miіosz and of his own grandparents, and came to understand and even love this borderland. Tania Maliarchuk once moved to Kyiv from Ivano-Frankivsk, another small city in Western Ukraine, and then to Vienna. Her essay is a farewell to the Ukrainian capital she never loved, though tried to understand.

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