« 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.


Join the online lecture of our next URIS Fellow Bohdan Tokarskyi

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WED 24 JUN 2020 | 18:15–19:45

This online lecture is part of the WissLit series by the Department of Slavic and Hungarian Studies of Humboldt University Berlin.

To access the online lecture on Zoom please go to https://hu-berlin.zoom.us
ID: 943 1950 0699
Password: 317 549

For more information on the WissLit series please see here.

URIS is very excited to welcome Bohdan Tokarskyi as our next URIS-Fellow in the autumn term at the University of Basel

Switzerland has renewed its Cooperation Programme in Ukraine

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Since 2014, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) pursues an « unbiased and even-handed policy towards peacebuilding, policy dialogue and reform processes in Ukraine ».

In March 2020 the SDC released the Cooperation Programm for the years 2020-23. The overall goal of Swiss cooperation is « to support Ukraine on its path towards peace and towards an inclusive society, in which women and men equally contribute to and benefit from public integrity and sustainable growth. »

To this intend four objectives have been defined:

  1. Promote a peaceful resolution of the conflict in eastern Ukraine, ensure respect for international humanitarian law, foster human rights and strengthen democratic governance while also addressing the consequences of the conflict. 
  2. Accelerate low-carbon economic growth and improve the quality of life for people in urban areas. 
  3. Facilitate competitive and inclusive growth. 
  4. Improve the health of the population, especially of people affected by the conflict.

All details, including « learned lessons » from the previous programme (2015-2019) and more information about the implementation of those strategic goals can be found in the official paper.

Looking back to our URIS Conference: Video of the keynote lecture by Yaroslav Hrytsak and a picture gallery

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URIS marked its three-year anniversary with the conference Ukrainian Studies Today. State of the Art in Switzerland in Basel. Bringing together the URIS fellowship programme scholars and numerous Switzerland-based projects, the objective was to discuss ongoing research and future perspectives. The broad range of topics from scholars with different academic backgrounds illustrated the dynamic of the still young field of Ukraine research in Switzerland as well as its growing international relevance in recent years.


Call for Application: Receive a grant for a joint research project on the history of Ukraine and Russia – EXTENDED DEADLINE

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In 2019, a Trilateral Working Group of Ukrainian, Russian and Swiss historians was created in Geneva. The project is coordinated by the University of Geneva and financially supported by the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs. Its goal is to deepen understanding of the history of Ukraine and Russia. The Trilateral Group offers a platform for joint reflection on the conflicts of memory in Russia and Ukraine that have emerged since the collapse of the USSR in 1991 and have gained momentum after 2014. One of the aims of the Working Group is to create a platform for joint research projects among young historians from both countries.

For this purpose, the Trilateral Working Group is launching a call for applications for Ukrainian-Russian Joint Research Projects of young historians (Master students and PhD candidates in history). The aim of this call is to grant financial and academic support to winning research projects on general topics. To promote joint research, the Trilateral Group will form bilateral research teams of advanced students and young researchers on the basis of individual applications.

Applicants are invited to submit their proposals on one of the following three main topics:

1) Image of the “Other”

2) Migration, mobility, exile

3) Historiography and memory politics

Financial support
Successful applicants will be awarded a grant of CHF 3’000 for each research team to support their bilateral research project. They will be invited to present the results of their research at the session of the Trilateral Working Group in Geneva.

Submission and deadlines Applications including (1) the research project, (2) CV, (3) motivation letter, (4) a work sample and (5) a list of publications (if possible) must be sent to jointresearchproject2020@gmail.com until 25 September 2020. Applications must be submitted in English. Eligibility: Russian and Ukrainian Master students and PhD Candidates in history enrolled in an institution of higher education in Ukraine or Russia.

Find the detailed CfA in English, Russian and Ukrainian here:

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Invitation to the Keynote Lecture of Yaroslav Hrytsak, January 29, 2020


We are very pleased to announce the Keynote Lecture, which Prof Dr Yaroslav Hrytsak will give at the occasion of our URIS Conference « Ukrainian Studies Today. State of the Art in Switzerland ».

The distinguished historian and well known expert on Ukrainian history will speak about « Non-Euclidian Nation: What and How We Write about Ukraine »

Ukraine has become a hot topic in the current mediascape. Stories about the Euromaidan, the Russian annexation of Crimea, the so-called “Ukrainegate,” the recent shooting down of a Ukrainian plane by Iran, prove once again that Ukraine-related issues are an important component of the global agenda. This makes a stark contrast to the state of affairs some two-three decades ago, when Ukraine – to quote the titles of important texts – was seen as “unexpected” and a “nowhere nation”. This situation is not quite unique. The Ukrainian question was present, even if not explicitly, in the global turning moments of 1648-86, 1830-1848, 1914-1945, 1968 and 1985-91. In my presentation I will discuss how these moments are reflected in and by Ukrainian historical studies, as well as call for a global history and for a return to the longue durée.

The lecture will take place at the University of Basel, January 29, 2020 at 18:15 o clock. All details can be found in the program.


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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Nous invitons les étudiant-e-s et doctorant-e-s des universités suisses à présenter sous forme d’un poster leurs mémoires de master ou projets de doctorat en cours qui ont un lien avec l’Ukraine. Le congrès Ukrainian Studies Today. State of the Art in Switzerland (Basel, January 29-31, 2020) vous offre l’occasion unique de présenter votre projet de recherche à un public spécialisé et de discuter des questions en suspens avec lui. Les posters des projets seront exposés dans le foyer du lieu de conférence et présentés par les auteurs et autrices lors de présentations de 5 à 10 minutes. 

Vous trouverez plus d’informations sur le 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: uris@unibas.ch

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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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Cinquième boursier: Dr. Kateryna Dysa

Prof. Kateryna Dysa

Fellow URIS au semestre de printemps 2019 (de février à juillet 2019)

 “Young people, travel if you can, and if you cannot – travel all the same” (Jules Verne: L’École des Robinsones, 1882)

Dysa_PortraitLes récits et guides de voyage sur la ville de Kiev sont au centre de l’actuel projet de recherche de Madame la Dre Kateryna Dysa intitulé ns sociales et culturelles de la modernité est-européenne sont au centre du cours qui est ouvert aux étudiant-e-s en histoire, en études d’Europe orientale, en European Global Studies et en littérature« Transformation of the Image of the City in Travel Literature : The Case of Kyiv from the Mid-19th to the Early 20th Century ». La migration de travail, les pèlerinages et le tourisme ont conduit à une grande mobilité dans l’Empire tsariste au milieu du 19èmesiècle, donnant naissance à de nouvelles formes littéraires telles que les guides touristiques et les récits de voyage. À cette époque, Kiev était, en tant que centre de la « vieille Rus’ », un lieu de pèlerinage connu mais en même temps provincial de la fois orthodoxe. La ville se modifia régulièrement sous l’influence des voyageurs et voyageuses, jusqu’à devenir un lieu de rencontre dynamique, multiethnique et cosmopolite au début du 20èmesiècle. Dre Kateryna Dysa analyse les constructions et les transformations du paysage urbain de Kiev du point de vue de l’histoire des voyages et apporte ainsi une contribution importante à la recherche sur le tourisme et les voyages dans l’Empire tsariste.

Dans son cours à l’université de Bâle intitulé « Describing Eastern Europe : The History of Travel Writing about the Region between the 16th and 20th Centuries », elle examine avec les étudiant-e-s qui étaient les premiers voyageurs en Europe de l’Est, quelles étaient leurs destinations et quels tropes ont-ils produit ou reproduit sur les régions historiques de la Pologne, de la Russie et de l’Ukraine. L’émergence du genre de la littérature de voyage et son potentiel pour les questio

Avec sa thèse de doctorat effectuée à la Central European University (CEU) de Budapest, Dre Kateryna Dysa a présenté la première étude détaillée sur les procès en sorcellerie en Ukraine. Sa monographie « Witchcraft Trials and Beyond : in Volhynian, Podolian and Ruthenian Palatinates of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth of the 17th-18th centuries » paraîtra prochainement. Elle y soutient, à partir d’une perspective anthropologique, que la sorcellerie en Ukraine s’exprimait dans une magie domestique prosaïque et reflétait les tensions sociales de la société. Dre Kateryna Dysa fait également œuvre de pionnière avec son deuxième projet de livre sur l’histoire de la sexualité dans les centres urbains d’Ukraine au 18èmesiècle. Son analyse des pratiques de persécution des représentants catholiques et orthodoxes place les discours sur les pratiques sexuelles et sur le corps dans une perspective européenne comparative.

Prof. Kateryna Dysa enseigne et fait de la recherche à l’Académie Mohyla de Kiev.

Le cours dans le programme des cours de l’Université de Bâle.

Contact: katerina.dysa@unibas.ch

CV et list de publications

Brief report: Fourth URIS workshop

War and Revolution in Ukraine, 1914-1920

On the occasion of the centenary of the withdrawal of the Central Powers from Ukraine and the subsequent overthrow of Hetman Skoropads’kyi in late 1918, this workshop will examine the history of war, occupation, revolution, diplomacy, and state-building in Ukraine during the First World War and the various upheavals and conflicts to which it gave rise. Despite the great timeliness of this topic, much of the Ukrainian revolutionary period remains terra incognita for historians. The workshop’s objective is to take stock of what has been done on the subject, to share works in progress, and to point the way forward for new research.

Read the report from Oliver Sterchi on HSOZKULT

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.