Lecture by Prof. Serhiy Yekelchyk in the Center’s Courtyard
An Excursion Trip to Drohobych
A Guide Tour "ZUNR in Lviv"
Discussion on the First World War
Lecture of Dr. Joanna Lisek on Literature World of Yiddish in Lviv
Lectures by Prof. Yohanan Petrovsky-Shtern on Jewish History in Eastern Europe

Jewish History and Multiethnic Past in East Central Europe

Location: Center for Urban History, Lviv, Ukraine
Date: July 14 - August 8, 2014

The Center for Urban History has held its annual summer school "Jewish History and the Multiethnic Past: Discussions and Approaches to the Study of Society, Culture, and Heritage in East Central Europe."

The school aimed to attract the attention of young researchers to the multiethnic past of Ukraine as well as of East Central Europe. The four-week program offered participants an opportunity to deepen their knowledge and familiarity with the most current approaches and discussions in the study and teaching of societies with multicultural heritages. In this way we tried to encourage young historians and humanitarians to implement new research projects on the complex multiethnic history of Ukraine and to use new methods and interpretations. It was important to not only promote awareness of destroyed and displaced communities, which until World War II lived in the territory of modern Ukraine as well as in the wider region of East Central Europe, but also to create a new cultural and historical narratives, including through wider public discussion.

Program description

The summer school lasted for a month: from July 14, 2014 to August 8, 2014.
The program of the School is available for download here.

The program included an introductory course in Yiddish, a main course on the history of the Jews of East Central Europe with a focus on Jewish-Ukrainian relations, and a number of short courses that provided an overview and analysis of how one can use different approaches to learning and teaching the history of Ukraine in the context of the history of East Central Europe of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Courses and Lecturers:

The summer school courses were being taught by Prof. Tarik Cyril Amar (Columbia University), Prof. Serhy Yekelchyk (University of Victoria, Canada), Dr. Joanna Lisek (Wroclaw University, Poland), Prof. Yohanan Petrovsky-Shtern (Northwestern University, Illinois, USA), Prof. John Paul Himka (University of Alberta, Canada).

Prof. Tarik Cyril Amar (Columbia University): History, Memory, Politics: Modern Ukraine and the Opportunities and Challenges of Diversity

Prof. Serhy Yekelchyk (University of Victoria, Canada): Multiculturalism in Ukraine's Revolutionary Age (1917-1930)

Prof. Yohanan Petrovsky-Shtern (Northwestern University, Illinois): Jews in East Europe, 1772-1991 (with a Focus on Ukrainian-Jewish Relations)

Prof. John Paul Himka (University of Alberta): How Historians Can Make Use of Visual Materials: Paintings, Photos, Films

Dr. Joanna Lisek (University of Wroclaw): Yiddish course

Every day, except weekends, participants attended: two Yiddish classes and two history classes. Classes were held in a variety of formats: lectures, seminars, discussions, presentations, and discussions of movies and documentary films. For each course a reader was prepared and sent to participants a month and half before the start of school so that the participants could prepare for classes. The program also included guest lectures, discussions, film screenings, and tours of Lviv and historic towns of Galicia.

Upon successful completion of the school, participants obtained:

  • Certificate specifying the attended courses
  • Language certificate indicating the completion of the Yiddish course (introductory level) in the amount of 40 hours. To receive the certificate, participants must pass the exam in Yiddish at the end of the school.

Classes were being held in Ukrainian, Polish, and Russian.

Videos of the summer school:

A public lecture by Prof. Jan Grabowski. The Attitudes of the Polish Society Towards the Destruction of the Polish Jews. (in Polish)

Course of lectures by Prof. Serhy Yekelchyk "Multiculturalism in Ukraine's Revolutionary Age (1917-1930):

1. German Intervention. The History of the Soviet Myth of the "Ukrainian Bourgeois Nationalists" as Servants of Germany. (in Ukrainian)
2. Kyivan White Guard Soldiers "Peturrrra" and Comrade Stalin. Discussion of the Film Days of the Turbins. (in Ukrainian)
3. Otamanshchyna as a Musical Comedy: Discussion of the Film Wedding in Malinovka. (in Ukrainian)
4. ZUNR "The European Ukraine" Which the Enemies Didn't Allow Ukrainians to Build? (in Ukrainian)
5. The Reality of Otamanshchyna: Pogroms of 1919 and Their Long Historial Shadow. What Exactly Happened in Kyiv on August 31, 1919? (in Ukrainian)
6. Commissar Comrade Babel on the Polish-Soviet War. The Siege of Perekop and the Suppression of Peasant Insurgents. (in Ukrainian)

Course of lectures by Prof. Yohanan Petrovsky-Shtern."Jews in East Europe, 1772-1991 (with a Focus on Ukrainian-Jewish Relations)":

1. Rootless Cosmopolitans Communism and Racism. (in Ukrainian)
2. Ukrainian and Jewish Dissent and the Rise of the National-Democratic Consciousness. (in Ukrainian)

Lectures by Dr. Joanna Lisek:

1. Literary Yiddish Life in Lviv. (in Polish)
2. I am Ashamed of Being Like My Mother's Veil" Hannah Levin, Jewish Poet from Ukraine. (in Polish)

If you have any questions, please contact the school coordinator Iryna Matsevko by e-mail i.matsevko@lvivcenter.org or by phone (032) 275 17 34.

More information about previous summer schools for Jewish history and culture can be found here.