Center for Urban History, Lviv, Ukraine to Speak Online About Work Documenting the War 10/31

Steven Barnes's picture

I want to make sure this event is on your radar and you have plenty of time to share with friends, colleagues, students, family, and anyone who might possibly be interested. It will be an important event with colleagues speaking from the Center for Urban History in Lviv, Ukraine, about their experiences documenting the war. I think this will be of interest to an enormously wide array of audiences, those interested in digital history, the construction of archives, oral history, not to mention all those who are interested in Russia’s war on Ukraine and the wellbeing of our colleagues in Ukraine. Please help me honor these people by turning out our biggest audience ever. (And special thanks to Steve Harris at the University of Mary Washington whose idea this event was and who has helped enormously in bringing it together.)

TIME NOTE: For international audiences, the U.S. does not change its time until November 6, so please plan accordingly. This may be an hour earlier for you than our normal time.


Our online speaker series continues Monday, October 31, at 3:00pm ET, with colleagues working in Ukraine to document the war. If you’ve missed any of our past episodes, all are recorded and available on our YouTube channel here. Additionally, please consider joining our weekly Q&A sessions on Fridays at 3:00 ET. On October 28, we will welcome Sanjog Rupakheti from Holy Cross who will talk to us about the impacts of the war and views of the war in India.

Sofia Dyak, Taras Nazaruk, and Natalia Otrishchenko, Center for Urban History, Lviv, Ukraine, Documenting War Experiences: Oral Testimonies and Social Media Archives in Ukraine

We at George Mason University are proud to collaborate with the Department of History and American Studies at the University of Mary Washington to present:

Sofia Dyak, Taras Nazaruk, and Natalia Otrishchenko from the Center for Urban History in Lviv, Ukraine will talk about the work of their Center documenting the war through oral history and preserving social media archives during a time of war. How can scholars of the present help preserve a moment in history for historians of the future?

Dr. Sofia Dyak is a director of the Center for Urban History (Ukraine), an institution focusing on research, digital and public history, and educational programs. She received her PhD at the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the Polish Academy of Sciences (Warsaw). Her research interests include post-war history of border cities, heritage and urban planning in socialist cities and their legacies. Another area of her work is public history, including curating exhibitions and spatial commemorative projects in urban context. Dr. Dyak was a fellow at the NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies, the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna, the Historical Dialogue and Accountability Program at Columbia University and the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute. Currently she is also a senior research fellow the Center for Contemporary History in Potsdam. Dr. Dyak is a member of board of directors of Ukrainian-Jewish Encounter (Ottawa) and of academic board of the Centre for Historical Research in Berlin of the Polish Academy of Science. 

Dr. Natalia Otrishchenko is a research fellow at the Center for Urban History in Lviv and an associated researcher at the Center for Contemporary History in Potsdam. She holds a PhD in Sociology (2015) from the Institute of Sociology, the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. Since March 2022, Natalia has led the Ukrainian team within the "24/02/22, 5am" international documentation initiative. The Fall, she will be a Fulbright visiting scholar at Columbia University. Natalia is interested in the methods of sociological research, oral history, urban sociology, spatial and social transformations after state socialism.

Taras Nazaruk is a head of digital history projects at the Center for Urban History in Lviv. His background is in journalism (BA, University of Lviv, Ukraine), media studies and communication design (MA, University of Wroclaw, Poland). Since 2016 he has been working as a coordinator of the Lviv Interactive, the digital encyclopedia on the modern history of Lviv. His areas of interest include digital history, digital storytelling, social media archiving, Soviet cybernetic legacy, Internet histories, and media studies. During the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, he's been working on a Telegram archive of the war.

You can support the important work of the Center for Urban History here.

This session will be moderated and was co-organized by Dr. Steven Harris, who is Professor in the Department of History and American Studies at the University of Mary Washington and author of Communism on Tomorrow Street: Mass Housing and Everyday Life after Stalin. He is also the co-organizer of the Second World Urbanity project and is currently at work on a new book project, "Flying Aeroflot: A History of the Soviet Union in the Jet Age."

Introductions are made by series organizer Steven Barnes, Director of the Program in Russian and Eurasian Studies and Associate Professor in the Department of History and Art History at George Mason University.

This lecture is part of George Mason University's Fall 2022 Lecture Series, "Russia's War on Ukraine in Historical Perspective." For other events and information on the series, visit the main series page.

Please come and please encourage your friends, students, and colleagues to attend. All can easily register to attend through any of the links in this message where you can find more information about the series of events or directly at this Zoom registration link.


Steve Barnes


The Program on Russian and Eurasian Studies at George Mason University Presents:

"Russia's War on Ukraine in Historical Perspective": A George Mason University Online Speaker Series


Mondays 3:00-4:15 ET September 12-November 28, 2022

You can find detailed descriptions of each event and speaker here.  





On February 24, 2022, drawing upon a variety of demonstrably false historical analogies, Vladimir Putin ordered a mass invasion of Ukraine, extending a war that had been ongoing since 2014. Ukrainians have suffered horrific crimes at the hands of the Russian invader, but Ukraine has inspired the world through its remarkable resistance and resilience. How can an understanding of history help us make sense of this earthshaking event?


When we try to understand the present, we always call upon our knowledge of the past in a variety of ways—through a search for origins, through historical causal explanation, through historical analogy, and through an exploration of the politicized use and misuse of history by contemporary political and cultural figures. Often we only implicitly draw upon history to understand the present, but how do we explicitly build our base of historical knowledge and use it to understand current events?


What is Ukraine and how did it come to be the object of Putin’s violent obsession? How do Ukraine’s history and culture help us understand the rise of this nation and their resistance and resilience? How does the history of European imperialism, nationalism, and post-colonialism help us understand Ukraine's post-Soviet independence? Can military history or the history of international law help us understand this war? What historical analogies are appropriate to our understanding of this war? Through this series, our audiences will come to better understand Ukraine, Russia, and the events that shook the world in 2022.

You can find out more about this series here



Steven A. Barnes

Director, Program in Russian and Eurasian Studies

President, Southern Conference on Slavic Studies

Associate Professor of Russian and Soviet History


George Mason University