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Magocsi, Paul Robert

Magocsi, Paul Robert (pseudonyms: Pavel Macu, Philip Michaels, Julian Galloway) (b. January 26, 1945, Englewood, New Jersey, USA) — professor, historian, and publisher of partial Rusyn descent in the United States. Magocsi completed his studies at Rutgers University (B.A., 1966; M.A., 1967), Princeton University (Ph.D., 1972), and Harvard University (Society of Fellows, 1976). He began publishing and organizing scholarly conferences about Rusyns while working as a senior researcher at Harvard University during the 1970s. Since 1980 he has held the Chair of Ukrainian Studies at the University of Toronto in Canada and in 1996 he was elected to the Academy of Humanities of the Royal Society of Canada. Magocsi is founding president (1978- ) of the *Carpatho-Rusyn Research Center; co-editor of its series of scholarly translations, Classics in Carpatho-Rusyn Studies, 11 vols. (1987- ); a founding member of the *World Congress of Rusyns (1991); and member of the latter’s Executive Council/Svitova rada (1991- ). He has organized several scholarly conferences about Rusyns both in the United States and Europe, including the first (1992) and second (1999) “congresses” of the Rusyn language.

Magocsi has published over 550 studies in various disciplines—history, bibliography, language, cartography, political science—dealing with central Europe and Ukraine. More than half of the works focus specifically on Carpatho-Rusyns in both Europe and North America. On that subject his most widely consulted works include The Shaping of a National Identity: Subcarpathian Rus’, 1848-1948 (1978; Ukrainian trans. 1994); Let’s Speak Rusyn (three language variants—1976, 1979, 1998); Carpatho-Rusyn Studies: An Annotated Bibliography, 2 vols. (1988, 1998); Our People: Carpatho-Rusyns and their Descendants in North America (1984; 3rd rev. ed. 1994); The Rusyns of Slovakia: An Historical Survey (1993; Rusyn and Slovak ed., 1994); and the first large-scale map showing all villages on both slopes of the Carpathians ever inhabited by Rusyns (1996, 1998).

Following the Revolution of 1989 Magocsi’s writings became well known in the European homeland, where they helped to provide ideological justification for the most recent Rusyn national revival. Gradually he came to support the idea that Carpatho-Rusyns form a distinct Slavic nationality and, as such, that they have a right to propagate their culture and language in all countries where they live. The impact of Magocsi’s writings and his work as a “national awakener” have been discussed by Rusyn activists in the homeland, including Volodymyr Fedynyshynets’, Istorychna metafora profesora Mahochiia (1995), and by several Western scholars. Many of his scholarly articles and polemical debates with those who deny that Rusyns are a distinct nationality have been published in Of the Making of Nationalities There Is No End, 2 vols. (1999).

Bibliography: Gabriele Scardellato and John-Paul Himka, Paul Robert Magocsi: A Bibliography, 1964-2000 (Toronto, 2000); Chris Hann, “Intellectuals, Ethnic Groups and Nations: Two Late-Twentieth Century Cases,” in S. Periwal, ed., Nations of Nationalism (Budapest, London, and New York, 1995), pp. 106-128; Christopher M. Hann, “On Nation(alitie)s in General, and One Potential Nation(ality) in Particular,” in Paul Robert Magocsi, ed., Of the Making of Nationalities There Is No End, Vol. I (New York, 1999), pp. xiii-xxxvii; Vasil’ Choma, “Renesancia rusinstva a Paul Robert Magocsi,” Slovo, I, 1 (Bratislava, 2001), pp. 117-123; Martin Fedor Ziac, “Professors and Politics: The Role of Paul Robert Magocsi in the Modern Carpatho-Rusyn Revival,” East European Quarterly, XXXV, 2 (Boulder, Colo., 2001), pp. 213-232.

Bogdan Horbal

Entry courtesy of Encyclopedia of Rusyn History and Culture.
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