Chernivtsy 2015


Borders in the Post-Socialist Space: Past, Present, Future

Chernivtsi, 3-9 July 2015, Yuriy Fedkovych Chernivtsi State University

Borders cannot be understood only as dividing lines. Borders divide, but they also create a community of “borderlanders”; borders may demarcate boundaries, even with guns and guards, but their very existence encourages trespassing. Borders, in the 20th century, both witnessed and provoked violence. Borders that seemed eternal changed rapidly, and these changes carried administrative, political, and social consequences.

Borders remain today a crucial issue across the post-Soviet space in debate over both contemporary geopolitics and historical legacies, as Russia’s seizure of Crimea and the war in Ukraine’s East have shown. Over the last several centuries, an inhabitant of Eastern Europe could be born in one country, grow up in another, die in a third, and yet never leave home. Shifting borders shaped not only place names, but also everyday lives and practices. Establishing, challenging, and guarding borders was inseparable from war, population exchanges, deportations, confinement, imprisonment.

New borders appeared as the collapse of the Soviet Union turned administrative borders into the national borders of new states. Today, migration, displacement, and minorities also pose new challenges to states and societies in the expanded European Union.


Friday July 3

Keynote speech by Sabine Dullin (Sciences Po Paris, France,
The territories of the border. Perspectives from the Soviet experience.
Special introduction by Prof. Anatoliy Kruglashov (Yuriy Fedkovych Chernivtsi State University, Ukraine,
Bukovyna: outlining the content of Borderland borders

Saturday July 4

Lecture by Tatiana Zhurzhenko (Institute for Human Sciences, Austria,
Ukraine’s Eastern Borderlands: The End of Ambivalence?

BLASEN Philippe (U Babes Bolyai, Romania;
Suceava Region, Upper Land, Greater Bukovina or just Bukovina? Carol II’s Administrative Reform in North-Eastern Romania (1938-1940)
Discussant Anna Muller, (U of Michigan, USA.
DOBRZHANSKA Oksana (Chernivtsy National University, Ukraine,
Influence of Borders to Ethnic identification of Bukovyna population
Discussant Anna Colin Lebedev (CERCEC EHESS, France,

FLOREA Cristina (Princeton U, USA,
The Borders That Would Not Go Away: Bukovina’s Imperial Past and Nation-Building in the Interwar Period
Discussant Mayhill Fowler (Stetson U, USA,
Visit of Chernivtsy

Sunday July 5

Bila Krynytsia ad the Old Believers’ life on borders


Panel 2: Borders in Practice

LOZYNSKYI Roman (Ivan Franko National U of Lviv, Ukraine;
Life in Dobromyl Town: Everyday Experiences on the EU-Ukrainian Border
Discussant Ioulia Shukan (Paris Ouest Nanterre U, France, )
BADESCU Gruia (U of Cambridge, UK ;
Urban Borders: Reading the Contested City as Text in Conflict-time

Discussant Amandine Regamey (Paris I University, France,

RYBKINA Ekaterina (European University Institute (Florence) / European University at St. Petersburg;
How to Cross Invisible Borders: Amateur Radio Activities in Soviet Russia, 1920-1930s
Discussant François-Xavier Nérard (Paris I University, France,



Monday July 6

Panel 3: Establishing and managing borders
SENDHARDT Bastian (Bundeswehr U Munich, Germany;
Loopholes in Fortress Europe: Debordering and Rebordering the Limits of Citizenship
Discussant Tatiana Zhurzhenko
SUZI Grigory (Petrozavodsk U, Russia;
The Incorporation of the Karelain Isthmus and Northern Ladoga area into the Soviet Administrative and Economical Structures after the Winter War (1940-1941)
Discussant Sabine Dullin

GIBSON Catherine (University of Tartu (Estonia) and European University Institute (Italy),
Reconstructing the Belarusian-Latvian border: Mapping ‘imagined communities’ in western Vitebsk gubernia, 1864-1919

Discussant Alissa Klots (Rutgers U, USA,
Fieldtrip: The EU Border Assistance Mission

Tuesday July 7

Panel 4: Borders and Economy
LEVY Nicholas (Stanford U, USA;
Actually Existing Integration: Socialist Bloc Exchange and the Building of Huta Katowice, 1971-1981.
Discussant François-Xavier Nérard
DEFFONTAINES Pierre (U of Burgundy, France;
Labour migration, border crossing experiences and local social differentiation: hypotheses from a village in central Ukraine
Discussant Sophie Lambroschini (Paris Ouest Nanterre U, France,

SKUBII Irina (Kharkiv Tech U Agriculture, Ukraine ;
Transborder trade and business practices in Kharkiv in 1920s.
Discussant Alissa Klots
VLASENKO Polina (Indiana U, USA ;
Precarity without borders: Ukrainian egg donors in context of transnational reproductive migration and labour.
Discussant Anna Muller

Visit:  Khotyn Fortress


Wednesday July 8

Lecture by Mayhill Fowler (Stetson U, USA,
Tricksters at Cards: Arts, Politics, and Crossing Borders in 1930s Soviet Ukrainian Theatre

Panel 5: Challenging identities
POLIANICHEV Oleksandr (European University Institute (Florence)/ European University at St. Petersburg ;,
Effaced but Resurfaced: The Boundaries of the Land of the Black Sea Cossacks and the Failure of an Imperial Assimilation Project
Discussant Alissa Klots

SPODARETS Galyna (U Regensburg, Germany,
The river Dniepr as a (boarder) symbol in Ukrainian culture? Literary-historical approach
Discussant Anatoli Kruglashov
WELLS Chloe (U Eastern Finland, Finland, Vyborg is ours’: cultural postmemory’s role in the Finnish-Russian borderland.
Discussant Amandine Regamey

Thursday July 9

Panel 6: Migrations
BLAIS Agnès, (University Laval, Canada,
Emerging and vanishing borders built around the transnational subject in the post-soviet space. Controlling mobility of Ukrainian refugees and migrants in Russia.
Discussant Ioulia Shukan
TROFIMOVA Anna (Ethnology Institute of National Academy of Science, Ukraine,
Experiences of Ukrainians who were internally displaced from Donetsk oblast in 2014-2015 and are currently residing in Western Ukraine: national and ethnic identity constructs. Discussant Anna Colin Lebedev

CIRAC Stéphanie (University Paris 4, France,
Literature’s borders between Russian emigration and Soviet Union. Constructions, transfers and closures.
Discussant Anna Muller

Visit: Chernivtsy Jewish Cemetery