Apart from documenting and analyzing cultures of history in Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe from various angles, the Cultures of History Forum also regularly initiates more collaborative, special feature projects that zoom in on specific events or discussions concerning the entire region (and sometimes beyond). By asking experts from the region to write about one and the same issue and how it is being debated in their respective local or national contexts, we intend to open up additional comparative insights into discourses and developments in this part of Europe.



Though history and its representations is not necessarily the primary subject of these ‘focus projects’, it nevertheless often informs the ways in which current affairs are being understood and thus form an important backdrop to understanding local media discourses.      

The first collection of texts takes a closer look at the 2014 crisis in Ukraine and how it reverberated in the media and public debates in different European countries. Other special features will follow soon.

Ukrainian Crisis

Ukrainian Crisis

The current situation in Ukraine is the subject of an intense discussion in the public sphere and the media across Europe. But what do we know about how our neighbouring countries are reflecting on the crisis, its historical background and its meaning for the relationship between our countries, Ukraine, Russia and the European Union? The Cultures of History Forum of the Imre Kertész Kolleg asked historians and sociologists from more than 15 European countries, the US, Israel and Turkey from April to June 2014 for contributions on the media coverage of and public debates on the Ukrainian crisis in their own countries. The authors summarize the main issues raised in reflections on the situation in the Ukraine, the Maidan and Crimea and point to shifts in these reflections over time. In particular, the contributions highlight the frequent recourse to historical issues and narratives in discussions of the Ukrainian crisis, the prevailing images of Ukraine, Russia and the European Union, and the historical concepts and stereotypes on which those images are based.