“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
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.
Read the entry of the six URIS fellow Mykhailo Minakov on the Focus Ukraine Blog of the Kennan Institute.
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.
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 invites our seventh URIS fellow Dr Bohdan Tokarskyi to give a seminar and a lecture on the soviet-ukrainian poet Vasyl’ Stus to the University of Fribourg.
Preliminary programme: Monday, 26 October 2020
17:15 Seminar: «Der Zwischenraum: Vasyl Stus in Dialogue with Rilke»
19:00 Guest lecture «(In)visible Voice: Vasyl Stus and the Soviet Ukrainian Poetry of the 1960s-1970s»
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
What’s going on at URIS? Fellows, workshops, language classes and other activities — follow the URIS-news in our latest newsletter
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.
Shelest, Hanna/ Rabinovych, Maryna (eds): Decentralization, Regional Diversity, and Conflict. The Case of Ukraine, Palgrave Macmillan, Cham 2020.
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.
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.
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
The Center for Governance and Culture in Europe at the University St Gallen organizes an international and interdisciplinary conference on Transculturality in the Black Sea Region.
More details on topics and participants can be found in the program
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.
URIS fellow in the 2020 autumn semester (August 2020 to January 2021)
Poetry and resistance are two key aspects of the current research project by our seventh URIS fellow, Bohdan Tokarskyi, PhD.
A Slavonic and cultural studies scholar from the University of Cambridge, Tokarskyi is exploring the life and work of the Soviet Ukrainian dissident poet Vasyl’ Stus (1938-1985) in a study titled “A Fragment of Wholeness: The Making of the Self in the Works of Vasyl’ Stus”. Stus spent the last 13 years of his life in Soviet prison and the Gulag and is revered in Ukraine as a dissident and national martyr. Bohdan Tokarskyi offers an innovative reading of Vasyl’ Stus’s oeuvre by focusing on Stus’s poetic subjectivity. The scholar seeks to elucidate the poet’s distinctive position at the intersection of Ukrainian metaphysical poetry, European modernism, and Soviet literature. Through “A Fragment of Wholeness”, he also endeavours to show how Stus’s works invite us to revisit these canons. With his innovative literary scholarship, Bohdan Tokarskyi pays tribute to the work of one of Ukraine’s most complex twentieth-century poets who is still largely unknown outside of his home country.
The subject of poetry and resistance is also the focus of the course Bohdan Tokarskyi will teach at the University of Basel in the 2020 autumn semester. The tutorial “Towards a History of Poetic Resistance in Ukraine” will centre on salient oppositions such as “nation/empire”, “individual/state” and “poet/ regime” and consider them in a historical context. The aesthetic, forms and images that shaped the tradition of the poetry of resistance in Ukraine from Taras Shevchenko to the Euromaidan will be analysed before being placed in a comparative and histoire croisée context with poetry from Russia and Poland.
Bohdan Tokarskyi studied international law in Kyiv and subsequently obtained a doctorate in March 2020 with a work of literary scholarship at the University of Cambridge, where he also taught Ukrainian Studies. Bohdan Tokarskyi’s advocacy for Ukrainian literature is not limited to the university; he has also translated Vasyl’ Stus’s poems and worked as an ad hoc advisor for the first documentary film about one of 20th-century Ukraine’s most important resistant poets.
Further information on his CV (incl. list of publications) or on his website
EUXEINOS — Culture and Governance in the Black Sea Region (Nr. 29 — 07/2020)
Cécile Druey and Eliane Fitzé issued a collaborative journal on the instrumentalisation of the past and political mobilisation.
Find all articles including the study by Iryna Brunova-Kalisetsk and Anna Chebotarova on Ukraine here: Center for Governance and Culture in Europe
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» (in Russian) he recounts how the older generation, eyewitnesses of the Second World War, experience the current war in eastern Ukraine.
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
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:
- 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.
- Accelerate low-carbon economic growth and improve the quality of life for people in urban areas.
- Facilitate competitive and inclusive growth.
- 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.
The report about our URIS Conference «Ukrainian Studies Today. State of the Art in Switzerland» by Alexandra Wedl is online:
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.
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
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 email@example.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:
Shadows of Empires. Imperial Legacies and Mythologies in East Central Europe
Transregional Academy organized by Prisma Ukraïna – Research Network Eastern Europe in cooperation with CAS Centre for Advanced Study Sofia, Center for Governance and Culture in Europe, University St. Gallen, and the German Historical Institute Warsaw
14-21 September, 2020, Sofia, Bulgaria
More information and the CfA
The Centre for Ukrainian Studies at the Ivan Franko University in L’viv is calling for application for a summerschool, which offers you to:
- enrich your knowledge of Ukrainian through an intensive class using modern teaching;
- study in small groups (under 7 people) with qualified teachers of Ukrainian as a foreign language;
- receive a certificate grading the level of your Ukrainian in correspondence with the CEFR scale;
- widen your knowledge of Ukraine through lectures in history, economics, culture, politics and literature;
- travel to the Ukrainian Carpathian Mountains and other picturesque destinations in Western Ukraine;
- enjoy the unforgettable atmosphere of Lviv and experience true Ukrainian hospitality;
- get a credit (University Credits) (in case of an agreement on cooperation with Ivan Franko National University in Lviv).
Apply until the 25 of June 2020!
Dr Maria Shagina specializes in European integration, post-Soviet democratisation and international sanctions. Her research project at CEES will focus on the West-Russia tensions since the Ukraine crisis and its implications for the Eurasian Economic Union. Her publications have appeared in the European Council on Foreign Relations, Foreign Policy Research Institute, Atlantic Council, New Eastern Europe, and Global Risk Insights.
For more information about Maria Shagina, who will be a research fellow at the University of Zurich until June 2020, see her portrait.