New Publications in Ukrainian Studies. May 2023

Iryna Skubii Discussion


Plokhy, Serhii. The Russo-Ukrainian War. The Return of History. W. W. Norton & Company, 2023.

An authoritative history of Europe’s largest military conflict since World War II, from the New York Times best-selling author of The Gates of Europe.

Despite repeated warnings from the White House, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 shocked the world. Why did Putin start the war—and why has it unfolded in previously unimaginable ways? Ukrainians have resisted a superior military; the West has united, while Russia grows increasingly isolated.

Serhii Plokhy, a leading historian of Ukraine and the Cold War, offers a definitive account of this conflict, its origins, course, and the already apparent and possible future consequences. Though the current war began eight years before the all-out assault—on February 27, 2014, when Russian armed forces seized the building of the Crimean parliament—the roots of this conflict can be traced back even earlier, to post-Soviet tensions and imperial collapse in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Providing a broad historical context and an examination of Ukraine and Russia’s ideas and cultures, as well as domestic and international politics, Plokhy reveals that while this new Cold War was not inevitable, it was predictable.

Ukraine, Plokhy argues, has remained central to Russia’s idea of itself even as Ukrainians have followed a radically different path. In a new international environment defined by the proliferation of nuclear weapons, the disintegration of the post–Cold War international order, and a resurgence of populist nationalism, Ukraine is now more than ever the most volatile fault line between authoritarianism and democratic Europe.


Sklokin, Volodymyr, Frank E. Sysyn, and Zenon Kohut, eds. Eighteenth-Century Ukraine: New Perspectives on Social, Cultural, and Intellectual History. Montrea-Toronto-Edmonton: McGill-Queen’s University Press and CIUS Press, 2023.

The Cossack revolution of 1648 redrew the map of Eastern Europe and established a new social and political order that endured until the early nineteenth century, with the full integration of Ukraine into imperial states. It was an era when Ukrainian Cossack statehood was established, when a country called Ukraine appeared for the first time on European maps, and new, diverse identities emerged. Eighteenth-Century Ukraine provides an innovative reassessment of this crucial period in Ukrainian history and reflects new developments in the study of eighteenth-century Ukrainian history. Written by a team of primarily Ukrainian historians, the volume covers a wide range of topics: social history, demographics, history of medicine, religious culture, education, symbolic geography, the transformation of collective identities, and political and historical thought. Special attention is paid to Ukrainian-Russian relations in the context of eighteenth-century Russian imperial unification. Eighteenth-Century Ukraine is the most comprehensive guide to new visions of early-modern Ukrainian history.


Sydoruk, Marta. The Ukrainian Journey towards the EU: Reforms – Resilience – Recovery. Instytut Spraw Publicznych, 2022.

Four months after the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the European Council (EC) demonstrated its stand with Ukraine by granting us candidate status. Today Ukraine can count on the overall support of economic, military, social, and financial resilience by the European Union (EU) in return for further reforms needed for Ukraine as the EU membership candidate country. This decision is a historic moment for both sides – the EU and the Ukrainian people. From the perspective of the European Community, candidate status is the way to tie the country with its reform path and determine its geopolitical roadmap. For Ukraine, that has Russia on the border, it is also the way to survive as a democratic state, defending not only its existence but also European values. For more about the steps and challenges on the Ukrainian path towards the accession please read the article by Marta Sydoruk, conducted in the frame of Solidarity with Ukraine Fellowship at IPA. 


Świetlicki, Mateusz. Next-Generation Memory and Ukrainian Canadian Children’s Historical Fiction: The Seeds of Memory, Routledge 2023.

This is the first book monograph devoted to Anglophone Ukrainian Canadian children’s historical fiction published between 1991 and 2021. It consists of five chapters offering cross-sectional and interdisciplinary readings of 41 books – novels, novellas, picturebooks, short stories, and a graphic novel. The first three chapters focus on texts about the complex process of becoming Ukrainian Canadian, showcasing the experiences of the first two waves of Ukrainian immigration to Canada, including encounters with Indigenous Peoples and the First World War Internment. The last two chapters are devoted to the significance of the cultural memory of the Holodomor, the Great Famine of 1932-1933, and the Second World War for Ukrainian Canadians. All the chapters demonstrate the entanglements of Ukrainian and Canadian history and point to the role Anglophone children’s literature can play in preventing the symbolical seeds of memory from withering. This volume argues that reading, imagining, and reimagining history can lead to the formation of beyond-textual next-generation memory. Such memory created through reading is multidimensional as it involves the interpretation of both the present and the past by an individual whose reality has been directly or indirectly shaped by the past over which they have no influence. Next-generation memory is of anticipatory character, which means that authors of historical fiction anticipate the readers – both present-day and future – not to have direct links to any witnesses of the events they discuss and to have little knowledge of the transcultural character of the Ukrainian Canadian diaspora.


Wanner, Catherine. Everyday Religiosity and the Politics of Belonging in Ukraine. Cornell University Press, 2022.

Everyday Religiosity and the Politics of Belonging in Ukraine reveals how and why religion has become a pivotal political force in a society struggling to overcome the legacy of its entangled past with Russia and chart a new future. If Ukraine is "ground zero" in the tensions between Russia and the West, religion is an arena where the consequences of conflicts between Russia and Ukraine keenly play out.

Vibrant forms of everyday religiosity pave the way for religion to be weaponized and securitized to advance political agendas in Ukraine and beyond. These practices, Catherine Wanner argues, enable religiosity to be increasingly present in public spaces, public institutions, and wartime politics in a pluralist society that claims to be secular.

Based on ethnographic data and interviews conducted since before the Revolution of Dignity and the outbreak of armed combat in 2014, Wanner investigates the conditions that catapulted religiosity, religious institutions, and religious leaders to the forefront of politics and geopolitics.

Journals and Articles

European Historical Studies. Academic Journal. 21 (2022).

UA: Ukraine. Analytika 2(28) (2022), ed. by Hanna Shelest, Mykola Kapitonenko.

Astrouskaya, T. (2022). In Schoolbooks and on Telegram, Journal of Applied History, 4(1-2), 9-27. doi:

Fedirko, T. (2023), Failure and moral distinction in a Ukrainian marketplace of ideas. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 29: 62-78.

Dudko, Oksana. “Teaching Ukrainian History in Canada.” Ab Imperio 1 (2023): 223–33.

Moskalets, Vladyslava. “How to Teach about Ukraine during the War: Notes in the Syllabus Margins.” Ab Imperio 1 (2023): 234–42.

Латиш, Юрій. Сек’юритизація історичної пам’яті під час російсько-української війни. Наукові праці Кам’я нець-Подільського національного університету імені Івана Огієнка: історичні науки, (38), 178–188. DOI 10.32626/2309-2254.2022-38.178-188

Latysh, Yurii. “Problems of formation of european culture of historical memory in ukraine: holocaust, decommunization, ukrainian-polish “memory wars.” In Multidimensionality of Ukrainian-Polish cooperation:  genesis, particularities and prospects, 227-241, ed. by Astramovich-Leik, Ya. Turchyn, O. Horbach]. Riga, Latvia : “Baltija Publishing”, 2022.

Portnov, Andrii. “Dnipro: Some Reflections on Attempting to Write a City’s Biography.” Ab Imperio 1 (2023): 139–44.

Shchepetylnykova, Ielyzaveta (2023) Mending the divide: intellectuals and intelligentsia in Ukrainian scholarly discourse, European Societies, DOI: 10.1080/14616696.2023.2188084  

Skubii, Iryna. “Early Soviet Consumption as a First ‘Battle’ on the Cultural Front.” In Consumption and Advertising in Eastern Europe and Russia in the Twentieth Century, edited by Magdalena Eriksroed-Burger, Heidi Hein-Kircher, and Julia Malitska, 135–53. Cham: Springer International Publishing, 2023.

Świetlicki, M. Witnesses, Deniers and Bourgeois Troublemakers. The Holodomor and Ukrainian-Canadian Collaboration in Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch’s Winterkill (2022). Children’s Literature in Education (2023).