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Duts’-Faifer, Olena/Duc-Fajfer, Helena

Duts’-Faifer, Olena/Duc-Fajfer, Helena (b. August 9, 1960, Udanin-Ujazd Gorny, Poland) — poet, literary scholar, pedagogue, and cultural and civic activist of Rusyn national orientation in the Lemko Region. Duts’-Faifer’s family was deported from the Lemko Region during the *Vistula Operation. Although born “abroad” in Poland’s southwestern region of Silesia, the Duts’ family returned in 1961 to the Lemko Region, where Olena was raised and received her elementary education. She studied at Jagiellonian University in Cracow (1979-1985), where she earned advanced degrees in Slavic philology (M.A., 1985), psychology (M.A., 1987), art history (M.A., 1992), and East Slavic literature (Ph.D., 1997). In all these fields she has published on Lemko-related topics. Of greatest significance is her revised doctoral thesis, which is the first substantive history of Lemko-Rusyn literature covering the decades before World War I: Zycie literackie Lemkow w drugiej polowie wieku XIX i na poczatku wieku XX (2002). Duts’-Faifer is one of the leading figures in the Rusyn-oriented Lemko national revival that began in Poland during the mid-1980s. She was the co-organizer of the first few annual “homeland” *Vatra festivals and is the author of a modernist bilingual Rusyn and Polish collection of poetry: W modlitewnym bluznierstwie (1985). Since 2001 she teaches language, literature, and ethnography at the newly-established program in Lemko-Rusyn studies at the Advanced School of Education in Cracow.

Bibliography: Petro Trokhanovskii, “Z lemkivskym iazykom pershyraz do akademichnykh sal’: na 40. litia narodzhynia Dr Oleny Duts’-Faifer,” in Lemkivskii kalendar 2000 (Krynica and Legnica, 2000), pp. 138-146.

Paul Robert Magocsi

Entry courtesy of Encyclopedia of Rusyn History and Culture.
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