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Dr Markian Prokopovych - International Partnership Award

Dr Markian Prokopovych collecting the International Partnership Award at the Global Durham Awards

Name:  Dr Markian Prokopovych  Position: Associate Professor (Modern European Cultural History), Department of History Winner of: International Partnership AwardTest

Dr Markian Prokopovych won the International Partnership Award at the Durham Global Awards 2023 for his extensive work highlighting the ongoing war in Ukraine and developing partnerships between Durham University, Ukrainian institutions and other partners around the world.

Dr Prokopovych is an Associate Professor (Modern European Cultural History) in our Department of History. He specialises in the history of Eastern and Central Europe in the nineteenth century and works on urban cultures, architecture, museums, music, migration and the press. His research interests include The Habsburg Empire, Ukraine, Eastern and Central Europe, cultural history and urban history.

Developing partnerships

Dr Prokopovych was at the forefront of communication with our new Ukrainian partners and initiated several collaborative projects and public events that put Durham on the map as one of the centres of Ukrainian studies worldwide. 

In June 2022, we were twinned with Zaporizhzhia National University (ZNU) as part of a scheme sponsored by Universities UK and the Ministry of Education and Science in Ukraine. The initiative aimed to preserve the integrity of Ukrainian universities and help them to emerge stronger from the crisis through partnerships with universities around the world. 

We are working on a student exchange scheme with ZNU, which will begin in October 2023, when we will welcome 10 ZNU students to Durham for short-term placements of up to three months, fully funded by Durham University.

Organising the Durham University Ukrainian Talks

Beginning in October 2022, Dr Prokopovych organised and chaired the Durham University Ukrainian talk series, an ongoing series of public events involving panellists from Zaporizhzhia, Durham and experts from the international community, including US presidential advisors. Topics included:

  • Ukraine: Geopolitics and History in the European Borderlands
  • Moral costs of the war in Ukraine
  • War and sexual violence: Challenges, Policy Responses and Future Directions
  • Ukraine's Medieval Past and Ways of Writing European History
  • International and Human Rights Law Supporting Ukraine: Safeguarding Refugee Policies and Freedom of Speech
  • Decolonising East European history  
  • Ukrainian Refugees: Challenges and Possibilities
  • Geo-security dimensions of the war in Ukraine (upcoming)

These events took place in locations in Durham and were produced in an ambitious hybrid format, allowing some speakers and members of the audience to join online. This enabled participation from the local community, Ukrainian refugees in Durham and people in Ukraine and other countries. The talks took an interdisciplinary approach, bringing together historians, psychologists, lawyers, geographers, and experts in international relations, religious studies, geo-security, and business and management.

Drawing on expertise available at Durham, the talks have informed the local and international community of the complexities of Ukraine’s history and the global significance of the war in Eastern Europe. 

Dr Prokopovych has also given lectures and public talks in the UK, Europe and North America highlighting the complex history of Ukraine and debunking myths and misconceptions international audiences may hold about Ukraine. 

Dr Markian Prokopovych leading an online round table discussion on Ukraine as part of the Durham Book Festival

Dr Prokopovych participating in an online round table discussion on Ukraine, which he organised as part of the Durham Book Festival

Raising Awareness

The informal meetings Dr Prokopovych initiated in preparation for the Ukrainian Talks introduced colleagues in the UK, Ukraine and the international community to one another and led to the discovery of several fields of shared interest. They are now working on developing workshops, summer schools, teaching materials, and an exhibition. His work also inspired students to found a new journal, the Durham Eastern European Review.

As an elected member of the Academic Electoral Assembly, Dr Prokopovych has contributed to the University’s public responses to the events in Ukraine and to raising awareness of the significance of these events among staff and students. 

He is also currently involved in several collaborative funding bids for workshops, fellowships, and research projects, working with colleagues at Durham HR, IT, and the Marketing team, as well as outside partners at Durham County Council, the Gala Theatre and Durham Town Hall to secure venues for the events and broaden their public outreach.

Reaction to winning the award

“I am deeply honoured by the award and touched by the University's recognition of the global significance of Ukraine,” said Dr Prokopovych. “It means a lot given what has been going on and the destruction and suffering that Russia's unprovoked and utterly pointless aggression is causing every day to so many people.

“The more people recognise the complexity and the global implications of what is happening there, the absurdity of Russia's claims to Ukrainian territories, and the need to listen to Ukrainians and support them the way they say is needed, the sooner this war will be over. 

“This award is for Ukraine, but it is also for all my wonderful colleagues and friends at Durham, Zaporizhzhia, and elsewhere who made the Ukrainian Talks happen and filled our twinning initiative with concrete and invaluable content. Finally, it is for the local community of Durham County and North-East England, who showed so much support and interest, and who have been attending our public events in such great numbers.”

Find out more

  • Read about the previous Durham Global Award winner.

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  • Read about the next Durham Global Award winner.

    Durham Global Week - right arrow square box image (350 x 200px)

Read about the previous Durham Global Award winner.

Durham Global Week - left arrow square box image (350 x 200px)

Read about the next Durham Global Award winner.

Durham Global Week - right arrow square box image (350 x 200px)