Cambridge Ukrainian Studies, an academic centre in the Department of Slavonic Studies at the University of Cambridge, aims to promote and contribute to the study of Ukraine in the United Kingdom and beyond. It is committed to deepening public understanding of Ukraine and to advancing fresh, innovative approaches to research on the largest country within Europe, a critical crossroads between 'East' and 'West' with a rich historical, linguistic, and cultural inheritance.
While its primary focus is on the literature and culture of Ukraine, Cambridge Ukrainian Studies seeks to explore – and challenge – conventional notions of disciplinary and geographical borders and to foster a lively exchange between artists, scholars, politicians, and the wider public, as well as between institutions of higher learning in Ukraine, Europe, and North America.
in the news
Shedding Light on the Crises in Ukraine
For months Cambridge Ukrainian Studies has been engaging with the international media (CNN, Al Jazeera, BBC, Sky News) about the crises in Ukraine. In early March 2014, Rory Finnin (Director of CUS) warned of 'another Russian invasion of Ukraine’s sovereign territory on the horizon' and a 'bloody, very real war' between Europe's two largest countries. He has called for an ambitious Marshall Plan of financial assistance for Ukraine and a more nuanced understanding and study of the country. For Cambridge's Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities, Finnin has also authored a series of articles on the crises: The Crimean Tatar Sürgün: Past and Present (18 May 2014); A Divided Ukraine: Europe's Most Dangerous Idea (27 March 2014); and Ukrainians: Expect-the-Unexpected Nation (19 December 2013), which is also available in Ukrainian and Russian translation.
Forging Partnerships with Ukraine's Universities
As part of its Shevchenko 2014 programme, Cambridge Ukrainian Studies invited students and affiliates from the Ukrainian Catholic University to perform during the Fourth Annual Cambridge Vsesvit Readings in May, which celebrated the bicentennial of the birth of 'the spark and the flame' of Ukrainian culture, Taras Shevchenko. They also surprised Cambridge students and staff with a 'flash mob' concert on the University's 'Shevchenko Way'.
Illuminating Taras Shevchenko
In an interview on Ukrainian National Radio, Rory Finnin (Director of CUS) addressed the nation-consolidating function of Taras Shevchenko's verse. 'Shevchenko did not present Ukrainian national identity as an ethnic concept. For him, it was more a mode of existence, a mode of behaviour. In this way, Shevchenko reaches all Ukrainians of different ethnic origins -- Russian, Crimean Tatar, Polish, etc. His poetry is, we might say, the first All-Ukrainian Roundtable of National Unity.'