Part of a Fresco "Pain of the Earth" (V. Pasivenko and V. Priadka) in Vernadsky Library, Kyiv

Welcome to the Network for Ukrainian Studies (NUS)

An initiative in support of academic research on Ukrainian
Part of a Fresco "Pain of the Earth" (V. Pasivenko and V. Priadka) in Vernadsky Library, Kyiv
Image: antomoro, Wikimedia Commons, under Free Arts License

In the Autumn Semester 2022, two DAAD-financed programmes for Ukrainian students are taught within our network: Six Courses on Digital Ukrainian Philology is a programme dealing with corpus and computational linguistics, mainly taught by scholars presently in Jena.  The Invisible University for Ukraine is a programme in the field of the "Artes Liberales", dedicated to the history and society of Ukraine. We plan to award about 160 scholarships to Ukrainian students in each of the both programmes, in particular from the areas impacted by the ongoing war. 

Please, refer to the Teaching page for the further information.


В осінньому семестрі 2022 року ми плануємо викладання шести курсів з цифрових методів дослідження української мови, та окремого треку курсів "Artes Liberales"  присвячених історії України. Ми плануємо призначити близько 80 студентських стипендій на кожній з обидвох програм, зокрема українським студентам із територій, які постраждали від війни.

Для отримання додаткової інформації зверніться, будь ласка, до сторінки Teaching.

Our network: leading ideas

Ukrainian is a large and diverse European language that is spoken by at least 30 mio people and poses intriguing sets of problems for research from a variety of perspectives - sociolinguistic, anthropological, grammatical, historical. 

The rich history of Ukraine, where empires and religions intersect, and national projects develop conflicting responses to the challenges of modernity, is paradigmatic for an in-depth understanding of the European past and present. While recent research has highlighted its relevance for the genocidal dimensions of the 20th century, the potential of Ukrainian history for the study of transnational entanglements has remained largely unexplored. It also exemplifies the importance of a conceptual shift from the conventional scheme of geopolitical games of “great powers” to the detailed study of grass-root actors in the processes of democratization and decentralization in the region.

Due to the political and societal marginalization of Ukrainian in the past, it is underrepresented in academic research and teaching. In comparison to other languages of this size and status, Ukrainian is still lacking in many computational resources such as corpora, taggers or other data sets and tools, even if much progress has been made in the last years. 

The invasion of Russia into Ukraine exacerbates an already difficult situation. Researchers have to abandon their home and working environment and cease working on projects and  linguistic resources. The community is being dispersed and there is a clear danger that scholars and students will be forced to leave academia, as especially this field is of little importance in other countries. When the situation stabilizes, it will be difficult to re-establish the infrastructure of institutions, human resources and research networks that are now being disrupted. 

As a network, we want to help alleviate this situation and provide possibilities for Ukrainian scholars to continue and advance their research. This initiative developed out of prior activities of the Aleksander Brückner Center for Polish Studies and was first geared towards linguistics; it was later joined by the Imre Kertesz Kolleg with an orientation towards history. 

In the field of Ukrainian linguistics, we want to provide a space for research into Ukrainian, especially to develop computational resources for this language and provide learning opportunities for students and aspiring scholars. To do this in a sustainable fashion in the context of a largely unpredictable situation, we have formed a network with a node at Jena University and collaborating partners in Ukraine, Germany and other European countries. Our network is flexible so that it can be restructured as scholars return to Ukraine or relocate to other countries. The aim is thus to combine humanitarian aspects with a view to build on synergy effects to strengthen academic research and teaching in respect to the Ukrainian language in difficult times.



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The site was updated on 17.08.22 13:50