2020

14 Dec

Language Policies in Multilingual Countries: Western and Non-Western Approaches

My presentation will be based on the nearly completed Ukrainian-language book that examines the varieties of language policy in a number of Western and non-Western multilingual countries, looking not only at those with official bi- or multilingualism but also at those promoting one dominant language. The book seeks to describe and explain their successes and …
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07 Dec

Belarusian Protests: In Search of Democracy, or the Restructuring of State Institutions

For more than 100 days in Minsk, citizens’ protests against the authorities, which falsified the results of the last presidential elections, have not subsided. Forms of suppression unprecedented in Europe – violence and brutality against protesters – have forced many citizens to reconsider their attitude to what is happening. If initially the protest was inspired …
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30 Nov

“Blame-Games” and “Blame Avoidance”

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world both dramatically and irrevocably. For months, politics and media have focused on COVID-19 and the countless facets of its impact of ever more uncertainty and insecurity in our lives. Following Zygmunt Bauman’s Liquid Fear (2006) and Wodak’s The Politics of Fear (2021), it has become evident that a …
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23 Nov

Mental Illness as a Cultural and Societal Phenomenon

The collapse of communism in the CEE region 30 years ago was the start of a long-term process of sociopolitical change, in which a major transformation of the mental health system was expected. Unfortunately, this transformation is not yet complete. For example, in Poland people with severe mental illnesses and disabilities are treated in large …
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16 Nov

The Stage of Pre-solidarity

My experimental study may reveal elements of recent Polish social history omitted in local knowledge-production. I will focus on enthusiastic building, social deeds, vernacular creativity, and various stages of pre-solidarity in Poland since late socialism. I will discuss the flipside of late socialist modernization in Poland, and its trajectory after 1989, considered as both intimate, …
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09 Nov

Czernowitz as a Cultural Palimpsest

Dissidents can be not only people, but towns. The architecture of Czernowitz in the Soviet empire was dissident. Walking past these buildings, living in them, you could not help but be infected by their spirit. It was a dissident town which gave us, its inhabitants, lessons in beauty, liberty, duty. Czernowitz was a quotation, from …
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02 Nov

Letters to Enver Hoxha

From after World War II until his death in 1985, thousands of Albanians wrote letters to Enver Hoxha, a mixture of trivial everyday concerns and exceptional episodes that are tragic, heart-warming and absurd in equal measure. These letters were meticulously archived by the authorities, discussed and acted upon. Put in context, they reveal an abysmal …
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12 Oct

Hagia Sophia as Symbol and Hostage of Actual Politics 

On 10 July 2020, by a decree of the Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the basilica of Hagia Sophia – the central monument of the Byzantine Empire and the entire Orthodox world – was turned from a museum into a mosque. The conversion attracted worldwide attention and the leaders of the US, the EU and Russia, as well as …
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05 Oct

Cossacks and Enlightenment

My talk deals with the impact of Enlightenment ideas on rethinking the image of Cossacks in the Ukrainian peripheries of the Russian Empire in the second half of the eighteenth century. I examine the mechanisms through which eighteenth century West European Enlightenment political and historical thought provided intellectual resources for both orientalizing the Cossack political …
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14 Sep

How to Be a Climate Change Journalist in Ukraine and Why Environmental Storytelling Can Help Spread Important Ideas

Since Ukraine is an agrarian country, the importance of knowledge about climate change cannot be overestimated. In fact, today we already have regions where we harvest potatoes and corn twice a year, and regions where grapes and peaches ripen, which have not even been cultivated before. It is very important to talk not only about …
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