Announcing HURI's 2018-2019 Research Fellows

Fall HarvardHURI is pleased to announce its research fellows for the 2018-2019 academic year.

HURI’s fellowship program offers funding for research in Ukrainian studies at all stages of an academic career. Our fellows conduct research in residence at HURI while making use of the extensive resources at Harvard University, participating in seminars, and connecting with other scholars in the field.

In addition to fellowships offered in previous years, the Institute has started awarding the HURI Research Fellowships in Ukrainian Studies. These fellowships, which carry on the legacy of the Shklar Fellowship program, are supported by a combination of HURI endowment funds, such as the Alex Woskob Family Foundation Endowment, with additional support from the Ukrainian Studies Fund. HURI is grateful for the ongoing generosity of its donors.

This year, HURI welcomes nine fellows; three in the fall and six in the spring semester. These scholars will examine different aspects of Ukraine through their research, including its history, politics, nationalities, interethnic relations, identities, and early literature. As specialists of several different fields, their perspectives will contribute greatly to our weekly Seminar in Ukrainian Studies, where they will give presentations and participate in discussions. We look forward to learning from them!


Fall Semester

Natalia Khanenko-Friesen

Professor of Cultural Anthropology, St. Thomas More College, University of Saskatchewan
HURI Research Fellow in Ukrainian Studies

“In Search of History’s Other Subjects: Oral History of Decollectivization in Ukraine in the 1990s”

Natalia Khanenko Friesen Natalia Khanenko-Friesen is an associate professor of cultural anthropology, head of the Department of Religion and Culture at St. Thomas More College, a founder of the Oral History Program at the Prairie Centre for Study of Ukrainian Heritage, and an adjunct professor in the Department of History, all at the University of Saskatchewan. She is the founding editor of the Engaged Scholar Journal: Community-Engaged Research, Teaching and Learning.

During her fellowship at HURI, Khanenko-Friesen will analyze data she previously collected on decollectivization in Ukraine. In 2007–9, she carried out an oral history project, “Decollectivization in Ukraine in the 1990s: Rural Perspectives and Experiences.” The project recorded some 140 autobiographical interviews with former collective farmers in ten of Ukraine’s regions, and gathered extensive photographic evidence. Both kinds of data contain rich ethnographic evidence of how decollectivization was experienced and processed by those who have been directly, and profoundly, affected by it.

Now, Khanenko-Friesen will develop her study of these personal narratives on villagers’ life prior and during decollectivization. She intends to produce a manuscript during her 2018-19 sabbatical year. Of interest to her, thus far, has been to identify and examine a particular reflective mode, a kind of shared subjectivity that both underscores and governs the ongoing memorialization of the post-socialist transition and the formation of a new collective memory of late socialism. With this project, she also wants to give the disadvantaged villagers an opportunity to be heard and to present their own views on the profound socio-economic changes they had lived through in the 1990s.

Research Interests: Post-socialist transition; Oral history, vernacular culture, folklore; Diaspora, ethnicity, migration; Ukraine, Eastern Europe, Canada, Western Canada


Gennadii Korolov

Senior Research Fellow, PhD in History, Institute of Ukrainian History of the National Academy of Sciences
Jaroslaw and Nadia Mihaychuk Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Ukrainian Studies

“Ukrainian State-Building and Federalism (1917-1921): Is It an Affirmative Interaction?”

Korolov 150Gennadii Korolov is a senior research fellow at the Department of History of the Ukrainian Revolution 1917-1921 at the Institute of Ukrainian History, National Academy of Sciences (Kyiv), and a research associate at the Institute of History, Polish Academy of Sciences (Warsaw). He received his PhD in History from the Institute of Ukrainian History, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine in 2010.

Gennadii Korolov has received several scholarships from the Center of East European Studies of Warsaw University, the German Historical Institute in Warsaw, and the Institute for Modern and Contemporary Historical Research at the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna. In 2015 he was honored as a recipient of the Krzysztof Skubiszewski Scholarship. During 2010-2012 he was a co-editor of the journal “Problemy vyvchennia istorii Ukrain’skoi revolutsii 1917-1921”.

At HURI, Korolov intends to examine federalist projects and ideas from the Ukrainian Revolution of 1917-1921. These ideas had a common feature: on the one hand, they proclaimed an aspiration to shape the federation as a national state and, on the other, they maintained a temporary loyalty to national minorities (Jews, Poles, Russians and others). This was the antinomic essence of Ukraine’s federalism.

Research Interests: History of the Ukrainian Revolution 1917-21, History of federalist ideas in East-Central Europe


Robert Romanchuk

Associate Professor, Florida State University, Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics
HURI Research Fellow in Ukrainian Studies

“The Old Slavic Digenis Akritis (The Deeds of the Brave Men of Old): A Critical Edition”

Romanchuk Robert Romanchuk is the Pribic Family Associate Professor of Slavic in the Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics at Florida State University. A philologist, he has published the monograph Byzantine Hermeneutics and Pedagogy in the Russian North: Monks and Masters at the Kirillo-Belozerskii Monastery, 1397–1501 (U. Toronto Press, 2007) and a number of book chapters and journal publications, most recently chapters on the literature of Mount Athos for David Wallace’s Europe: A Literary History, 1348–1418 (Oxford UP, 2016) and on “lettered education” in Kyivan Rus for the English translation of Mykhailo Hrushevsky’s History of Ukraine-Rus', vol. 3 (ed. Frank Sysyn: CIUS, 2016). He has also published several psychoanalytic studies of modern (nineteenth-century) literature.

At HURI he will prepare a critical edition of the Byzantine romantic epic Digenis Akritis in its Old Slavic translation, “The Deeds of the Brave Men of Old”—a work of considerable importance to Byzantine, Slavic, and oral-traditional studies. The Slavic Digenis, produced in thirteenth-century Ukrainian Galicia or fourteenth-century Macedonia, helps us glimpse the Byzantine archetype and evaluate the principal Greek witnesses; at the same time, it is the earliest uncontested witness of Slavic epic composition. The edition, based on an in situ transcription of the manuscripts, treats the Slavic Digenis as a branch of the Greek tradition. It devotes considerable attention to the “formulaic style” of oral epic poetry, as the Slavic translation expands on its source using oral-traditional formulas and themes from the Greek and Slavic traditions alike.

Research Interests: Byzantine and Slavic philology: the institutions and practices of pedagogy and psychagogy in medieval Eastern Christianity; the “romantic epic” Digenis Akritis ; Psychoanalysis and literature: the creolized (Ukrainian-Russian) "Little Russian" literary milieu out of which Gogol emerged; the implication of the Gogolian text in psychoanalytic theory



Spring Semester

Hanna Abakunova

PhD, History
Jaroslaw and Nadia Mihaychuk Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Ukrainian Studies

"Ukrainians and Others in the World War II: Interethnic Relations and Rescue of Jews and Roma in Southern Ukraine"

Anna Hanna Abakunova 150Hanna (Anna) Abakunova holds a PhD in Holocaust History from the University of Sheffield (UK) as well as an MA and BA in History and Psychology from the Oles Honchar Dnipropetrovsk National University where she also finished the “kandydat nauk” (candidate of science in History) degree program. She is currently working as an associate tutor at the University of Sheffield (UK).

Abakunova is the co-author of the “Annotated Bibliography on the Genocide and Persecution of Roma and Sinti” published by the IHRA (Berlin, 2016). She is also the author of other publications on the extermination and rescue of Jews and Roma in Ukraine published in Ukraine, Russia, Poland and Romania and forthcoming in the UK and the USA. From 2008 to 2018 she held Visiting Research Fellow positions at a number of institutions, including the NIOD (Amsterdam), the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the New Europe College (Bucharest), Yahad-in Unum (Paris), Yad Vashem (Jerusalem) and EHRI Research Fellowship in Bundesarchiv (Berlin and Ludwigsburg). She received a number of prestigious awards, including the Wolfson Scholarship in the Humanities, the Sir Ian Kershaw Prize, the Sir William Carr Prize, and others.

At HURI, Abakunova will examine interethnic relations during the Holocaust in the Mykolayiv and Kherson oblasts between two major groups of victims: Jews and Roma, on the one hand, and those who came to their assistance (mainly Ukrainians, but also Crimean Tatars and ethnic Germans) on the other. Drawing on archival materials and individual memories of these ethnic groups, Abakunova will contribute to the mutual understanding of commonly shared war experience that, according to her, must be viewed as a tragic integral part of the history of Ukraine and Ukrainians.

Research Interests: Holocaust and Roma persecution in Ukraine during the World War II; rescue attempts of Ukrainians and other ethnic groups towards Jews and Roma in Ukraine during the Holocaust; Jewish and Roma self-rescue; deportation and extermination of Roma and Jews in Transnistria, development of historiography of the Holocaust in Ukraine; interethnic relations during the World War II in Ukraine


Georgiy Kasianov

Professor, Institute of the History of Ukraine
Petro Jacyk Distinguished Fellow in Ukrainian Studies

“Image of the Other: Uses and Abuses (Poland – Ukraine – Russia, Short 20th Century)”

kasianov georgiy Georgiy Kasianov is a Head of the Department of Contemporary History and Politics at the Institute of the History of Ukraine, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. He is an author, co-author, and co-editor of more than twenty books on the history of Ukraine in the 19th - 21st centuries, history of the intelligentsia of Ukraine, and history of ideas. His most recent monograph is devoted to the politics of history in Ukraine and neighboring countries in the 1980s - 2000s.

Kasianov’s research project comprises an interdisciplinary study on the use and abuse of the image of ‘the Other’ in the period after the crash of Communism in Europe (1989/91 to the present). His study is based on the case of three neighboring countries: Ukraine, Poland and Russia.

In his study, Kasianov will analyze the stereotypes imprinted in the image of the Other in these countries; the techniques and tools aimed at creation, use, misuse, and abuse of the image of the Other; and the historical and cultural genealogy of this image of the Other. He also aims to disseminate the project results among policy makers and the general public.

Area of Study: History, Sociology, Cultural Anthropology


Nataliya Kibita

Teaching Fellow, The London School of Economics and Political Science
HURI Research Fellow in Ukrainian Studies

"Soviet Legacy in Ukrainian Post-Soviet Politics: Continuity and Discontinuity of Political Institutions in Ukraine between 1917 and 1996"

KibitaBefore joining the London School of Economics and Political Science in September 2015, Nataliya Kibita taught Soviet history at the University of Edinburgh and the University of Glasgow. Her research focuses on Ukrainian political and economic history in the twentieth century. In 2013, Dr Kibita published Soviet Economic Management under Khrushchev: The Sovnarkhoz Reform (London, Routledge). Kibita received her Ph.D. from the University of Geneva in 2008, her MA in European Studies from the European Institute of the University of Geneva in 2001 and her BA from the National University ‘Ostroh Academy’ in Ukraine in 1999.

At HURI, Kibita will work on her current research which examines the question, ‘Why is Ukraine not authoritarian?’ from a historical perspective and assesses the continuity of political institutions. In particular, the project analyses the origins of the regional fragmentation of political elites and of consensus-seeking politics in Ukraine. It explores the effect of party and state reforms that had been devised by the Soviet leadership in the 1920s, 1950s, 1960s and 1980s and tests the hypothesis that regional political fragmentation in post-Soviet Ukraine, as well as the tendency towards consensus-seeking politics, is a legacy of the Soviet political system.

Research Interests
Ukraine's state- and nation-building in the 20th century, regionalism in Ukraine, political culture in Soviet Ukraine, Soviet institutions; state-building in Eastern Europe in the interwar period


Alessandro Milani

Historian, Groupe Sociétés, Religions, Laïcités
Jaroslaw and Nadia Mihaychuk Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Ukrainian Studies

“Greek Catholic Ukrainian Galicians and Carpatho-Ukrainians in the Context of Interwar Breakdown and Recomposition of National Entities (1919-1938/39).”

milani a photoQualified as “maître de conference” (associate professor) in History and Civilizations in France, Alessandro Milani is an Italian-born historian associated with the Groupe Sociétés, Religions, Laïcités, a laboratory of the French National Center for Scientific Research (UMR 8582- Conseil National Recherche Scientifique-Ecole pratique des hautes études: http://www.gsrl.cnrs.fr/ ). He was previously awarded, inter alia, a PhD in Church History from Venice Cà Foscari University, having been a visiting doctoral researcher at the Ecole normale supérieure de Paris “Ulm” and at the Baltic and East European Graduate Studies of the Södertörns högskolas; a M.Phil. in Librarianship and Documentation from the Vatican School of Biblioteconomy; a M.Phil. in Archival Studies from the Vatican School of Palaeography; and an MA in International Relations at the University of Trieste.

His research and publications deal with religion and politics in the Central European Union.

As a HURI fellow, he will analyze the opposed policies of nationalities enacted by the governments of Warsaw and Prague. This work will serve as the basis of a monograph on the condition of Western Ukrainian Greek-Catholics in interwar Poland and Czechoslovakia between 1919 and 1938/9. Based on largely unpublished sources from the archives of the Vatican, Warsaw, Prague, and supplemented by the collections of HURI, this research aims to understand how Greek Catholics managed to preserve their cultural and ritual identity.

Research Interests: Contemporary History of Ukraine, Nation and nation building in Eastern Europe, ethno-ritual identities between the two world wars, Greek Catholicism in Central-Eastern Europe, Church/State relations in Central- Eastern Europe, Geopolitics of Central-Eastern Europe


Mykola Riabchuk

Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Political and Nationalities’ Studies, Academy of Sciences of Ukraine
HURI Research Fellow in Ukrainian Studies

“Slavia Orthodoxa and Challenges of Modernization: Construction of Modern Ukrainian, Russian, and Belarusian Identities as Emancipation from the East Slavonic ‘Imagined Community’”

RiabchukMykola Riabchuk (1953) is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Political and Nationalities’ Studies, Academy of Sciences of Ukraine and a lecturer at the University of Warsaw and Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv. Since 2014, he heads also the Ukrainian PEN-center and chairs the jury of the Yuri Sheveliov award endowed by the Ukrainian PEN for the best essays. Dr. Riabchuk penned several books and many articles on civil society, state/nation building, nationalism, national identity, and postcommunist transition in Eastern Europe, particularly in Ukraine. Five of his books were translated into Polish, and one into French (De la petit Russie a l’Ukraine, 2003), German (Die reale und die imaginierte Ukraine, 2005), and Hungarian (A ket Ukraina, 2015). His work was distinguished with a number of national and international awards and fellowships, including Fulbright (1994-96, 2016), Reagan-Fascell (2011), and EURIAS (2013-14).

The book-length project aims at a study of modern Ukrainian, Russian, and Belarusian identities as peculiar and interrelated discursive formations. Their construction is conceptualized as protracted and incoherent process of emancipation of all three nations from Slavia Orthodoxa – a premodern East Slavonic/Orthodox Christian imagined community of ‘true believers’ that had been fused, in the 18th century, with the political ideology of the new-born Russian empire and modified eventually into a similar quasi-religious community of the Soviet people. Its founding myth reinforces, and is reinforced by, very strong anti-Western forces that emphasize the primordial ‘otherness’ of the essentialized Slavonic/Orthodox civilization and reject western values and institutions. Deconstruction of its quasi-historical tenets and emancipation from its ideological spell is thus crucial for the development of all three East Slavonic nations, specifically Ukraine as the most advanced in the process.

Research Interests: Postcommunist transformations, postcolonialism, national identity, cultural and language politics, Ukrainian-Polish and Ukrainian-Russian relations


Viktoriya Sereda

Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, Ukrainian Catholic University
HURI MAPA Project Research Fellow

"Religious, Social, and Political Dimensions of Regionalism in Post-Euromaidan Ukraine"

Sereda Viktoriya Sereda, a sociologist with a PhD in Sociology (2006), is an Associate Professor of the Department of Sociology of the Ukrainian Catholic University. Prior to her earning doctoral degree, she graduated from the Ivan Franko National University of Lviv (majoring in history, 1996); the Eotvos Lorand University of Budapest (UNESCO Ethnic and Minority Studies MA Program, majoring in sociology, 2000); the University of Edinburgh (MSc by Research in Sociology Program, 2001). In 2017-18 she was a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Berlin (Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin). In 2016-17 she worked on the “MAPA: Digital Atlas of Ukraine” project at the Ukrainian Research Institute, Harvard University. In 2011-2015, she was a head of sociological part of the project "Region, Nation, and Beyond. An Interdisciplinary and Transcultural Reconceptualization of Ukraine." She is an author of a number of articles published in Ukrainian, Austrian, French, German, Hungarian, Polish and Russian academic journals.

During her stay at the HURI, Sereda plans to continue working on “The Mapa: Digital Atlas of Ukraine program,” which is undertaken by the HURI together with partners in Ukraine. In particular, she will contribute her expertise on the comparative cross-regional analysis of religious identities and civic activism in contemporary Ukraine using the most recent sociological survey data.

Research interests: urban sociology, sociology of everyday life, memory studies, nationalism and identity studies

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