Meet Ukraïnica, a new educational platform to study Ukraine
The Ukrainian Research Institute at Harvard University and Ukrainian Institute has launched the Ukraïnica platform. Its database helps to integrate Ukraine into English-language curricula and create courses about our country, The Village Ukraine reports.
What to study on the Ukraïnica platform?
The Ukraïnica platform includes Ukrainian works of literature, historical documents, and films translated into English. There will also be a syllabus-building tool for students who study Ukraine.
“The main idea behind this platform is to help those outside the field of Ukrainian studies who would like to include topics on Ukraine in their teaching. With the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine of February 24, this has become even more urgent because one of putin’s goals has been to eradicate Ukraine and Ukrainians by destroying the country and killing the people, while erasing its history and culture. At the same time, because of the aggression, the interest in and demand for in-depth materials on Ukraine have never been higher,”Oleg Kotsyuba, the project curator, says about the platform.
Ukraïnica was first announced at the end of 2020. The project’s authors also note that the platform encourages a discussion on the decolonization of Slavic studies. According to them, this is especially important during Russia’s occupation war in Ukraine.
On the platform, you can also share sources that can be useful for conducting English-language lessons about the history and culture of Ukraine. The creators will expand the database in the future, as well as translate the sources into different languages.
How it works
The main goal of this platform is to help those looking to introduce the study of Ukraine into their classroom with English-language materials that shed light on Ukraine’s fascinating history, rich culture, and the resilient, creative, and hard-working people of various ethnic, linguistic, and religious backgrounds that have populated it since ancient times.
Ukraïnica consists of two main tools to achieve that goal:
- A database of primary and secondary sources that are recommended by practitioners in the field of Ukrainian studies, equipped with six levels of taxonomy to allow for searching by tropes (large thematic foci), periods (spans of time in history and culture that share common characteristics), decades (decades in which events in the primary sources occurred or when a primary source was published), genres (categories of artistic or documentary sources that share formal, structural, or stylistic features), disciplines (areas or fields of study), and authors or directors (depending on the source type, the originators of the source in question.
- A syllabus-building tool that allows a registered user of Ukraïnica to save selected primary and secondary citations to their profile, organize them into lists (syllabi, or reading lists) and sub-folders, and export in editable formats (such as Word, Excel, and PDF) for preparation of their own courses or thematic modules (class meetings) on Ukraine.
This platform depends on the contributions of scholars and teachers who have extensive knowledge in relying on effective primary and secondary sources in researching and teaching all aspects of Ukrainian studies. While the editorial team has prepared the initial data set, the growth of the platform depends entirely on the active participation of those who contribute time-tested and new sources to the database in order to help those who are new to Ukrainian studies or are interested in broadening the material base for their existing courses.
Not only Ukraine should move towards the Western world and get acquainted with its culture. The Western world should also acknowledge Ukraine and distinguish it from other Eastern European countries.