In her article Natalia Yakovenko analyzes borderland and frontier dimensions in the history of Ukraine, scrutinizing its relationship with the mainstream paradigm of Ukrainian national history and contextualizing the trope of symbolic border between West and East in Ukrainian intellectual history and history writing. Focusing on the interwar period and tracing the discourse on the frontier character of Ukrainian history, the author stresses the political importance of scholarly contributions by Hrushevsky, Lypinsky, and Rudnitsky for making sense of Ukrainian history given the changing borders of Eastern Europe and highlights geographical determinism as the explanatory mode of Ukrainian history writing of this time. She traces the legacy of those discourses in the context of mental mapping of the “third region” of Europe, which coincided with the “reappearance” of Central Europe and attempts to define and redefine the relationship of Europe to Central Europe and Eastern Europe. Yakovenko contends that the Ukrainian case of symbolic geography was characterized by the attempt to portray Ukrainian history with that of Europe and to present the Ukrainian claim as the bulwark of Europeanness vis-à-vis the East. Focusing on the development of Western and Soviet schools of Ukrainian history in subsequent periods, the author describes changing historiographic views, which either balanced Ukraine’s relationship with the West and East, or privileged its relationship with either of the poles of symbolic geography due to specific academic developments, political pressures or the vested interests of the national movement.


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pp. 395-426
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