Labour Studies Index

"Comrades! I am far from you, but I am with you!": Ukrainian working women, transnationalism, and the Soviet Cultural Revolution in Winnipeg, 1928

Document type Thesis
Author Vargscarr, Karolya
Degree M.A. (History)
Publisher University of Manitoba; Winnipeg
Date 2016
Pages 88
URL https://mspace.lib.umanitoba.ca/xmlui/handle/1993/31861

Abstract

Using local primary sources, this work answers two questions. Firstly, is there a transnational political connection, reflected ideologically or materially, between the readership of Robitnytsia in Winnipeg and the Soviet Union in 1928? Secondly, what are the interests of the readership of Robitnytsia, as reflected in the Letters section? The answers to these questions are relevant to social historians because their focus is on content generated by the female readership of the journal, not the content generated by the male activists and political leaders who both contributed to and edited it. This work also highlights the value of Robitnytsia as a historical source of Canada, labour, gender, women's, and transnational 1 2 3 Ivan Avakumovic, The Communist Party in Canada: A History (Toronto, 1975), 7. Avakumovic, The Communist Party in Canada [...], 7. Avakumovic, The Communist Party in Canada [...], 9. histories; one that has been under-utilized to date and is readily available to researchers in Winnipeg and other cities across Canada. To evaluate and provide an analysis of Robitnytsia as a source of primary evidence, a brief introduction to the ULFTA, Robitnytsia, and the Soviet Cultural Revolution is helpful to the reader. After addressing the relevant historiography, the three chapters that follow provide analysis and the relevant context for the source work, including photographs and illustrations from the journal. Photographs featured on the covers of Robitnytsia provide insight into the imagery of the journal, as well as to the rhetoric associated with well-known images and icons within the working class Ukrainian community in Winnipeg. Discovering the answer to the second question posed in this work was straightforward, as the priorities and interests of the working women in Winnipeg were highly localized and specific, including recognizable and accessible priorities to even those readers who are not familiar with the work of the ULFTA. These interests included basic literacy, education, labour organization, and participation in political and social activities. The evidence regarding a transnational link to the Soviet Union, the first question of this work, was even more clear: at the grassroots level, there was no such transnational link between the Ukrainian Left in Winnipeg and the Soviet Union in 1928.