by Svitlana Potapenko
A couple of weeks ago, I participated in the first part of the German-Ukrainian Forum of Young Researchers organized by Eberhard Karls Universitȁt Tübingen and the German-Ukrainian Academic Society in collaboration with a number of the Ukrainian and German scientific and educational institutions. The event took place in Kyiv, Lviv and Kharkiv on December 7-12, 2017 and was financially supported by the DAAD http://ukrainet.eu/2017/12/04/de-ua-forum/ The Forum brought together 45 scholars from both countries and provided them with a platform for close communication and exchange. Resulting from the first part, the participants are supposed to elaborate potential joint projects, which they will be able to develop into a grant proposals at the second part of the Forum (the grant-writing training) in Berlin in February.
The Forum covered the fields of Exact Sciences, Life Sciences, Social Sciences and Humanities. As a historian, I was mostly interested in the lectures, talks and activities close to my area of research. Luckily, the program included plenty of them. For instance, in the second day of the Forum we visited the Museum of the Kyiv Taras Shevchenko National University where acquainted with a history of the university and observed the artifacts from the 19th and 20th centuries related to the Ukrainian education and science. In the evening, Dr. Alla Buyskikh (Institute of Archaeology of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine) and Prof. Johen Fornasier (Goethe Universitȁt Frankfurt am Main) held a joint lecture “Digging the Past – Forming the Future” about the ongoing excavations in the suburbs of the antic Olbia (Mykolayvska oblast, Ukraine).
Photos by Olga Tucha/ The German-Ukrainian Academic Society
The third day in Kyiv was dedicated to the fellowship and development opportunities for Ukrainian scholars in Germany. Here, I gave a brief talk on the recent Interdisciplinary Conference “Self-Positioning of Eastern European Societies in Global Relations: Conceptions of Space and Self-Presentations in School Textbooks” (Leipzig, November 7-8, 2017) and shared my experience of the successful cooperation with the Leibnitz Science Campus “Eastern Europe – Global Area”. I told about the structure and fields of research of the EEGA as well as pointed out the main fellowships programs available to the Ukrainian scholars. In my opinion, the Conference demonstrated a great potential of school textbook research from the perspective of a “didactic history” (by Natalia Yakovenko) and within the studies of national self-identification of Eastern European societies in the globalized world.
The participants of the Forum spent next three days in Lviv (Life Sciences, Social Sciences and Humanities) and Kharkiv (Exact Sciences). In Lviv, Ukrainian Catholic University (UCU) kindly hosted us. We visited the Institute of Church History of UCU and acquainted with their Oral history project of the underground Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church in the Soviet time. Dr. Volodymyr Sklokin introduced us the Master Program “Public History” in UCU. Apart from UCU, we went to the Center for Urban History of East Central Europe and had a fascinating sightseeing tour.
Summing up, I consider the Forum the most remarkable recent event on the Ukrainian scientific landscape in terms of geography, logistics and number of the involved people and institutions. The grateful words should be sent to the German-Ukrainian Academic Society and the partners for the huge preparatory work and the great atmosphere of the event.