Viktoriya Sereda , Dr.

Associate Professor of Sociology

Ukrainian Catholic University, Lviv

Born in 1974 in Lviv, Ukraine
Studied History at Ivan Franko National University of Lviv and Sociology at Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, the University of Edinburgh, and the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine


Time and Space in Local Perspective: Identity and (Trans)National, Regional, and Local Representations of the Past

My project aims at changing the focus from macro-level research on the national/regional official models of the past and the politics of memory to the local perspective. I believe that such macro-level generalizations tend to stress cross-regional differences or "exotic" cases and tell us little about the way people understand the historical past and use it in the process of living.
I focus on the local as an interesting conceptual framework to study the interplay between (trans-)national, regional, and local models of the past and their impact on inhabitants' historical identities. National or regional identities are built more on an "imagined community" principle and, as a result, require a greater level of generalization and consistency of markers. Within a society, they function more in the form of competing discourses/projects produced by elites, which people later internalize (or question).
Local identities do not require a broader generalization, therefore their markers may often remain fragmented, unclear, and contradictory. Focusing on the local gives us a more nuanced perspective, but it requires different theoretical and methodological approaches (shaped more toward micro-social analysis).
I will study the case of Ukrainian small towns in the period of 2012-2016. Recently, socio-cultural transformations in Ukraine attracted the attention of many scholars due to the events of political protest (2004 and 2013/14). I will analyze a rich store data (sociological surveys and in-depth interviews) collected a few months before the 2013/2014 Euromaidan, during the protests, and in their aftermath. This will allow me to bring into my project a comparative perspective and to examine the local dimension of the ongoing changes in Ukraine.

Recommended Reading

Sereda, Viktoriya. "Rethinking Ukrainian identification space: Civic activism in Ukraine after the Euromaidan" (in Ukrainian). In Fenomen Maidanu v ukrainskomu suspilstvi: sotsiolohichni interpretatsii, edited by E. Holovakha and O. Stehnii, 58-78. Kyiv, 2014.
-. "The Changing Symbolic Landscape of Lviv". In Politics, History and Collective Memory in East Central Europe, edited by Zdzislaw Krasnodebski, Stefan Garsztecki, and Rüdiger Ritter, 359-386. Hamburg: Krämer, 2012.
-. "Regional Historical Identities and Memory" (in Ukrainian). In Ukraina Moderna (2007): 160-209. Special issue: Lviv-Donetsk: sotsialni identychnosti v suchasnii Ukraini.

Publications from the Fellows' Library

Sereda, Viktoriya ( 2012)
The changing symbolic landscape of Lviv

Sereda, Viktoriya ( 2007)
Regional historical identities and memory


Nation, Region and beyond: Shifts of identities in Ukraine after the Euromaidan


Panel Discussion12/05/17

Displaced from the Donbas: The forgotten War in Ukraine


Tuesday Colloquium - Work in Progress04/24/18

Dienstagskolloquium - Arbeitsbericht, Tuesday Colloquium - Work in Progress