The second URIS fellow, Dr Olena Palko, researched and taught at the University of Basel from August 2017 to January 2018.
Dr Olena Palko is a junior scholar with an interdisciplinary profile. She studied political science and philosophy at the Taras Shevchenko National University in Kiev and obtained her doctorate in political science at the Institute of Political Science and Ethnology at the National Academy of Sciences in Kiev. Dr Palko also completed further PhD studies in history at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England in March 2017. Her research interests are the political and cultural history of Ukraine in the 20th century. Dr Palko’s research to date has focused on the question of the Bolsheviks’ consolidation of power in Ukraine in the 1920s.
Current research project
In her current research project, Dr Palko is undertaking a comparison of the nationality policies of Poland and the early USSR in the 1920s. With particular reference to policy towards the Ukrainian nation, the research investigates the interplay of minority policy and foreign policy in the years between the wars. It describes nationality policy as a means of political consolidation and intergovernmental rivalry, exploring in particular the role of Soviet “Polonophobia” and Polish “Sovietophobia” in the formulation of nationality and minority policies in both countries.
Dr Palko taught a course in English in Basel on “Soviet Nation-Building in the 1920s-1930s” in the 2017 autumn semester. The course focused on principles and measures of Soviet nationality and minority policy in the interwar period. Conflicting objectives and differences in the implementation of nationality and minority policy in the various Soviet republics were discussed. The aim of this approach was to contribute to a better understanding of the historical dimension of numerous contemporary conflicts in the post-Soviet region.
The course was open to BA and MA students of Eastern European studies, history, political science, European Global Studies and related subjects. The link to the course in the University of Basel calendar is available here.
Public lectures and conferences
Dr Palko gave a lecture on“Mythologizing the Revolution: The Representations of the Russian Revolution in Ukrainian and Russian Revolutionary Literature”, at the conference “One Hundred Years that Shook the World: Failures, Legacies and Futures of the Russian Revolution” organised by the University of St. Gallen, Literaturhaus Zürich and Palace St. Gallen.
Dr Palko participated the public panel discussion “10 Tage, die die Welt erschütterten” – 100 Jahre danach: Dimensionen der Revolution für Europa” within the series of lectures “100 Jahre Russische Revolution” at the University of Berne.
CV and list of publications (PDF)