Unlocking Ukraine Summer School

Ivan Franko National University of Lviv (Ukraine) and the University of Birmingham (UK) are co-hosting a summer school on Ukrainian language, history and culture from 17-28 July 2023 at Birmingham’s leafy Edgbaston campus in the heart of the UK. 

About Unlocking Ukraine: A Journey through Language, Culture, and History

Ukrainian mural by Alla Horska (1967) destroyed by a Russian shelling, bricks and debris strewn across the frame. Photograph by Ivan StanislavskySince Russia’s invasion of February 2022, interest in Ukraine and its rich culture has surged to unprecedented levels in the UK. In response, the Ivan Franko National University of Lviv and the University of Birmingham have partnered to offer an exclusive opportunity for 30 participants to immerse themselves in the beauty of the Ukrainian language and the complexity of the country’s history and culture. Led by distinguished experts from Ukraine and beyond, this jointly organised summer school promises to deliver a transformative experience that will enrich your perspective and leave you with a deeper appreciation of Ukraine and its people.

The summer school boasts an extensive and diverse curriculum that includes an exploration of modern Ukrainian theatre, a deep dive into histories of displacement, and an examination of the intricacies of multiculturalism in Ukraine. Scholars from Lviv, who have a proud tradition of teaching Ukrainian language and culture, are joined by experts from the University of Birmingham with a wealth of expertise in Central and Eastern Europe. This unique partnership promises an exceptionally dynamic and engaging summer school.

Experience the summer school set to take place on the lush and bustling campus of the University of Birmingham. Registration is open and free to all UK students and the wider public. Choose from full-time participation, which includes engaging language-learning sessions, or part-time enrolment for participants who prefer a more flexible schedule and do not wish to have language training.

Programme details

Sessions will include:

  • Introductory lecture on the Central Eastern European context and Ukraine
  • The Ukrainian language on the World map: History and Modernity
  • Seeing the World through Ukrainian Lens: Language, Culture and Modernity
  • Post-Socialist Britian - Self-representation of Ukrainians in the UK
  • Central European multiculturalism
  • (Un)expected voices: Contemporary Ukrainian literature
  • Modern Ukrainian Literature: Canon, Community, and Cultural Imagination
  • Ukraine and the Habsburg Empire
  • Ukrainian Histories of Displacement and Cultural Flows 
  • Transnational image building of Ukrainian literature: Anglophone perspective
  • Panel discussion on 'War Vocabulary' 
  • Coin collections from Kherson Region
  • Group research into topics of Ukrainian culture and history

Speakers include:

  • Dr Olesya Khromeychuk - Historian and writer. She has taught the history of East-Central Europe at the University of Cambridge, University College London, the University of East Anglia, and King’s College London.
  • Iryna Odrekhivska - Associate Professor at the Department of Translation Studies and Contrastive Linguistics at the Ivan Franko National University of Lviv.
  • Dr Olenka Pevny - Associate Professor in Ukrainian Studies and in Medieval and Early Modern Slavonic Studies at the University of Cambridge.
  • Tom Brodie - Lecturer in 20th Century European History at the University of Birmingham.
  • Olena Haleta - Professor of Literary Theory and Comparative Literature at Ivan Franko National University of Lviv.
  • Ostap Slyvynsky - Poet, translator and literary critic, Slyvynsky teaches Polish literature and literary theory at Ivan Franko National University of Lviv.
  • Dr Daniel Reynolds - Senior Lecturer in Byzantine History at the University of Birmingham.
  • Anna Halas - Playwright, theatre translator, and researcher at Ivan Franko National University in Lviv.
  • Dr Klaus Richter - Birmingham Fellow and Senior Lecturer in Eastern European History at the University of Birmingham.
  • Sara Jones - Professor in the Department of Modern Languages at the University of Birmingham.
  • Natalia Kogut - Research Fellow at the University of Birmingham Law School.
  • Dr Maryna Rusanova - Associate Professor at the Luhansk Taras Shevchenko National University, currently on a fellowship with the University of Birmingham's Institute for German and European Studies.
  • Dr Uilleam Blacker - Associate Professor of Ukrainian and East European Culture at University College London.

How to apply

We are no longer accepting applications to this programme. Please email unlockingukraine@contacts.bham.ac.uk if you would like to speak to a member of the team.

About the photograph

The photograph above is of 'The Tree of Life', a mural by Alla Horska. Horska was a significant figure of the Ukrainian dissident movement of the 1960s. Created in Mariupol in 1967, the mural was destroyed by Russian shelling in 2022. Photographer: Ivan Stanislavski, Photojournalist, Ukraine