Knowledge production about/with Ukraine: The Right to Make a Statement on the War

“Testimonies from the War” Research Seminar Series
Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, and the subsequent escalation of this war, has triggered social mobilization in a wide range of areas. Societies have taken many steps to join actively in aid and mass grassroots activities. Research, particularly in knowledge production about this war, is also one of these areas.
The more time passes and the more publications appear that deal with the warfare in Ukraine, the more critical the question of how active conflict uncovers or generates inequalities in this area becomes. Researchers in Ukraine, concerned for their safety and the safety of their loved ones, often have fewer resources to produce academic publications and scholarly communication about the war. On the other hand, researchers outside Ukraine, who have more of these resources, describe the situation with their own sensitivity. At the extreme, sociopolitical Western opinions on Central and Eastern Europe and its relations with Russia provoke puzzlement or outrage. We have invited scholars from Ukraine and beyond to participate in our meeting. We want to deconstruct the risks of Westplaining and answer the question of who has and what right to make scientific statements about this war? How big are the differences in sensitivities? What can be done to produce knowledge not about Ukraine but with Ukraine.

22 MARCH 2023, 6 PM
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Felix Ackermann is a historian and anthropologist trained in cultural studies at European University Viadrina and political sciences at London School of Economics. 2008 he received his Dr. phil. in Frankfurt (Oder) Słubice after completing a study about the un/making of urban space in the 20th century town of Hrodna. 2011–16 visiting DAAD associate professor at the European Humanities University in Vilnius. 2016–22 research fellow at the German Historical Institute Warsaw. Since September 2022 Professor for Public History at FernUniversität in Hagen.
Natalia Otrishchenko is a research fellow at the Center for Urban History in Lviv. She holds a Ph.D. in sociology with a focus on “methodology and methods of sociological research” from the Institute of Sociology at the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine (2015). Since March 2022, Natalia leads the Ukrainian team within “24/02/22, 5 am: Testimonies from the War” international documentation initiative. In 2022-23, she was a Fulbright Visiting Scholar at the Sociology Department, Columbia University; during March 2023, she is staying at ZZF (Potsdam) as a visiting scholar.
Catherine Wanner is a professor of History and Cultural Anthropology at The Pennsylvania State University. She earned a doctorate in Cultural Anthropology from Columbia University. In 2016 and 2017 she was a visiting professor at the Institute of European Ethnology of Humboldt University, and in 2019 and 2020, she was a Fulbright Scholar at the Ukrainian Catholic University. She was awarded the 2020 Distinguished Scholar Prize from the Association for the Study of Eastern Christianity.
Andrei Vazyanau is a lecturer at European Humanities University, Vilnius, Lithuania. He holds a PhD in social anthropology from the University of Regensburg, Germany. His background includes collaborative ethnographic research on urban life, infrastructures, mobility and activism in Ukraine (2011–15), Romania (2015–16) and Belarus (2017–21). His current study focuses on romantic relationships during mass repressions in Belarus.

Małgorzata Łukianow is a sociologist and an Assistant Professor at the Center for Research on Social Memory at the Department of Sociology of the University of Warsaw, Poland. Her work situated at the intersection of the sociology of culture, memory studies, and the sociology of knowledge. She is a researcher in the “24/02/22, 5 am: Testimonies from the War” project in Poland.

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