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Regular version of the site

History of Ukraine

Academic Year
Instruction in English
ECTS credits
Course type:
Elective course
4 year, 3 module


Kotenko, Anton

Course Syllabus


The course is a survey of history of Ukraine since the early modern period until 1991. While contextualising and entangling the history of Ukraine and its multinational population in the context of broader Eastern European history, it familiarises the students with the history of Ukraine and its historiography. The main emphasis of the course is made on the 19 century; in particular, it explores how the concept of modern Ukraine appeared and investigates its competition with other national projects.
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • The course aims at familiarising the students with the historiography of history of Ukraine.
  • Students will study the outline of the history of Ukraine.
  • In particular they will explore the history of a concept of modern Ukraine and its main competitors.
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • Students will be introduced to the history and current state of the historiography of the history of Ukraine.
  • They will learn the outline of history of Ukraine in the early modern and modern period.
  • They will get acquainted with a practical application of ideas of entangled history.
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • Introduction. Does Ukraine have a history and what does it look like?
    What is “history” of “Ukraine”?; history of Ukraine vs. Ukrainian history; populist and statist narratives of Ukrainian history; state of art today: transnational approach towards Ukrainian history.
  • Ukraine as part of the Commonwealth of two nations. Cossacks, wars, and faith.
    Ukraine as part of the Commonwealth of two nations; Union of Lublin; Union of Brest; who were the Cossacks; Khmelnytsky uprising; 1654 and its multiple meanings.
  • From ashes to caviar: Ukraine enters the Russian empire.
    The battle of Poltava, its causes, consequences, and memories; smooth integration of Cossacks into the Russian empire.
  • Great Russian discovery of Little Russia.
    Multiple identities of the first half of the 19C; partitions of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and unification of Ukraine under Catherine II; Great Russian discovery of Little Russia.
  • How many Russian nationalities were there in the Romanov empire?
    1800s Romantic interest in Ukraine; Saints Cyril and Methodius Brotherhood; how many Russian nationalities were there in the Russian empire; Valuev Circular.
  • Ukrainian question in the Romanov empire.
    Ems edict; Ukrainian movement in the Russian empire, 1860s–1914; Ukrainian movement in Galicia.
  • Revolutions and civil wars, 1917–1921.
    Ukraine during the Great War; three periods of Ukrainian revolutions; social history of the revolutions.
  • Ukraine as a part of the affirmative action empires.
    Ukraine as part of the Soviet Union and Polish Republic; imagined national and non-national communities and non-communities: case studies of interwar Soviet and Polish Volhynia.
  • Ukraine in the second half of the XX century. Conclusion.
    Ukraine in WW2; postwar; Chernobyl; independence.
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking Seminar discussions
  • non-blocking Presentation
  • non-blocking Exam
  • non-blocking Roundtable
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • Interim assessment (3 module)
    0.3 * Exam + 0.2 * Presentation + 0.1 * Roundtable + 0.4 * Seminar discussions


Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Georgiy Kasianov, & Philipp Ther. (2009). Laboratory of Transnational History : Ukraine and Recent Ukrainian Historiography. Central European University Press.
  • Kate Brown. (2003). A Biography of No Place : From Ethnic Borderland to Soviet Heartland. Harvard University Press.
  • Lindheim, R., Naukove tovarystvo imeny Shevchenka (Canada), & Luckyj, G. S. N. (1996). Towards an Intellectual History of Ukraine : An Anthology of Ukrainian Thought From 1710 to 1995. University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division.
  • Serhii Plokhy. (2001). The Cossacks and Religion in Early Modern Ukraine. OUP Oxford.
  • Yekelchyk, S. (2006). The Body and National Myth: Motifs from the Ukrainian National Revival in the Nineteenth Century. Ab Imperio, 3, 23–54.

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • Faith Hillis. (2013). Children of Rus’ : Right-Bank Ukraine and the Invention of a Russian Nation. Cornell University Press.
  • Miller, A. I. (2003). The Ukrainian Question : The Russian Empire and Nationalism in the Nineteenth Century. Central European University Press.
  • Plokhy, S. (2005). Unmaking Imperial Russia : Mykhailo Hrushevsky and the Writing of Ukrainian History. University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division.
  • Plokhy, S. (2006). The Origins of the Slavic Nations : Premodern Identities in Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus. Cambridge University Press.
  • Plokhy, S. (2012). The Cossack Myth : History and Nationhood in the Age of Empires. Cambridge University Press.
  • Plokhy, S. (2014). The Last Empire : The Final Days of the Soviet Union. Oneworld Publications.
  • Очерк истории Украины в средние века и раннее новое время, Яковенко, Н.Н., 2012
  • Последняя империя. Падение Советского Союза, Плохий, С., 2016