Serhy Yekelchyk analyzes the development of Ukrainian history writing from the fall of communism to the early responses to Russia’s massive invasion in 2022. He emphasizes the global nature of the modern Ukrainian historical profession, the important role of the Ukrainian diaspora, and the new Western approaches increasingly taking hold in Ukrainian historiography. The author’s argument about the importance of Postcolonial Studies in developing a new conceptual vision of the Ukrainian past is especially relevant now, when Ukrainian intellectuals are openly speaking about decolonizing their country’s history and memory.
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Russia’s all-out aggression against Ukraine was both justified and inspired by the Kremlin’s misuse and abuse of history as a discipline. What is the history of Ukraine as an academic discipline, and how should one interpret it? This book, by one of Ukraine’s leading historians, provides a unique perspective on the field of Ukrainian history from the inside. By focusing on the transformations in Ukrainian history writing and the public role of history since Ukrainian independence, it explains how both the discipline and the nation matured. Writing the Nation is a must-read book for anyone who wants to understand not only Ukraine’s past but also its present.
Serhii Plokhy, Mykhailo Hrushevsky Professor of Ukrainian History and director of the Ukrainian Research Institute, Harvard University
In his new book, Serhy Yekelchyk confirms his well-deserved reputation as a historian who is especially sensitive to methodological innovations and the latest currents in theoretical thought. Rich in detail, his critical study invites readers on a fascinating trip into the diverse and ambivalent field of Ukrainian history writing. This book challenges the reader to go against the grain by questioning traditional historical narratives.
Andrii Portnov, Professor of the Entangled History of Ukraine, European University Viadrina (Frankfurt/Oder)