Calming the Waters: Stella Ghervas Re-examines the Black Sea

Stella Ghervas

Stella Ghervas, a Jaroslaw and Mihaychuk Postdoctoral Research Fellow at HURI, will present some of her recent research at the Seminar in Ukrainian Studies on Monday, April 24.

At HURI, Ghervas is carrying out research on the Black Sea coastal areas, as part of her larger project on the Black Sea region. Her work challenges the idea that the Black Sea space naturally leads to conflict and nationalism, while assessing economic development, population increases, and growth of cities during a time of "thawed" relations.

On Monday, her talk, "Calming the Waters: Toward a New History of the Black Sea," will examine the history and historiography of the Black Sea. In a different approach to its history, Ghervas argues, could lie the key to "calming the waters," i.e. fostering peace and prosperity in the region.

What Did the Crimean Khan Think? Sait Ocakli Investigates

Sait Ocakli research

On Monday, April 10, Sait Ocakli will present his recent research at HURI's Seminar in Ukrainian Studies. His talk, entitled "Crimean Khan Mehmed Giray IV’S Involvement in the Polish-Muscovite Struggle over Ukraine (1654-1666)," takes place from 4:15 to 6:00 pm in CGIS South Room S-050.

Ocakli is currently a Eugene and Daymel Shklar Research Fellow at HURI. His talk offers a unique look at how the Crimean Khan viewed Eastern European affairs in the 17th century. "Studies on Eastern European diplomatic history tend to treat the Crimean Khanate in sidelines," he said. "I aspire to bring the Crimean Khanate into the centre of my analysis." We asked Ocakli a few questions about his research.

Please join us on April 10 to hear the rest of the story; all are welcome to attend the seminar.

Робоча Група з Українознавчих Досліджень

 Karner USG

Говорячи про науково-освітню діяльність УНІГУ, ми, передусім, маємо на увазі його наукові публікації, конференції, симпозіуми, круглі столи та іменні лекції, на яких виступають провідні вчені зі всього світу. Пульсом інститутського життя є також семінари з українознавства. Щопонеділка на них сходяться гарвардські студенти, викладачі, науковці та слухачі з місцевої української громади. Ще одним важливим складовим елементом діяльності УНІГУ стали засідання робочої групи з українознавчих досліджень, або Ukraine Study Group, які, залежно від обставин, проводяться приблизно раз на місяць, як правило, по четвергах.

Потреба в такому додатковому форматі науково-суспільної роботи виникла після здобуття Україною державної незалежності, а надто – після активізації політичного життя в Україні та протестами, які проходили під гаслом «Україна без Кучми».

Формат семінарів, котрі планувалися за місяці наперед, вже не міг охопити і вчасно відреагувати на драматичні події, які розгорталися в Україні (плівки майора Мельниченка, олігархізація економіки, політична й громадська діяльність неурядових організацій, тощо). Крім того, різко збільшилася кількість українських політиків, громадських, наукових та культурних діячів, які з офіційними візитами, приватно чи по різних стипендіях, приїздили до США. Всім цим людям було про що розповісти, а головне, в Америці дедалі більше зростав інтерес до України.

Q&A with Alisa Sopova, Harvard's First Ukrainian Nieman Fellow

Alisa Sopova

‘Mordor’ and ‘Black Hole’: In Ukraine, these are the terms frequently used to describe the territories controlled by separatists in the east, Alisa Sopova says. While these metaphors paint a picture of a wasteland or void controlled by dark powers, their use also reveals a kind of ‘othering’ on the part of people outside of these zones. For many in Ukraine and abroad, the ongoing conflict – now in its third year – is something ‘over there,’ something strange, abstract, and at odds with regular life.

Sopova, a journalist from Donetsk and Harvard’s first Ukrainian Nieman Fellow, notes that even Kyiv’s residents don’t know what life is like in the separatist-controlled territories. Yet, 3.5 million people live there and try to carry on normal lives, despite regular shelling, uncertain government jurisdiction, and infrastructure interruptions.

We asked Sopova a few questions about journalism in Ukraine and her own experiences as a Donetsk native reporting on the war.

Divide and Rule: Daniel Fedorowycz on Ukrainians in Interwar Poland

Daniel Fedorowycz

On Monday, March 27, HURI’s Seminar in Ukrainian Studies features Daniel Fedorowycz, Eugene and Daymel Shklar Research Fellow. A graduate of Oxford University, Fedorowycz studies inter-communal ethnic violence. During the seminar, he’ll present his research on the experience of the Ukrainian minority in interwar Poland, the prelude to his current project as a fellow at HURI.

Although his presentation focuses on Ukrainians in Poland, the talk may be of interest to social scientists, historians, and others interested in ethnic politics in multinational states in general.

In this Q&A, Fedorowycz gives us a sneak peak at his talk and current research project. All are welcome to attend the seminar (or watch it online through our Facebook page) to learn more.

Shklar and Mihaychuk Fellows 2009–2010

Shklar Fellows

Ines Garcia de la Puente received her doctorate in Slavic philology and Indo-European linguistics from the Complutense University, Madrid, in 2006. Garcia will use her fellowship tenure this fall to focus on the topic “From Kyiv to Rome along the Ladoga: Reassessing Trade Routes in Rus´,” a topic that she began researching in 2008 under a postdoctoral fellowship from the Spanish Ministry of Education and Science. She aims to shed new light on the traditional interpretation of the “route from the Varangians to the Greeks” as described in the Primary Chronicle. She plans to conduct a linguistic analysis of the description of the route in the chronicle, completing an intratextual analysis of the Primary Chronicle, and then contrasting the linguistic and intratextual analyses within their historical and archeological contexts.

Robert Kusnierz is currently a Research Fellow at the Institute of History, Pomeranian University, in Slupsk, Poland. He received his Ph.D. in History in 2004 from the University of Maria Curie-Sklodowska in Lublin. While at Harvard in the fall semester, Kusnierz will study Poland’s attitude toward the Holodomor and the Great Terror in Ukraine (1932–1938) and how these events influenced Polish-Soviet relations.

Iryna Vushko received her Ph.D. in History from Yale University in 2008 and recently completed a Max Weber Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the European University Institute, San Domenico di Fiesole, Italy. While at Harvard this fall, Vushko will be researching the topic “Enlightened Absolutism, Imperial Bureaucracy, and Provincial Society: The Austrian Project to Transform Galicia, 1772–1815.” Vushko’s work will analyze the Austrian bureaucratic modernization of Galicia between its annexation by the Habsburg monarchy in 1772 and the final settlements of the Congress of Vienna in 1815. The reforms of Austrian Empire bureaucrats in Galicia were meant to replace Polish institutions with new Austrian ones and to forge political loyalty among the local Poles, Ruthenians, and Jews. Rather than promoting uniformity, these actions created new identities and reinforced existing identities that were intended to be suppressed. Indirectly, they gave rise to modern nationalism in Galicia. Vushko will analyze the long-term effects of these eighteenth-century reforms in the transformation of early modern ethnicities into modern nationalities and consequently the emergence of rival national movement in Galicia.

Mihaychuk Fellows

Rostyslav Melnykiv is an Associate Professor in the Department of Ukrainian Literature at the Skovoroda National Pedagogical University of Kharkiv. He received a Kandydat nauk in philology from Kharkiv State University in 1998. His area of interest is Ukrainian literature of the twentieth century, focusing on the 1920s and 1930s. Melnykiv will spend the spring semester at Harvard looking at the models of “ideal literature” and “ideal fiction” that participants in the literary discussions attempted to define. As Melnykiv observes, the origin of dominant aesthetic ideas, their formation, and further transformation are crucial for understanding the intellectual basis of the literary discussions and processes of the 1920s and on the whole.

Tetyana Portnova is currently a Junior Research Fellow at the Department of Historiography and the Study of Sources and Archives at Dnipropetrovsk National University. She received her Kandydat nauk in history there in 2008. During her fellowship this fall, Portnova plans to research peasantry and peasant culture in Ukrainian public discourse during the second half of the nineteenth century. She will study the social and cultural reasons behind the peasantry’s emergence, the underlying motives for that emergence, and the significance of societal notions about the peasantry for the community in which they functioned. As part of the study, Portnova plans to place the development of the Ukrainian conception of the peasantry into the broader perspective of the national movements of Central and Eastern Europe.



Monday, May 1, 2017 4:15pm - 6:00pm

National Identity and Public Support for Reforms in Post-Euromaidan Ukraine
Volodymyr Kulyk, Visiting Professor, MacMillan Center, Yale University; National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Political Science; HURI Associate

Room S-050, CGIS South, Harvard University

Full Calendar


Serhii Plokhii, HURI Director

December 22, 2016. Foreign Policy. The Dissolution: Why Did the Collapse of the Soviet Union Go So Wrong? 

December 22, 2016. Wall Street Journal. Serhii Plokhy on Soviet espionage.

December 22, 2016. Boston Globe. Book Review: Assassination 101, KGB style.

December 21, 2016. New Pathway. Toronto Annual Ukrainian Famine Lecture 2016.

December 6, 2016. Voice of America. Interview: 25 лет после распада СССР: «Историю обмануть не удалось».

December 1, 2016. Україна Модерна. Сергій Плохій: “Україна змінюється: я відчуваю себе тут сьогодні більш-менш нормальним істориком України, який не мусить платити за свої тексти.”

October 1, 2016. Укрінформ. Україна має союзників для побудови відносин з адміністрацією Трампа.

August 24, 2016. Громадське Радіо. Я написав книгу, щоб іноземці розуміли українську історію, — професор Гарварду. 

August 24, 2016. Hromadske. How Ukrainians Were Responsible For The End Of The Cold War (YouTube). 

August 19, 2016. Hromadske Radio.Shadow of the 1991 Moscow Coup Today. 

August 19, 2016. Громадське Телебачення. Україна зіграла вирішальну роль у розпаді СРСР після путчу — Сергій Плохій (YouTube).

May 23, 2016. New Eastern Europe. To and for Europe: Review of 'The Gates of Europe: A History of Ukraine'.

May 23, 2016. New Eastern Europe. Plokhy awarded as "Ambassador of New Europe."

May 18, 2016. The Financial Times. Ukraine sings to a tune of new national pride.

March 5, 2016. Україна Модерна. Вийти за межі: міркування над епілогом «Останньої імперії» Сергія Плохія 

March 1, 2016. Chornobyl: The Tombstone of the Reckless Empire. 

January 10, 2016. The Daily Beast: Are Russians and Ukrainians the Same People?

December 24, 2015. The Telegraph. The Gates of Europe by Serhii Plokhy, review: 'an indispensable guide to a tragic history'.

December 12, 2015. Голос Америки. Чому імперське бачення веде до війни та що собою являє українська нація - Гарвардський історик.

December 3, 2015. The Independent. The Gates of Europe, A History of Ukraine by Serhii Plokhy, book review.

December 2015. H-Net. Zayarnyuk on Plokhy, 'The Gates of Europe: A History of Ukraine'.

October 26, 2015. Publishers Weekly. The Gates of Europe: A History of Ukraine. 

October 11, 2015. El País. Las sombras del imperio. 

October 8, 2015. Wirtualna Polska. Kulisy rozpadu ZSRR. Serhii Plokhy dla WP: zadecydowały negocjacje przywódców Rosji i Ukrainy.

September 2, 2015. Kirkus Reviews. The Gates of Europe: A History of Ukraine. A sympathetic survey of the history of Ukraine along the East-West divide, from ancient divisions to present turmoil.

August 15, 2015. The Future of the Past: The Ukraine Crisis in the Historical Perspective.

May 18, 2015. History of the final days of the USSR wins Pushkin House Russian Book Prize.

May 18, 2015. «Последняя империя» Сергея Плохия была объявлена победителем Русской Книжной Премии Пушкинского Дома 2015.

May 5, 2015. Serhii Plokhii on Hromadske International "The Sunday Show".

April 22, 2015. Scholar Reframes Vision Of Cold War’s End. Serhii Plokhy interviewed by Marta Dyczok. 

April 17, 2015. The Globe and Mail. The Soviet Union didn’t die.

March 30, 2015. Lionel Gelber Prize Announces 25th Anniversary Winner. 

March 6, 2015. Сергій Плохій: «Суспільство, яке сьогодні твориться, вимагає іншої історії…».

March 6, 2015. Pasaulis neišmoko 1938–1939 m. pamokų. O Lietuva? (in Lithuanian) 

March 4, 2015. Serhii Plokhii Discusses 'The Last Empire'. 

March 3, 2015. Тиждень.ua. Для багатьох уперше виникає образ Росії як іншого й дедалі частіше як ворога.

July 27, 2014. The Last Empire: The Final Days of the Soviet Union by Serhii Plokhii.

July 14, 2014. The Dissolution of the Soviet Union.

June 24, 2014. Chronicling the Last Empire.

June 21, 2014. World History - "The Last Empire: The Final Days of the Soviet Union" - Book TV.

June 9, 2014. The Ghosts of ’91.

June 2, 2014. The Last Empire. The Final Days of the Soviet Union.

June 2, 2014. Then and Now. Ukraine and Russia, Money and Politics.

May 21, 2014. The Moscow Times: Plokhy's 'The last empire' is the best account of the Soviet collapse yet

May 18, 2014. Book Review. Plokhy's 'The Last Empire' Is the Best Account of the Soviet Collapse Yet.

May 12, 2014. The Takeaway. Eastern Ukraine Votes, Pro-Russian Separatists Claim Victory.

May 3, 2014. Сергій Плохій: «Історики мають перейти від пропаганди місцевих «правд» до написання історії нації, де фігуруватимуть усі регіони, включно із Кримом».

February 25, 2014. The New York Times. The West Must Work With Russia.

February 21, 2014. Here & Now. What Ukraine’s History Tells Us About Its Future.

February 21, 2014. The Takeaway. Violence & Political Unrest Continues to Erupt in Ukraine.

February 20, 2014. The Ohio Channel. Ukraine: Headed for Revolution?

February 20, 2014. Bloomberg's Radio. Harvard’s Plokhii Calls Ukraine Violence Unprecedented.

February 20, 2014. Harvard Gazette. Confrontation in Ukraine.

February 19, 2014. National Catholic Register. Ukraine at the Breaking Point: 26 Dead, but Spirit Undefeated.

February 19, 2014. KQED Radio. Violence Grows in Ukraine.

February 19, 2014. National Geographic. Q&A: Ukraine's Dangerous Turn Has Roots in History.

January 27, 2014. Majority Report: Ukraine Protests Explained.

December 27, 2013. National Catholic Register. Ukraine’s ‘Maidan’ Protests Are Spiritual as Well as Political.

December 4, 2013. NPR’s On Point with Tom Ashbrook. Ukraine Splits Over East-West Economic Rivalry.

Christian Raffensperger, HURI Associate

Anne Applebaum, HURI Affiliate

Oxana Shevel, HURI Associate

Nadiya Kravets, HURI Research Fellow

HURI Shapes US View on Ukraine

Olga Onuch, HURI Affiliate

MAPA Project

Yuri Shevchuk, HURI Affiliate

Volodymyr Dibrova, Preceptor at Slavic Department, Editor at HURI

Volodymyr Sklokin, Shklar Fellow 2014-15

Roman Szporluk, Mykhailo S. Hrushevs'kyi Professor of Ukrainian History, Emeritus, Harvard University

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