Public History and the City: Engaging and Reflecting the Pasts

This focus brings together research on the forms, formats and multiple agendas in engaging with the past from urban perspectives and in urban settings. Over more than two decades many historians, activists, and public figures were engaging in discussing these big questions in relation Central and Eastern Europe and in particular to Ukraine. With the breakdown of the Soviet Union the questions of institutional and conceptual frameworks of history as an academic discipline and about politics of history and memory triggered multiple debates professionally and publicly. Our aim is to explore and critically assess realization of projects in urban settings and in relation to urban history. Among our questions are: how complex, interwoven and often contested pasts are brought into, dealt within, but also how contemporary historical culture in cities in Ukraine is shaped? In our research and reflections we go beyond discussions of narrative, memory culture and politics of history and look into practices, actors, institutions, formats of public and popular engagements with the past, in particular on the local level of cities. Our main areas of investigations are public engagements with the past through art and cultural productions, oral history, archiving and digital projects, museums practices and heritage initiatives, and public urban spaces.

Image: A discussion at joint program for school students from Lviv and Sejny at Pogranicze Foundation, 2015

Related Publications, Presentations, Public Discussions

  • Oksana Dudko, "In the Name of Our Peasants: History and Identity in Ukrainian and Polish Contemporary Theatre," European Stages, June 25, 2015, http://europeanstages.org/2015/06/25/in-the-name-of-our-peasants-history-and-identity-in-ukrainian-and-polish-contemporary-theatre/
  • Oksana Dudko, "Seeking Ukrainian Political Theatre: Themes, Milieus, Contexts, and Influences," presentation at the Annual Conference of Canadian Association of Slavists (CAS), University of Ottawa, May 30 — June 2, 2015.
  • Oksana Dudko, "Culture and Politics. Dialogum Mobile," public discussion participation, international symposium "Urban Legacies: Culture-in-Practice and Public Policies in East-Central Europe,” organized by Oxford University and the Center for Urban History in Lviv, 18-19 September, 2015.
  • Oksana Dudko, "Memory of the History — Between Politics and Culture. Artistic Interpretations and Reflections on History the Post-Transformation Countries», public discussion participant, Eastern Europe Initiatives Congress, Lublin, October 3, 2015.
  • Sofia Dyak, "Looking at Polish Studies from Urban Perspective," presentation at the round table “Chances and Pitfalls of Transatlantic and Interdisciplinary Polish Studies," ASEEES Annual Convention, November 19-22, 2015.
  • Natalia Otrishchenko, "Your Own and Common: Responsibility of Inhabitants for Urban Space.” In State and Global Social Changes: Historical Sociology of Ruling and Rebellion in Modernism Era: Materials of the International Scientific and Practical Conference. A.A. Melnychenko, P.V. Kutuev, A.O. Mihalush, eds. (Kyiv: Talkom, 2015), 226-227.
  • Natalia Otrishchenko, "Beyond the Square: The Real and Symbolic Landscapes of Euromaidan." In Ukraine’s Euromaidan: Analyses of a Civil Revolution. David R. Marples and Frederick V. Mills, eds. (Stuttgart: ibidem-Verlag, 2015), 147-162.
  • Natalia Otrishchenko, "Experience and Prospects of Public Oral history," international conference “Oral History of (Un)finished Past: Event – Narration – Interpretation”, Odesa, October 8-9, 2015.
  • Natalia Otrishchenko, invited participant of "What Can Oral History Tell Us?" panel, Eastern Europe Initiatives Congress, Lublin, October 3, 2015.
  • Natalia Otrishchenko, "Bridging Academic and Public: "UStories" as Oral History Archive for Research and Community Development," international conference "Oral History in Central-Eastern Europe: Current Research Areas, Challenges and Specificity", Lodz, September 17-18, 2015.
  • Natalia Otrishchenko, "Voices of Resistance and Hope: Project, Research, Activism?", invited lecturer at the Centropa Summer School, Warsaw, July 9, 2015.
  • Bohdan Shumylovych, "Soviet Lviv on Newsreels in the First Decade after the Second World War," international conference "Ends of War: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Past and New Polish Regions After 1944," Warsaw, November 18-20 2015.
  • Bohdan Shumylovych, "Urban Media Archive in the City of Lviv: From Collecting to Engaging," international workshop "Public History and the Media. Historical Archives of European Union," European University Institute, Florence, February 11-13 2015.
  • Iryna Sklokina, "Veterans of the Soviet War in Afghanistan and the Ukrainian Nation-Building Project: from Perestroika to the Maidan and the War in the Donbas," in Journal of Soviet and Postsoviet Politics and Society, 2015: Double Special issue "Coming Back from Afghanistan: The Experiences of the Soviet Afghanistan Veterans" & "Martyrdom and Memory in Eastern Europe", Vol. 1, Number 2.
  • Iryna Sklokina "The Politics of Remembering the Nazi Occupation in Soviet Museums. The Case of the Kharkiv Historical Museum (1943-1985)," in: E. Makhotina, E. Keding, W. Borodziej, E. François, M. Schulze Wessel (Hg.) Krieg im Museum. Präsentationen des Zweiten Weltkriegs in Museen und Gedenkstätten des östlichen Europa (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2015): 131-156.
  • Iryna Sklokina, "Local Museum in a Dynamic World: (Post)Soviet Heritage and Future," portal Open Place ("Локальні музеї у динамічному світі: (пост)радянська спадщина і майбутнє," портал Open Place), http://openplace.com.ua/ukr/texts/localmuseum/
  • Iryna Sklokina, "After the War, then what? Politics of Memory and Reconciliation in Postwar Societies of Europe," public lecture at the 5th Arsenal Book festival, Kyiv, April 23, 2015
  • Iryna Sklokina, "Regional Diversity in the Commemoration of the Fallen Afghanistan Soldiers in Ukraine" at the conference "The Political Cult of the Dead in Ukraine: Traditions and Dimensions from Soviet Times to Today" (Munich, 9-11 July 2015)
  • Olha Zarechniuk. "Prague Shared and Divided: Intercultural Memory in Public Space" (Prague, 15 April 2015).