“Developing Ukrainian Studies” – Reflections and Impressions

Conference Report “Developing Ukrainian Studies: Ukraine in Research and Teaching in the Subjects Slavic Literary and Cultural Studies, Slavic Linguistics in Dialogue with East European History” (October 12-13, 2023)

By Elen Budinova

Over the course of two days, the Dornburg Old Palace – one of three castles guarding the Saale valley, hosted the conference “Developing Ukrainian Studies: Ukraine in Research and Teaching in the Subjects Slavic Literary and Cultural Studies, Slavic Linguistics in Dialogue with East European History”. Convened thanks to the collaborative efforts of the research network project “European Times” (European University Viadrina (Frankfurt-Oder), University of Potsdam, Forum Transregional Studies, Berlin), the Aleksander Brückner Center for Polish Studies (Halle-Jena) and the Network for Ukrainian Studies (Jena), the conference combined an interdisciplinary mix of keynote lectures, thematic panels and a session with posters of works-in-progress by aspiring academics. The overarching question was how to rise to institutional as well as intellectual challenges of sustainably anchoring the study of Ukraine in the German-speaking landscape – both in terms of epistemic and heuristic adequacy. Attention was also payed to strategies of communicating this expertise to the wider public. Inspirations of the participants overlapped in striving for a lasting balance to the gravity of the knowledge system deformed by massive black holes in mainstream mental maps which misrepresent the largest European state and darken the wider region under the cloud of stereotypical imaginaries alluding to both proximity and Otherness captured via the elusive politicized frame of “Eastern Europe”. My personal takeaways are tied together from works of the presenters, peer-to-peer discussions of the research posters, the conference’s wrap-up, informal conversations, further networking enabled by this forum, and my Germany-based experience as a Bulgarian scholar sincerely interested in Ukrainian studies.

Photo: Judith Sieber

The seizure and illegal annexation of Crimea plus the further pursuit of political warfare, paramilitary intrusions and conventional intervention inducing and materially sustaining the partial occupation as well as severe humanitarian crisis of the regions Donetsk and Luhans’k, lit up the start of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine already nine years ago. Its escalation into an all-out state terrorist invasion attempt since 2022 and the astonishment of numerous quasi-experts at Ukraine’s spirited resistance have underlined the systematic perpetuation of epistemic violence against the country. Russian atrocities abrogating fundamental rights to life, liberty and dignity of the Ukrainian peoples have been primed by and are congruous with an entrenched practice of discursive attacks. The undisturbed spread of Kremlin’s grand narratives has been (passively or actively) enabled for decades despite their distinct imperial chauvinist underpinnings, including genocidally toned calls devaluating the existence of a full-fledged Ukrainian nation, denigrating the essence of its statehood, belittling its culture and assaulting its history. Attesting to an overall intellectual and structural failure, the world community has chronically downplayed Ukrainian knowledge, lent credibility to substantial chunks of Moscow’s propaganda and missed multiple chances to remedy such injustice in an ignorance of even the alarm raised back in 2014 by the actual war-outbreak.

Conference’s attendees tried to think outside the limited scope of inadequate short-term awareness-raising stopgap-solutions. We deliberated about analytical standpoints from which the region can be better understood and Ukraine may find a proper treatment as a subject of research on equal footing with others in the family of European countries, but also as a case study of value to broader conceptual and methodological contexts. Keystones of the debates were concerns how to secure the strong soundness of such approaches in dialogue with polyvocal transregional experiences, disrupt the misinformation flow in public echo chambers, and reformat the highly hierarchical organisation of global academia by abandoning the atavist one-sided focus on dominant “great” (post-)imperial cultures versus the blurred image of the muted “rest”.

A keynote by Ulrich Schmid (University of St. Gallen) entitled “Ukrainian Studies instead of Russian Studies? Literary and Cultural Studies in the Times of Pushkinopad” opened the conference. He referred to Marko Pavlyshyn’s pyramidal model from 1992 a Hegelian triadic constellation illustrative of how burdens of colonial marginalisation and anti-colonial strategies of resistance have been fused into a self-liberating postmodernist synthesis with distinct postcolonial hallmarks paving Ukraine’s cultural breakthrough after the Soviet Union’s collapse. Endeavouring to deliver alternatives or rather methodologically enhancing additives to such a postcolonial notion bearing on Ukraine’s cultural trajectory, Schmid’s own contribution employed an interdisciplinary toolkit from the actor-network theory, dynamic institutional standpoints and especially the Latin American conceptualisation of cultural contact zones. He underscored that periods of subaltern positionality and structural repressions by the Tsarist and later Soviet metropole can be viewed together with distinct or intersecting timeframes when the Ukrainian cultural project developed intellectually and aesthetically ahead of or/and in close parallel to the purportedly dominant Russo-centric one. Schmid cautioned that his talk should not be misconceived as an outright abnegation of postcolonial features in Ukrainian cultural experiences. Still, problematising self-victimisation and self-limitation of agency as potential discursive traps, he casted doubt on the analytical exhaustiveness of the postcolonial paradigm. According to him, research leaning on it must be complemented with the readiness of scholars to think beyond apparently static dichotomies.

But, as advocated by Andriĭ Portnov, Professor of Entangled History of Ukraine and Co-Director of the newly established Viadrina Centre for Polish and Ukrainian Studies, global academia must honestly admit the long legacy of epistemic inequality targeting Ukraine and contribute to undoing its’ reproduction through the practice of critical empathy. Support for Ukraine’s mere right to a postcolonial perspective presents a gesture, open to potential rejection of an all-inclusive acceptance of such argumentation, yet still granting the possibility of its careful discussion. Indeed, this does not mean to read all historical pages of Russian-Ukrainian relations singularly and indiscriminately borrowing analytical lenses pertaining to the colonial theme. Neither does it translate into shunning its critical investigation concerning social realities in Ukrainian lands under for example Polish-Lithuanian hegemonic control, Habsburg rule or during the Nazi-German occupation. Rather, Portnov’s thesis, applauded by all in the conference hall, stands for an epistemological de-colonization of the field. Academic communities can reach it only through a solid institutionalisation of Ukrainian studies followed by tireless work on new intellectual ideas revisiting universal concepts and categories of practice far too often taken for granted without a reasonable contextualisation. Tracing spatiotemporal dynamics, localised meanings and experiences beyond essentialising interpretations is of a paramount importance. Historiographic polemics should give space to grassroots’ optics traditionally side-lined in hierarchies of knowledge production and transfer.

Photo: Oleksii Isakov

Portnov and Klaus Gestwa, Director of the Institute for Eastern European History and Area Studies at the University of Tübingen, defined the next keynote panel with such helpful remarks reverberating in all further discussions. The two talks were attentive to the role of Ukraine in history writing, the status of Ukrainian studies and their prospects. They touched upon the following guiding questions: do we know enough about Ukrainian history; where is the place of Ukraine in global cultural and social research; how to critically approach the politically charged, spatially elusive and normatively problematic construct of “Eastern Europe”? One of the main arguments crystallised by the discussions was that expertise on Ukrainian topics cannot be based only on recent developments. Conjunctural calls to respond to last-minute media op-eds are dictated by short-term public debates and news’ threads skipping from one international crisis to the other. Gestwa and Portnov contend that the decolonialisation path has finally, yet still half-heartedly, been academically advanced only in a rather situational, still structurally unstable reaction catalysed by Russia’s full-scale aggression and Ukraine’s relentless fight against it. This tendency risks to slide back into the past fiasco illuminated by the inadequacy of institutional changes and the progressive public oblivion mirrored in the overwhelming “amnesia”, “fatigue” or recurrent misleading explanations regarding the first phase of the Russo-Ukrainian war in the timeframe 2014-2022.

Sound public outreach can be achieved through the establishment, encouragement and synchronisation of academia-media-civil society networks. Such horizontal structural strengthening could finally power off the pseudo-historical cacophony orchestrated by Putin’s “Clio-therapists” – an ironic definition derived from Klaus Gestwa’s presentation. These sham-experts recycle the story suiting Kremlin’s propagandistic talking points and misuse fundamental domestic fault lines that haunt the German public space. Central ones involve the myopic commemoration of World War II excluding dark historical pages like the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact and the horrific experiences of many East European countries during brutish episodes of occupation and terror by both Stalin’s and Hitler’s regimes. Erroneously rendered in the “change-through-trade” formula from the recent decades, nostalgia for “Ostpolitik” is echoing another critical comment by Gestwa – accompanied by apologetic justifications of Soviet totalitarianism and the later Putin’s Russia as apparently viable and morally innocent alternatives to Western capitalism and imperialism. Such rhetoric is particularly receptive by purportedly pacifistic leftist circles which selectively turn a blind eye on multiple international atrocities by the Kremlin even over the very recent years in places like Grozny, Aleppo or Mariupol’. Additionally, the blurred boundaries between “internal” and “external colonization” in reference to the historical projection of Russo-centric hegemony operate as a veil comprised of euphemistic mislabels. Unsanctioned Russian imperialist aggression is portrayed as a “self-defensive” “benevolent” and “civilizing” by-product of a natural contiguous land-based expansion set against “decadent” “anti-Orthodox” “capitalist” attacks by the scarecrow image of the collective “West”. These self-legitimization repertoires are attached to a ruthless exploitation of internationally prevailing one-sided associations of colonialism with a crime historically perpetuated predominantly overseas by West European hegemonic powers. As stressed by both Gestwa and Portnov, the current Russian aggressor state grotesquely abuses deeply ingrained traumas, especially the ones of societies with painful experiences of Western colonial rule. Posing as an “anti-colonial” bulwark “protecting” its “legitimate spheres of influence”, Russia’s regime capitalises on anti-American and anti-Eurocentric sentiments in traditional postcolonial readings. Absolutely neglecting international law and outmanoeuvring accountability for past and present crimes against humanity, the Kremlin whitewashes its historical responsibility of an imperialist oppressor.

In his talk, Portnov also pinpointed the paradox nested within viral stereotypical images of contemporary Ukrainian nationalism. They mis-render it as being, on the one hand, “inherently radical” and, on the other, “a-historical”, “unauthentic” and “anachronous”.  In a sense, he is right with regard to his tragic remark that the most quoted “(pseudo-)scholar of Ukraine” seems to be Vladimir Putin whose cynical statements are abundant of such distorted pictures. In their efforts to debunk Putin’s ridiculous claims, scholarly networks risk to (un)consciously reify deeply flawed normative perspectives and classifications which Kremlin’s propaganda extrapolates. As aptly formulated by Portnov, an oscillation between the normative extremes of both methodological nationalism and methodological imperialism can only be prevented if we work on a profound re-examination of our analytical language divorcing research from the reproduction of stereotypes and epistemic violence. Ethically weak and analytically untenable essentialist mis-readings, regardless whether they try to rationalise the nationalising or imperialising of history, cement ostensibly ontologically predetermined contextually insensitive notions of groupness by raising false flags demarcating politically abused categories of difference and sameness. Such toxic narrative dependency will persist, unless we dare to interrogate the seemingly obvious visions and divisions of our social world. Conveying historically conjunctural dynamics grounding them and exploring spatiotemporal meaning-making shifts in collective identity markers and group boundaries by rendering them as neither naturally static nor endlessly flexible, will make us better knowers of social realities. Deeply convinced in this belief, Portnov strongly encourages academia to study Ukraine both as a kaleidoscope into multi-layered historical trajectories entangled with other post-Soviet states, Poland, the Balkans, the Jewish community, as well as the former Habsburg, Russian and Ottoman imperial centres, but also as an agent of its own undeniable political and cultural legitimacy. The intellectual fruitfulness of this approach was particularly accentuated in comments by Shamma Shahadat who urges us to think how to make this new narrative productive and analytically attractive beyond the (self-)limiting frame of area studies.

At the end of the first day, more than twenty-five scholars from the participating disciplines presented their research posters. The format enabled spontaneous networking beyond academic hierarchies. A consensus persisted that the idea of a poster-session should be embraced again also in the future with more time reserved for it. Additionally, an extention to bigger and even more diverse academic podiums with a stronger representation of history, cultural, political and social sciences, but also cross-sectional emphasis on, in an instance, Gender Studies or War and Peace Studies, would undoubtedly benefit future forums.

Photo: Sven Jaros

The second day of the conference kicked off with an interdisciplinary marathon of panels running in parallel. Alexander Kratochvil (Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich) thematised institutional and conceptual issues faced by the Ukrainian Literary Studies. Monika Wingender (Justus Liebig University, Giessen) threw light on the scholarly challenge to research and adequately analyse language policies of Ukraine. Maria Ivanyc’ka (Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyїv/ University of Tübingen) equipped us with insightful elaborations with respect to the promotion of Ukrainian literature on the German-speaking market. Participants were also impressed by, for example, the work of Kateryna Pasichnyk (Martin Luther University, Halle) on the history of medicine in the late 18th to early 19th century from imperial and local perspectives on Ukrainian territories, and Mariya Donska’s (Karl-Franzens-University of Graz) talk entitled “Ukrainian in Austria: Projects and Institutions”. Gun-Britt Kohler (Carl von Ossietzky University, Oldenburg) shared her study on power relations and institutional interdependencies between the Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian and Polish literatures. Exploring the fields of law, language and religion, Iuriĭ Zazuliak (National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, L’viv) scrutinized the question of self-awareness of Ruthenian communities during the 16th century. Methodological considerations on Ukrainian literature as a Central European phenomenon were discussed by Irina Wutsdorff (University of Münster). Ruprecht von Waldenfels (Friedrich Schiller University, Jena) outlined his research on language variations in Ukraine as an object of linguistic digital humanities. Jan Patrick Zeller (University of Greifswald) delivered an innovative closer look at the phenomenon of Ukrainian-Russian mixed speech (“surzhyk”) with an emphasis on a careful differentiation between its practice and patterns of cultural, ethnic or national self-identification. The development of inner-Slavic comparative studies referring to contemporary Central and East European literature was illustrated by Alexander Wöll (University of Potsdam) with a focus on Ukrainian war poetry. This condensed partial overview of some of all fascinating topics gives a glimpse into the potential and precious knowledge reservoir in the multi-faceted universe of Ukrainian studies.  

Yet, I would like to zoom into Annette Werberger’s (European University Viadrina) analysis of prospects and challenges of viewing Ukrainian literary history as an “entangled” one. Her talk can be regarded as exemplary of the silver-lining followed also by other presenters in terms of responsible methodological considerations and research liberation from structurally imposed predispositions. Werberger’s presentation dealt with the need for Europe and global scholarship to learn how to properly interpret and appreciate Ukrainian diversity by bringing localised knowledge to the fore and imbedding it on equal terms in academic works. If one looks at Ukrainian literature as literature from Ukraineas proposed by her – the country can be confidently viewed as a cradle of many well-known talents, including authors active in several languages or/and representing one or more of the country’s over 130 ethnic minorities. This literature from Ukraine can be deciphered as a snapshot of the notion of European literature as a whole, because it highlights transregional perspectives, allows for a polyphony of voices and authentic inter-cultural dialogues. Far from a “multi-culti” cliché, the Ukrainian idea of modern nationhood stands for historically dense learning experiences of productively dealing with heterogeneity by default against the backdrop of the country’s historical positionality in-between numerous external hegemonic metropoles, but also at the centre of polyethnic encounters, cultural syntheses and competitions, various religious currents and captivating philosophical ideas. But Ukraine’s “ambiguous” pluralism has been repeatedly disregarded and even discredited under the “fake” or “failed” state paradigm. At the same time, any efforts to advance the promotion of the Ukrainian language one historically marked by repeated suppression of its free development and practice due to foreign structural aggression, especially of Russian imperialist origin – continue to be regularly misconceived in mainstream discourses as symptoms of right-wing nationalism. From Werberger’s clear perspective, such condemnations are superficial prejudgements deaf to the local context. The traditional local practice of internal overarching solidarity has translated into political unity under the banner of the inherently inclusive Ukrainian national project. Subscribing under Werberger’s sharp arguments, we should neither exoticize nor demonize it, but acknowledge the undoubtful epistemological weight of Ukraine’s culture as legitimate and intriguing unit of analysis with key takeaways for scholars of historical literary processes and intellectual heritage of a global value.

The conference concluded with singling-out of central practical and conceptual concerns for future action. Participants’ comments attested to the need for recalibrating the mechanisms of knowledge genesis and its dissemination. This involves a shift of regional scholarship away from the Russo-centric bias looming in the design of East European/(post)-Soviet/Slavic/(North) Eurasian academic departments, seminal curricula, career-incentives, publication processes and compositions of research projects. Neither institutional names, nor their intellectual products currently suffice for comprehending regional specifics and approaching underlying terminological problems. We discussed that reformative moves should not be understood as a “cancelling” in the sense of impulsive replacement-revisionism. Instead, they should be decoded as an ethically correct and methodologically creative pivot. It can take intellectual lethargy outside of its comfort zone and question prevailing, yet fundamentally inconclusive, epistemically unbalanced narratives by making researchers learn new languages, incorporate new perspectives and immerse into new entry points, from which they can critically test rusty terminological frames.

Actually, “new” is not “new” in the literal sense, but rather it denotes a departure from systematically silencing Ukrainian, but also other regional voices via scholarly politics reproducing for centuries a superficial intellectually impoverished gaze not only on the apparent “peripheries”, but also on the “centres” of the former Tsarist, Soviet and currently brutally re-imperialising Russian regimes. “New” means an institutionalised engagement with all those local histories, cultures, intellectual biographies and expertise regularly misappropriated under the indiscriminate label of belonging to the “all-Russian backyard”, constantly suspected of a lesser credibility and ignorantly deemed of insignificant analytical value. Many of the scholars from Ukraine have expressed their frustration of not being perceived as equal in the domain of their specialisation. Instead they often feel like “exotic” Ukrainian voices, not being appreciated for their objective professional agency, but “reserved” to comment only on Ukraine and often “tested”, at points even concerning the legitimacy of their knowledge about their own homeland.

Learning to actively listen to, making visible and acknowledging the expertise of Ukrainian scholars on-site those with careers in Germany prior to the all-out Russian invasion and the group of recently displaced because of Kremlin’s terror – is therefore essential for the way ahead. Practical steps of supporting scholars who remain in war-torn Ukraine should incorporate long-term funding of joint research projects and an active participation in the rebuilding of Ukrainian academic institutions and cultural sites, especially aiding platforms for the preservation of archival materials. Options for open-access publication of research results, investments in scholarships and (online) networking platforms with flexible foundations, including the possibility of remote contributions, are also indispensable in this regard. Raising the proportion of research expertise on Ukraine to levels of professorship would undoubtedly advance the rational of sustainably securing the representation of Ukrainian topics in German-speaking universities. In parallel, there should be a stronger integration of Ukrainian topics into a larger cross-disciplinary framework.

Also, a permanent inclusion of Ukrainian language classes in foreign language departments is key for the development of German-based in-house expertise on Ukraine and the wider region. This would enable a serious acquaintance with the country’s culture, literature and art. It would significantly broaden and deepen the scope of students by granting them access to primary and secondary resources available exclusively in Ukrainian language and essential for their research.  Auxiliary to this notion are steps making translation processes easier, including the establishment of translation fonds. Translations of not only contemporary, but also Ukrainian classical literature and intellectual works are of paradigmatic importance for gaining a better picture of local realities and their historical underlayers. Surely, not engaging with Russian (or labelled as such) authors is not a viable option, but the point here is to re-read them carefully by interrogating their curriculum vitae, contextualising their moral standpoints and critically approaching their ideological reasoning. This seems especially necessary when their language transcends imperialist vocabulary with colonialist arrogance – a trait to which many in the “great” Russian cultural cannon were and are still not immune to.

Photo: Sven Jaros

A palpable manifestation of intellectual pitfalls playing into the hands of Kremlin’s political machinations was and continues to be the persistent conflation of the term “Russian” with the medieval federative state Old Rus’ to which neither present-day Russia, Ukraine nor Belarus, as lands once within its borders, have a supreme “national” ownership. During these ancient times, tribal, micro-regionally localised and religiously dynastic group loyalties were prevailingly salient as self-identification notions unfamiliar with any modern national ones. Also, the internally highly ethnically, culturally, religiously and linguistically heterogeneous Tsarist imperial and later Soviet Union’s territories should by no means be linked to a historically supremely “Russian” property – a commonplace discoursive fallacy rightfully detected in our discussions. Recalling Andriĭ Potnov’s plaidoyer for rethinking of our analytical language, we should make our best to feel such essential terminological nuances. This pertains also to the importance of differentiating between the shades of assumed “Russianness” in terms of citizenship, ethnicity, confessional and language practices within and beyond the multinational Russian federative state. Merging all the categories mentioned above as belonging by default to the “Russian” imperialist embrace is both extremely ethically irresponsible and historically as well as sociologically untrue. It suffices to be noted that exactly places with high concentration of Russian speakers and ethnic Russians in Ukraine are disproportionately targeted by Kremlin’s genocidal “special operation”. Yet, they overwhelmingly defy as Ukrainian citizens – with both their bodies and ideals the Russian aggression. And while the change – sometimes just a letter – on road signs as part of renaming practices under Russian occupation signals the begin of torture, annihilation and imprisonment for local people, the majority in international academia still insists on a Russian transliteration style rendering Ukrainian toponyms – another critical observation underlined during our conversations.

Many participants also voiced the wish to read and discuss more about underrepresented themes beyond the entrenchment in the all-embracing Russian factor or contemporary urgency. A significant intellectual surplus could be accomplished by engaging with perhaps not that “modern”, yet fascinating inquiries into the ancient and medieval history of Ukrainian lands; the Ukrainian reception and advancement of Renaissance ideas; the culture of the indigenous population of Crimea, namely the Crimean Tatars; the life of German Mennonite migrant minorities; Ukrainian-Balkan relations; the brilliant track record of Ukrainian classical music; the Ukrainian avant-garde; history of Ukrainian Baroque and so many more intriguing topics.

Alone the architecture of the Old Palace the venue of our debates – enticed us into a blend of medieval, Renaissance and Baroque temporalities alluding to a notion of a controversial coexistence and (in)visibility of spaces and meanings; yet to be (re)discovered, remembered and reconsidered. Soothed by the picturesque tranquillity of the Dornburg castles, the “Balcony of Thuringia” was were one of the local noble guests – Wolfgang von Goethe – once focused on his botanical studies, psychologically digested the loss of a friend and wrote poetry signalling a revitalized peace of mind. Just like Goethe, I looked from the castles’ terraces, but my thoughts fail to find a soothing ground. I had the privilege to participate in this conference, while in Ukraine ecology, humans, including academics, and sites of cultural heritage are under constant Russian attacks. Perhaps few of Goethe’s readers know that the reception of his writings occupies a remarkable place in the trajectory of Ukrainian literature and translation work. Already during his lifetime, he was widely known in Ukrainian lands. A pioneer of translating Goethe to Ukrainian was the writer and once a rector of the Kharkiv University – Petro Hulak-Artemovs’ky (1790-1865). Its council elected Goethe as honorary member already in 1827. Now, the university’s campuses suffer severe damages from regular Russian assaults. Among the other most notable translators of Goethe are the legendary multifaceted thinker Panteleĭmon Kulish (1819–1897); the prolific West Ukrainian writer, journalist and leftist intellectual Ivan Franko (1856–1916) and the outstanding poet, literary critic and dissident active in the Donets’k region until his brutal imprisonment and death in a Soviet forced labour camp, Vasyl Stus (1938-1985). Regardless of the diverse biographies of these cultural figures, all of them had a common ideational foundation: the defence of human dignity and Ukrainian right to self-determination in connection to international antiimperialist solidarity. Maybe, if international audiences had known these names, the world would be more resilient to Russian propaganda that is denying the authenticity of Ukrainian state, language and the very humanistic democratic foundations of Ukrainian political culture. And these authors are just a few among so many individuals, whose intellectual testament is not only a treasure for the Ukrainian culture and tradition of political thought, but also the ones of Europe and the world in general.

The goal of and conclusions from the conference seem to be, on the one hand, painfully belated, out of joint, and, on the other hand, an important step forward towards a long-term transformation of scholarship, including investment of considerable intellectual labour and material resources. The central message is that studying Ukraine should not be dismissed as an “affirmative action”. It is what we are all indebted to ourselves. Strengthening Ukrainian Studies would enrich global knowledge production and distribution, make it ethically just and more intellectually rewarding.


About the author

Writing a dissertation under the title “Donbas beyond Political Myths: Revisiting the Entangled History of a European Border Region until its Time Collapse 2014 into Separatist Violence and the Outbreak of Russia’s War against Ukraine”, Elen Budovina studies at the International PhD Programme in Social and Cultural Sciences at the European University Viadrina, Frankfurt (Oder). Within the framework of “European Times – A Transregional Approach to the Societies of Central and Eastern Europe” (EUTIM), she is a research associate at its subgroup “Comparative History of Science and Humanities in the 20th Century” zooming into a spatiotemporal plurality of social perceptions, intellectual projects and cultural blueprints. Both earned with highest honours, Elen received her BA in Political Science from the Otto Suhr Institute at the Free University of Berlin, and her MA in International Relations (Profile: Global Challenges) from the Humboldt University, Free University of Berlin and University of Potsdam. Entitled “Trajectories of Crimean Separatism: From Prevented Post-Soviet Conflict to Irredentist Overtake”, her MA thesis was awarded the Humboldt-Price of 2019. Parallel to social commitments mainly focusing on empowerment of refugees, her work-related experiences include past professional stations at “Prisma Ukraïna – Research Network Eastern Europe” (Forum Transregional Studies, Berlin), the German Corporation for International Cooperation – Portfolio Management: Belarus and Ukraine (Kyїv), the Chair “Entangled History of Ukraine” (European University Viadrina) and the Bulgarian Office of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation (Sofia).


Citation: Elen Budovina, “Developing Ukrainian Studies” – Reflections and Impressions, in: TRAFO – Blog for Transregional Research, 04.01.2024, https://trafo.hypotheses.org/49974



Diesen Blogbeitrag zitieren
Forum Transregionale Studien (2024, 4. Januar). “Developing Ukrainian Studies” – Reflections and Impressions. TRAFO – Blog for Transregional Research. Abgerufen am 21. Mai 2024, von https://doi.org/10.58079/vfae

Forum Transregionale Studien

The Berlin-based Forum Transregionale Studien promotes the internationalization of research in the humanities and social sciences. It provides scope for collaboration among researchers with different regional and disciplinary perspectives and appoints researchers from all over the world as Fellows. More...

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