Apply for the Second URIS Study Trip to Kyiv (31 August – 7 September 2019)


Join our Second URIS Study Trip to Kyiv. The focus of the trip “From Podil to Maidan” is the history of the city of Kyiv. We will trace the rapid change of the capital, which used to be a provincial site of pilgrimage and grew to a cosmopolitan hub in the 20th century. We will discover traces of the city under German occupation during the Second World War and the cultural-political heritage of the “Euromaidan”.

The trip, which is organised by URIS in coordination with the University of Bern and the Mohyla-Academy in Kyiv, is open for application for all students and PhDs of Swiss Universities and offers the participants two different options:

a) Study Trip without Language Course at Mohyla Academy (31 August – 4 September 2019) 

b) Study Trip with Language Course at Mohyla Academy (31 August – 7 September 2019)

Apply with a short letter of motivation and a CV until the 10 of June 2019 at:

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Ukrainian Language Course in Basel: 24 June – 5 July 2019


Join the Ukrainian language course for beginners!

You already know some Russian or Polish and you are curious to learn another Eastern European language? Apply at the Sprachenzentrum of the University of Basel for Yuliya Mayilos popular Ukrainian language course for beginners. The two-week course, which is free of charge for students of Swiss Universities,  will start at the 24 of June and last until the 5 of July.

For more information see:

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Fifth URIS Fellow: Prof Dr Kateryna Dysa


URIS Fellow in the 2019 spring semester (February to July 2019)

 “Young people, travel if you can, and if you cannot – travel all the same” (Jules Verne: L’École des Robinsones, 1882)

Travellers’ accounts and travel guides about the city of Kyiv are the focus of Dr Kateryna Dysa’s current research project “Transformation of the Image of the City in Travel Literature: The Case of Kyiv from the Mid-19th to the Early 20th Century”. Labour migration, pilgrimages and secular tourism led to greater mobility in Tsarist Russia in the mid-19th century and gave rise to new literary forms such as travel guides and travel reports. As the centre of “ancient Rus”, Kyiv was at this time a well-known yet provincial pilgrimage destination for Orthodox believers. The city changed constantly under the influence of the travellers, emerging by the early 20th century as a dynamic, multi-ethnic and cosmopolitan centre. Dr Kateryna Dysa explores the constructions and transformations of the urban landscape of Kyiv from the perspective of a history of travel, making an important contribution to research on tourism and travel in Tsarist Russia.

In her course at the University of Basel titled “Describing Eastern Europe: The History of Travel Writing about the Region between the 16th and 20th Centuries”, she explores with students who the first travellers in Eastern Europe were, what they were hoping to achieve when they embarked on their journeys, and what tropes they reproduced or created about the historical regions of Poland, Russia and Ukraine. The emergence of travel literatureas a genre and its potential for understanding the modern age in Eastern Europe from a social and cultural theory perspective are the focus of the tutorial, which is open to students of history, Eastern European studies, European Global Studies, and literature.

Dr Kateryna Dysa’s dissertation at the Central European University (CEU) in Budapest represents the first comprehensive study on witch trials in Ukraine. Her forthcoming monograph “Witchcraft Trials and Beyond: in Volhynian, Podolian and Ruthenian Palatinates of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth of the 17th –18th centuries”argues from an anthropological perspective that witchcraft in Ukraine manifested itself in mundane domestic magic and reflected the prevailing social tensions. Dr Kateryna Dysa has likewise charted new historiographical territory with her second book project on the history of sexuality in the urban centres of 18th-century Ukraine. Her analysis of the persecution practices of representatives of the Catholic and Orthodox churches places discourses about sexual practices and the body in a comparative European perspective.

Prof Dr Kateryna Dysa researches and teaches at the Mohyla Academy in Kyiv.



Three conferences in Switzerland in December

The Universities of Geneva, Lausanne and Basel host three conferences in December 2018 on Ukraine-related topics!

Geneva, 13/14 December, «Divided Memories, Shared Memories. Poland, Russia, Ukraine: History Mirrored in Literature and Cinema»

Lausanne, 13/14 December, «Current Ukrainian Archaeology: Pontic Olbia, the Limes and the Barbarian»

Basel, 13/14 December, «The Black Sea in Trans-Imperial and Trans-National History»

URIS is pleased to be able to support these three events.

URIS fellowship

URIS is calling for applications for one URIS fellowship for the 2019 autumn semester at the University of Basel.

URIS schreibt für das Herbstsemester 2019 ein URIS-Fellowship an der Universität Basel aus.

Report: URIS study trip to Western Ukraine in June 2018

URIS went on a seven-day study trip to Ukraine in June 2018 with students and other members of the University of Basel. The focus of the trip was the search for historical traces of the coexistence of different cultures and religions in Galicia, Bukovina and Podolia.

Find the report with some pictures here.

Ukrainische Graphic Novel zu Besuch in Basel

Das Philosophicum Basel stellt in Kooperation mit dem Cartoonmuseum Basel das Graphic Novel “Ein Held wider Willen” und die beiden Autoren Cyril Horiszny und Mihai Tymoshenko vor.

Aus dem Ankündigungstext des Philosophicum:

“Ein Held wider Willen” spielt im Revolutionsjahr 1848 im ukrainischen Lemberg. Während der ukrainische Angestellte einer Kanzlei, Stefan Kalinowicz, «gleichmäßig und genau wie eine gut aufgezogene Uhr» seiner Arbeit nachgeht, werden seine Identität und sein Selbstverständnis immer mehr von den äusseren Wirren erfasst und verwirrt. Schliesslich muss er seine Rolle im galizischen Vielvölkerstaat zwischen Österreich, Polen und den Ruthenen neu finden.

Die im ukrainischen Kontext noch heute aktuelle Novelle von Iwan Franko wurde 2017 erstmals ins Deutsche übersetzt. Cyril Horiszny und Mihai Tymoshenko haben daraus eine Graphic Novel gemacht, die zum schönsten Buch der Ukraine gekürt wurde. Zusammen mit Anette Gehrig (Leiterin Cartoonmuseum Basel) stellt Judith Schifferle die beiden Gäste im Philosophicum vor. Apéro und Bücherverkauf im Anschluss.

24. Oktober 2018, 19:00
Philosophicum Basel (1. Stock), St. Johannsvorstadt 19-21
Eintritt: CHF 17.- / 10.-

Serhij Zhadan an der BuchBasel

Serhij Zhadan spricht an der diesjährigen BuchBasel über seinen neuen Roman “Internat”. Judith Schifferle moderiert das Gespräch, Sofiya Onufriv übersetzt und Thomas Sarbacher liest aus dem Roman vor.

Aus der Programmankündigung des Literaturfestivals BuchBasel:
Bisweilen erinnern wir uns, dass in der Ukraine noch immer ein Krieg im Gange ist. Serhij Zhadans Roman «Internat» (Suhrkamp, 2017) führt uns direkt in den Konflikt hinein: Pascha, ein unscheinbarer und unpolitischer Lehrer, der auf keinen Fall ein Held sein will, soll seinen Neffen aus dem Internat nach Hause holen. Dabei geraten die beiden zwischen die Fronten. Sie sind Zivilisten, die im apokalyptischen Niemandsland überleben müssen. Am Ende dieser waghalsigen Unternehmung können sie sich dem Inferno nicht mehr entziehen. «Auf diesen Roman haben wir Ukrainer gewartet» (Katja Petrowskaja, FAZ).

Freitag, 9. November 2018, 20:30 Uhr, Philosophicum Basel (St. Johanns-Vorstadt 19-21, 4056 Basel)
Dies ist eine Veranstaltung der BuchBasel in Kooperation mit dem Philosophicum und dem Osteuropa-Forum Basel.
Mehr Informationen finden Sie auf der Webseite der BuchBasel.

Opening session of the HSG Russia and Its Neighbourhood Discussion Series with Dr Olga Onuch (Manchester)

The School of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of St. Gallen hosts the opening event of the HSG Russia and Its Neighbourhood Discussion Series. Political scientist Olga Onuch will give a speech on “Supporting the Revolution: Post Protest Buy-In or Post-protest Polarization?” discussing the case of Ukraine’s EuroMaidan. Please find more details here.

October 15, 2018, 6.15pm

University of St. Gallen
Room 52-7024 (7th floor)
Müller-Friedberg-Strasse 6/8
St. Gallen

Third Ukrainian Language Course Completed

Last Friday the third URIS Ukrainian course was completed. In the course the active and passive language skills acquired in the Ukrainian I and II courses was developed further. The focus was on reading comprehension and translating texts on current issues. Everyday written and oral communication was practised intensively and grammar skills were improved. The course also offered insight into contemporary and traditional Ukrainian culture.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank the Department of History of the University of Basel, the University of Bern and the University Language Center Basel for making this course possible and of course to thank Yuliya Mayilo for her enthusiastic effort as instructor!


Interview for SWISSINFO with the head of URIS

In an interview with Lioudmila Clot for SWISSINFO, Prof. Dr. Frithjof Benjamin Schenk talks about the idea and activities of the research initiative “Ukrainian Research in Switzerland” and about the connection between education and politics.

The whole interview in Russian can be found at SWISSINFO.

Kurs “Grossmachtverschiebungen weltweit” an der Volkshochschule beider Basel

Die Volkshochschule beider Basel führt im Juni 2018 eine Vortragsreihe zum Thema “Grossmachtverschiebungen weltweit” an. Die Vorträge beleuchten, welche Auswirkungen die ideologische Neuausrichtung der Grossmächte auf aktuelle Krisen und Konflikte haben – von Nordkorea über die Krim und Syrien bis nach Europa. Den Abschluss der Reihe bildet die Präsentation des Friedensgutachtens 2018 der deutschen Friedens- und Konfliktforschungsinstitute.

Alle vier Vortragstermine, die Titel, die Referent_innen sowie die Teilnahmebedingungen finden Sie online auf der Seite der Volkshochschule.

GO EAST Sommerschule: “Identitätsgestaltung – Die Ukraine und Ich”

Der Deutsche Akademische Austauschdienst (DAAD) organisiert vom 1.9. bis zum 17.9.2018 eine internationale reisende Sommerschule für Studierende aller Fächer in Lwiw, Charkiw und Kiew. Das Thema der Sommerschule lautet “Identitätsgestaltung – Die Ukraine und Ich”.

Bewerbungsschluss ist der 1. Juni 2018.

Mehr Informationen finden Sie online.

Die GO EAST Seite des DAAD finden Sie hier.

Polessye as a “Landscape of Intervention”

The Herder Institute for Historical Research on East Central Europe organises s summer school in the region of Polessye. During the summer school, the organizers want to take the participants and experts from Belarus and the Ukraine with them on an investigative exploration through Polessye, experiencing the region together as a dynamic ecological, political, socio-cultural and economic space. The focus will be both on everyday life as well as on the relationships between the state, the people, the natural environment and technology. In three different locations, the group will explore examples of how key historical protagonists interacted with the landscape and dealt with geographical space: Pinsk in the Belarusian part of Polessye, Varaš/Kuznecovsk in the Ukrainian part, and Kyiv.

The final date for applications is 15 June 2018!

For more details please visit the summer school’s website.

Neuerscheinung: “Internat” von Serhij Zhadan

Im Suhrkamp Verlag (Berlin) ist der neue Roman von Serhij Zhadan “Internat” über den Krieg in der Ostukraine in deutscher Übersetzung erschienen. Eine Buchbesprechung finden Sie in der neusten Ausgabe der WOZ – Die Wochenzeitung (WOZ Nr. 12, 22. März 2018, S. 19).

Third URIS workshop, 16 March 2018, St. Gallen

“Contemporary Ukrainian Studies: Cross- and Interdisciplinary Perspectives”
The workshop invites scholars representing diverse disciplines and countries to examine the socio-political, cultural and institutional challenges Ukraine has faced during recent years. They will discuss how those challenges have been addressed in contemporary Ukrainian studies and specifically in sociological studies of religion as well as political and anthropological research. The workshop will also analyze the epistemological and methodological complexities of doing fieldwork in times of political turbulence, transformation and war.

Everyone is welcome to participate. Have a look at the program and at our workshop page!

Ukrainian Language Course II in February 2018

Ukrainian Language Course II in Basel in February 2018
URIS is organising a follow-up course in Ukrainian from 5–16 February for students and members of staff of Swiss universities with good knowledge of Russian or Polish (B1) or with basic knowledge of Ukrainian (A1). The course is free for students and members of staff of Swiss universities. You can sign up for the course until 21.1.2018 on the University of Basel Language Centre website. For more information please visit the University of Basel Language Centre website.

CfA: Visiting Fellowship at Prisma Ukraïna

Prisma Ukraïna (Berlin) is calling for applications for a 3-months Visiting Scholarship within the framework of Prisma Ukraïna – Research Network Eastern Europe. The full call is available here. For more details check out Prisma’s website.

“Sie kam aus Mariupol”

Lesung und Gespräch mit Natascha Wodin
29.11.2017, Literaturhaus Freiburg im Breisgau, 19:30 Uhr

Sie kam aus Mariupol (2017) ist eine Spurensuche. Wodin geht dem Leben ihrer ukrainischen Mutter nach, die aus der Hafenstadt Mariupol stammte und mit ihrem Mann 1934 als ‘Ostarbeiterin’ nach Deutschland verschleppt wurde.”

Die Veranstaltung findet im Rahmen der Russischen Kulturtage in Freiburg im Breisgau statt. Die diesjährigen Kulturtage stehen unter dem dem Thema “Spurensuche: 100 Jahre russische Revolution” und werden vom Zwetajewa-Zentrum für russische Kultur an der Universität Freiburg und vielen unterschiedlichen Partnerorganisationen durchgeführt. Das gesamte Programm finden Sie hier.