CFP for a special issue of East/West: Journal of Ukrainian Studies: “Kharkiv: The City of Diversity”

Svitlana (Lana) Krys's picture
Call for Papers
February 1, 2019
Alberta, Canada
Subject Fields: 
World History / Studies, Urban History / Studies, Russian or Soviet History / Studies, Nationalism History / Studies, Eastern Europe History / Studies

Call for Papers: Special Issue of EWJUS

“Kharkiv: The City of Diversity”


Guest editor: Oleksiy Musiyezdov (V. N. Karazin Kharkiv National University)


Despite several recent studies on Kharkiv (by D. Chornyi, M. Dobchansky, V. Kravchenko, V. Masliychuk, O. Musiyezdov, and others), this city still remains underexplored because it is difficult to explain its historical specificity, and especially because of the manner in which the city and its inhabitants respond to present challenges. The historic fate of Kharkiv gives grounds for various questions: is Kharkiv a Ukrainian or a Russian city? Is it commercial or industrial, metropolitan or provincial, deindustrialized or postmodern? Today Kharkiv can be seen equally as a typical representative of the Ukrainian East—which fortunately did not become another “people’s republic” (following the fates of Luhansk and Donetsk)—and as an outpost of resistance to Russian aggression, with numerous public initiatives and a powerful volunteer movement. The search for answers to questions about Kharkiv often produces stereotypic ideas about the city as a transformed or even distorted representative of a particular cultural canon.


A more fruitful approach to the phenomenon of Kharkiv involves its position as a boundary city—a city at the intersection of cultures (“the province at the crossroads of cultures,” in the words of V. Masliychuk). Hence, the traditional question, “is it a city of Ukrainian or Russian cultures?” (according to the language or ethnicity of the inhabitants) may not be sufficient because of the interrelation of traditional and modern (and now postmodern) values that need to be considered. As well, the city’s various positioning as a “University”-focused, “market”-focused, or “Soviet”-oriented megapolis means the coexistence of different ideas and different groups—with different political and geopolitical orientations, different attitudes to historical events and contemporary social processes, and different standards of living and degree of involvement in the global economy.


Contemporary studies of Kharkiv usually look for a certain “common denominator” of the factors mentioned above. However, this approach is only partially useful because the main feature of big cities is variety, not homogeneity. It is the differences, often contradictory (particularly cultural ones), among Kharkiv inhabitants that remain understudied. Thus, the extent to which the coexistence of diversity in Kharkiv creates a common culture in Kharkiv is the crucial question and is the subject of this proposed special issue.


Potential contributors are invited to address the following themes (including but not limited to):

  • Urban/city identity of Kharkiv and its population;
  • Kharkiv’s social milieu: descriptions, relations, origins
  • Diversity in Kharkiv: values, languages, literature, ethnicity, political preferences, lifestyles;
  • Discourses of Kharkiv and Kharkiv’s history;
  • Kharkiv in a global context: politics, economy, culture.


To express your interest, please submit an abstract of no more than 300 words to by 1 October 2018. The deadline for submission of complete manuscripts (up to 7,500 words, including references) is 1 February 2019. Only authors whose abstracts are approved by the editors for publication will be invited to submit complete manuscripts.

For more information on East/West: Journal of Ukrainian Studies, see For submission guidelines, please refer to

Contact Info: 

Svitlana (Lana) Krys, PhD

Assistant Professor and Kule Chair in Ukrainian Studies, MacEwan University

Editor-in-Chief, East/West: Journal of Ukrainian Studies

Contact Email: