Literatures and Cultures in the Face of War: Edinburgh-KNU Collaboration
A collaboration between Edinburgh and KNU involving guest lectures, joint seminars, sharing online resources and research mobility.
Marking a year of partnership: Edinburgh-KNU
On 19 May 2023, The University of Edinburgh (UoE) and Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv (KNU) in Ukraine celebrate the 1-year anniversary of this important partnership. In the past year, varied shared activity, including staff and student capacity building, seed funding of new research proposals and research mobility have taken place across different schools and departments between Edinburgh and KNU. This mutually beneficial partnership has created lasting impactful connections in our combined communities.
We stand with KNU during the invasion of Ukraine and commit to a future of collaboration.
Literatures and Cultures in the Face of War
The Literatures and Cultures in the Face of War (Lab) is a collaboration between Edinburgh and KNU led by Dr Emmanuelle Lacore-Martin, Senior Lecturer in French and Francophone Studies, Deputy Head of the Department of European Languages and Cultures (DELC), UoE and Professor Lilia Miroshnychenko, Head of the Department of Foreign Literature and the Institute of Philology, KNU.
At the end of summer 2022, Prof. Miroshnychenko reached out to Dr Lacore-Martin, having identified the Department of European Languages and Cultures (DELC) as corresponding most closely to her own department structure at KNU. Prof. Miroshnychenko and Dr Lacore-Martin continued to meet online to develop several ideas and projects surrounding guest lectures, joint seminars, sharing online resources and research mobility with an aim to foster interdisciplinary research links between our two universities and provide a framework for current and future collaboration.
There’s been this brilliant funding, the partnership fund, that has become available through the successful bids of Edinburgh Global, so that’s wonderful. This is opening all kinds of new possibilities, of course consumables for KNU, like laptops and projecting facilities to be used by staff who are scattered around the country often having to work in bomb shelters or other locations. We are currently preparing a visit from two people from KNU, one professor of translation studies and one PhD student. We are hoping they will be able to spend up to a month in Edinburgh, in good working conditions for their research.
Prof. Miroshnychenko visits Edinburgh
With the support of Edinburgh Global, Prof. Miroshnychenko was able to make a visit to Edinburgh from the 16-21 January 2023. This was an important week, allowing the collaboration to move forward and personal relationships to develop. While in Edinburgh, Prof. Miroshnychenko delivered a seminar on academia in the wartime as part of the DELC seminar series on 18 January. Prof. Miroshnychenko talked about the experience of Ukraine’s leading university during the ongoing war. From the very first days of the Russian full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the university has not stopped working although there have been many challenges to tackle, such as air alarms and power cuts.
A message from Ukraine
Professor Lilia Miroshnychenko shares a message on the one year anniversary of the twinning partnership between The University of Edinburgh andTaras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv.
- Video: Professor Lilia Miroshnychenko
- Professor Lilia Miroshnychenko of Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv (KNU) in Ukraine shares a message on the one year anniversary of the twinning partnerships between The University of Edinburgh and KNU.
Reshaping our language offering
By working closely with colleagues from KNU, it has become apparent as to how important it is for DELC to include this new perspective. Currently, Russian is the only Slavonic language offered. Thomas Chaurin, the Director of Languages at the Centre for Open Learning, is in the process of creating a foundation course in Ukrainian language and culture. Face-to-face teaching can occur, but there will also be an offering of online lectures or recorded lectures by a specialist of Ukrainian Studies at KNU. This will be offered through the Centre for Open Learning, with the view, of expanding in the future.
This is a way for us to look at the offering that we currently have and see how by including Ukrainian language and Ukrainian studies we can also reshape how we present ourselves and our identity as a Department of European Languages and Cultures.
Joint online seminars: Early Modern Network
Joint online seminars have continued to be organised between the University and KNU’s language and literature departments as a way of sharing knowledge and research. Prof. Miroshnychenko and many other KNU colleagues have joined in on several Edinburgh Early Modern Network events. As part of the Early Modern Network offering this term, Prof. Oksana Nika from KNU gave an online presentation on 'Ukrainian Baroque Preaching', which was fascinating to the Edinburgh audience.
A course in Scottish Literature
A newer development between the two partners has seen Prof. Miroshnychenko working on a project to develop a course in contemporary Scottish literature. There are currently no courses on this subject at KNU. This project will use part of the partnership find and will have KNU students working on co-creating modules on Scottish literature, while being advises by colleagues in the English lead department.
I think it's a sign of how positive the relationship is and how important it is that it is also with Scotland, which is seen in a particular light because of this twinning agreement.
A partnership of equals
Dr Lacore-Martin is very optimistic about the future of this collaboration. So much impactful work has already taken place, personal relationships are continuing to develop, and everybody is equally interested in the partnership.
I think everybody has commented on that it's certainly not one sided at all. It's very much a partnership of equals despite the inequalities.
Read more about our united activities:
Find out more about the Department of European Languages and Cultures (DELC):
Find out more about our partner university, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv: