11. 08. 2022

Ukrainian researchers at the Collegium Carolinum


The Collegium Carolinum welcomes two Ukrainian researchers: Prof. Dr. Olena Panych (Kyiv) and Prof. Dr. Polina Verbytska (L’viv).

Since the beginning of August, two Ukrainian academics are part of the Collegium Carolinum team: Prof. Dr Polina Verbytska and Prof. Dr Olena Panych. When they started in Munich, both historians were initially supported by the Solidarity Programme initiated by the History Department of the Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich (LMU), and partner organisations such as the German-Ukrainian Historical Commission.

Now they are continuing their research at the Collegium Carolinum as an affiliated institute of the LMU. Thus, they are particularly enriching the research fields of "Cultural Memory" and "History of Religion", which have been well established at the CC for many years:

Prof. Dr. Olena Panych (Kyiv)
"The Trials of the Religious Dissidents in the Late Soviet Union, 1960-80s: Between Judicial and Political" (Gerda Henkel Stiftung, Duration: August 2022 - January 2023)

Olena Panych is Associate professor at the Department of Religious Studies, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv.

The trials of religious dissidents were one of the factors undermining the inner legitimacy of the Soviet regime as they revealed the contradiction between the Soviet authorities’ intentions to demonstrate legality and democratic procedures but also eradicate religion in the Soviet society which inevitably entailed violations of the freedom of conscience. The main goal of this project is to explore how religious dissidents (Evangelical Baptists) persecuted by the Soviet regime used the courtroom as a platform for spreading of their views and evoking the discussions of legitimacy of the Soviet religious legislation. It is intended to show up the methods, narratives and discourses developed by them during their trials and especially in the courtrooms in order to cope with the pressure of the state authorities. These narratives and methods successfully strengthened the faith community and contributed to formation of imaginary martyrdom as a basis for their collective identity. More

Prof. Dr. Polina Verbytska (L’viv)
"Cultural Heritage in Conflict and Post-Conflict Societies: New Frameworks for Narrating and Displaying" (VolkswagenStiftung, Duration: August 2022 - July 2023)

Polina Verbytska is Professor at the Department of History, Museum Studies and Cultural Heritage – L’viv Polytechnic National University

Cultural heritage is often used to create and support narratives that serve as the base for the construction of identities. Amongst them, almost every ethnic group and nation has its history of past victories or defeats that serve as markers of identity, remembered and celebrated in order to strengthen the ties that hold the group together. Such narratives, sometimes referred to as master narratives, are intrinsically connected to the general political context. The aim of the project is to examine museum exhibitions, memorials, and monuments that commemorate the experience of war and forced migration in Europe in connection to identity issues, contested heritage and collective processes of remembering in order to contribute to the scientific discourse and further cultural initiatives in Ukraine. It is foreseen to indicate cultural heritage assets to promote civic identity, reconciliation, and social stability in Ukraine in a post-war situation. More