The following articles (papers with full scholarly apparatus, that is, notes) and essays (opinion pieces without extensive citations) are the results of over ten years of discussions held among scholars who are interested in that area of the Carpathian Mountains now or formerly inhabited by East Slavs. In this case, East Slavic is defined as those people whose religious foundation was Byzantine rite Christianity and who used the Cyrillic alphabet to write their language, people whose culture was part of East Europe as opposed to Western European people of a Roman Christian background (whether Roman Catholic or in protest against it — Protestant) and who used the Roman alphabet. The Renaissance, Reformation and Enlightenment were basically West European movements, to be sure there were echoes in the Carpathians, but they were not East European in origin.
The following materials are not arranged thematically but rather by the occasion when they were first presented to the scholarly community at conferences. Some of them may have also later been published in other venues.
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 J. 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 WW II" 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. Magocsi, 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 debate after the formal presentations.
Afterwards, several academicians 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 TV World Congress for 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.
Who We Are and What We Stand For
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 polite way, If you are interested in our activities, please copy and fill out the sheet at the end of this book and send it to the address indicated and you will thereby become a member.
A Note About Terminology and Transliteration
Many readers of this volume may be aware that there is much acrimonious controversy about the proper terminology for a East Slavic population that has at various times, in various circumstances, and using several alphabets, been called: Lemkos, Boikos, Hutsuls, Lemaki, Rusnaks, Rusins, Rusyns, Carpatho-Rusyns, Carpatho-Ukrainians, and Carpatho-Russians (and other terms). Thus, we use as neutral a term as possible, "Carpatho-Slavic", in our group's name and in our publications.
For the sake of convenience we pluralize Lemko as Lemkos rather than Lemki, Lemkowie, etc., and we've settled on the use of the Lemko Region, instead of Lemkovyna, or the more cumbersome Lemkivscyna (German), Lemkowszczyzna (Polish) or Lemkivshchyna (Ukrainian). According to standard scholarly usage, we use Lviv (Ukrainian), the current name of that city, rather than Lwow (Polish), Lvov (Russian) or Lemberg (German).
As the reader may be aware, there are several versions of the Cyrillic alphabet in use in and around the area discussed in this text and even these have evolved over the years. Transliterating the variations of Cyrillic into the Roman alphabet presents some real difficulties since there may already be a transliteration in use in the Polish version of the Roman as is true for a German variant or a Slovak one. Since adherents to one or another transliteration can never be satisfied if the alternate is selected for use (for example, should it be Rusyn or Rusin}, we will do the best we can and make transliterations according to the current Library of Congress and Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute usages as rendered for standard English pronunciation, thus Kyiv instead of Kiev for the capital of Ukraine. If a standard Roman spelling already exists for a place, then that was selected, thus Gorlice (Poland) instead of transliterated Ukrainian Horlyci or Przemysl instead Peremyshl or if for a name Sheptytsky instead of Szeptycki or Kotsylovsky instead of Kocylowski or Mastsiukh instead of Masciuch, et al.
This book, containing three volumes of Carpatho-Slavic Studies, was compiled, translated and edited for the sole purpose of disseminating information about Carpatho-Slavs. Material appearing in square brackets [ ] was added by the translators.
Any comments, remarks, additional information, etc., would be gratefully received.
Paul J- Best, Secretary
Carpatho-Slavic Studies Group
Document URL: http://lemko.org/books/best/preface.html
Return to Lemko Home Page
Date Posted: February 29, 2001
© LV Productions, Ltd.. All Rights Reserved.
LV Productions, Ltd.|
c/o Walter Maksimovich
3923 Washington Street
Kensington MD 20895-3934