This fall, historian Timothy Snyder is teaching a course at Yale University called The Making of Modern Ukraine. And he’s generously making the lectures available on YouTube–so that you can follow along too. All of the currently-available lectures appear above (or on this playlist), and we will keep adding new ones as they come online. A syllabus for the course can be found here. Key questions covered by the course include:
What brought about the Ukrainian nation? Ukraine must have existed as a society and polity on 23 February 2022, else Ukrainians would not have collectively resisted Russian invasion the next day. Why has the existence of Ukraine occasioned such controversy? In what ways are Polish, Russian, and Jewish self-understanding dependent upon experiences in Ukraine? Just how and when did a modern Ukrainian nation emerge? Just how for that matter does any modern nation emerge? And why some nations and not others? What is the balance between structure and agency in history? Can nations be chosen, and does it matter? Can the choices of individuals influence the rise of much larger social organizations? If so, how? Ukraine was the country most touched by Soviet and Nazi terror: what can we learn about those systems, then, from Ukraine? Is the post-colonial, multilingual Ukrainian nation a holdover from the past, or does it hold some promise for the future?
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