Iryna Skubii is a PhD Candidate in History at Queen’s University (Kingston, Canada). Her current project is focused on consumption, materialities, and nature during the famines in Soviet Ukraine. Previously, she was a Stuart Ramsay Tompkins Visiting Professor at the University of Alberta, a Petro Jacyk Visiting Scholar at the University of Toronto, and a fellow of the German-Ukrainian Commission of Historians at the Ludwig-Maximillian University in Munich. Since 2013 she has been affiliated with the Department for UNESCO “Philosophy of Human Communication,” Social and Humanitarian Disciplines at the Petro Vasylenko Kharkiv National Technical University of Agriculture. Iryna completed her Candidate of Sciences Degree in History at Karazin Kharkiv National University (2013) and published the monograph Torhivlia v Kharkovi v roky NEPu (1921–1929): ekonomika ta povsiakdennist [Trade in Kharkiv in the Years of NEP (1921–1929): Economy and Everyday Life] (Kharkiv: Rarytety Ukrainy, 2017). Her research interests include the history of trade and consumption; materialities, environment and famine; gender, childhood, and consumption in early Soviet Ukraine.


Candidate of Sciences in History
V. N. Karazin Kharkiv National University

Current Positions

PhD Candidate
Queen's University

Areas of Interest

  • Childhood and Education
  • Contemporary History
  • Cultural History / Studies
  • Digital Humanities
  • Economic History / Studies
  • European History / Studies
  • Russia / Soviet Union
  • Social History / Studies
  • Urban History / Studies
  • Women, Gender, and Sexuality



Single-authored Books:

Trade in Kharkiv in the Years of NEP (1921–1929): Economy and Everyday Life. [Torhivlya v Xarkovi v roky NEPu (1921–1929): ekonomika ta povsyakdennist’]. (Kharkiv: Rarytety Ukrainy, 2017), 315 p.


Book chapters:

“Early Soviet Consumption as a First “Battle” on the Cultural Front.” In Consumption and Advertising in Eastern Europe and Russia in the Twentieth Century, ed. by Heidi Hein-Kircher, Magdalena Eriksroed-Burger, and Julia Malitska. (Palgrave Macmillan, 2022, forthcoming).

“Oral History of the Holodomor.” In Holodomor: History and Memory, ed. by Liudmyla Hrynevych. (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2023, forthcoming).

“We Did Not Shrink From Eating Carrion:” Food Disgust and Early Soviet Famines. In Cultural Approaches to Disgust and the Visceral, ed. by Max Ryynänen, Heidi S. Kosonen, and Susanne C. Ylönen. (New York: Routledge, 2022, 119–130) (co-author Rebecca Manley).

“Tourism Development and Problems of Preserving the Historical Memory in Ukraine.” [Rozvytok turyzmu ta problemy zberezhennya istorychnoyi pam’yati v Ukrayini]. In Philosophy of Tourism: Diversity of Meanings. [Filosofiya turyzmu: rozmayittya sensiv], ed. by N.I Moisyeyeva and O.O. Krasnoruts’kyy, 40–45. (Kharkiv: KhNTUSG, 2019).


Peer-reviewed articles:

“Famines, Animals, and the Environment.” East/West: Journal of Ukrainian Studies. Special Issue. Beyond Anthropocentrism in Ukrainian Studies (ed. by Tanya Richardson and Darya Tsymbalyuk) (2024) (under review)

“Adapting to Catastrophe: Food Waste and Survival During the Famines.” Journal of Contemporary History. Special Issue: Waste in Conflict, ed. by Iris Borowy and Viktor Pal) (2023 ) (under review).

with V. Kulikov. “Recent Trends in Economic and Business History: The Analysis of the Most Impactful Articles Published from 2016 to 2020. Journal of V. N. Karazin Kharkiv National University. Series: History, no. 61, 2022, p. 266-292, (forthcoming, in Ukr.)

“Goods for the Smallest Citizens: Consumption, Spaces, and Material World of Toys in early Soviet Ukraine.” Childhood in the Past 14:1 (2021): 55–68.

“Women Consumers in Urban Soviet Ukraine in the 1920–30s: Between Ideology and Everyday Life.” History of Retailing and Consumption 6:1 (2020): 30–44.

„Bogactwo w Czasach Radzieckich: Wymiar Materialny Życia Ukraińskiej Elity Ekonomicznej w Latach Dwudziestych i Trzydziestych XX Wieku.” [Weath in the Soviet times: material world of the Ukrainian economic elite in the 1920–1930s]. Res Historica 48 (2019): 193–213. (Enlg.)

“Universal Department Store as a Project Of Sovietization of the Urban Space and Consumption.” [Universal’nyi mahazyn yak proekt radyanizaciyi miskoho prostoru i spozhyvannia], Commons: Journal of Social Critics. Space and Inequality 12 (2019): 46–51.

“Problem of the Trauma Understanding in Soviet Consumption in 1920–1930s.” [Problema rozuminnya travmy v radyans'komu spozhyvanni v 1920–1930-ti roky], Naukovi Zapysky National University Kyiv-Mohyla Academy.  Historical Sciences 1 (2018): 67–72.

“Department Store as Space of Urban Consumption in 1920–1930s in Soviet Ukraine.” [Univermah yak prostir miskoho spozhyvannia v 1920-1930-ti roky v Radianskii Ukraini], City, Culture, Politics and Society 3 (2017): 162–175.

“Business Risks in The Trade in Kharkiv under NEP.” [Pidpryyemnyts'ki ryzyky u sferi torhivli v Kharkovi v roky nepu], Journal of V.N. Karazin Kharkiv National University. History. Special Issue 49:1134 (2014): 144–156.


Articles (selected):

“Famines in Soviet Ukraine. What We Still Need to Know.” IWMpost. Magazine of the Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen. 130 Winter (2022): 10.

“Department store as a “Soviet” symbol in the Ukrainian modern urban space.” [Universal’nyi mahazyn yak radyans’kyi symvol v mis’komu prostori suchasnoyi Ukrayiny], Language, Culture, and Society in Ukraine and its Diaspora. Collected Papers: Conference Proceedings, ed. by L. Tsymbala and A. Nedashkivska. Edmonton, Canada: Shevchenko Scientific Society of Canada, XLІХ (2020): 84–100. (in Ukr.)

“Material welfare of the elderly consumers in the 1920–1930s’ Soviet Ukraine: from ideology and everyday needs.” [Materialne zabezpechennia spozhyvachiv pokhyloho viku v 1920–1930-ti roky v radianskii Ukraini: vid ideolohii do povsiakdennykh potreb], Tavriiskyi National University Scientific Reviews. History 30:4 (2019): 82–86. (in Ukr.)

“Consumption, man, and gender: historical and philosophical analyses (the example of Soviet society under Stalin).”[Spozhyvannia, liudyna i hender: istoryko-filosofskyi analiz (na prykladi radianskoho suspilstva za doby stalinizmu)], Journal of V. N. Karazin Kharkiv National University: Historical and Philosophical Issues 27 (2019): 49–54 (co-author Svitlana Pylypenko). (in Ukr.)

“In search for the consumer: new actors of social history of 1920s – 1930s.” [V poshukakh spozhyvacha: novi aktory sotsial'noyi istoriyi 1920–1930-kh rokiv], Journal of V. N. Karazin Kharkiv National University: Historical and Philosophical Issues 27 (2018): 64–70. (in Ukr.)

“Male consumer demands in the urban space of Soviet Ukraine in the 1920–1930s.” [Cholovichi spozhyvchi potreby v mis’komu prostori radyans’koyi Ukrayiny v 1920–1930-ti roky], East 153 (2018): 79–83. (in Ukr.)

“Consumption in Soviet city in 1920–1930s: between ideology and everyday life.” [Spozhyvannya v radyans'komu misti u 1920–1930-kh rokakh: mizh ideolohiyeyu ta povsyakdennistyu], Ukrainian Historical Collection 19 (2017): 190–199. (in Ukr.)

“Material world of childhood and children’s goods in Soviet consumption in 1920–1930s.” [Materialnyi svit dytynstva ta dytiachi tovary v radianskomu spozhyvanni v 1920–1930-ti roky], Ukraine in XX century: Ideology, Politics, Culture 22 (2017): 152–163. (in Ukr.)

“‘In What Cold Country are We Living. Everything is Hidden, Everything is in Underground’: Shadow Economy, Smuggling and Trade in Kharkiv under NEP.” [V kakoi kholodnoi strane my zhivem, u nas vse skryto, vse v podpol'e’: tenevaia ekonomika, kontrabanda i torgovlia v khar'kove v gody nepa]. Constructing the ‘Soviet’? Political Consciousness, Everyday Practices, New Identities. (2013): 117–123. (in Rus.)

“The Cooperative Trade in Kharkiv in the Early Years of the NEP and Its Place in the Policy of the Soviet Authorities.” [Kooperatyvna torhivlya v Kharkovi v pershi roky nepu ta yiyi mistse v politytsi radyans'koyi vlady], The History of Trade, Taxes and Duties: Collection of Scientific Papers. 1(5) (2012): 141–146. (in Ukr.)

“The Problem of the Development of State Retail Trade in Kharkiv under the NEP.” [Problema stanovlennya derzhavnoyi torhivli v Kharkovi v roky nepu], Journal of V. N. Karazin Kharkiv National University. History of Ukraine. Ukrainian Studies: Historical and philosophical sciences. 15 (1006) (2012): 41–45. (in Ukr.)

“The Joint Stock Trade Enterprises in Kharkiv in the Years of NEP.” [Aktsionerni tovarystva torhivli v Kharkovi v roky nepu], Ukrainian Historical Collection. 15 (2012): 140–146. (in Ukr.)

“The committees of market merchants as the instruments of regulation the trade in Kharkiv under NEP.” [Komitety rynkovykh torhivtsiv yak instrument rehulyuvannya torhivli v kharkovi v roky nepu], The History of Trade, Taxes and Customs: Collection of Scientific Papers. 2 (2012): 141–146. (in Ukr.)

“The trade as a sphere of activity of state security bodies in Kharkiv in the early years of the NEP (1921 – 1923).” [Torhivlya yak sfera diyal'nosti orhaniv derzhavnoyi bezpeky v Kharkovi v pershi roky nepu (1921 – 1923)], Actual Problems of National and World History 14 (2011): 226–233. (in Ukr.)

“The Trade in Kharkiv in the Coverage of 1920s’ Periodical Press.” [Torhivlya v Kharkovi u svitli periodychnoyi presy 1920-kh rokiv], Volyn Historical Notes: Collection of Scientific Papers. 7 (2011): 79 – 83. (in Ukr.)


Online publications:

“Every Girl Wants to Look Beautiful: Beauty and Women Consumption in Early Soviet Ukraine.” [“Kozhniy divchyni khochet'sya odyahtysya harno ta modno:” krasa ta zhinoche spozhyvannya v rann'oradyans'kiy Ukrayini]. Ukraina moderna. (2021). September 17.

“Material World of Children in the Holodomor and What Saved Their Lives.” [Material'nyy svit ditey v roky Holodomoru ta shcho vryatuvalo yikhni zhyttya]. Holodomor Studies (2020), April 20.

“Children are the Happiness of the Society under Construction: Children’s Goods in Soviet Ukraine.” [Dity – tse radist suspilstva, shcho buduietsia: dytiachi tovary v radianskii Ukraini], Ukraina moderna (2017), October 15.

Trade in Kharkiv in the Years of NEP (1921–1929): Economy and Everyday Life, Peripheral Histories?