The first URIS fellow, Prof. Dr. Georgiy Kasianov, researched and taught at the University of Basel from February to July 2017.
Prof. Dr. Georgiy Kasianov was born in Chelyabinsk in the southern Urals in 1961. He obtained a degree in history and social sciences from the National Pedagogical University of Kiev in 1983 before completing his doctorate in history at the National Academy of Sciences. Professor Kasianov has been Head of the Department of Contemporary History and Politics at the Institute of Ukrainian History at the National Academy of Sciences in Kiev for more than ten years. His research interests are the social, political and cultural history of Ukraine in the 19th and 20th centuries.
Current research project
Prof. Kasianov is currently working on a monograph about the political use and abuse of history and collective memory in Ukraine since the 1980s. Central aspects of his studies include the nationalisation of history, the construction of a national narrative, the representation of the past in the public sphere, in the media and in school textbooks, the tension between nationalist metanarratives and those informed by nostalgia for the Soviet error, the “decommunisation” and the utilisation of history in intra-and international conflicts. Prof. Kasianov continued to work on this project during his stay in Basel.
Prof. Kasianov taught a course in Basel on “History, Cultural Memory and Politics: Ukraine and the Post-Communist Space”. He and the students explored the history of Ukraine through the different ways in which it is represented in professional historiography, in political and public discussions, and in the media and art. The link to the course in the University of Basel calendar is available here.
“Past Continuous: Politics of History in Ukraine and the ‘New Europe’ (End of 1990s – 2000s)”
Prof. Kasianov gave a lecture on the subject of “Past Continuous: Politics of History in Ukraine and the ‘New Europe’ (End of 1990s – 2000s)” at the public URIS opening event in Basel on Wednesday, 29 March 2017. In his presentation, Prof. Kasianov spoke about the politics of history in Ukraine in the 1990s and 2000s. He explored how the past is used and abused for the present, how history and collective memory can be exploited by various actors, interest groups and governments, and what the consequences are of this kind of utilitarian and politically motivated use of history and memory.
List of publications (PDF)
“Fragen der Vergangenheit werden stark instrumentalisiert”, interview with Georgiy Kasianov, website of the University of Basel (22.3.2017).
“Dem Homo sovieticus entkommen”, article by Georgiy Kasianov in DIE ZEIT (2.12.2016).