Prof. Dr. Svitlana Pidoprygora

Svitlana Pidoprygora is a professor of literary studies with a focus on the Ukrainian historical novel, Ukrainian experimental literature, and 20th century and contemporary pop culture. Prof. Pidoprygora obtained her doctorate in 2008 at the Тaras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv with a thesis on the Ukrainian historical prose of Roman Ivanychuk. In 2019 she completed a post-doc project in Ukrainian Literature and Literary Theory and served as professor in the Department of Theory and Practice of English Translation at the Petro Mohyla Black Sea National University until the beginning of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine. She was given a temporary position at the Slavic Institute of the University of Innsbruck in August 2022 and moved to Basel to join URIS in August 2023.

Professor Pidoprygora's research interests include the theory of experimental literature, the theory of visual arts, visual studies, comics studies and mass culture studies.

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Research project

Ukraine and Its Visual (Self-)Representations in Turbulent Times with a Focus on Comics Culture

Research on comics and graphic novels has gained ground in literary studies in recent decades. More than just a medium of entertainment, they are also cultural artefacts that can give us valuable insights into social and political developments. During her stay at the University of Basel in the 2023 autumn semester, our new URIS fellow Professor Svitlana Pidoprygora will explore how times of crisis in Ukraine in the 20th century were reflected and processed in Ukrainian and European comics and graphic novels.

Focuses of her research project at the University of Basel titled “Ukraine and Its Visual (Self-)Representations in Turbulent Times with a Focus on Comics Culture” include representations of the Holodomor in the 1930s, World War II, the Chornobyl reactor disaster and the Russian war of aggression since 2014. The aim is to identify the unique aspects of Ukrainian comics culture and to contrast them with similar representations in European visual media.


Documenting war in Ukraine in comics: Ukrainian and European representations and perspectives

Public URIS Workshop
Tuesday, 24 October 2023, 13.00–17.30
Mehrzweckraum 035, Kollegienhaus, University of Basel, Petersplatz 1

Comics today represent a cultural phenomenon reflecting society's cultural and sociopo- litical landscape. They possess a remarkable ability to swiftly respond to various facets of human life, including environmental disasters, global crises, wars, displacement, vio- lence, and humiliation. Beyond their role as entertainment, comics serve as a versatile medium capable of addressing various subjects, fulfilling both documentary and investi- gative journalism needs, and oering socially relevant information. Consequently, co- mics have evolved into not only a distinct element of popular culture but also a political one, a kind of information warfare, particularly evident in times of armed conflict, such as the ongoing Russian-Ukrainian war.

© UA Comix, 2023; © NGO “Kryholam”, 2023

This workshop aims to illuminate (self-)representations of Ukraine in predominantly do- cumentary comics and graphic novels created during wartime in Ukraine. It will focus on analyzing the various artistic responses to the Russian-Ukrainian war, narrative stra- tegies within comics, framing techniques, aesthetic elements, and the role of comics in depicting the war experience.

You can find detailed information about this event here.

The Virtual East: Eastern European Video Game Landscapes

Public Lecture
Monday, 23 October 2023, 18.15–19.45
Alte Universität Basel, Rheinsprung 9, 4051 Basel, Seminarraum –201

We would also like to promote an associated event the day before the workshop on «The Virtual East: Eastern European Video Game Landscapes» with our workshop participant Gernot Howanitz. All are welcome, entry is free, and there will also be an aperitif.

Upcoming events

On 24 October, come to our next workshop to learn how the current Russian war of aggression against Ukraine is reflected in comics. Join us!

Im Herbstsemester 2023 findet die nun dritte URIS Ringvorlesung zur Ukraine statt!

Unser Ukrainisch II findet ab September bis Dezember 2023, dienstags von 12.15–14.00 Uhr statt. Jetzt anmelden!

About URIS

Learn more about the objectives, the vision and the funding of the initiative “Ukrainian Research in Switzerland”.

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The URIS website presents an overview of ongoing Ukraine research projects in the humanities, cultural studies and social sciences.

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