URIS Fellow Viktoriya Sereda moderates lecture by José Casanova

«Revisiting Religious Pluralism in Ukraine»

Date: Wednesday, February 17, 2021, 12:00pm to 1:15pm
Location: YouTube

José Casanova, Emeritus Professor of Sociology, Theology and Religious Studies, and Senior Fellow, Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs, Georgetown University

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All information about the event can be found here

Welcome to Basel, dear Viktoriya!

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Our eight URIS Fellow Prof Dr Viktoriya Sereda has arrived in Basel. She will teach a class on “The power of the disempowered: civic activism of Ukrainian IDPs”. Find more information about the intriguing research in Viktoriya’s portrait

Report on the URIS & CEES Online Workshop, 20 November 2020

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

On 20 November 2020, the research initiatives «Ukrainian Research in Switzerland» (URIS) and the «Center for Eastern European Studies» (CEES) presented their digital workshop. Those invited included young visiting scholars from Ukraine and the South Caucasus who had been researching at the Universities of Bern, Zurich, St Gallen, Geneva and Basel in the 2020 autumn semester. The workshop addressed the (frozen) conflicts between Abkhazia and Georgia and between Ukraine and Russia. These conflicts are confronting the people in the region with difficult political and social choices: Should they join the secessionist movements, support peaceful solutions through cultural and social engagement, or escape the conflicts through emigration?

The guests were invited to describe the situation in eastern Ukraine and the South Caucasus in a comparative sociological, ethnological and historical perspective. The workshop consisted of three moderated panel discussions of 75 minutes each. The participants were asked to relate their current research to the overarching theme of the event.

In the first panel «Beyond the Politics of History and Memory», moderated by Benjamin Schenk (Basel), national historiography and individual memory in Soviet Ukraine were explored in the context of the current politics of the past. A close look at artists and historians who have helped to shape the narratives of this politics of remembrance produced unexpected insights into overlapping ideas and concepts concerning, and assumptions about, historical conflicts. In her doctoral thesis, Nataliya Borys (University of Geneva) examines academic networks between Polish and Soviet Ukrainian historians in the 1960s and 1980s. She comes to the conclusion that historical scholarship in the Soviet Union was subject to both material and ideological constraints. The ability of researchers to travel was limited, meaning that only very few transnational academic networks were able to emerge. This, in Borys’ view, was also why the prism of an ethno-national historiography continued to prevail even in the post-Soviet sphere.

The Slavonic and cultural studies scholar Bohdan Tokarskyi (URIS) also alluded to this with his discussion of the life and work of the Soviet Ukrainian poet and dissident Vasyl’ Stus (1938-1985). Tokarskyi urged that we expand the boundaries of our «mental maps» regarding the Soviet dissident movement and consider the diversity and the solidarity within the gulag. A national and ethnocentric perspective, he said, also opened up new ways of interpreting a «common solidarity». The ensuing discussion highlighted the difference between a history based on events and facts and the – distinct – narratives of historiography.

The second panel, «Socioeconomic Aspects of Conflict», moderated by Jeronim Perović (Zurich), looked at the challenges of transnational economic ties in situations of political conflict. Aspects considered included the disruption of transnational infrastructures and international economic relations as a result of international economic sanctions and their social implications. Gvantsa Salukvadze (CEES) focused on the dependence on tourism of the mountainous regions of Georgia in the face of political decisions and sanctions by the Russian Federation limiting the freedom of movement and the distribution of food. The instability of political relations between the Russian Federation and Georgia had, she said, negatively impacted the once stable economic landscape and destabilised the fragile economies of the tourism- and agriculture-based mountainous regions. In the discussion, Salukvadze highlighted the fact that Georgia was seeking to reduce its dependency by diversifying its economic contacts, including with Europe.

In the case of Crimea, Maria Shagina (CEES) believes that an expansion or resumption of economic ties between the peninsula and Europe is unlikely. In her research project she investigates the impact of the Western sanctions on the humanitarian situation in Crimea. The lack of food and medical product supplies, Shagina explained, was resulting in critical shortages. In the following discussion, she underscored the fact that at the moment – unlike in Georgia – the Crimean government could only improve supply by trading with other sanctioned states like Syria. This meant that the humanitarian situation remained extremely tense.

The third panel was titled «How to Deal With Border Conflicts» and focused on individual strategies for dealing with conflicts. Moderated by Ulrich Schmid (St Gallen), the researchers discussed how people in the conflict regions interacted with public authorities and how they can secure access to social services. In her research project on the «line of contact» between the so-called Peoples’ Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk and the rest of Ukraine, Oleksandra Tarkhanova (St Gallen) concentrates on the negotiations between the internally displaced persons (IDPs) and the state actors. Tarkhanova believes that the practices and understanding of citizenship are central here. The aim of her research project is to investigate how the social rights of IDPs and residents of the uncontrolled territories are regulated by law and constructed in political discourses.

Nasta Agrba, meanwhile, looked at the impossibility of participation (CEES) in her research project «The ultimate soft power: EU education as an integration instrument for de facto states through the example of Abkhazia». Agrba set out the case that a lack of programmes for Abkhazian students at European universities was isolating Abkhazia in the field of education. Young Abkhazians were consequently choosing to study at Russian universities instead. The lack of such EU programmes made it impossible for the students to come into contact with other education systems and sociopolitical practices. Agrba reasoned that opening up EU study programmes could have a positive impact on the social participation and development of Abkhazia’s younger generation.

Tamar Demurishvili‘s (Bern) current research project focuses on religious life in (post-)Soviet Georgia and Russia. Demurishvili examined changes and continuities in the religious sphere. At the centre of her study is the concept of «nostalgia». Demurishvili analyses the role that nostalgia plays as one aspect of faith in post-Soviet Georgia and in Russia when it comes to the construction of the collective memory. She found that religious institutions use the concept of nostalgia to influence collective memory and group behaviour in the post-Soviet region.

The audience enthusiastically took up the invitation to take part in discussions. There were particularly animated questions and lively debates in the «breakout rooms» set up by the organisers on Zoom, which served as a platform for informal interaction in place of the usual conference breaks. Despite their different research interests and academic backgrounds, the participants engaged in truly in-depth conversations with one another. A platform was thereby created where people could come together respectfully to exchange ideas and have stimulating discussions about the highly emotive subject of the conflicts in eastern Ukraine and the South Caucasus.

Report by URIS & CEES

Report on the URIS & CEES Online Workshop, 20 November 2020

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

On 20 November 2020, the research initiatives «Ukrainian Research in Switzerland» (URIS) and the «Center for Eastern European Studies» (CEES) presented their digital workshop. Those invited included young visiting scholars from Ukraine and the South Caucasus who had been researching at the Universities of Bern, Zurich, St Gallen, Geneva and Basel in the 2020 autumn semester. The workshop addressed the (frozen) conflicts between Abkhazia and Georgia and between Ukraine and Russia. These conflicts are confronting the people in the region with difficult political and social choices: Should they join the secessionist movements, support peaceful solutions through cultural and social engagement, or escape the conflicts through emigration?

The guests were invited to describe the situation in eastern Ukraine and the South Caucasus in a comparative sociological, ethnological and historical perspective. The workshop consisted of three moderated panel discussions of 75 minutes each. The participants were asked to relate their current research to the overarching theme of the event.

In the first panel «Beyond the Politics of History and Memory», moderated by Benjamin Schenk (Basel), national historiography and individual memory in Soviet Ukraine were explored in the context of the current politics of the past. A close look at artists and historians who have helped to shape the narratives of this politics of remembrance produced unexpected insights into overlapping ideas and concepts concerning, and assumptions about, historical conflicts. In her doctoral thesis, Nataliya Borys (University of Geneva) examines academic networks between Polish and Soviet Ukrainian historians in the 1960s and 1980s. She comes to the conclusion that historical scholarship in the Soviet Union was subject to both material and ideological constraints. The ability of researchers to travel was limited, meaning that only very few transnational academic networks were able to emerge. This, in Borys’ view, was also why the prism of an ethno-national historiography continued to prevail even in the post-Soviet sphere.

The Slavonic and cultural studies scholar Bohdan Tokarskyi (URIS) also alluded to this with his discussion of the life and work of the Soviet Ukrainian poet and dissident Vasyl’ Stus (1938-1985). Tokarskyi urged that we expand the boundaries of our «mental maps» regarding the Soviet dissident movement and consider the diversity and the solidarity within the gulag. A national and ethnocentric perspective, he said, also opened up new ways of interpreting a «common solidarity». The ensuing discussion highlighted the difference between a history based on events and facts and the – distinct – narratives of historiography.

The second panel, «Socioeconomic Aspects of Conflict», moderated by Jeronim Perović (Zurich), looked at the challenges of transnational economic ties in situations of political conflict. Aspects considered included the disruption of transnational infrastructures and international economic relations as a result of international economic sanctions and their social implications. Gvantsa Salukvadze (CEES) focused on the dependence on tourism of the mountainous regions of Georgia in the face of political decisions and sanctions by the Russian Federation limiting the freedom of movement and the distribution of food. The instability of political relations between the Russian Federation and Georgia had, she said, negatively impacted the once stable economic landscape and destabilised the fragile economies of the tourism- and agriculture-based mountainous regions. In the discussion, Salukvadze highlighted the fact that Georgia was seeking to reduce its dependency by diversifying its economic contacts, including with Europe.

In the case of Crimea, Maria Shagina (CEES) believes that an expansion or resumption of economic ties between the peninsula and Europe is unlikely. In her research project she investigates the impact of the Western sanctions on the humanitarian situation in Crimea. The lack of food and medical product supplies, Shagina explained, was resulting in critical shortages. In the following discussion, she underscored the fact that at the moment – unlike in Georgia – the Crimean government could only improve supply by trading with other sanctioned states like Syria. This meant that the humanitarian situation remained extremely tense.

The third panel was titled «How to Deal With Border Conflicts» and focused on individual strategies for dealing with conflicts. Moderated by Ulrich Schmid (St Gallen), the researchers discussed how people in the conflict regions interacted with public authorities and how they can secure access to social services. In her research project on the «line of contact» between the so-called Peoples’ Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk and the rest of Ukraine, Oleksandra Tarkhanova (St Gallen) concentrates on the negotiations between the internally displaced persons (IDPs) and the state actors. Tarkhanova believes that the practices and understanding of citizenship are central here. The aim of her research project is to investigate how the social rights of IDPs and residents of the uncontrolled territories are regulated by law and constructed in political discourses.

Nasta Agrba, meanwhile, looked at the impossibility of participation (CEES) in her research project «The ultimate soft power: EU education as an integration instrument for de facto states through the example of Abkhazia». Agrba set out the case that a lack of programmes for Abkhazian students at European universities was isolating Abkhazia in the field of education. Young Abkhazians were consequently choosing to study at Russian universities instead. The lack of such EU programmes made it impossible for the students to come into contact with other education systems and sociopolitical practices. Agrba reasoned that opening up EU study programmes could have a positive impact on the social participation and development of Abkhazia’s younger generation.

Tamar Demurishvili‘s (Bern) current research project focuses on religious life in (post-)Soviet Georgia and Russia. Demurishvili examined changes and continuities in the religious sphere. At the centre of her study is the concept of «nostalgia». Demurishvili analyses the role that nostalgia plays as one aspect of faith in post-Soviet Georgia and in Russia when it comes to the construction of the collective memory. She found that religious institutions use the concept of nostalgia to influence collective memory and group behaviour in the post-Soviet region.

The audience enthusiastically took up the invitation to take part in discussions. There were particularly animated questions and lively debates in the «breakout rooms» set up by the organisers on Zoom, which served as a platform for informal interaction in place of the usual conference breaks. Despite their different research interests and academic backgrounds, the participants engaged in truly in-depth conversations with one another. A platform was thereby created where people could come together respectfully to exchange ideas and have stimulating discussions about the highly emotive subject of the conflicts in eastern Ukraine and the South Caucasus.

Report by URIS & CEES

Eighth URIS Fellow: Prof Dr Viktoriya Sereda

URIS Fellow in the 2021 spring semester (February 2021 to July 2021)

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Picture by Ostap Sereda

The fate of the approximately two million internally displaced persons (IDPs) as a result of the war in eastern Ukraine is only slowly beginning to capture the attention of social scientists. When it does turn to these issues, migration research concentrates primarily on IDPs as passive victims and those who suffer as a result of the war. In her current research project «The power of the disempowered: civic activism of Ukrainian IDPs», Prof. Viktoriya Sereda, our eighth URIS fellow, shifts the perspective and looks at the agency of the Ukrainian IDPs. To what lengths do they go to become integrated in their new environment? How do they manage to draw strength from their own experience of displacement and flight for civic engagement? Viktoriya Sereda’s interview-based research is situated at the interface of the sociology of everyday life and the history of identity. She addresses one of the greatest challenges Ukrainian society has faced since the outbreak of the war in the east of the country.

In her course «Migration and belonging. Ukraine in glocal perspective after 1991» at the University of Basel, Viktoriya Sereda invites students to examine selected Eastern European migration processes and debates on belonging, multiculturalism, and integration, with a special focus on the case of Ukraine. For the last decade Ukraine was among the top ten countries suppling highest number of migrants in the World. Not less important are internal migrations that were often caused by military conflict and violence, and became a key factor of societal transformations as well as discussion on belonging. Another important theme of the course is the impact of migration from Ukraine and Eastern Europe on European and American history, and on the current global trends. Therefore, the course participants will engage in the interactive collaborative discovery of several key problems such as Ukraine’s place in the care chain, gender aspects of migration, trans-Atlantic intellectual migration, global diasporas, migrants as important transnational development agents, artistic representations of migration, the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prof Viktoriya Sereda studied in L’viv, Budapest and Edinburgh and obtained her doctorate in 2006 with a study of the influence of regionalism on the formation of sociopolitical identity in Ukraine. She has served as Professor of Sociology at the Ukrainian Catholic University in L’viv since 2015. She was recently the MAPA Research Fellow at the Ukrainian Research Institute at Harvard University, where she used sociological data to develop a digital atlas of social changes in Ukrainian society.

Contact: viktoria.sereda@unibas.ch

Further information on Viktoriya Sereda: CV (incl. list of publications)

New Book Announcement: Official History in Eastern Europe

Korine Amacher / Andrii Portnov / Viktoriia Serhiienko (eds.)

«Official history» is generally understood as the state-sponsored and ideologically-inclined construction of the past which serves the particular political aims of mostly non-democratic regimes. The optimistic belief that it would end up with the collapse of the Soviet Union has proved rather naive. As Pierre Nora argued, over the last thirty years we have experienced a “general politicization of history” – the process of transforming what historians produce into an ideology. How are the intellectual choices made by historians today influenced by the long twentieth-century experiences of Eastern Europe? What could “official history” mean for a stateless nation or a self-proclaimed “republic”? How did Ukrainian historiography become or how was it forced to become Soviet? What spaces for individual research initiatives or even for modest disagreement with obligatory planned research existed in the official history institutions of Soviet Ukraine and socialist Poland? How were Russian textbooks on history re-written during the post-Soviet years? What role do literature, film, monuments, holidays or rituals play in the politics of history? How have memories of the Second World War been instrumentalised in the ongoing Russian-Ukrainian conflict and how have images of the ongoing war in the Donbas influenced memory debates in neighbouring post-Soviet states?

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New Book Announcement: Histoire partagée, mémoires divisées

HISTOIRE PARTAGÉE, MÉMOIRES DIVISÉES: UKRAINE, RUSSIE, POLOGNE

Amacher Korine, Aunoble Éric, Portnov Andrii

Déboulonnement de statues de Lénine en Ukraine; réhabilitation du passé impérial et stalinien en Russie; nouvelle « politique historique» officielle en Pologne: depuis la chute du communisme en 1989-1991, les questions mémorielles sont au centre del’ actualité polonaise, ukrainienne et russe. Elles alimentent les batailles géopolitiques en cours autour de l’ancrage européen de la Pologne ou de l’Ukraine, de l’annexion de la Crimée ou de la guerre dans le Donbass. Or, la Russie, l’Ukraine et la Pologne sont liées par une histoire commune où les conflits font disparaître les cohabitations et la diversité humaine de ces territoires. En éclairant des espaces, des événements et des figures qui ont été l’objet de récits historiques divergents, voire conflictuels, cet ouvrage montre comment, de l’histoire à la mémoire, des « romans nationaux» antagonistes sont écrits.

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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

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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: uris@unibas.ch

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)europa-uni.de.

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

CfA: 2 URIS Fellowships, Autumn 2021 & Spring 2022

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“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.

Bildschirmfoto 2020-09-09 um 17.17.49Shelest, Hanna/ Rabinovych, Maryna (eds): Decentralization, Regional Diversity, and Conflict. The Case of Ukraine, Palgrave Macmillan, Cham 2020.

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.