HREC Supports Attendance of Early-Career Scholars at Comparative Famine Conference in Kyiv, Ukraine | 5-7 June 2017

Ten early-career scholars were awarded travel grants by the Holodomor Research and Education Consortium (HREC) to attend the conference Empire, Colonialism, and Famine in Comparative Historical Perspective, held in Kyiv on 5-7 June 2017. The event was a follow-up to a conference by the same name held in Toronto in October 2016, and gathered international specialists on imperial, colonial, and famine studies to discuss commonalities and differences between famines in Ukraine, Ireland, Bengal, China, and Kazakhstan.

The early-career scholars came from institutions worldwide, including from Australia, India, Poland, Italy, The Netherlands, United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States. The recipients were chosen from among many applicants who had responded to the competition announcement advertised earlier in the year. Grantees’ research interests ranged from the Dutch Famine of 1944-45, hunger and malnutrition in twentieth-century Ghana, and visual culture of the Irish Famine. The conference offered the grantees a unique opportunity to visit Ukraine, to meet specialists in their fields, and to consider how their research relates to the conference themes of empire, colonialism, and famine. HREC awarded over $9000.00 CAD in grants, which ranged from $350.00 to $1250.00 CAD.

A seminar organized especially for the early-career scholars was held on the final day of the conference, and was led by Dr. Mark von Hagen (Arizona State University) and Dr. Frank Sysyn (University of Alberta). During the seminar, four early-career scholars delivered brief presentations on their research and received comments and feedback from other participants. The presentations also launched further discussions on intersecting themes among the participants’ areas of research. At the conclusion of the seminar, participants offered ideas for future HREC initiatives that will involve early-career scholars in ongoing developments in famine studies.

Aminat Chokobaeva
Doctoral Candidate | Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies (Middle East and Central Asia), Australian National University

Chokobaeva’s dissertation examines late Tsarist and early Soviet state-building in southern Semirechye, a borderland colony with a largely nomadic native population. By examining Semirechye as a zone of state formation, her research demonstrates the critical continuities between colonial and Soviet institutions, policies, and practices of administering the national periphery.

John Nott
PhD, University of Leeds

Nott recently completed his PhD at the University of Leeds. His research interests extend broadly from the history of Africa and empire, the history of medicine, and the history of poverty, to encompass demography, anthropology, and food economics. His PhD project was a longue durée spatial history of hunger and malnutrition in twentieth-century Ghana.

Ingrid de Zwarte
Doctoral Candidate | University of Amsterdam | NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies in the Netherlands

De Zwarte’s dissertation investigates the causes and effects of the Dutch Famine of 1944-45 (‘Hunger Winter’), with a focus on social responses and coping strategies. Her research findings have been published in several peer-reviewed journals and discussed in various national media outlets. She is currently working on a postdoctoral project titled “Hunger as a weapon,” which will comparatively investigate the politics of hunger and relief in modern violent conflict from the First World War until the present day.

Irene Donatoni
Trainee Department Assistant | Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Vienna

Donatoni spent four years conducting historical and anthropological research in Ukraine as part of her bachelor’s and master’s studies. She recently began research on the topic of Holodomor memorialization and its use in public discourse and intends to apply for a PhD in the near future.

Victoria Khiterer
Associate Professor of History and the Director of the Conference on the Holocaust and Genocide | Millersville University, Pennsylvania

Dr. Khiterer is author and editor of six books and over ninety articles in Russian and Eastern European Jewish History, including her most recent books Jewish City or Inferno of Russian Israel? A History of the Jews in Kiev before February 1917 and Jewish Pogroms in Kiev during the Russian Civil War, 1918-1920. She is currently working on her new monograph Echo of Babi Yar: Commemoration and Memorialization of the Holocaust in Kiev. She has also recently edited two volumes of Millersville University conference proceedings: “The Holocaust: Memories” and “History and Holocaust Resistance in Europe and America: New Aspects and Dilemmas.”

Karolina Koziura
Doctoral Candidate in Sociology and Historical Studies | New School for Social Research, New York

Koziura’s research examines the intersections of cultural memory, spatiality, and social change. She is interested in the history and culture of Ukraine, where she has conducted several ethnographic projects. Her doctoral dissertation is designed as a microstudy of agricultural collectivization in Soviet Ukraine, and specifically its experience by peasants. In her dissertation she attempts to adopt an imperial understanding of the spatial formation of the Soviet Union. Koziura is a graduate of Central European University (Hungary) and Adam Mickiewicz University (Poland).

Emily Mark-FitzGerald
Lecturer/Assistant Professor in Art History and Cultural Policy | University College Dublin

Dr. Mark-FitzGerald’s research interests include the visual culture of the Irish famine, poverty, migration, and diaspora. Her monograph Commemorating the Irish Famine: Memory and the Monument was published by Liverpool University Press in 2013 (paperback in 2015). She is a core advisory member of the International Network of Irish Famine Studies and is co-editor of The Great Irish Famine: Visual and Material Cultures (forthcoming 2018). She is working on a book on intermediality, vision, and Irish poverty in the late nineteenth to early twentieth centuries.

Nari Shelekpayev
Doctoral Candidate in History, Université de Montréal | 2018 Einstein Fellow at Einstein Forum and Daimler & Benz Foundation (Potsdam, Germany) | Associate Doctoral Fellow (2016-2019) at the International Research Group ‘Diversity’

Shelekpayev’s current research focuses on the development of (post)colonial capital cities in Brazil, Canada, and Kazakhstan between the 1850s and 2000s. He has also edited a collective book Empires, Nations and Private Lives: Essays on the Social and Cultural History of the Great War (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2016) and a special volume of the Canadian peer-reviewed journal Les Cahiers d’histoire (2017). Nari holds master’s degrees in Social Sciences from  École des Hautes Études en  Sciences Sociales (France), and  in  International Law  from  Université  Paris 2  Panthéon Assas (France).

Kalina Sobierajska-Wyborska
Doctoral Candidate | Wroclaw University

Sobierajska’s research interests include biographical and postcolonial studies, particularly within the context of Eastern Europe. She developed courses at Wroclaw University that incorporate a focus on Eastern Europe in postcolonial perspective, with a specific emphasis on Ukraine. She took part in field research in Lithuania (2015) and in Ukraine (2016-2017). She completed her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of Wroclaw (Poland) in the Interdisciplinary Individual Humanities Studies Program.

Subir Rana
Postdoctoral Associate, National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS) Bangalore

Rana obtained a Doctorate in Sociology from the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi. His research involves the socio-political history of a ‘mobile cluster’ of street entertainers in nineteenth- and twentieth-century colonial India.  A part of his research deals with ‘food crime’ in colonial India due to oppressive agrarian policies of the British Raj, which subsequently led to the introduction of the Criminal Tribes Act XXVII of 1871. His current research engages with contemporary issues including new protest and subversive cultures, border studies, diaspora and migrants, education and skill development and developmental themes like land acquisitions, mobility, and transient communities and subaltern groups. He has been a Sir Charles Wallace Fellow, Queen’s University, Belfast, 2011-12; Ford Foundation Visiting Fellow, Centre for the Study of Law and Governance, JNU, 2011- 12; Sir Ratan Tata Trust Library Visiting Fellow, SWS, Jadavpur University, 2009-10; and held a UGC Fellowship in 2007-2011.