Oksana Yurkova | Academic Januses: GPU-NKVD Secret Informants at the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences (1920s-1930s)

DATE: Wednesday, 9 October 2019 TIME: 3:00PM - 5:00PM VENUE: 208N, North House, 1 Devonshire Place, Toronto, Ontario

10 September 2019


Chair: Professor Lynne Viola(Professor of History, University of Toronto)


In 2015 the decommunization laws in Ukraine gave open access to the GPU-NKVD-KGB archives, and historians immediately seized the opportunity to study new types of secret police documents which had been inaccessible earlier. Among them were the almost unknown dela-formulyary, i.e. surveillance files on the Ukrainian scholars who worked at the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences in the 1920s-1930s. These files were prepared for many years and contained all information about researchers and their milieu. They consisted of several types of documents - track records, questionnaires, characteristics, references, secret police supervisory materials, copies of testimonies of the detainees, copies of opened and inspected correspondence, as well as numerous "bulletins" and "informational messages" from the secret informants. Despite the fact that there are practically no official archival materials on secret informants (their personal files were either obliterated or moved to Russia), it is very likely that their names can be identified. In her talk Oksana Yurkova will present her analysis of the surveillance files and discuss the problem of secret informants among Ukrainian scholars in the 1920s-1930s. Also she will present her research on deciphering of the academic secret informants' nicknames.


Dr. Oksana Yurkova is a Leading Researcher at the Institute of History of Ukraine, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine. She studies Ukrainian historiography of the 20th century, especially focusing on the interwar period (1920s-1930s), the Ukrainian historian Mykhailo Hrushevsky and his Kyiv historical school, as well as the activity of Ukrainian historical institutions of that period; iconography; anthropology of academic life; electronic information resources. In 2015, she initiated the Mykhailo Hrushevsky Digital Archives which collects and presents all printed and archival materials dealing with this famous historian and political figure (http://hrushevsky.nbuv.gov.ua/). In 2019 the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies awarded her the Kolasky Visiting Research Fellowship in the Humanities and Social Sciences, Law, Education, and Library Sciences 2019-2020. In Toronto she works on the project "Canadian Sources for the Mykhailo Hrushevsky Digital Archives." For more details see her web-pagehttp://resource.history.org.ua/person/0000512


Registration link:https://munkschool.utoronto.ca/event/28327/


Sponsored by the Petro Jacyk Program for the Study of Ukraine, the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, and the Centre for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies.