Guest Professor at the Humboldt University, Berlin
Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study, Berlin
The metaphor of ‘two Ukraines
’ (“pro-Russian vs pro-Western” or “Soviet vs nationalistic”) often serves as a description of the “deeply divided” country and its electoral geography. Ourdays it also pretends to explain the phenomenon of the Euromaidan or the outcome of the Crimean ‘referendum’. In my talk I would like to focus on the analysis of the cultural construction and political functioning of ‘two Ukraines’ scheme in Ukrainian, Russian, and Polish public spaces. Questions to be discussed: Why a ‘nationalizing state’ paradigm does not capture the complexity of post-Soviet Ukraine`s politics of memory and identity? How to distinguish between the Russian speakers and the Russians in Ukraine and how to emancipate the complex social reality of Ukraine from the pressure of normative and essentializing schemes? Could a careful analysis of the internal heterogeneity of Ukraine help us to reconceptualize the way we think about national identity and memory in Eastern and Central Europe? ANDRII PORTNOV
wrote his Ph.D. dissertation about the Ukrainian emigration in inter-war Poland and defended it in 2005 in Lviv. In the years 2006-2010, he worked as Editor-in-Chief of the Ukraina Modern,
a journal in humanities. In January 2012, he co-founded Historians.in.ua, an intellectual web portal and since then has been one of its editors. In the years 2007-2011, he lectured or conducted research at the Universities of Cambridge, Helsinki, and Vilnius as well as Centre for Holocaust and Genocide Studies in Amsterdam and Centre for Russian, Caucasian and Central European Studies (CERCEC) in Paris. From 2012 – Guest Professor at the Humboldt University, Berlin and Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study, Berlin.
His publications are devoted to intellectual history, historiography, and memory studies in Eastern and Central Europe. The author of five books, including The Histories for Domestic Use: The Polish-Russian-Ukrainian Triangle of Memory
(Kyiv, 2013), Historians and Their Histories: The Faces and Images of Ukrainian Historiography in the 20th century
(Kyiv, 2011), Ukrainian Exercises with History
(Moscow, 2010). His most recent English language publication is: “Memory Wars in Post-Soviet Ukraine” (1991-2010), in: Memory and Theory in Eastern Europe
, ed. by Uilleam Backer, Alexandr Etkind, and Julie Fedor (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013).