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Laboratory of Transnational History

Ukraine and Recent Ukrainian Historiography

Edited by Georgiy Kasianov

Publication Year: 2008

A first attempt to present an approach to Ukrainian history which goes beyond the standard ‘national narrative’ schemes, predominant in the majority of post-Soviet countries after 1991, in the years of implementing ‘nation-building projects’. An unrivalled collection of essays by the finest scholars in the field from Ukraine, Russia, USA, Germany, Austria and Canada, superbly written to a high academic standard. The various chapters are methodologically innovative and thought-provoking. The biggest Eastern European country has ancient roots but also the birth pangs of a new autonomous state. Its historiography is characterized by animated debates, in which this book takes a definite stance. The history of Ukraine is not written here as a linear, teleological narrative of ethnic Ukrainians but as a multicultural, multidimensional history of a diversity of cultures, religious denominations, languages, ethical norms, and historical experience. It is not presented as causal explanation of ‘what has to have happened’ but rather as conjunctures and contingencies, disruptions, and episodes of ‘lack of history.’

Published by: Central European University Press


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p. 1-1

Title page, Copyright page

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pp. i-iv


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pp. v-viii

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pp. 1-4

...For almost half a century, Ukrainian history did not exist in Ukraine as an independent field of scholarly research or as a subject of instruction. After the Second World War, the “history of the Ukrainian SSR” was established as a regional subunit of the “History of the USSR.” Outside Ukraine, its history was a subject of scholarly research and ideological interpretation in diaspora historiography and in a few small universitylevel institutions that generally found themselves...

I. National versus Transnational History

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“Nationalized” History: Past Continuous, Present Perfect, Future

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pp. 7-24

...This essay deals with a phenomenon that I call “nationalized history,” meaning a way of perceiving, understanding and treating the past that requires the separation of “one’s own” history from an earlier “common” history and its construction as the history of a nation. The great majority of the world’s states and nations have undergone the “nationalization” of history. The history of that phenomenon, in any particular country, coincides with the...

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Revisiting the Histories of Ukraine

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pp. 25-50

...also have to acknowledge that I achieved next to nothing in destabilizing this Ukrainian woman’s firm conviction of her nation’s genetic superiority to others, especially the Russians. (In characteristically ironic fashion, this very conversation occurred in Russian, although both the art gallery owner and I had begun our acquaintance in Ukrainian; the Russian language was necessary to accommodate two of our fellow discussants/listeners who only knew Russian, one a...

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From an Ethnonational to a Multiethnic to a Transnational Ukrainian History

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pp. 51-80

...The first quotation is from the diary of Wojciech Miaskowski of Lviv, a member of a Polish royal commission that visited Kyiv in January 1649, when Bohdan Khmelnytsky returned there after a successful campaign across most of Ukrainian territory. The author of the second quotation was Paul, the son of the patriarch of Aleppo, who visited Ukraine several years later. These two sources have often been cited in Ukrainian historiography, beginning with the work of Mykhailo...

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The Transnational Paradigm of Historiography and its Potential for Ukrainian History

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pp. 81-114

...Hrushevsky’s uniqueness in the history and historiography of Ukraine is based on a structural phenomenon. Building a nation within the framework of an empire required the construction of a national history that laid claim to a particular territory and people. This task was especially difficult in the Ukrainian lands, where in the nineteenth century there was neither an uninterrupted tradition of statehood nor an established...

II. Ukrainian History Rewritten

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Choice of Name versus Choice of Path: The Names of Ukrainian Territories from the Late Sixteenth to the Late Seventeenth Century

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pp. 117-148

...The very act of demarcating the real or imagined boundary of “our land” creates two geographic and cultural entities—the “land of the Other” and “one’s own” space. Establishing the name of “one’s own” living space is far from the least important step toward endowing it with meaning. Thus canonized, it is transformed by the inhabitants’ unwritten convention into the sacred name of a fatherland—a land inherited from ancestors on which objectively existing reality...

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Fellows and Travelers: Thinking about Ukrainian History in the Early Nineteenth Century

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pp. 149-166

...The purpose of this study is to explore the ways in which thinking about Ukrainian history evolved during the first two decades of the nineteenth century. Although this period is not considered important for the shaping of Ukrainian historical thought, I would argue that it was crucial in many respects. By the end of the period, the romantic vision of the Ukrainian past was already fully formed and was slowly giving way to more academic study. Major syntheses...

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The Latin and Cyrillic Alphabets in Ukrainian National Discourse and in the Language Policy of Empires

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pp. 167-210

...and emancipation of the Ukrainian language offers particularly rich material for research in this field. In the nineteenth century, we see two “stages” on which intensive arguments and political battles developed concerning that question—Galicia, which was subject to the Habsburgs, and the combined Dnipro Ukraine, Little Russia and Sloboda Ukraine, which were subject to the Romanovs. These arguments and battles went on among elites that identified themselves as Ruthenian, Little Russian, and/or...

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Victim Cinema. Between Hitler and Stalin: Ukraine in World War II-The Untold Story

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pp. 211-224

...The 58-minute documentary was the product of Toronto-based intellectuals, members of the Ukrainian Canadian Research and Documentation Centre (UCRDC). The script committee included a number of academics: Wasyl Janischewskyj, professor of engineering at the University of Toronto; Jurij Darewych, professor of physics at York University; Andrew Gregorovich, former librarian at the University of Toronto; and Wsevolod Isajiw, professor emeritus of sociology...

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On the Relevance and Irrelevance of Nationalism in Contemporary Ukraine

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pp. 225-248

...In West and East alike, Ukrainian history had apparently been dissolved in Russian or, as the case may be, Soviet history. Ukraine was thus largely ignored in the large theoretical schemes and grand narratives of nationalism produced by Eastern and Western scholars in the course of the Cold War...

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The Making of Modern Ukraine: The Western Dimension

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pp. 249-286

...Namier’s choice of 1848 as a point of departure was well founded. There is a tired cliché that 1848 was a turning point in history when history failed to turn, but that is wrong. The year 1848 saw the first European revolutions: France was at the center, and there were also revolutions in Palermo, Naples, Vienna, Berlin, Buda, and Pozna≈, to name a few. It was also the year of nationalist revolutions in...

About the Contributors

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pp. 287-290

Index of Names

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pp. 291-302

Index of Places

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pp. 303-310

Back cover

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p. 311-311

E-ISBN-13: 9786155211553
Print-ISBN-13: 9789639776265

Page Count: 320
Publication Year: 2008

Edition: first