NSSR Work on Ukraine, 1 Year After the Invasion
Since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022, New School for Social Research community members have been connecting, reflecting, expressing solidarity, and taking action through scholarship, activism, partnerships, dialogue, and public engagement. One year later, this work continues. Major highlights include:
- The New School signed a memorandum of understanding for academic exchange and cooperation with the Kyiv School of Economics and V. N. Karazin Kharkiv National University, which will allow for the exchange of faculty, students, and researchers, the organization of joint research projects, and more.
- Oksana Kis, a senior scholar from the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, has joined NSSR as a 2022-2023 Visiting Professor in the Anthropology department. A historian and anthropologist, Kis works on Ukrainian women’s history, feminist anthropology, oral history, and gender transformations in post-socialist countries.
- The New University in Exile Consortium has assisted Ukrainian scholars and students both inside and outside Ukraine:
- They made a $50,000.00 gift (funds provided to the Consortium by the Rockefeller Foundation) to the Kharkiv Karazin University Foundation. The funds are to be used to enable the faculty and students to continue their work at the university by, for example, providing a heated communal space where faculty and students can work
- They donated 200 laptops from Siemens for Ukrainian scholars
- They also provide stipends for Ukrainian academics to co-lead online Consortium seminars.
- Their petition in support of Ukraine has 2,485 signatures, including many university presidents.
- The Transregional Center for Democratic Studies ran the Transregional Dialogues Fellowship program in Fall 2022, which connected MA, PhD, and independent scholars from Ukraine, all of whom experienced interruption or delay in their academic lives, with their peers at NSSR who are working on similar sets of issues. Fellows were organized into informal teams made of one Ukrainian and one NSSR scholar, each under the umbrella of a larger group working on one of four themes: The Condition of Postcoloniality; The Politics of Belonging; Democracy and its Variants; and Citizenship: The Dynamics of Inclusion and Exclusion. Fellows engaged in online working group meetings, work-in-progress seminars, guest lectures, faculty advising, and conversations with other New School organizations like the Memory Studies Group and the Democracy Seminar. The Transregional Dialogues program will conclude with an online conference on March 31-April 1st, where Fellows will present their work.
- TCDS also hosted the Fall 2022 Conversatorium on Ukraine, a weeklong series of five talks given by scholars and intellectuals whose work focuses on Ukraine. View talk videos on this YouTube playlist.
- Jessica Pisano, Associate Professor of Politics, taught the Summer 2022 ULEC War in Ukraine: History, Politics, and Culture. With the support of the NSSR Dean’s Office, the ULEC features an integrated public lecture series, with speakers addressing topics from architecture and public art to urban sociology and rural food production. Speakers include scholars as well as individuals involved in keeping public utilities running under bombardment, musicians continuing to perform in underground public spaces, and others.
- Prof. Pisano’s latest book, Staging Democracy: Political Performance in Ukraine, Russia, and Beyond, was released in July 2022. “Staging Democracy moves beyond Russia and Ukraine to offer a novel economic argument for why some people support Putin and similar politicians. Pisano suggests we can analyze politics in both democracies and authoritarian regimes using the same analytical lens of political theater.
- Prof. Pisano is also serving as a trustee of the Kharkiv Karazin University Foundation in Ukraine created to support the life of Karazin University during the war.
- A group of NSSR faculty and students created Hromada, a blog that offers resources to understand Ukraine and the war on it through local reporting, history, culture, film, and humor. It also shares ways to support Ukrainians, through petitions, resources, protest information, donations and more. Faculty members include Jeffrey C. Goldfarb, Elzbieta Matynia, Inessa Medzhibovskaya, and Jessica Pisano. Graduate students include Ihor Andriichuk, Emmanuel Guerisoli, Karolina Koziura, Elisabeta L. Pop, Mariia Shynkarenko, Malkhaz Toria, and Adrian Totten.
- The Democracy Seminar, based in the Transregional Center for Democratic Studies, maintained an active Forum on the war, with written contributions from scholars and journalists that offer critical accounts of the unfolding struggle against Russia’s attack on an independent nation and on democracy. It is also continuing to publish “Dispatches from Ukraine,” a collected series of dispatches from journalist Paweł Pieniążek, admiringly called “the poet laureate of hybrid war,” translated from the original Polish by Łukasz Chełmiński.
- Public Seminar continues to publish a range of pieces on the war from NSSR faculty and students as well as scholars in and from Central and Eastern Europe.
- Members of the Decolonizing Eastern European Studies Group Karolina Koziura, Mariia Shynkarenko, and Amanda Zadorian presented work on Ukrainian politics and history and questions of decoloniaity in a panel moderated by Jessica Pisano on February 24 in the series Decolonization in Focus, organized by the Davis Center at Harvard University with the support of 12 major centers for Slavic studies nationwide.