Constantine Andrusyshen

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Constantine Andrusyshen was born in Winnipeg (Canada) to a Ukrainian immigrant. In 1912–20, in parallel with the studies at a public secondary school, he attended classes at the Ukrainian School under St. Nicholas Church. His further educational background included studies of French and English literature at the University of Manitoba, which he graduated from in 1929 as a Bachelor and in 1930 as a Master. Andrusyshen was actively involved in cultural and educational activities of the Ukrainian community in Winnipeg. In 1930–31, he, at the community’s cost, continued his education at the Sorbonne (France). Back in Winnipeg, he taught the Ukrainian language and literature at schools and Ukrainian studies classes, and worked for the Prosvita Society, edited the Kanadiysky Farmer, one of Canada’s oldest Ukrainian periodicals. In 1936–40, Andrusyshen studied at the University of Toronto, where he presented his Doctorate, and in 1944–45 – at Harvard (USA).

Andrusyshen was a motivated supporter of implementing the Ukrainian language as a subject at public secondary schools and higher educational establishments of Saskatchewan Province (being a member of the Provincial Council). It was at the University of Saskatchewan that the Canada’s first course in Ukrainian studies was introduced. Similar programmes still exist at some of Canadian higher educational establishments. Since 1945, he taught the Ukrainian language and literature, and since 1950 for the following 25 years, was the head of the Saskatchewan University’s Slavonic Studies Department.

Andrusyshen’s translations gave the English-speaking audience access to texts by T. Shevchenko, I. Franko, V. Stefanyk, M. Kotsiubynsky, M. Khvyliovy, M. Cheremshyna and other outstanding Ukrainian writers. He was the author of numerous essays, editor of the Ukrainian poetry anthology The Ukrainian Poets (1963) that presented translations of several dozen Ukrainian authors, including the Canadian-born ones. Andrusyshen’s publications also included The Poetical Works of Taras Shevchenko (1964) and A Complete Ukrainian-English Dictionary (1955, joint project).

In recognition of his substantial scholarly accomplishments Constantine Andrusyshen was elected a full member of the Shevchenko Scientific Society, and in 1964 became the first Ukrainian Member of the Canada’s Royal Society. His awards included the Medal to the 100 th Anniversary of Canada and the Shevchenko Golden Medal.