The Social Relevance of History in Poland, Russia and Ukraine in Comparative Context (1989-2015)
In this project, I propose to examine how Polish, Russian, and Ukrainian historians rethought the social role of historiography in their countries after 1989, and to show how these East European discussions compared to and were influenced by debates in postwar Anglo-American and German history-writing. I plan to focus on the following issues: discussions on the social relevance of history and historians’ social responsibility, the new social roles of historians, new institutions of historical research, the social role of historical education, and historians at war. In particular, the project examines the debates between academic historians in the region sparked by the Euromaidan and the subsequent Russo-Ukrainian war. The analysis of the socio-cultural context of these discussions on the one hand, and of differences over definitions and use of terms and concepts on the other, suggests better ways of conceptualizing the current crisis, and reveals the implicit meta-theoretical and meta-historical assumptions of the historians involved. Using intellectual and oral history, and moral philosophy, the project not only describes and conceptualizes the rethinking of the social role of history. The book will argue that historiographical social responsibility is compatible with the core principles of historical enquiry.
Volodymyr Sklokin is an Associate Professor in the Department of Modern and Contemporary History of Ukraine at the Ukrainian Catholic University (Lviv, Ukraine) and co-editor of the historical website historians.in.ua. He received his candidate of sciences degree from the V.N. Karazin University (Kharkiv) in 2010. His dissertation examined the social and cultural consequences of the abolition of the autonomy of Sloboda Ukraine by the Russian government in the second half of the 18th century. He held fellowships at the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, the Institute for Humane Sciences in Vienna, and Harvard University. His research interests include intellectual, cultural and public history. His is now preparing a book on the rethinking of the social role of history in independent Ukraine.