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.
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 (
The changing symbolic landscape of Lviv
Sereda, Viktoriya (
Regional historical identities and memory