Bringing together participants with different backgrounds and from various places in Ukraine and internationally to explore the past and the present of cities in the region makes summer schools a special format for learning and professional communication and development. The Center organizes and partners with other institutions in creating summer programs to address various themes in urban history and urban studies of the region for advanced students, PhD students, and young researchers. Thematic summer schools increase familiarity with the newest subjects, approaches, and the most current research in the history of East Central Europe in general, and the region’s cities in particular. The summer schools’ curricula include not only lectures, seminars, discussions and consultations with senior researchers and experts, but also institutional visits, fieldwork, public history projects, film screenings, and trips to historic sites. By holding summer schools, the Center strives to encourage the circulation of ideas and contacts among the younger generation of scholars and practitioners in Ukraine and abroad, and thus to expand and diversify the international academic community.
In 2010, the Center launched an annual summer school focusing specifically on the study and understanding of Jewish history, culture, and heritage as an integral part of the history and heritage of Ukraine and more broadly Eastern Europe. For eight years between 2010 and 2017, the school brought together leading world experts with students from Ukraine, and as of 2015, also from Poland, Belarus, and Russia. For many students, the summer program provided their first opportunity to take courses in Jewish history and to learn Yiddish, a major language that was widely spoken in the present territory of Ukraine and of Eastern Europe before World War II and the Holocaust. For others, the annual program has been an important step in advancing their language skills and developing research projects. One of the major achievements of this series of summer schools was creating a milieu for researchers and practitioners of Jewish history and heritage as a part of the history and heritage of Ukraine and Eastern Europe. We are proud that the program and its alumni have contributed to a number of positive trends and developments, including university programs, research centers, seminars and conferences dedicated to Jewish history in Ukraine. This long-term summer program played an important role in developing the Center’s research focuses on urban heritage and public history and the city.
In 2015, the Center piloted an Urban Summer Schools program focused on the studies of urban planning and architecture within historical and social contexts for urban change. The idea behind this Urban Summer School program was to establish communication between urban studies, urban history, and the humanities. The program’s theme reflected the Center’s research interest in planned urbanity. Organized between 2015-2018 this program took place twice in Lviv, in Slavutych, and in Lublin/Warsaw locations and in cooperation with partner institutions.
Both the Jewish Summer School and the Urban Summer School have included special public programs related to various topics covered in the schools, as well as larger issues of relevance for broader public discussions. These programs have become a bridge connecting school participants and lecturers with local residents and the public at large. They have helped break down barriers between academic and public discourse by establishing platforms for communication and thus contributed to developing our public history program.
The Center cherishes the opportunity to host and be one of the partners in the summer programs created by other institutions. The Center's first summer school experience was the summer academy, "History Takes Place," organized by the Zeit Foundation and held at the Center in July 2007. This school was one in a series of city-focused programs that previously took place in St. Petersburg and Wroclaw and afterward in Paris, Istanbul, Belgrade and Sarajevo, and Tel Aviv. In 2014 we were among co-organizers of the Sixth International Social Science Summer School, an annual program of the Danyliw Foundation and the Chair of Ukrainian Studies at the University of Ottawa. In 2019 the Center became a partner of the Center for Interethnic Relations Research in Eastern Europe in Kharkiv for the summer program "Borderland Studies in East Central Europe and the Black Sea Region."
Currently, we are discussing new ideas for learning formats and exploring possibilities for new partnerships. For questions or proposals, please contact the Center's program manager, Maryana Mazurak at [email protected].