Public lecture series on history and culture of Ukraine

Posted on: 02 February 2023

Public lecture series on history and culture of Ukraine

As we approach the anniversary of the invasion of Ukraine by Russia (February 24th) Trinity College Dublin is launching a free public lecture series which aims to give an overview of Ukraine's complex history and rich cultural heritage.

Aimed at the college community originally and then opened up to the general public, the lecture series, entitled Understanding Ukraine, will commence on Thursday, February 9th. The initiative, drawing mostly on in-house expertise, has been organised by Trinity’s Department of Russian and Slavonic Studies in partnership with DU History Society and the Eastern European Society.

One of the organisers of the event, Balázs Apor, Associate Prof in European Studies, said:

"We want to provide students, colleagues and the general public with an introductory overview of Ukraine's complex history and rich cultural heritage. There has been a growing interest in the country's past and present since the beginning of the Russian invasion, but there is limited availability of courses on Eastern Europe and specifically, on Ukraine, in Irish universities. The series, hopes to respond to this gap, and provide audiences with an essential understanding of the cultural and historical mosaic of Ukraine.”

Individual lectures will reflect on some of the key episodes in the history of Ukraine, including the formation of the Kyivan Rus, the expansion of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Russian colonisation in the 18th and 19th centuries, and Ukraine’s traumatic experience with Stalinism. The series will also introduce audiences to Ukraine’s diverse literary scene, its modern cultural and intellectual traditions, the Ukrainian language question and the significance of the country’s Jewish heritage.

More information and registration details are available here:

Full programme of Understanding Ukraine: An introductory lecture series on Ukrainian history and culture:

  1. Ukraine and its Histories (Graeme Murdock, Trinity) – Thursday, 9 February 6-7 pm, Uí Chadhain Theatre
  2. History and Culture in Ukraine in the 19th century (Brigit McCone, Trinity) – Thursday, 16 February 6-7 pm, Robert Emmet Theatre
  3. Ukraine’s Jewish Heritage (Conor Daly, Trinity) – Thursday, 23 February 6-7pm, Thomas Davis Theatre
  4. Ukraine in the Soviet Union (Judith Devlin, University College Dublin) – Thursday, 2 March 6-7 pm, Thomas Davis Theatre
  5. Ukrainian culture in the 20th century (Brigit McCone) – Thursday 16 March 6-7 pm,Thomas Davis Theatre
  6. Language in Ukraine (Svetlana Ilyin, Trinity) – Thursday, 23 March 6-7 pm, Thomas Davis Theatre
  7. Empire, Nation, Revolution. State and Society in Ukraine 1980s-2021 (Jan C. Behrends Zentrum für Zeithistorische Forschung) – Thursday, 30 March 6-7 pm, Thomas Davis Theatre
  8. Tradition and Subversion: (Re)Inscribing Ukrainian Modernisms into European Canons (Bohdan Tokarskyi University of Potsdam) – Thursday, 6 April 6-7 pm, Thomas Davis Theatre
  9. Grassroots Ukrainianization: language popularization initiatives in Ukraine since 2014   (Natalia Kudriavtseva, Kryvyi Rih State Pedagogical University) – Thursday, 13 April 6-7 pm, Thomas Davis Theatre

On March 1st, Trinity will be hosting an associated event with film director, Evgeny Afineevsky, Director of ‘Freedom on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom’. This event, organised by Trinity Global, will include a panel discussion and Q&A session hosted by Prof. Gail McElroy, Dean of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.

Panel members are: film director, Evgeny Afineevsky; HE Ms Larysa Gerasko, Ukraine Ambassador to Ireland; HE Ms Anna SochaƄska, Polish Ambassador to Ireland;  HE Mr Marijus Gudynas, Lithuanian Ambassador to Ireland; Dr Balazs Apor, Professor in European Studies, Trinity. The event take place at 6 - 7.30 pm, Thomas Davis Theatre. Registration information here

More about the organisers:

Dr Balázs Apor is Associate Prof in European Studies at the Department of Russian and Slavonic Studies and Director of the Trinity Centre for Resistance Studies. His research interest include the history of communist Eastern Europe; cult of the strongmen leaders; propaganda of authoritarian leaders and their method of rule; legacy of communism in Hungary; cultural and everyday forms of resistance in communist dictatorships and in post-communist authoritarian regimes.

Dr Conor Daly is Teaching Fellow at the Department of Russian and Slavonic Studies. His research interests include the cultural history of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, Jewish Studies and language death. He is a regular contributor on Eastern European affairs for Raidió na Gaeltachta.

*This news article was edited on Feb 27th to include details about the March 1st event featuring Evgeny Afineevsky, Director of ‘Freedom on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom’.

*This news article was edited on Mar 2 to add two new lectures on April 6th and 13th and to make changes to the speaker on March 30th. 

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