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Ukraine’s Historical Encounters Series

The term Ukraine’s Historical Encounters was coined in 1998, when Columbia University’s Harriman Institute used it to title a “breakthrough” two-day symposium that was tasked with exploring the long and troubled relations between Ukraine and its always imposing northern neighbor, Russia.

A long and distinguished line of academics did precisely what was asked of them; they delved into the past, present and future to examine “the ties that bind, often too tightly”.

The end result of the endeavor was a well-received monograph, containing the forum’s highlight presentations, bearing the same appellation.

The term resurfaced as a title in 2003, when NYU’s Center for Global Affairs ran a one-day conference, in conjunction with CUSUR’s predecessor—UCIS, which reassembled a number of the speaking participants of Ukraine’s

Quest for Mature Nation Statehood Roundtable II: Taking Measure of a U.S.-Ukraine Strategic Partnership [Nov 2001] and asked the gathering to update their assessment of relations between Ukraine and the world’s “remaining superpower”.

The forum’s frank discussions included a very serious give and take on the prevailing issue of common concern at the time: the War on Terror.

In 2004, the two Universities [CU’s East Central European Center added its weight to the project at this juncture], through the good offices of UCIS, decided to combine their efforts under the stated moniker and launch a set of forums that would explore Ukraine’s “past, present and future” ties with its various neighbors [both countries and regional associations].

The Ukraine’s Historical Encounters Series has held six such major events:

In addition, CUSUR has sponsored several special UA HES symposia dedicated to Ukraine’s encounters with its own history:

In 2023, the UA HES Series will run a regular gathering under the moniker: UA Historical Encounters Forum VII: Ukraine-Poland-Lithuania/The Lublin Triangle