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Ihor Junyk

E-Mail: ihorjunyk@trentu.ca

B.A. Hons. (U.W.O.), M.A (Queen’s), Ph.D (University of Chicago)

Ihor Junyk is an Associate Professor of Cultural Studies at Trent University where he teaches and writes about literature and visual culture. His work ranges across the modern period (from the late eighteenth century to the present) and is particularly concerned with the complex relationship between cultural artifacts and the contexts of their production and reception. His current areas of interest include Victorian popular fiction, the modernist novel, magical realism and the postmodern fantastic, media history, early cinema, and the graphic novel. 

His work has appeared in such publications as Comparative Literature, Modern Fiction Studies, Grey Room, and Early Popular Visual Culture. His book manuscript, Foreign Modernism: Cosmopolitanism, Identity and Style in Paris will be published by the University of Toronto Press in the Fall of 2012. 

Foreign Modernism looks at the role of foreigners in Parisian modernism in the first third of the twentieth century. At the beginning of this period Paris was the cosmopolitan Mecca of Europe and perhaps the world. Among the vast numbers of foreigners in Paris at this time were numerous writers, painters, sculptors, and musicians who were creating the works that are now synonymous with modernism itself: Les Desmoiselles d’Avignon, The Rite of Spring, and Ulysses were all created by foreigners in this cosmopolitan atmosphere. The situation at the end of the period could not have been more starkly different. Even before the violence of the Second World War, the cosmopolitan avant-garde had largely abandoned Paris, driven out by nationalism, xenophobia, and intolerance, putting France into a period of cultural decline from which many argue it still has not emerged. Foreign Modernism investigates this tense and transitional moment for both modernism and European multiculturalism. While it considers biographical and sociological information about émigré modernists and deals with works that explicitly thematize exile, migration, and diaspora, it is primarily concerned with modernist form itself as a site where issues of cosmopolitanism and nationalism are inscribed and worked through. Combining cultural history with contemporary work in cosmopolitanism, transnationalism, and diaspora studies, it argues that émigré modernists used techniques such as irony, parody, hybridization, and fragmentation to resist the culture of increasingly virulent nationalism and to articulate new forms of cosmopolitan identity.

His subsequent work has focused on memory and nostalgia in Eastern European (particularly Ukrainian) literature and visual culture. It rejects the simplistic conception of nostalgia as a reactionary yearning for the good old days and attempts to rethink it as a complex strategy for negotiating trauma and constructing identity.

His latest research project traces the "prehistory of new media," examining the social and cultural impact of "technologies of the image" during the "long" nineteenth century.

Ihor Junyk is also a graduate of the Humber School for Writers where he worked with two-time Booker Prize winner Peter Carey. He is currently working on a novel tentatively titled Leviathan. 

For a complete CV and a selection of writings see