Politics on the Edge: Rupture / Transformation / Imagination

Seminar 3


‘The Performative Actualization of Memory and Trauma in Modern Ukrainian Culture’

Professor Maksym Karpovets & Dr. Oksana Pukhonska (National University of Ostroh Academy)

Tuesday, 6 December 2022 5-6:30pm, ONLINE (Zoom)

Co-hosted by the Cultural Identity and Memory Studies Institute.

These researchers raise important and up-to-date issues of the Ukrainian present, exploring them through the concepts of performative theory, trauma and memory studies. The main emphases of the talk will be focused on the Revolution of Dignity (Maidan) and the Russian-Ukrainian war in texts and cultural practices (in particular, literary texts and films) that performatively actualize the traumatic experience of modern Ukrainian society. The authors believe that performativity involves public actualization, explicit attention to these texts and practices, which “work” as a kind of therapy for Ukrainian society, reinforcing to review its values and experience even in times of war.

As part of the UK-Ukraine Twinning Initiative, the National University of Ostroh Academy and the University of St Andrews have partnered to share support, resources, and ideas. A Memorandum of Understanding marking this new partnership was signed in November 2022.

Link to join the talk online: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88564881555?pwd=bnllN1ozWUlsajI0M3BiS05CK0dRUT09

Event details:




Seminar 2


Buryatia on Edge: “Normality,” Disruption, and Belonging in a Borderland of Russia

Tuesday, 8 November 2022, 1-2:30pm, Irvine Building 327

In-person dialogue with Kristina Jonutytė (Vilnius University) and Kathryn E. Graber (Indiana University).

Dramatic events often reveal existing inequities and fault lines that might previously have been papered over. This session will look at issues of identity, politics, and belonging, as well as discourses of stability, normality, and rupture, focusing on Buryatia. While Putin’s war in Ukraine has affected all of Russia’s ethnic minorities, Buryats especially have been thrust into the spotlight. Even politically neutral or apathetic Buryats, long seeking to “live normally” without attracting attention, are quickly rethinking the relationship between minorities and the state, as well as the place of religious and linguistic revitalization and cultural activism.

What new social forms are being imagined in and for Buryatia? What is new about the “post-February 24 era,” and what continuities can we see with the recent past? As we rethink area studies, what ethical and practical dilemmas might be posed by researching Russia’s ethnic minorities moving forward? In dialogue will be two anthropologists of Buryatia, who undertook their primary field research there at different times, over a span of 15 years.


Film Screening

Eurodonbas (2022) Scotland Premiere

Tuesday, 25th of October, 6-8pm in School 1, St Salvator’s Quad, St Andrews.

Join CRSCEES for the very special Scotland premiere of the documentary film Eurodonbas (2022) followed by ​a Q&A with the film’s director, Kornii Hrytsiuk, and producer, Anna Palenchuk!

Eurodonbas (2022) is a documentary film that explores the historic links between industrial communities in Europe and the Ukrainian East, and the local communities in Ukraine exploring these links before Russia’s full-scale invasion of February 2022. Delving into questions around multi-ethnic coexistence, transnational capital and the way heavy industry shaped the development of Donbas, the film offers a new angle on the history and legacy of this fascinating, war-torn region.


Seminar 1

Balázs Trencsényi: Political History Beyond the Nation State

Tuesday, 13 September 2022, 1-2:30pm on Teams

Join us online for ‘Political History Beyond the Nation State’ with speaker Balázs Trencsényi, Professor at the Department of History at Central European University in Vienna.

“This presentation draws on the experience gathered while working on the project “Negotiating Modernity”: History of Modern Political Thought in East Central Europe supported by the European Research Council and hosted by the Centre for Advanced Study Sofia, resulting in the book project (co-written by six scholars and involving another 30 colleagues from and beyond East Central Europe, published by Oxford UP in 2016-18). It envisioned a synthetic history of modern political thought in East Central Europe, providing a basis of intra- and extra-regional comparisons. Seeking to map discourses in their transnational setting and not devising country-chapters, the project aimed at establishing an analytical framework based on transnational categories (such as “integral nationalism,” “agrarian populism,” or “national communism”), thus bringing together the experiences of these cultures into a historical narrative where the principal agents are not nations but intellectual groups, transnational networks of knowledge transfer and also sub-national (regional, urban, minority) contexts. Furthermore, a key feature of our efforts was the “negotiation” of such analytical categories in view of the broader European intellectual framework.”


You can access the Teams link here and read more about Balázs Trencsényi here.



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