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Historians as Activists: History Writing in Times of War. The Case of Ukraine in 2014–2018
Södertörn University, School of Historical and Contemporary Studies, History.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1765-4775
2021 (English)In: Nationalities Papers, ISSN 0090-5992, E-ISSN 1465-3923, Vol. 49, no 4, p. 691-709Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article elucidates the role of historians in times of war and the peculiarities of popular history narratives written by historians who became activists. The article focuses on historians who call themselves “Likbez. Historical Front.” This cohort gave rise to a new professional species—activist historians—who are different from so called memorians or propagandists, who work in service of authorities. Likbez historians tried to use their power to influence and promote their activist agenda not only in the realm of memory and history but also in reformation of state institutions. I argue that for Likbez historians, securitization of the past is the main strategy employed for producing historical knowledge. Historians’ work is a part of postcolonizing process observed in Ukrainian society since the Maidan protests. As the analysis shows, popular history narratives written with an open activist agenda are a result of many compromises made by scholars in the intersection of several factors: professional ambitions, political and civic aims, social and political context, popular expectations, and market environment. In line with the increased attention to agency in memory studies, this article demonstrates that historians have a much more nuanced relation to power than straightforward opposition or co-option.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Cambridge University Press, 2021. Vol. 49, no 4, p. 691-709
Keywords [en]
Ukraine, history writing, memory, postcolonial
National Category
History
Research subject
Baltic and East European studies; Historical Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-42044DOI: 10.1017/nps.2020.38ISI: 000701269700008Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85111248804OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-42044DiVA, id: diva2:1473234
Part of project
Propaganda and management of information in the Ukraine-Russia conflict: From nation branding to information war, The Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies
Funder
The Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies, 56/2015Available from: 2020-10-05 Created: 2020-10-05 Last updated: 2024-05-02Bibliographically approved

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Yurchuk, Yuliya

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • harvard-anglia-ruskin-university
  • apa-old-doi-prefix.csl
  • sodertorns-hogskola-harvard.csl
  • sodertorns-hogskola-oxford.csl
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf