Ukraine Is Not What You Think It Is. Some Observations on (Mis-)Understanding Ukrainian History

Event: Conference

Location: NEC conference hall

16 May 2023, 18.00-20.00 (Bucharest)

Andrii PORTNOV, Professor of Entangled History of Ukraine at the European University Viadrina (Frankfurt/Oder)

Short abstract:

“Does Ukraine Have a History”, that was the title of the famous Mark von Hagen`s article published in 1995. In the context of the dissolution of the Soviet Union von Hagen asked about the historiographical legitimacy of Ukrainian topics and suggested several ways to make them relevant and productive for the broader research field. More questions could be added nowadays: Whose language do we speak, touching the Ukrainian topics? How the full-scale Russia`s aggression influenced history writing? Are there any signs of the Zeitenwende when it comes to historical narratives? How the histories of the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union could/should be written in a new geopolitical context?
In my talk I would like to describe the existing narrative strategies and approaches to writing Ukrainian history as well as to reflect on the possibilities of broadening theoretical scope and topical focus for future research.

Short bio:

Andrii Portnov is Professor of Entangled History of Ukraine at the European University Viadrina (Frankfurt/Oder). He graduated from Dnipro and Warsaw Universities, and defended his PhD dissertation in Lviv. He conducted research and lectured in Amsterdam, Basel, Berlin, Brussels, Cambridge, Geneva, Lyon, Paris, Potsdam, and Vienna. His publications are devoted to intellectual history, historiography, genocide, and memory studies in Poland, Russia, and Ukraine.