Call for Papers 2016. Identities and Media in and about Ukraine: The Contemporary Situation and Historical Dimension

We kindly welcome articles that highlight the presence, construction, re- and deconstruction of identities in media in Ukraine and about Ukraine (for instance, in Europe). In the postmodern world, every person transmits several types of identity, using them according to social situations and the social roles played within them. Naturally, in the case of military conflict the issues of identity are on the agenda. Moreover, in the case of war the world picture tends to be divided on two sides: black and white, ours and enemies. “Who are we and where do we go?” – these two main questions have been on the minds of Ukrainians for centuries, and have been repeated more often and vividly during last two-three years. First of all, the revolutionary protest known as the “Maidan” became a turning point for contemporary Ukrainian history. To some extent, the revolution became possible due to the enormous role of journalists and media workers. Then, the Russian annexation of Crimea and military aggression in the Donbas provoked battles of identities. Hence, historians today argue whether identities are the main reason for this lasting Russian-Ukrainian war, or if the explicit markers of the conflict implicitly are business interests or other non-identity issues. Regardless, the issues of different types of identities – first of all, national and transnational (European, post-Soviet), but also gender, social, regional, religious are on the agenda of public debates in Ukraine and about Ukraine abroad, including in Europe and North America. Ongoing decommunization in Southeastern Ukraine has changed the linguistic and cultural cityscapes. Furthermore, democratic reforms in different spheres have underlined the European choice of Ukraine.

We would like your papers to answer such key questions:
– Has the Maidan actualized some identities or created new ones? How has it been mirrored in the rhetoric of protest, and its media coverage within Ukraine and outside?
– How has the Russian-Ukrainian ongoing war affected the construction of identities? In which way is the image of enemy created on both sides of the barricades? What are the linguistic models to describe the situation, the participants of conflict in different media? Is identity construction a part of information war?
– How has the conflict changed different types of identities: gender, social, linguistic, cultural, religious etc? How have conflicts of identities been described by media?
– How are reforms transmitted by media? What vision of the future and expectations of the average Ukrainian are portrayed and constructed in media? In what way is the Soviet past deconstructed in public debates on decommunization within a country?
– Are identity issues anchored to political decisions and debates? How do right and left political parties influence contemporary identity construction processes? How has it been reflected in mass-media language?
– What is an image of Ukraine and the average Ukrainian in your national media (press, television, radio, and social media)? What linguistic markers have been used to describe Ukraine in the state of de facto war and its people? What topics are popular to be covered regarding Ukraine? With what connotation (neutral, positive, negative) are journalistic statements and conclusions made?

In addition, we would like to invite not only articles that analyze the current situation, but also those that have an historical dimension. We do believe that historical analysis enables deeper understanding of current situation. It can shed light on how current identities have been shaped, reshaped, and negotiated, what has caused the conflict and what are possible ways to find its solution, how identities have been anchored to cultural and memory policies. The volume is interdisciplinary, so we kindly invite papers from sociologists, sociolinguists, historians, experts in political and cultural sciences, and international relations.
The deadline for sending the article: 31.05.2016
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Editor of this volume: Nadiya Trach,

Euromaidan_01 By Evgeny Feldman (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons