The Making of Modern Ukraine: A Free Online Course from Yale Professor Timothy Snyder




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?

The Making of Modern Ukraine will be added to our collection of Free Online History Courses, a subset of our meta collection: 1,700 Free Online Courses from Top Universities

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Comments (8)
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  • Adrian says:

    I saw the first two lectures and was a lot of context with little content.

  • Sandra says:

    The Syllabus sets forth the required reading that provides the content. The prof is providing the context that you can’t get just by reading.

  • Peter Kussell says:

    Where can we get the required reading you mention. I didn’t see any links or guide on how to get to it, except for being a Yale student in the course.

  • Stanley Bernold says:

    The required reading is in the Course Syllabus. Unfortunately, that syllabus is only available to Yalies. Luckily for you, I am an ancient Yalie (Ph.D. 63) and can email you a text copy if you promise not to tell anyone where/how you got it.
    Stan
    email sbernold@aol.com

  • Denise says:

    Not true. The syllabus is available to all. (Why would Prof. Snyder make the lectures available but not the syllabus? Think about it . . . )

    Link to the syllabus here:
    https://snyder.substack.com/p/syllabus-of-my-ukraine-lecture-class

  • Julie Steinhilber says:

    Snyder pretty much says up front you’ll be lost if you don’t do the required reading. There’s like nine books on the reading list. Would anyone attempt to listen to some 27 lectures without the required reading?

  • Kyle S says:

    Since we’re liberated from the required reading, is anybody keeping a list of literature he mentions in lectures? So far I’ve got:

    Heart of Darkness
    Canturbury Tales
    Hamlet
    Ovid’s Metamorphises
    Icelandic Sagas

    I’m sure I’ve missed a bunch.

  • Kyle S says:

    I mean, I’ve got a job and a family and not a whole ton of time to take classes. But I also want to get a serious historian’s explanation of how that part of the world became what it is today. So, in the time it takes me to clean up the kitchen in the evening, if I can listen to a lecture… I mean, I’m not trying to pass the final. So, no. Not doing the reading. And so far, I’m getting what I want to get, and enjoying the lectures. I also don’t plan on writing any term papers.

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