Call for Papers: Is There a Fourth Rus’?

“Call for papers”
Call for Papers in relation to a project entitled:
Is there a Fourth Rus’?
Vielyka Rus’ (Russia, the Moscow-St. Petersburg Eurasian State) – yes,
Mala Rus’ (Ukraine) – yes,
Bela Rus’ (White Rus) – maybe,
but Karpatska Rus’ (Carpathian Rus), is it a fourth East Slavic nation?

For the past 500 years there has been a struggle in East Slavic Europe over whether one Rus’ exists, that is, a single East Slavic entity with, admittedly, regional variations, or several Rus’s. Those of the “Common East Slavic” orientation, that is, those who feel there is a common Rus’ culture and religion, are usually identified as Rusophils or Old Rus. Those who claim that leadership of East Slavdom falls specifically to Moscow have been referred to as Moscophils, or Russophils (double “s”). Those who have dissented from the single Rus’ view have been the rather weakly self-identified Bela Rus’ (White Rus) and the strongly separatist Ukrainians (the Mala Rus’, sometimes called Little Rus’).

This struggle also played itself out in that part of the Carpathian Mountains of Central Europe inhabited by East Slavs. On the northern slope of the Carpathians, in Poland, the autochthonous Lemko population did not resolve the issue up to its deportation to Western Poland in Spring 1947. On the south slope in eastern Slovakia and Trans-Carpathia in the 1920’s and 30’s the same struggle took place. However, in the post World War II period all three East Slavic populations were administratively designated as “Ukrainian” by Soviet-backed authorities. Immediately after the communist collapse in 1989, however, a rather new movement sprang up among the inhabitants of the Carpathian Region, and their descendents in diaspora – that of “Rusyn”, an identity which recognized its East Slavic roots but which is not Russian, Ukrainian, much less Belarusan, but different and separate. Has, then, a new nation arisen among the Carpathian Rus; is there now a fourth Rus’?

This project intends to examine this question both in the Carpathian homeland and in the diaspora. This issue becomes something more than academic in the 21st century due to major changes taking place in Europe. The European Union is now speaking of a “Europe of the Regions” and, as part of that, a Carpathian Euroregion has been demarcated as part of the Central European Initiative. The Carpathian area is certainly a crossroads of Europe and the possibility of a new nationality arising there is a significant event, one to be examined.

All scholars interested in the topic are invited to contribute their views in writing to the project organizers. There may be some research funds available to assist scholars in doing specific research.

A scholarly conference on the theme of this project is under active consideration.
It will probably take place in Poland In late May, 2004.

Project Outcome:
A book containing for and against arguments will be published, from papers to be delivered at the aforementioned conference and other contributions, in time for the VII World Congress of the International Council for Central and East Europeans Studies which will be held In Berlin, Germany July 25-30, 2005. A panel discussion will be held at that Congress and a formal “book launch” (ceremony announcing publication) will take place. The project results will be published In English, Polish, Ukrainian, Slovak and Rusyn.

How to Take Part In the Project:
All scholars who wish to take part in this project are asked to contact the organizers with proposals before December 31, 2003, at:
Prof. Dr. Paul Best
Carpathian Euroregion Initiative
Political Science Department
Southern Connecticut State University
New Haven, Connecticut 06515-1355
Telephone: 203-392-5660
Fax: 203-392-5670

— OR —
Dr. Jaroslaw Moklak
Instytut Historii
Uniwersytet Jagiellonski
ul Golebla 13
31-007 Krakow
Telephone: 48-12-648-5661
Fax: 48-12-422-6306

Please Note:
The question of a fourth Rus’ can be rather contentious and some would be against even raising It. Only scholarly arguments based on solid research will be acceptable. Ad hominem attacks, displays of personal animus, and claims that scholars with opposing views are in the pay of “enemies” will not be part of this activity.

The Carpatho-Slavic Studies Group, the underlying supporting entity for this project, had 6 successful meetings at major Slavic conferences: Hawaii 1988, Harogate 1990, Cracow 1993, Warsaw 1995, Tampere 2000, and Cracow 2001. Thus, scholars are warmly requested to consider taking part in the 2004 and 2005 discussions.

Proposals may be submitted in any language.

The Carpatho-Slavic Studies Group is an informal collection of scholars and other individuals who are interested in that part of the Carpathian mountain range inhabited by East Slavs.

There are no political, religious or other requirements necessary to take part in this activity beyond, of course, a sincere interest in the Carpathian region. The Studies Group does not and cannot take any stand regarding national, ethnic, religious or other questions concerning the Carpatho-Slavic area. Any and all viewpoints are welcome as long as they are defended in a scholarly manner and in a civilized fashion. If you are interested in our activities, please copy and fill out the information sheet at the end of this book and send it to the address indicated and you will be added to the list of members. There is no cost for membership.

How did Carpatho-Slavic Studies start? In November 1988 at the 20th National Convention of the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies meeting in Honolulu, Hawaii, a group of scholars met to exchange views about the East Slavic inhabitants of the Carpathian mountains of Poland. The session, chaired by Prof. Michal Chorosnicki of the Jagiellonian University of Cracow, was entitled “Ethnocultural Survival in Borderland Regions.” Papers included: “The Lemko Question at the Beginning of the 20th Century” by Prof. Paul Best of Southern Connecticut State University, New Haven, Connecticut, U.S.A.; “National awareness as a political tool of the State: the problem of the Carpatho-Rusyns in the domestic and foreign policy of Poland, 1919-1939” by Dr. Andrzej A. Zieba of the Polonia Research Institute of the Jagiellonian University; “The Lemkos in the Ukrainian National Movement During and After WWII” by Prof. Peter J. Potichnyi, Political Science Department, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada and “Nation Building or Nation Destroying? Poles, Lemkos and Ukrainians in present-day Poland,” by Prof. Paul R. Ma-gocsi, Chair of Ukrainian Studies, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada. Prof. Oksana Grabowicz of Harvard’s Ukrainian Research Institute (Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.A.) was the discussant.

To the surprise of the panel discussion organizers, despite the obvious pleasures of Hawaiian beaches and the hour of the day (Sunday evening), a rather large audience turned out to hear the papers and to take part in the discussion after the formal presentations.
Afterwards, several scholars decided to stay in contact through an informal Carpatho-“Rusyn” (now “Slavic”) Studies Group with a “Secretary” who would keep an address list, produce an occasional newsletter and organize meetings.

At the IV World Congress for “Soviet” (now “Central”) and East European Studies several panels met which dealt with Carpathian questions and some papers where published as Carpatho-Rusyn Studies (Volume 1): contributions of the Carpatho-Rusyn Studies Group to the IV World Congress of Soviet and East European Studies with six articles.

In summer 1992 a four-day conference (20-24 July) was held at the Institute of Political Sciences of the Jagiellonian University of Cracow, Poland dealing with various aspects of the Lemkos of Poland. At this meeting nine papers were delivered which form the contents of volume 2 of Carpatho-Slavic Studies.
The papers of the scholars of the “Carpatho-Slavic Studies Group” at the V World Congress for Central and East European Studies (Warsaw, Poland, August 1995) form Volume 3 of Carpatho-Slavic Studies, The first three volumes are available from us in a single book.

This current book, volume 4, is titled after a conference held at the Jagiellonian university held in May 2001, of the same name.