Call for applications : War and Society: Making and Experiencing War (and Peace) in 19th-21st-century Eastern / Central Europe and Eurasia

Tenth International Social Science Summer School in Ukraine

Kherson, June 30 – July 6, 2019.

A joint project of the Chair of Ukrainian Studies at the University of Ottawa (Canada), the Institut des Sciences Sociales du Politique (France), The Center for Slavic History at the University of Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne (France), the LabEx “Writing a new History of Europe” (France).

The Summer school is supported by the Wolodymyr George Danyliw Foundation (Canada), the Embassy of France in Ukraine, and the LabEx EHNE (France).

What does all this mean? Why did it happen? What made those people burn houses and slay their fellow men? What were the causes of these events? What force made men act so? These are the instinctive, plain, and most legitimate questions humanity asks itself when it encounters the monuments and tradition of that period.”

–Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace

Valley of the Shadow of Death – Roger Fenton (April 1855) – Public Domain

In 1869 The Russian Herald completed the publication of what would become one of the most prominent works of the nineteenth-century literature – Leo Tolstoy’s seminal novel War and Peace. After the writer’s death, however, some began to argue that the title should be renamed War and Society. The confusion was caused by the fact that after the language reform of 1917 the homophones “миръ” (peace) and “міръ” (society) became one word with two different meanings – “мир.” While there is enough evidence to believe that Tolstoy did, in fact, title his book War and Peace, the writer was clearly interested in the meaning of war for society.

One hundred and fifty years later we want to continue the conversation and ask our own questions about war and society: How does war transform societies? How does war close off and create opportunities? How does war challenge normative understandings of ethics, morality, gender, state capacity, social obligation? How does war end? How are wars “made” and undone and by whom? How have warfare and peace-making changed over time? Our focus is Eastern and Central Europe, but we welcome projects on Eurasia broadly conceived, including Central Asia and the Caucasus. We would like to move beyond defining this region as “bloodlands” (in the phrasing of Timothy Snyder) in order to examine the multiplicity of experiences of war and meanings ascribed to them by states, societies, and individuals. We are interested in “wars” broadly defined: from the greatest military conflicts, such as World Wars I and II, or civil wars that tore societies apart, or anti-colonial struggles that brought nations together–to less conventional wars of the post-modern world: cold wars, information wars, hybrid wars and the war on terror. We invite you to think of war not only as an event that takes place on battlefields and ends with the signing of a peace treaty but also as a continuum that encompasses a wide range of human experiences. Our chronology extends from the Napoleonic campaigns to the contemporary conflict in Ukraine.

Topics of investigation could include:

  • Anticipation of war/ anticipation of peace;
  • The language of war: words, images, sounds;
  • Imperial wars, anticolonial wars, civil wars;
  • Cold wars, information wars, hybrid wars;
  • Mafia wars, drug wars;
  • War and civil society: state and private actors;
  • War and the nation: questions of belonging, inclusion, exclusion;
  • War and mobility: refugees, evacuees, displaced persons, prisoners of war;
  • The occupiers and the occupied;
  • War and the gender order;
  • War and sexual violence, war and the body;
  • War and the economy: collaboration and cooperation;
  • War and “ordinary people”: survival and adaptation;
  • Actors of War: dehumanizing and rehumanizing the enemy;
  • The home front: the mundane and the extraordinary;
  • War and the arts: representation, entertainment, morale-building;
  • War and the city: urban space and the built environment;
  • War and peace: exiting war, reconciliating, pacifying, judging;
  • The postwar society: rebuilding, remembering, forgetting;
  • Memory of war: celebration and mourning.

Format: Workshop and Fieldwork

The Summer School follows a unique format that allows for developing participants’ research projects, as well as exploring the theme of the School in the laboratory of the city. Participants leave the School with new colleagues, new ideas, and a better understanding of their own research in comparative context. The Summer School is explicitly interdisciplinary and follows a workshop format. Each participant will present a pre-circulated paper and receive extensive comments from a group of international faculty, as well as from other participants. Participants are expected to read each other’s work, to contribute actively to discussions, and to participate in the extracurricular program throughout the city. The Summer School will include roundtables and presentations at the seminar, field visits, local interviews and excursions within the region. These off-site activities will contribute to our seminar discussions.

Location : Kherson – Херсон (Ukraine)

The International Social Science Summer School in Ukraine takes place in a different city of Ukraine every year. Previous schools have been held in Uman (2009), Dnipropetrovsk (2010), Ostroh (2011), Zhytomyr (2012), Mykolaiv (2013), Lviv (2014), Chernivtsy (2015), Kharkiv (2016) and Zaporizhzhya (2018).

This year’s school will take place in Kherson, Ukraine. The city itself was a product of war: it was founded as a military fortification on the right bank of the Dnipro river during the Russo-Turkish war of 1735-1739 and later became one of the Russian Empire’s major outposts on the Black Sea. Kherson was the cradle of Russia’s Black Sea fleet and an important port throughout the imperial period. After the collapse of the monarchy in 1917, Kherson became the site of bitter struggles among different political forces: it was consecutively ruled by the Provisional Government, the Bolsheviks, Pavlo Skoropadskyi’s Hetmanate, the Directorate of the Ukrainian National Republic, and Anton Denikin’s forces before it was finally taken over by the fledgling Soviet state. A major port and an industrial center, the city was occupied by Nazi Germany for almost three years during World War II. Today, the life of the city is to a great extent shaped by the conflict in Eastern Ukraine; Kherson has been housing the Office of the Presidential Representative of Ukraine in Crimea since 2014.

Duration

One week, June 30-July 6. Departure from Kyiv on June 30. Workshop meets all day July 1-5; return to Kyiv July 6.

Participants must attend the school for the entire week.

Eligibility

The Summer School is open to PhD students (or students enrolled in a kandidat naukprogram) and young researchers (up to six years removed from their PhD or kandidat naukdegree). Proposals strong on theory and empirical research are particularly welcome. The working language of the Summer School is English. Participants must be comfortable working in English.

Program Costs

There is no program fee. The organizers will cover accommodation, meals, workshops and all excursions. The participants (or their institutions) must pay travel expenses from their home country to Kyiv; the round-trip transfer from Kyiv to Kherson will be covered.

Applications

To be considered for the Summer School, candidates must complete an application form (including a 500 word research project presentation) and send a CV. They may also send an additional written sample, such as a conference paper, a dissertation chapter, or a publication (optional).

Step 1 : Complete the application form online. We advise you to prepare the research project presentation in advance and to copy/paste it.

Step 2 : Send your CV and additional documents to ukrainesummerschool@gmail.com. Please don’t forget to clearly mention your name in the subject line of the message.

Deadline for application is 1 April 2019.

The application will be reviewed by an evaluation committee and you will be notified of the results by email.

Core Faculty members

Dominique Arel (Chair of Ukrainian Studies, U of Ottawa, Canada)
Anna Colin Lebedev (U of Paris Nanterre / Institut des sciences sociales du politique, France)
Mayhill Fowler (Stetson University, USA)
Alissa Klots (European University at Saint Petersburg, Russia)
Sophie Lambroschini (U of Paris Nanterre, France/ Centre Marc Bloch, Germany)
Mikhail Minakov (Kyiv Mohyla Academy National University, Ukraine – Europa-Universität Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder), Germany)
Anna Muller (U of Michigan-Dearborn, USA)
François-Xavier Nérard (U of Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne, France)
Ioulia Shukan (U of Paris Nanterre / Institut des sciences sociales du politique, France)
Mychailo Wynnyckyj (National University “Kyiv-Mohyla Academy”, Ukraine)

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