“Nationalizing” the Past and the Social Relevance of History in Contemporary Ukraine

Wednesday, 29 January 2014, 4:00pm - 5:30pm, IWM library
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMy 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 on the role of history in contemporary society, reducing it either to an affirmation of national identity to serve immediate political needs or to a deconstruction of myths and stereotypes. I also examine those Ukrainian and other eastern European historians who try to avoid this reductionism and draw attention to positive practical functions of history writing while upholding the core principles of historical inquiry.

Volodymyr Sklokin is Assistant Professor of History at the International Solomon University (Kharkiv, Ukraine). Currently he is a Junior Visiting Fellow at the IWM.