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Iryna Skubii


Iryna Skubii is a historian and a Ph.D. Candidate at the Department of History, specializing in Soviet history and environmental studies. Under the supervision of Professor Rebecca Manley, her doctoral project explores consumption, materialities, and nature during the Soviet famines in Ukraine. This research is contextualized within the framework of coloniality, food inequality, and human-environment relationships during times of extreme crisis.

Previously, she obtained a Candidate of Sciences Degree in History with a specialization in the history of Ukraine from V.N. Karazin Kharkiv National University (Kharkiv, Ukraine) and published the monograph on trade and business practices in Kharkiv in the 1920s, during the New Economic Policy (1921–1929). This project has since evolved into another area of her interest: the history of material culture and consumption in early Soviet Ukraine, now the focal point of her second monograph.

Additionally, Iryna serves as a coordinator of the Russian and Eastern European Studies Network at the Department of History, an editor at H-Ukraine, and a graduate representative at the Association for Women in Slavic Studies.

In May 2024, Iryna will be joining the University of Melbourne as an inaugural Mykola Zerov Fellow in Ukrainian studies.

Selected Publications


“Towards an Animal Sensitive History of Famines: Animals, the Environment, and Soviet Famines in Ukraine.” East/West: Journal of Ukrainian Studies. Special Issue. Beyond Anthropocentrism in Ukrainian Studies (ed. by Tanya Richardson and Darya Tsymbalyuk) (2024) (forthcoming)

Early Soviet Consumption as a First “Battle” on the Cultural Front.” In Consumption and Advertising in Eastern Europe and Russia in the Twentieth Century, ed. by Heidi Hein-Kircher, Magdalena Eriksroed-Burger, and Julia Malitska, 135–153. (Palgrave Macmillan, 2023).

with Rebecca Manley. “We Did Not Shrink From Eating Carrion:” Food Disgust and Early Soviet Famines.” In Cultural Approaches to Disgust and the Visceral, ed. by Max Ryynänen, Heidi S. Kosonen, and Susanne C. Ylönen, 119–130. (New York: Routledge, 2022).

“Food Waste and Survival in Times of Soviet Famines in Ukraine.” Journal of Contemporary History. Special Issue: Waste in Conflict, ed. by Iris Borowy and Viktor Pal) 0(0) (2023).

“Famines in Soviet Ukraine. What We Still Need to Know.” IWMpost. Magazine of the Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen. 130. Ancient Help for Modern Problems. Winter (2022): 10.

“Goods for the Smallest Citizens: Consumption, Spaces, and Material World of Toys in Early Soviet Ukraine.” Childhood in the Past 14:1 (2021): 55–68.

“Women Consumers in Urban Soviet Ukraine in the 1920–30s: Between Ideology and Everyday Life.” History of Retailing and Consumption 6:1 (2020): 30–44.

Trade in Kharkiv in the Years of NEP (1921–1929): Economy and Everyday Life, Peripheral Histories? (2020) September 14.

Torhivlia v Kharkovi v roky NEPu (1921–1929): ekonomika ta povsiakdennist’ [Trade in Kharkiv in the Years of NEP (1921–1929): Economy and Everyday Life] (Kharkiv: Rarytety Ukrainy, 2017).

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