Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar studies abroad
Problems, Needs, Perspectives
About the project
The project envisions the creation of an interactive map and an online database of more than 150 Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar studies centres in 30 countries. It describes the organizational/institutional structure of studies, how these study centres operate, and what priorities and topics guide their work.
The project also includes the creation of an analytical report that will examine the key features of Ukrainian studies’ current development, the most significant obstacles to their development, and the opportunities and challenges they will face following the Russian Federation’s full-scale aggression in February 2022.
Aims of the project
The study of the state, needs and prospects for the development of Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar studies around the world aims to further promote the formation of partnerships between educational and research institutions engaged in Ukrainian studies, stimulate a broader public debate about the best ways to strengthen Ukrainian studies around the world, and to serve as a foundation for future planning of the Ukrainian Institute’s programs and events designed to support Ukrainian Studies.
The study’s main conclusions
- There is a vast, albeit heterogeneous, network of Ukrainian studies centres around the world that influences the understanding of Ukraine abroad. We found more than 160 centres of Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar studies in approximately 30 countries.
- Historically, the establishment of new Ukrainian studies centres coincides with large migration waves from Ukraine or with moments when Ukraine established its political subjectivity (declaration of independence, revolutions, war), resulting in a rapid increase in interest in the knowledge of our country.
- The growth of Ukrainian studies centres is not inextricably linked to the activities of the Ukrainian community in a particular country. The establishment of Ukrainian studies in Scandinavian and East Asian nations was primarily motivated by economic or social science-related considerations. In turn, in Russia, Ukrainian studies did not develop due to political and ideological factors. In the majority of countries of the Global South, where there is no significant Ukrainian diaspora, geopolitical interest in Ukraine, or historical or economic ties with Ukraine, Ukrainian studies centres are all but absent.
- The dominance of Russia-related topics within East European or Slavic studies is a major issue. In light of the new wave of Russian aggression, however, discussions have begun regarding the possibility of reshaping these types of studies to present other cultures, languages, and nations of the region more fairly. On the other hand, Crimean Tatar studies are frequently presented within the context of broader Turkic studies, without regard to their connection to Ukraine.
- Lack of funding, lack of student interest, weak institutionalisation, and reliance on the activities of individual researchers are among the most significant factors that can sometimes lead to the closure of Ukrainian studies centres. The interviewed Ukrainian studies institutions anticipate a more active role and assistance from the Ukrainian government.
- The Ukrainian government should define geographical and topical priorities for future cooperation with Ukrainian studies centres abroad. It seems reasonable to support multidisciplinary Ukrainian studies centres with the tools of cultural and public diplomacy if they offer a broad perspective on Ukraine’s place in Europe, employ contemporary methods, and demonstrate ties between Ukraine and the rest of the world. These study centres have every opportunity to become more visible to both international students and the universities they are affiliated with and to occupy a prominent position within the academic mainstream.
Nadiia Koval, Oleksandra Gaidai, Mariia Melnyk, Mariia Protsiuk, Denys Tereshchenko, Maryna Irysova
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The Ukrainian Institute is constantly updating its database of study centres. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any comments or clarifications regarding the description of your studio, or if you would like to add your study centre.