Lviv and the

Lviv and the "Return to Europe" after 1991

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Annabelle Chapman

University of Oxford

March 28, 2013

Center for Urban History, Lviv

Since 1991, Ukraine has developed closer relations with the European Union. However, in recent years, the discussion on formal EU-Ukraine relations has become rather stale. Instead, this talk proposed an alternative perspective that looks at wider conceptions of "Europe" in Ukraine (with comparison to Poland). For this, Annabelle Chapman used a case study of the city of Lviv. This allowed an interdisciplinary approach to the question of "Europe", drawing on the insights of political and historical myth, cultural georgraphy and urban history.

The presentation explored the following issues:

  • What is the "return to Europe", and how has it been described in Ukraine and Poland after 1991? The researcher is interested in the "return to Europe" in a historical or cultural sense, rather than only in terms of EU-integration.
  • How have Ukrainian writers and intellectuals placed Lviv (and Galicia) within post-1991 Europe?
  • What have the main narratives in Lviv been since 1991? Could Lviv become a "Europeanising city" for Ukraine?

The main point of the presentation was that this is not directly a talk about politics/EU-Ukraine relations (Association Agreement, enlargement). Instead, Annabelle Chapman presented the cultural/anthropoligical dimension, using concepts of "political/historical myth" and narratives.

Annabelle Chapman

PhD student at the University of Oxford. Her doctoral research looks at narratives of identity in Wrocław, Poland, after 1945. Her Masters thesis was on “Poland, Ukraine and the myth of the “Return to Europe” after 1991: The case of Lviv”, which she researched thanks to a residence grant from the Center for Urban History of East Central Europe, Lviv. Academic interests: intellectual and cultural history of Ukraine and neighbouring countries.


Сover Image: Tadeusz Rolke