Back in September, we mentioned that Yale historian Timothy Snyder had started teaching a course, The Making of Modern Ukraine, and putting the lectures online. With the fall semester now over, you can watch 23 lectures on YouTube. All of the lectures appear above, or on this playlist. Key questions explored 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?
A syllabus for the course can be found on Snyder’s Substack.
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
If you would like to support the mission of Open Culture, consider making a donation to our site. It’s hard to rely 100% on ads, and your contributions will help us continue providing the best free cultural and educational materials to learners everywhere. You can contribute through PayPal, Patreon, and Venmo (@openculture). Thanks!