Rusova, Sofiia

Image - Sofiia Rusova Image - Sofiia Rusova with her sister Mariia.

Rusova, Sofiia [Русова, Софія; née Lindfors], b 18 February 1856 in Oleshnia, Horodnia county, Chernihiv gubernia, d 5 February 1940 in Prague. Pedagogue, author, and political activist; wife of Oleksander Rusov and mother of Mykhailo Rusov and Yurii Rusov; member of the Central Rada and a founding member and first president of the National Council of Ukrainian Women. She headed the Department of Preschool and Adult Education in the Ministry of Education under the Hetman government, and was a professor of education at the Froebel Pedagogical Institute in Kyiv before the First World War and at Kamianets-Podilskyi Ukrainian State University immediately after the war. Rusova escaped from Soviet Ukraine in 1922 and settled in Prague, where she taught at the Ukrainian Higher Pedagogical Institute between 1924 and 1939. As a member of the Union of Ukrainian Women and honorary president of the World Union of Ukrainian Women she frequently represented Ukrainian women at international women’s conferences.

She was a vocal proponent of the left democratic wing of the Ukrainian political spectrum. She promoted day-care, adult education, and political organization of the peasants. She remained an active member of the Ukrainian Party of Socialist Revolutionaries and contributed frequently to its newspapers, especially to the Prague-based Nova hromada.

Her works include the memoirs Moï spomyny (My Memoirs, Lviv 1937) and Nashi vyznachni zhinky (Our Prominent Women, Kolomyia 1934; 2nd edn, Winnipeg 1945), Persha chytanka dlia doroslykh dlia vechirnykh ta nedil’s’kykh shkil (First Reader for Adults for Evening and Sunday Schools, 1918), Iedyna diial’na (trudova) shkola (The Unified [Labor] School, 1918), Teoriia i praktyka doshkil’noho vykhovannia (Theory and Practice of Preschool Education, 1924), Suchasni techiï v novii pedahohitsi (Contemporary Trends in Modern Pedagogy, 1932), and Moral’ni zavdannia suchasnoï shkoly (Moral Tasks of the Contemporary School, 1938).

Marta Bohachevsky-Chomiak

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 4 (1993).]

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