Imre Kertész Kolleg Jena

Professor Ostap Sereda

Am Planetarium 7 | 07743 Jena
Phone: + 49 (0) 3641 9 440 70
ostap.sereda(at)uni-jena(dot)de; osereda(at)

Research project at the Kolleg

Exiled Scholars, Émigré Communities and the Growth of Ukrainian and East European Studies in North America during the Cold War

This project aims at exploring academic culture and identity politics of Ukrainian and East European exile scholarship in North America after the World War II, institutional and intellectual history of emerging Ukrainian studies in North American universities, and the influence of the “Cold War university” on academic mapping and conceptual understanding of Eastern Europe. The academic projects of East European migrant communities in the West are conventionally studied as efforts of preserving pre-Soviet ethnic heritage and scholarship in émigré academic institutions. Instead, I will analyze their role and inner dynamic in transnational perspective, with special attention to those exiled East European scholars who belonged to several national spheres and were key communicators between Western academia and respective migrant communities. I also plan to highlight how the East European migrant communities tried to influence academic politics and the politics of history in the West. I focus on the history of the Ukrainian Research Institute at Harvard University (HURI) that since its foundation at the turn of the 1970s changed the pre-existing paradigm of Eastern and Central European studies and later tremendously contributed to the transformation of humanities and social studies in post-Soviet Ukraine. Since 2020 I have been working on the systematization of available archival sources to the history of the HURI and creation of a digital collection of archival documents with a commentary, “Ukrainian Harvard: A Digital History”. The research stay at the Imre Kertész Kolleg Jena provides an opportunity to reflect conceptually on my archival findings and to write a couple of scholarly articles that might contribute to the intellectual and institutional history of Ukrainian and East European scholarship in the West.

Main areas of research

  • National projects in Austrian Eastern Galicia in the second half of the nineteenth century
  • Cultural politics and the city theater in Kyiv, 1856-1896
  • Intellectual and institutional history of Ukrainian studies in the West during the “Cold War”

 Positions and memberships

  • 2015-present – Associate Professor (2016-present), Head of Department (2015-2016), Department of History, Ukrainian Catholic University (L’viv)
  • 2012-present – Recurrent Visiting Professor, Department of History, Central European University
  • 1994-2015 – Acting Head (2013-2015), Senior Research Fellow (2011-2013), Research Fellow (2004-2010), Junior Research Fellow (1994-2004), Department of Modern History, Ivan Krypiakevych Institute of Ukrainian Studies (L’viv) of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine
  • 1996-2002 – Assistant Professor, Department of Modern Ukrainian History, Ivan Franko State/National University of L’viv


Andriy Zayarnyuk and Ostap Sereda, The Intellectual Foundations of Modern Ukraine. The Nineteenth Century (London and New York: Routledge, 2023).

Edited volumes

Mykola Krykun and Ostap Sereda, eds, Ukraina: kul’turna spadshchyna, natsionalna svidomist’, derzhavnist’ 15: “Confraternitas. Iuvileinyi zbirnyk na poshanu Iaroslava Isaievycha” (L’viv: Instytut ukrainoznavstva im. I.Krypiakevycha NAN Ukrainy, 2006-2007).

Olena Arkusha and Ostap Sereda, eds, Ukraina: kul’turna spadshchyna, natsionalna svidomist’, derzhavnist’ 9: “Iuvileinyi zbirnyk na poshanu Feodosia Steblia” (Lviv: Instytut ukrainoznavstva im. I.Krypiakevycha NAN Ukrainy, 2001).

Bohdan Yakymovych, Marta Boianivska, Ostap Sereda and Andriy Yasinovsky, eds, Ukraina: kul’turna spadshchyna, natsionalna svidomist’, derzhavnist’ 5: “Prosphonema. Istorychni ta filologichni rozvidky, prysviacheni 60-richchiu akademika Iaroslava Isaievycha” (L’viv: Instytut ukrainoznavstva im. I.Krypiakevycha NAN Ukrainy, 1998).


Ostap Sereda, ‘On the Frontiers of the Former Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth: Polish Theater in Russian-Ruled Kyiv before 1863’, in Imaginations and Configurations of Polish Society. From the Middle Ages through the Twentieth Century, edited by Yvonne Kleinmann, Jürgen Heyde, Dietlind Hüchtker, Dobrochna Kalwa, Joanna Nalewajko-Kulikov, Katrin Steffen, and Tomasz Wiślicz (Göttingen: Wallstein Verlag, 2017), 238-260.

Ostap Sereda, ‘“As a Father among Little Children”: The Emerging Cult of Taras Shevchenko as a Factor of the Ukrainian Nation-building in Austrian Eastern Galicia in the 1860s’’, Kyiv-Mohyla Humanities Journal 1 (2014), 159-188.

Ostap Sereda, ‘Mizh ukrainofil’stvom i panslavizmom: do istorii zmin natsional’noi identychnosty halyts’ko-rus’kykh diachiv u 60-kh rokakh XIX st. (sproba polibiografichnoho doslidzhennia)’ [Between Ukrainophilism and Panslavism. Shifts of the National Identification of Galician-Ruthenian Activists in the 1860s (Attempt at a Polybiographical study)], Journal of Ukrainian Studies 35-36: “Confronting the Past: Ukraine and Its History. A Festschrift in Honour of John-Paul Himka” (2010–2011), 103-119.

Ostap Sereda, ‘Nationalizing or Entertaining? Public Discourses on Musical Theater in Russian-ruled Kyiv in the 1870s and 1880s’, in Oper im Wandel der Gesellschaft. Kulturtransfers und Netzwerke des Musiktheaters im modernen Europa, Hg. S. O. Mueller, Ph. Ther, J. Toelle, G. z. Nieden (Wien: Oldenbourg; Bouhlau, 2010), 33-58.

Ostap Sereda, ‘Die Einführung der russischen Oper in Kiew 1867: Ein Beispiel imperialer Theaterverwaltung‘, in Bühnen der Politik. Die Oper in europäischen Gesellschaften im 19. und 20. Jahrhundert, Hg. S. O. Mueller und J. Toelle (Wien: Oldenbourg, 2008), 187-204.

Ostap Sereda, ‘“Ruś będzie tańczyć! “Rus’ki baly” u Lvovi iak faktor pol’s’ko-ukrains’kykh vzaiemyn u Halychyni kintsia 40-kh – 60-kh rokiv XIX st.‘ [Rus’ Will Dance! “Ruthenian Balls” in Lviv as a Factor of Polish-Ukrainian Relations in Galicia in Late 1840s-1860s], in L’viv: misto-suspil’stvo-kul’tura, edited by Olena Arkusha and Marian Mudryi 6 (L’viv 2007), 310-332.

Ostap Sereda, ‘”Whom Shall We Be?” Public Debates over the National Identity of Galician Ruthenians in the 1860s’, Jahrbücher für Geschichte Osteuropas 49, Heft 2 (2001), 200-212.


Ostap Sereda, ‘A Polycentric Piedmont of the East’, review of Larry Wolff, The Idea of Galicia. History and Fantasy in Habsburg Political Culture (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2010), in Jahrbücher für Geschichte Osteuropas 4 (2012), 623-625. 

Ostap Sereda, ‘“Dity Rusi“: “Braty chy vorohy“? Dyskusia shchodo ukrains’koho natsional’noho rukhu  seredyny XIX stolittia v suchasnii anhlomovnii istoriografii’’ [“Children of Rus’”: “Brothers or Enemies”? Discussion on the Ukrainian national movement of the mid-nineteenth century in the current historiography], review of Faith Hillis, Children of Rusʹ: Right-Bank Ukraine and the Invention of a Russian Nation (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2013) and Johannes Remy, Brothers or Enemies: The Ukrainian National Movement and Russia from the 1840s to the 1870s (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2016) in Naukovi zapysky Ukrains’koho katolyts’koho universytetu 13, no. 3 (2019), 293-300.