Volodymyr Sklokin

Historians as Public Intellectuals:
The Case of Post-Soviet Ukraine

This article explores the participation of Ukrainian academic historians in public intellectual activity after the fall of state socialism. First, it reviews the general debate on public intellectuals and the intelligentsia that has taken place in Ukraine during last twenty years. Then it proceeds to analyze the participation of Ukrainian historians in public intellectual work, delineating different genres of and approaches to such work. I distinguish between two types of historian public intellectuals: dogmatic and non-dogmatic. My analysis demonstrates that the participation of Ukrainian historians in public intellectual activity not only reflects the dynamics of the discussion about the social relevance of history within the historical profession, but also shows an alternative tendency, “critical public history,” which moves beyond the limitations of either affirmative, deconstructionist or “history for its own sake” approaches to the practical functions of historiography. This tendency remains weak and undertheorized, but it reflects attempts, since the fall of the USSR, to transform Ukrainian academic history writing and adapt it to the new situation of a Ukrainian multi-ethnic, democratic state which exists in an increasingly globalizing world.
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“Nationalizing” the Past and the Social Relevance of History in Contemporary Ukraine

My subject deals with the social relevance of history in contemporary Ukraine. I approach this problem as a participant in the debate on national history and its alternatives, which has been a central theme in Ukrainian history writing since 1991. I will argue that both proponents and opponents of the national paradigm advocate reductionist views …
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