Apply for the Summer School: Ukraine – Opportunities and Challenges for Dialogue, Basel 21-25 June 2021

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Learn about conflict and dialogue in the context of Ukraine.

  •  Understand the conflict in and around Ukraine and the current status of the settlement process.
  •  Analyze key actors, drivers and layers of conflict in the context of Ukraine.
  •  Assess opportunities and challenges for dialogue in Ukraine at the local, national and international level.
  •  Learn about key concepts from peace studies and how they apply to Ukraine.
  • Exchange experiences and become part of a community of practice.

Detailed course description, flyer and application

Open Registration for the Advanced Ukrainian Course in February 2021


In February 2021 (15.-26.) our experienced and esteemed Ukrainian teacher Yuliya Mayilo will again offer a two-week Ukrainian language course. Sign up for the digital Ukrainian language course, which will be free of charge for all students and staff of the Swiss universities thanks to the generous support of the universities of St Gallen, Zurich, Bern and Basel.

Further information 

News from Ukraine in the Students Online Journal SlavicumPress

Запорізький фестиваль, присвячений поету-футуристу Велімиру Хлєбникову. Інтерв’ю з Іриною Шатовою – Фабіан Шаллер, Рена Зейналова
Вікторія Забава – Осіння рапсодія
Наталия Волчкова – У потязі

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CfP: ‘Being a Minority in Times of Catastrophe’, London 25-26 June 2021

Birkbeck, University of London, calls for proposal submissions for the symposium ‘Being a Minority in Times of Catastrophe’ on 25-26 June 2021.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, surveys by the British Medical Association and other organisations reported that persons from black and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds have suffered disproportionately, both in health and economic terms. While it is too early to draw conclusions regarding the reasons and outcomes of these inequalities, this symposium wishes to explore historical parallels in which minority groups were similarly affected by sudden or prolonged periods of crisis. The organisers wish to bring together scholars to discuss the experiences of Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe’s minorities in times of historical disaster, natural and man-made, and the responses these engendered such as the provision of relief and medical aid or maintaining law and order. Papers exploring the impact of, or reactions to, specific environmental and public health emergencies, such as famines, floods or epidemic disease, from the late eighteenth century onwards are especially welcome.

The deadline for proposal submissions is 14th January 2021.

Details about the application SGMH CfP 2021

Joint URIS & CEES workshop: 20 November 2020

«How to React to Crisis, Secessionism and War – Protest, Peace Activism, or Emigration? South Caucasus & Ukraine in a Comparative Perspective»

While the leaders of the self-declared Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics have been waging an armed conflict with Russian support for over five years, leading to the loss of more than 13 000 lives, Abkhazia became de facto independent after the Abkhaz-Georgian war of 1992-1993. These conflicts at Europe’s geographical peripheries are still confronting the people in Eastern Ukraine and the South Caucasus with difficult decisions: should one join the secessionist movements, engage in peace solutions, cultural and social activities, or escape the zone of conflict by emigration? To address these questions, the academic programs Ukrainian Research in Switzerland (URIS) and Center for Eastern European Studies (CEES) jointly invite experts from Ukraine and the South Caucasus to an interdisciplinary workshop consisting of three roundtable discussions. Our guests will assess the situation in Eastern Ukraine and the South Caucasus in a comparative way and from a sociological, ethnological, historical and geographical perspective.

More details in the program

If you wish to participate in our virtual workshop, please register under:

Ukrainian Studies Online Colloquium: Opening Discussion, 2 November 2020

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Join the opening discussion of the Ukrainian Studies Online Colloquium with our URIS-Community member Fabian Baumann, starting at 6pm.

The Opening Discussion on November represents a starting point for constructive debates approaching the evolution, challenges and prospects of Ukrainian Studies from a variety of (trans)regional research backgrounds. This first talk, moderated by Andrii Portnov (European U Viadrina, Frankfurt (Oder)), will be shaped by the analytical contributions of Fabian Baumann (U of Basel), Joanna Konieczna-Sałamatin (U of Warsaw), Mykola Riabchuk (National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine) and Natalia Sinkevych (LMU Munich).

The program of the Ukrainian Studies Online Colloquium, consisting of 15 virtual sessions hosted via ZOOM, is out! Our interdisciplinary online format is free and open to the public. Login access can be requested at ukraine(at)

Each session will be streamed online via the YouTube channel Entangled History of Ukraine/Prisma Ukraïna.

CfA: 2 URIS Fellowships, Autumn 2021 & Spring 2022

“Ukraine and Europe in Transition”
The initiative Ukrainian Research in Switzerland (URIS) is calling for applications for two URIS fellowships for the autumn semester 2021 and the spring semester 2022 at the University of Basel (Switzerland), subject to the approval of the corresponding grant funds. 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. The URIS fellowship enables the recipient to spend six months researching at the University of Basel (August 2021–January 2022 and February 2022–July 2022) and will be awarded on the basis of excellence criteria.

Detailed information and the application form


Online discussion with leading sociologists and media experts: 14 Oct, 6:30 pm at the Ukrainian Institute, London

What unites Ukrainians?

Ukraine has long been portrayed as a divided country, split along linguistic, ethnic and historical lines. However, following the Euromaidan revolution, several studies have shown the strength of civic identity in Ukraine, and that the regional variability of social attitudes is far more nuanced than the supposed east-west dichotomy.

A groundbreaking new study by the Arena Initiative based at the LSE Institute of Global Affairs and Johns Hopkins University has investigated what lies beneath propaganda-driven divides in Ukraine. It found that a strong stance against corruption, a shared experience of historical traumas, and a passion for freedom bring Ukrainians together, regardless of where they come from or what language they speak.

This webinar will feature a discussion with leading experts in sociology and media production, debunking the myth of divided Ukraine and exploring the latest social research on what unites and motivates Ukrainians.

This event is held in partnership with the LSE Institute of Global Affairs and the Center for Governance and Culture in Europe of the University of St. Gallen. The event will be held in English.

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Network « KEAS-BSR »

The project « Knowledge Exchange and Academic Cultures in the Humanities. Europe and the Black Sea Region » (KEAS-BSR) attempts to systematically investigate knowledge and cultural exchanges between the BSR and Western Europe from the late 18th century to the present theoretical and to establish methodological approaches with the potential of new pathways for future research and in its foregrounding of gender aspects.

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Nataliya Borys wrote a report on the last KEAS-BSR conference “Knowledge and ideological frontlines. Europe and the Black Sea region after World War II”,  Blagoevgrad University, Bulgaria, 24 April 2020 on the Blog The Soviet History Lab 

Ost¦Est Talk: The Instrumentalisation of the Past and Political Mobilisation, Wed, 30 September 2020, 12:30, live on Facebook

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Ost¦Est invites you to the talk « The Instrumentalisation of the Past and Political Mobilisation » with the editors of the Euxeinos Special Issue « The Instrumentalisation of the Past and Political Mobilisation »

‘How did the past create the present?’ – This would be the usual question for historians who strive for a most accurate possible reproduction of what has happened in the past and seek to understand how past events are connected to the present. In the present volume of Euxeinos, we propose, however, to turn the question the other way around, looking at history and historiography not as something given, but as a product of a specific political context.

The authors will be present at the Ost|Est Talk:
Aleksandra Sekulić, PhD candidate in Theory of Art and Media at the Faculty of Media and Communications, Belgrade (Serbia) and programme director at the Centre for Cultural Decontamination (CZKD) in Belgrade
Olesya Khromeychuk, Teaching Fellow in Modern European History at King’s College London
Malkhaz Toria, associate professor of history and the director of the “Memory Study Centre in the Caucasus” at Ilia State University (Tbilisi, Georgia)
Ekaterina Klimenko, PhD Candidate at the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the Polish Academy of Sciences
Iryna Eihelson (Brunova-Kalisetska), PhD in Psychology, facilitator of different dialogue projects, e.g. “Ukrainian action: Healing the past”

Join the talk on Wednesday, 30 September, 12:30 live on Facebook

Book chapter by members from the URIS community: Oksana Myshlovska

In her latest book chapter Regionalism in Ukraine: Historic Evolution, Regional Claim-Making, and Centre–Periphery Conflict Resolution  Oksana Myshlovska contributes to the following debate: Recently, scholars have been occupied with explaining why the previous phases of contention in Ukraine had unfolded in a non-violent manner, while the 2013–2014 contention cycle turned into a violent conflict. The chapter aims to make several contributions. First, it analyzes identity and regional cleavages in Ukraine and the evolution and dynamics of claim-making and center-periphery contention related to them in different regions. Second, it studies the non-violent forms of contention in Ukraine from the late 1980s until the eruption of violent conflict in 2014. The findings are consistent with theories of conflict that posit that non-violent forms of conflict precede escalation into violent conflict.

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CEUPRESS Publikation by our fifth URIS Fellow Kateryna Dysa

Drawing on quantitative data drawn from a range of trials Kateryna Dysa first describes the ideological background of the tribunals based on works written by priests and theologians that reflect attitudes toward the devil and witches. The main focus of her work, however, is the process leading to witchcraft accusations. From the stories of participants of the trials she shows what led people to enunciate first suspicions then accusations of witchcraft. Finally, she presents a microhistory from one Volhynian village, comparing attitudes toward two “female crimes” in the Ukrainian courts.

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The study is based on archival research including witch trials transcripts. Dysa approaches the trials as indications of belief and practice, attempting to understand the actors involved rather than dismiss or condemn them. She takes care to situate early modern Ukrainian witchcraft and its accompanying trials in a broader European context, with comparisons to some African cases as well.


Welcome to Basel, dear Bohdan


Our seventh URIS fellow Bohdan Tokarskyi has arrived in Basel. Find all information about his most interesting research project “A Fragment of Wholeness: The Making of the Self in the Works of Vasyl’ Stus » here: Portrait

Visiting Scholar from Kyiv at the University of Basel, Olha Martynyuk

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Olha Martynyuk has been awarded a EKSAS-fellowship and will spend the academic year 2020/2021 at the University of Basel/ Department of History. URIS is looking forward to collaborate with Olha Martynyuk and to learn more about her current research project « Bicycle Transport and Micromobility in Ukraine (1890-1990) ». More information about the interesting research of Olha Martynyuk can be found here.

Septième boursier: Dr Bohdan Tokarskyi

Boursier URIS du semestre d’automne 2020 (d’août 2020 à janvier 2021)

Poésie et résistance sont deux points de référence importants du projet de recherche actuel de notre septième boursier URIS, Dr Bohdan Tokarskyi.


Sous le titre « A Fragment of Wholeness », le slaviste et chercheur en études culturelles de l’université de Cambridge explore la vie et l’œuvre du poète ukrainien Vasyl’ Stus (1938-1985) qui a passé les treize dernières années de sa vie dans les prisons et les camps de travail soviétiques et qui est vénéré comme dissident et martyre national en Ukraine. Bohdan Tokarskyi étudie la subjectivité poétique dans l’œuvre de Vasyl’ Stus et s’efforce de la situer dans le canon de la modernité européenne. Grâce à ses recherches littéraires novatrices, Bohdan Tokarskyi rend hommage à l’œuvre d’un poète ukrainien encore largement méconnu chez nous.

Les thèmes « poésie » et « résistance » sont également au cœur du cours que Bohdan Tokarskyi donne à l’université de Bâle au semestre d’automne 2020. Le cours « Towards a History of Poetic Resistance in Ukraine » se concentre sur les couples d’opposition poétiques tels que « nation et empire », « individu et état » et « poète et régime » dans le contexte historique. L’esthétique, les formes et les images qui ont formé la tradition de la poésie de résistance de Taras Ševčenko à Euromaïdan sont analysées puis placées dans un contexte comparatif et en lien avec l’histoire relationnelle de la poésie russe et polonaise.

Bohdan Tokarskyi a étudié le droit à Kiev, a obtenu son doctorat avec une thèse en littérature en mars 2020 à l’université de Cambridge, où il a enseigné les « Ukrainian Studies ». Il s’engage également en dehors de l’université pour la transmission de la littérature ukrainienne, que ce soit en tant que traducteur des poèmes de Vasyl’ Stus ou comme consultant pour le premier film documentaire sur l’un des plus importants poètes résistants de l’Ukraine du XXe siècle.


Vous trouverez plus d’informations sur le CV du Bohdan Tokarskyi ainsi qu’une liste de ses publications et sur le site internet 

Ukrainian Studies Online Colloquium @ the European University Viadrina (Winter semester 2020/21, November 2, 2020 – February 22, 2021)

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The Chair of Entangled History of Ukraine, European University Viadrina, Frankfurt/ Oder invites you to the Ukrainian Studies Online Colloquium. 

More information about the course can be found in the video by Prof Dr Andrii Portnov:

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The Ukrainian Studies Online Colloquium aims at connecting scholars of Ukrainian and East European Studies at the European University Viadrina as well as other institutions in the Berlin and Brandenburg area to colleagues in and outside Ukraine and the neighbouring countries. By inviting speakers from a range of disciplines within the humanities and social sciences, this online format aims at providing a platform for an interdisciplinary exchange of ideas and a place of encounter of students and researchers interested in and focusing on Ukrainian studies.

Apply for the participation in the Ukrainian Studies Online Colloquium with an abstract of your proposal for presentation, to be submitted until September 1, 2020 to

« My Second War » Dmytro Tytarenko recounts the war experiences of Donbass people

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When we met Dymtro Tytarenko on our URIS study trip to Kyiv in August 2019, he shared his impressions of the ongoing war in Eastern Ukraine with students from Switzerland.


The historian and lawyer, born in Donetsk in 1976, was forced to emigrate to Kryvyi Rih. Since then, he regularly travels to his hometown and documents the experiences of the people in the regions hit by the war. On « Histoires Continentales » he recounts how the older generation, eyewitnesses of the Second World War, experience the current war in eastern Ukraine.