Ukrainian History
Global Initiative

Ukrainian history is central to global history, to an extent that can be hard to bear and hard to acknowledge. In this light, the connections between the present war and larger developments in global economy and politics are no surprise.

Ukrainian History Global Initiative seeks a new empirical and conceptual understanding, using an innovative approach across disciplines and application of new technologies to write history today. It is seeking indirectly to answer fundamental questions such as: who are we? how was a nation possible?

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Objectives and description of the methodology

Ukrainian History Global Initiative is a major new project in the humanities, social sciences, and sciences, with the goal of establishing a scholarly and accessible presentation of the deep history of the lands of contemporary Ukraine and the peoples who have inhabited them. It aims to generate a new model of synthetic public history.

Since trends in Ukrainian history correspond to trends in global history, the project commits its participants to pursue thematic research rather than national history in any traditional sense. Global history is not flat and homogenous, but a multiplicity of themes in which certain important ones are quite significantly related to the lands and peoples of contemporary Ukraine. Participants will seek these connections from the earliest periods. Although most participants are historians, the project accordingly invites natural history, zoology, paleontology, and archeology to the study of the region and its peoples. New technologies have enabled rapid advances in understanding, and these innovative methods will be supported. Rather than seeking a teleology or just-so story that leads to contemporary Ukraine, the project will seek new empirical and conceptual understanding at every point, seeking indirectly to answer fundamental questions such as: who are we? how was a nation possible?

Ukrainian history is not marginal, but central, to an extent that can be hard to bear, and hard to acknowledge. This can be seen at every stage, from the role of the Yamna in the spread of what will become Indo-European languages; the synthesis of Scythia and the Bosporus Kingdom with ancient Athens in the development of classical culture; the formation of Rus as a unique yet exemplary medieval state with Slavic, Viking, Byzantine, Khazar, and west European elements; the appearance of the Cossacks as an early anti-colonial or proto-national entity; and the centrality of Ukraine to both Soviet and Nazi views of global transformation. In this light, the connections between the present war and larger developments in global economy and politics are no surprise. Though it will conclude with a treatment of the Russo-Ukrainian war, the project lays heavy emphasis on early periods of history, and is concerned with creation more than with destruction. As such, it endeavors to include all approaches to history as well as to engage other humanities, such as literature and philosophy.

Such a project must be institutionalized and collaborative. Ukrainian History Global Initiative is a charitable foundation registered in the United Kingdom. It will support the work of roughly ninety scholars engaged in roughly seventy themes over the course of three years. Three larger conferences will be held. Scholars will carry out research as they see fit, but will be expected to engage colleagues to seek connections and coherence among the themes, including in workshops (that will be funded). Colleagues will find connections during research that are unseen now, and these will enable a coherent final presentation, one that, in the nature of things, cannot be predicted now. This spirit of collaboration across fields and disciplines is essential to the undertaking. Each individual contribution will be all the more significant in its connections to others and to the whole.

Participants are therefore expected, from the beginning, to follow the work of colleagues as they undertake their own. Numerous workshops, initiated by participants, will be funded to enable this. Three larger conferences will also enable a grander view of the project as a whole. At the end of three years, scholars will submit three texts: one at the length of approximately 30,000 words with full scholarly apparatus and illustrations as appropriate; one at the length of 3,000 words, and one at the length of 1,000 words. All of these texts are to be written accessibly, to be read by a general public. This accessibility is an indispensable element of the project. Translation, editing, and research support will be available. Scholars will be in regular contact with the management team, and expected to produce drafts for discussion at regular intervals. A historical advisory council will be among those commenting on drafts. Ukrainian History Global Initiative is designed, in other words, to facilitate excellence in research among invited scholars, and to generate a collective project of which all can be proud.

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Trustees
Anne Applebaum
Anne Applebaum
Pulitzer Prize winning Historian, Staff Writer, The Atlantic
Carl Bildt
Carl Bildt
Chair
Co-Chair European Council on Foreign Relations, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sweden (2006-2014); Prime Minister of Sweden (1991-1994)
Borys Gudziak
Borys Gudziak
Metropolitan Archbishop of Philadelphia of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, President of Ukrainian Catholic University
Nataliya Gumenyuk
Nataliya Gumenyuk
Journalist specialized in conflict reporting, human rights, Co-Founder of Public Interest Journalism Lab, Co-Founder of the independent media Hromadske
Yulia Mostova
Yulia Mostova
Ukrainian journalist, Сo-Founder, Editor-in-chief of prominent Ukrainian newspaper “Mirror of the week” (ZN.UA)
Victor Pinchuk
Victor Pinchuk
Founder, Author of the idea of the project
Ukrainian Philanthropist and Businessman
Philippe Sands
Philippe Sands
Lawyer, Professor of the Public Understanding of Law, University College London
Timothy Snyder
Timothy Snyder
Ex officio as a Chair of the International Academic Advisory Council
Richard C. Levin Professor of History at Yale University, Permanent fellow at Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna
Fareed Zakaria
Fareed Zakaria
Host of Fareed Zakaria GPS on CNN, Columnist for The Washington Post
Serhiy Zhadan
Serhiy Zhadan
Ukrainian Poet and Novelist
International Academic Advisory Council
Timothy Snyder
Timothy Snyder
Chair
Richard C. Levin Professor of History at Yale University, Permanent fellow at Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna
Serhii Plokhii
Serhii Plokhii
Co-chair
Mykhailo S. Hrushevs'kyi Professor of Ukrainian History. Director, Ukrainian Research Institute, Harvard University
Yaroslav Hrytsak
Yaroslav Hrytsak
Co-chair
Professor, Ukrainian Catholic University, Director of the Institute of Historical Research at Lviv National University
Sunil Amrith
Sunil Amrith
Renu and Anand Dhawan Professor of History; Associate DGS, History, Yale University
Rohit De
Rohit De
Associate Professor of History, Yale University
Yuval Harari
Yuval Harari
Philosopher, Professor, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Ola Hnatiuk
Ola Hnatiuk
Translator, Essayist, Professor of Cultural Studies, Warsaw University, Associate Professor at Kyiv Mohyla Academy
Maya Jasanoff
Maya Jasanoff
X.D. and Nancy Yang Professor, Coolidge Professor of History, Harvard University
Leonora Neville
Leonora Neville
John W. and Jeanne M. Rowe Chair of Byzantine History, Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor, University of Wisconsin Madison
Kelly O'Neill
Kelly O'Neill
Director, Imperiia Project, Lecturer on History, Harvard University
Barbara Engelking
Barbara Engelking
Founder and Director, Polish Center of Holocaust Research, Institute of Philosophy and Sociology at the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw
Hussain Fancy
Hussain Fancy
Associate Professor of History, Yale University
Rory Finnin
Rory Finnin
Professor of Ukrainian Studies at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of Robinson College, Cambridge
Timothy Garton Ash
Timothy Garton Ash
Professor of European Studies in the University of Oxford, Isaiah Berlin Professorial Fellow at St Antony’s College, Oxford, and a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University
Amelia Glaser
Amelia Glaser
Professor, Endowed Chair in Judaic Studies, UC San Diego
Marci Shore
Marci Shore
Associate Professor of History, Yale University
Thula Simpson
Thula Simpson
Associate Professor of History, University of Pretoria
Iryna Sklokina
Iryna Sklokina
Researcher at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy
Katherine Younger
Katherine Younger
Permanent Fellow, Director, Ukraine in European Dialogue program, Institute for Human Sciences
Anton Drobovych
Anton Drobovych
Head, Ukrainian Institute of National Memory
Andrea Graziosi
Andrea Graziosi
Professor of Modern History, Università di Napoli Federico II
David Blackbourn
David Blackbourn
Cornelius Vanderbilt Distinguished Chair of History Emeritus, Professor of History, Vanderbilt University
Eckart Frahm
Eckart Frahm
Professor of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, Yale University
Susan Ferber
Susan Ferber
Executive Editor, American and World History, Academic and Trade, Oxford University Press
Researchers
To come: roughly 50 Ukrainians and 40 international researchers