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. She will stay in Basel until July 2024.

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.



Comics im Krieg: The Ukrainian Cartoon Magazine INKER 2022-2023. The Intersection of Art and Journalism

Public Exhibition @ Salon Mondial, Freilager-Platz 9, Münchenstein
10-30 April 2024 at Atelier Mondial in Basel

In Ukraine, the comic is a helpful means of expression: it combines the search for artistic freedom in an extreme situation with journalistic-documentary concerns and often serves as a platform for social self-understanding as well as communication beyond the country's borders.

The exhibition, organised in cooperation with the University of Basel, URIS, Atelier Mondial and the FHNW School of Art and Design, will be accompanied by artist talks and workshops. The opening vernissage will take place on 10 April 2024. As part of the exhibition, a workshop on the creation of documentary comics will take place on 12 April 2024, bringing together artists, journalists, academics and students. Svitlana Pidoprygora is the initiator of the exhibition.


From Wall to Web: Ukrainian Street Art, Comics, and Memes as Visual Testimonies to War

Public Talk with our URIS Fellow Svitlana Pidoprygora @the University of Geneva - Uni-Mail
8 December 2023, 12-14h, University of Geneva/ UniMail, salle M3220

*postponed - new date will be published soon.

> Flyer

In the visual landscape of war, Ukrainian street art, comics, and memes emerge as crucial mediums, eloquently conveving profound wartime experiences and serving as powerful testimonials to the resilience and struggles of Ukrainians. This lecture explores the impactful expressions of Ukrainian artists amid the ongoing war, emphasizing the vital role of visual media in articulating the deep-seated experiences of war. These comics, memes, and street art not only act as potent testimonials but also shape national narratives, foster empathy, and form collective memory.


Ukrainian Superheroes: A Fusion of Global Tradition and National Identity in Ukrainian Comics

Lecture at the Slavic Seminar in Basel
Tuesday, 14 November 2023, 18.15–19.45
Slavic Seminar, Nadelberg 8, 4051 Basel

This lecture is part of the research seminar of the Slavic Seminar.


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

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.

Upcoming events

Im Herbstsemester 2023 fand die dritte URIS Ringvorlesung zur Ukraine statt. Die Aufzeichnungen der Vorträge sind nun online!

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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