Oxford University Ukrainian Society together with the Russian and Eurasian Centre launched a fund-raising campaign for a Fellowship in Ukrainian Studies, based at St. Antony’s College, University of Oxford.
In the 20th Century, Oxford became one of the Western world’s largest and most important centres for Slavonic Studies. In the years after the Second World War, with a great influx of government support, systematic collection of a broad range of materials related to Russia, Ukraine and other East European cultures began at the Bodleian Library, the Taylor Institution, and the Russian and Eurasian Studies Centre, established at St Antony’s College in 1952. The Slavonic-related collections at the University’s various institutions now number in the hundreds of thousands, covering such areas as history; politics and government; economics and economic history; literature and theology; sociology, statistics and demography; gender studies; geography and topography; bibliography, libraries, archiving and publishing; law; and general works of reference.
After the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 and the emergence of an independent Ukraine, there has been a slow but steady growth in the number of students and faculty from Ukraine coming to Oxford to work and study. Today, there are 13 full-time Ukrainian students at the University, and five academic staff. There are also 38 Oxford alumni from Ukraine –including Sergey Evlanchik, an alumnus of Oxford University’s Saïd Business School, who led his market-leading food company Ukproduct to become the first firm in the history of Ukraine to be listed on the London Stock Exchange.
For decades, Oxford has been Europe’s premier location for major seminars and conferences on East European affairs, and has regularly hosted top academics and government figures from Ukraine.
There are also a number of research programmes and initiatives relating to Ukraine now ongoing (or recently completed) at the University of Oxford. These include collaborations with Ukrainian universities on the development of modules for teaching media law and press freedom issues; medical research on mortality rates from smoking over the last half-century in developed nations, including Ukraine; and a major three-year project in collaboration with Ukrainian research partners investigating social inequality and its consequences in post-Communist Eastern Europe.
St. Antony’s College is one of the world’s leading institutions for Slavonic Studies. The number of scholars in Slavonic Studies has increased to about fifty, and their distribution among colleges has widened. The Centre’s prestigious weekly seminar is the longest-running forum in Britain, and among the oldest in the Western world, for the academic discussion of Russia and Eastern Europe.
St. Antony’s is now seeking to appoint a Research Fellow to run a programme on contemporary studies of Ukraine. The new Fellow will enjoy the excellent resources of the College’s and University’s libraries and the stimulus and support of one of the world’s greatest scholarly communities.
The duties of the Fellow will include:
Current Master’s programmes have a good number of Ukrainian students – they are amongst the most active in the College community and many are part of the student-run University Ukrainian Society which has a lively annual programme. The work to progress and promote Ukrainian studies at St Antony’s has been particularly notable of late with recent visits by the Ukrainian Ambassador, Dr. Ihor Kharchenko, as well as the Deputy Minister of the Economy of Ukraine, Professor Natalia Boytsun, at the College. In the first instance, our fund-raising campaign is targeted at the creation of a five-year post. This will however be part of a long-term initiative to endow a permanent post and to create a larger and more diverse fund which will provide opportunities for scholarships and visiting scholars from the region. The key to progress in this initiative is to make a strong appointment in the short term.
The cost of full funding for this post over a five-year fixed term is £550,000.
The Russian and Eurasian Studies Centre was launched in 2003 to carry forward the work of the internationally renowned Russian and East European Studies Centre, established in 1953. The Centre is a major area of research on Russia, Ukraine, the Caucasus and Central Asia at Oxford University.
Approximately half of all graduate students in Oxford who study Russia and Eurasia come to St Antony’s. Many of its former students now occupy prominent positions in academia, politics, the higher reaches of journalism, the civil service and international financial institutions. The Centre organises seminars, addressed by visiting speakers, which have been weekly in term-time throughout the past fifty years. They include leading scholars in the field from the region and from Western Europe, North America, Australia and elsewhere.
There are four senior (Governing Body) Fellows at St Antony’s involved in teaching and research in the field of Russian and Eurasian studies. Between them, the Centre Fellows cover twentieth century Russian history, Russian and Soviet politics and foreign policy, Russian literature and culture, and the economics of Russia, Ukraine and Central Asia.
The College was founded in 1950 thanks to the generosity of the late French businessman Antonin Besse. Its first Warden, Sir William Deakin (formerly Winston Churchill’s literary assistant and Churchill’s man in Yugoslavia in World War Two), established its academic profile as the place in Oxford for the interdisciplinary study of modern history, anthropology, politics and international relations of the main regions of the world. St Antony’s academics and students study the affairs of Europe, Russia and Eurasia, the Middle East, Japan, the rest of Asia, Africa, and Latin America. The College’s Fellows are leading specialists both in a particular discipline, such as international relations, politics, history, economics or anthropology, and in the affairs of specific regions. More than 550 students from over 75 different countries study for postgraduate degrees at the College, and our alumni occupy leading positions in many governments, companies and international organisations. On this basis the College has built its world-wide reputation as a specialist graduate school, fully integrated into Oxford University but with a very distinctive personality of its own.
For more on Russian and Eurasian Studies Centre, please visit their site: http://www.sant.ox.ac.uk/russian/index.html.
To learn more about St. Antony’s College and its multidisciplinary, international studentry and researchers, visit: http://www.sant.ox.ac.uk/.
Ranjit Majumdar, Development Office, St Antony’s College, Oxford OX2 6JF
Telephone: +44 (0) 1865 274497 Email: email@example.com
Please find a PDF version of this initiative here: UkrainianFellowship.
Ukrainian TV-channel 1+1, in cooperation with the OUUS, filmed a news episode on the life of Margaret Thatcher in Oxford. It was broadcasted on 14 April 2013 in the news program TSN. The text and video are available online at the TSN website (Ukr).
Baroness Thatcher, one of the most prominent prime-ministers in UK history, studied chemistry at Somerville college in Oxford in 1943−1947.
We are delighted to annouce that photos from the talk by Lord Risby are available online: