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Poland and Ukraine : Entangled Histories, Asymmetric Memories

This essay addresses the routes and disruptions of some basic historical stereotypes in Polish-Ukrainian relations. It argues that in modern times the Polish and Ukrainian national projects represented two competing political legitimacies: one based on historical borders and civilization, and the other based on the ethnographic composition of the population. This essay will analyze the legacy of the early modern Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, the Cossack mythology, the Ukrainian-Polish war over Lviv/Lwów in 1918, the ethnic cleansing of Volhynian Poles in 1943, the activities of Jerzy Giedroyc’s “Kultura” and post-Soviet memory wars and reconciliation projects.


Andrii Portnov is Professor of the Entangled History of Ukraine at the European University Viadrina (Frankfurt/Oder) and Guest Professor at the University of Potsdam. He graduated from the Universities of Dnipro (MA in History) and Warsaw (MA in Cultural Studies). He defended his PhD dissertation (2005) on Ukrainian emigration in inter-war Poland at the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences in L’viv. In the years 2007–2010, he worked as Editor-in-Chief of “Ukraïna Moderna”, a Kyiv-based journal. He came to Berlin in 2012 as a Fellow of the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin (Institute for Advanced Study). In 2015, he was awarded the Baron Velge Prize and conducted a series of lectures as International Chair for the History of the Second World War at the Free University of Brussels. Andrii Portnov has conducted research and has lectured at the Universities of Basel, Geneva, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Freie Universität Berlin, SciencesPo Paris, SciencesPo Lyon, and the Institut für die Wissenschaft vom Menschen (Institute for Human Sciences, IWM) in Vienna. In 2015, he initiated and co-founded the Berlin-Brandenburg Ukraine Initiative, which, in 2016, transformed itself into the Prisma Ukraïna – Research Network Eastern Europe at the Forum Transregionale Studien in Berlin.


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Essays of the Forum Transregional Studies


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