Di 19 Jun 2018
09:00–17:00
Forum Transregionale Studien, Wallotstr. 14, 14193 Berlin
Prisma Ukraïna Workshop

The Role of Intellectuals in Turbulent Times: Response of Historians to the Ukraine-Russia Conflict

Convened by Yulia Yurchuck (Prisma Ukraïna Visiting Fellow 2018)


The workshop is dedicated to the question of the position of intellectuals in Ukraine in relation to the war in the east of the country and specifically to the role of historians with regard to the production of discourses on the Ukraine-Russia conflict.

In the face of Russia’s references to history to justify and legitimize the annexation of Crimea and the support of pro-Russian “separatists” in the east of Ukraine, some Ukrainian historians started their own initiatives, which they perceive as a response to Russian information activities. Those historians act either in the framework of state initiatives, realized by the Ministry of Information and the Institute of National Remembrance, or on an individual basis and even in opposition to state policies. The main questions of the workshop are: What is the role of history and those who write and study it in times of trouble? Is it possible to be a professional historian and an activist at the same time? And, if so, what kind of history is written during those turbulent times?

Furthermore, the workshop will explore the process of securitization of history, which means that framing of certain historical periods and topics becomes an issue of national security. New commemorational practices initiated by historians suggest that history is even used for the purpose of militarization. In this case, the role of historians is extended to that of quasi legislators who use their professional skills and their societal status as academics to construct nationhood and statehood.