An Interview with Peter J. Roccia on his May 2014 Trip to Ukraine
In May 2014, Dr. Peter J. Roccia (Assistant Professor, Communications, at MacEwan University) traveled to Kyiv, Ukraine. In this video interview, Dr. Roccia talks about his experience at the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy as a visiting Canadian academic.
The interview was recorded and edited by Contemporary Ukraine Research Forum Project Coordinator Oleksandr Pankieiev.
During this trip, he had the opportunity to guest-lecture to students on communication theory and national identity from a Canadian perspective, and had great class discussions with students on what it means to have a Ukrainian identity from the Ukrainian point of view.
Notably, in one seminar he spoke to Kyiv graduate students about their relationship with the Dnieper River. From a Western perspective, the river is a divide between East and West, but he found that, to the students, it was instead a point of unification much as the Ganges is in India, or the Nile in Egypt.
In his second seminar, he spoke on submitting to English-language, Western academic journals as a Ukrainian graduate student. Contrary to expectation, this presentation was well-attended with standing room only, as attaining a published article in these journals is a major part of Ukrainian graduate studies.
Dr. Roccia also discusses his visit to the Maidan Nezalezhnosti, the impact on him of the memorials, and the power of the lingering evidence of the Euromaidan in that space. He situates this experience in what he has learned about the history of the Ukrainian people and nation, as an expression and manifestation of Ukrainian identity communicated to the world.