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Iryna Skubii publishes article with IWMpost

Iryna Skubii (PhD Candidate) has published her essay "Famines in Soviet Ukraine. What We Still Need to Know" with IWMpost. 

As Iryna explains,

Writing about the Soviet famines in Ukraine and their legacies exposes the hierarchies and interconnections of human survival, environment, and materiality as the value of natural resources, animals, and material items grew exponentially during these extreme periods. As millions of people were dying of starvation and illnesses, so were their animals. Wild animals were caught by people en masse. At the same time, material valuables were lost as a result of being exchanged for food and confiscated.

The history of the famines in the Soviet Union, not least the history of the Holodomor of 1932–1933 in Ukraine, has been extensively studied. Yet, academic and public discussions are predominantly centred around their political contexts. While heated debates are bringing new developments into our understanding of their nature, there are many potential areas of knowledge about the most recent of Ukraine’s and Eastern Europe’s famines still to bring to light. If geographical, demographic, and economic aspects of the Soviet famines are well-studied, the material and environmental dimensions of these extreme periods of survival remain almost omitted, as if people were living outside of any places and spaces or were disconnected from everything except the state and power relations.

Iryna's essay is available to read on the IWMpost website


Department of History, Queen's University

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Queen's University is situated on traditional Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe territory.