The Educational Platform of the Center for Urban History offers resources that aim to decentralize the curriculum of Eastern Europe by diversifying primary materials, challenging established grand narratives, and creating new approaches to teaching and learning about this region.
We aspire to create an Educational Platform that shapes a space of interaction and learning for those who teach and study history. More generally, we strive to enhance grassroots perspectives, local voices, and individual experiences in the ways history is taught in the classroom and discussed in public.
The Platform addresses multidirectional cooperation, from translating and sharing primary sources, to reflections on teaching in diverse contexts. EDU Platform is based on principles of openness of information (open-access), inclusiveness of history (peripheral and marginalized perspectives), and critical reading of sources. We aim to discover, explore, and co-create together. These three concepts form a basis for our educational activities: we create possibilities to discover history, explore various subjects to access knowledge, and create content with our audience and community.
- to make accessible materials from private collections and local archives;
- to diversify primary resources for learning and teaching and to provide a critical reading of sources;
- to make available digitized archival sources from Eastern Europe by translating from Ukrainian, Polish, Yiddish, Russian, and German into English, but also from Yiddish, Polish, and German into Ukrainian;
- to prepare the selections of sources in the form of modules or courses;
- to share reflections on learning and teaching, and to explore experiences from different disciplines and cultural contexts.
By (1) Primary sources we understand text, photo, audio, or video documents related to the Eastern European past and presence.
In (3) Courses we discuss different aspects of urban history and contemporary city, as well as broader historical contexts that shaped modern life in Eastern and Central Europe.
(4) Syllabi collect authorized curriculums on a variety of topics from different social disciplines covering the 19th and 20th centuries of the region.
While working with sources, we focus not just on making a collection of materials, but rather on the problematization of various issues and subjects. We are interested in urban history, thus, issues of space and place matter in our projects. Educational projects promote diversity and agency of the subject, and we attend to peripheral and underrepresented experiences, which are often omitted in historiography. For us, it is essential to differentiate between historical experience as a process and experience as a product. We aspire to show relations between the social/cultural structure and the subject/individual, and how power relations are visible through historical sources. Thus, themes we explore:
Educational programs have always been the focus of the Center’s activities as part of academic, digital, and public tracks. Before 2018, our educational programing was usually offline and implemented in the format of various study courses and summer schools. Since 2018, we have been increasingly digitalizing our efforts. With support from the Ukrainian Cultural Foundation, we created a platform for educational materials and reflections based on Lviv Interactive. In 2020, the educational track has grown into the Center’s independent project. We developed a structure, created the first visualizations of the platform, and translated much content thanks to the Ivan Lysiak-Rudnytsky Program from the Ukrainian Institute. As a result of these efforts, we were internationally recognized for the first time for our experience in educational projects. We won a nomination for “European Education Program of the Year 2020” during the 15th ceremony of the European Cultural Brand Award.
The Educational Platform is the outcome of many discussions among the Center’s team and within the professional community. First and foremost, the concept and idea were designed by Sofia Dyak in a joint effort with Mayhill Fowler. Then followed the coordination and first steps of the platform with Khrystyna Boyko (2018-2020), and its further development with Bohdan Shumylovych, who coordinated the Center’s educational projects in 2022 and in early 2023. We are happy to have Ivanka Cherchovych as the current project manager, and we look forward to the continuing growth and development.
Sofia Dyak, Mayhill Fowler, Anna Muller, Vladyslava Moskalets, Oksana Dudko, Natalia Aleksiun, Olena Betli, Martin Rohde, Julia Malitska, Orysia Kulick, Katherine Zubovich, Oleksii Chebotarov, Roksolyana Holovata
Svitlana Bregman, Mykhailo Tarapatov, Vasyl Khimyak, Andriy Masliukh
Orest Kostiv, Asia Pavlenko, Andriy Toporovych