The winner of the 2020 Conquest Prize for Contribution to Holodomor Studies is Olga Ryabchenko for her article “The Mobilization of Youth for Participation in the Communist Transformation of the Countryside during Collectivization and the Holodomor,” first published in Ukrainian Historical Journal.

The adjudication committee described her work as follows:

 “This extremely well-researched article constitutes an important contribution to the social history of the era, adding substantially to our understanding of how the Soviet agricultural sector was able to recover in the summer of 1933. Among her significant findings, Dr. Ryabchenko points to the reliance on students from peasant backgrounds to carry out this work.

While histories of the period have emphasized the mobilization of the Party and the Army, Dr. Ryabchenko expands this discussion and also amplifies the notion of generational warfare.  At the same time, she illustrates the complexity of this conflict and the moral crisis that it represented for some students who were forced to encounter a starving population.”

Olga Ryabchenko holds a doctorate in history and is head of the Department of World History in the Faculty of History at Kharkiv National Pedagogical University. Her research interests center on the everyday lives of young people in periods of social transformation. She is the author of more than 150 scholarly publications, including two individual and ten collective monographs. Professor Ryabchenko is co-author of numerous research and publishing projects of the Institute of History of Ukraine of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, including “Essays on Everyday Life of Soviet Ukraine during NEP (1921-1928),” “Social and Professional Strata of Ukrainian Society during the Stalinist “Revolution from Above” (1929–1938), and “Relations between Government, Society and the Individual during the Soviet System (1918) –1938).”  She is a recipient of grants from the Taras Shevchenko Scientific Society (USA) and the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies (CIUS), University of Alberta.

Dr. Ryabchenko is the second scholar to receive the $2,500 prize, awarded on a biennial basis to the author of an outstanding article that contributes to a fuller understanding of the Holodomor.  The Conquest Prize honours historian Robert Conquest, author of the ground-breaking work The Harvest of Sorrow: Soviet Collectivization and the Terror-Famine, which marked a watershed in the study of the Holodomor at the time of its publication in 1986.