Call for Applications: “Ukraine and Europe in Transition”, two URIS fellowships (autumn semester 2020 and spring semester 2021, University of Basel, Switzerland)

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The initiative Ukrainian Research in Switzerland (URIS) is calling for applications for two URIS fellowships for the autumn semester 2020 and the spring semester 2021 at the University of Basel (Switzerland). The internationally oriented fellowship programme is open to postdoctoral and senior scholars in the humanities, cultural studies and social sciences whose research has the potential to make a substantial contribution to a better understanding of the history, society, politics and culture of Ukraine.

For more information see: CfA

Application Form

International Conference “Ukrainian Studies Today. State of the Art in Switzerland” (Basel, 29.01.-31.01.2020)

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We warmly invite you to attend our URIS Conference “Ukrainian Studies Today. State of the Art in Switzerland” (29-31 January 2020). On the occasion of the third anniversary of URIS, we are undertaking a review of our work and examining the current state of Ukraine research in Switzerland. We are delighted that all six URIS fellows and the URIS academic advisory board will be coming to Basel to mark the occasion and that we can discuss the challenges and opportunities of Ukraine research together with colleagues from Switzerland, Germany and Ukraine. Details of the programme and the keynote lecture by Yaroslav Hrytsak are available here.

URIS Conference: Call for Applications − Poster Presentation MA and PhD Projects

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We are inviting students and doctoral candidates at Swiss universities to present their current Ukraine-related MA theses and doctoral projects at the conference Ukrainian Studies Today. State of the Art in Switzerland  (Basel, 29-31 January 2020in poster form. The conference offers a unique opportunity to present your research project to an experienced and knowledgeable international audience and discuss unresolved questions with them. The project posters will be displayed in the foyer of the conference venue and presented by the authors in short 5-10 minute presentations.

For more information regarding the application, see the CfA

29th of October 2019: Invitation to the public lecture of Mykhailo Minakov


URIS, the Institute for European Global Studies (EIB) and the Osteuropa-Forum (OFB) cordially invites you to the public lecture of our sixth URIS-fellow Mykhailo Minakov.

The lecture “Demodernization in Post-Soviet Societies: The Case of Ukraine”, moderated by Prof. Frithjof Benjamin Schenk, will take place at 6.15 pm at the Alte Universität, Hörsaal -101, Am Rheinsprung 9 and will be followed by a reception and a book launch.

More information on the flyer

Welcome to Basel, Mykhailo


Our sixth URIS fellow Mykhailo Minakov has arrived in Basel. Find all information about his most interesting research project “Secessionism in Ukraine” here: Portrait

Fourth Ukrainian Language Course Completed! Congratulations!


Last Friday the fourth URIS Ukrainian course was completed. Whereas the previous courses (Ukrainian II & III) developed the active and passive language skills further, the students from different Universities in Switzerland took the chance to attend an introductory course again this summer. The two week course focused on basic language and grammar skills and everyday written and oral communication was practised intensively. 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 Departement of Linguistics and Literary Studies of the University of Basel, the University of Bern, the University of Zurich, the University of St Gallen and the University Language Center Basel for making this unique course possible and of course to thank Yuliya Mayilo for her enthusiastic effort as instructor!

Visit of the Ukrainian ambassador Artem Rybchenko in Basel


On his visit to Basel, the Ukrainian ambassador Artem Rybchenko met URIS.

He was very interested in learning about our research initiative and projects, we presented on that occasion.

Дякую за увагу!

Looking forward to a fruitful cooperation.






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!