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State Socialism Workshop

Workshop on State Socialism in Post-World War II Eastern Europe


This is a virtual workshop on social and cultural history of “mature socialism” in East­Central Europe. Workshop participants are graduate students and post-graduate scholars from around the world. The main goal of our workshop is to discuss new theoretical frameworks and methodological approaches to post-World War II Eastern Europe, and to facilitate research on participants’ individual projects.

To join the workshop send an email to: a.zayarnyuk@uwinnipeg.ca

Project coordinator:

Andriy Zayarnyuk


I am a historian of modern Ukraine and Eastern Europe. I am the author of: Idiomy  emansypatsiï: “vyzvol'ni”proekty I halyts'ke  selo seredyny  XIX  st. (Idioms  of  Emancipation: “Liberation” Projects  and the  Mid-Nineteenth  Century  Galician  Village) (Krytyka, 2007), Framing  the  Ukrainian Peasantry   in   Habsburg   Galicia,   1846–1914 (CIUS Press, 2013), and Lviv’s Uncertain  Destination:  A  City  and  Its  Train  Terminal from  Franz  Joseph  I  to Brezhnev (U  of  Toronto  Press, 2020), and co-author, with Ostap Sereda, of The  Intellectual  Foundations  of  Modern  Ukraine:  The  Nineteenth Century (Routledge, 2022). Currently I am working on the history of public dining in post-World War II Communist Poland and Soviet Ukraine.


Project assistant:  Michaela Hiebert

Michaela Hiebert is an Honours History student and trainee oral historian at the University of Winnipeg. She is the research assistant for the Public Dining in Communist Poland and Soviet Ukraine Project. 



Kateryna Burkush

Kateryna Burkush is a social historian of the late Soviet Union. Her research focuses on the topics of work and migration in the Soviet context, and the cultural and social impacts of labor migration in the Ukrainian borderland region of Transcarpathia. After having received her doctoral degree from the European University Institute in 2019, she held fellowships at the New Europe College in Bucharest and the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna, and taught at the European School of Social and Political Sciences at Lille Catholic University, France. She is currently a fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin. 

Michael Czyz


My research is centered on Poland between the World Wars, with a particular focus on the architectural and urban planning discourse surrounding interwar Warsaw.





Iaroslav Kovalchuk


I am a PhD Candidate in History at the University of Alberta. My dissertation project compares the establishment of the Communist Party of Ukraine in the two West Ukrainian regions, Galicia and Transcarpathia, which became the new western borderlands of the Soviet Union after World War Two. I see my study as a culturally and socially informed research of the central political institution of the Soviet system, the Party. In general, I am interested in the 20th-century history of socialist regimes, their legitimacy, and how they connected with society.


 Nataliia Laas



Dr. Nataliia Laas is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia, New York University. She specializes in political economy, consumer society, gender, the history of the social sciences, and environmental history in the Soviet Union. She currently works on a book manuscript, provisionally titled A Soviet Consumer Republic: Economic Citizenship and the Economy of Waste in the Post-WWII Soviet Union. This project departs from the standard economy-of-shortages narrative and offers a different dimension, an “economy of waste,” to describe Soviet consumption. It argues that after World War II and especially with the onset of Cold War competition with the West, in addition to periodic shortages the Soviet state regularly confronted a new challenge: glutted markets, overproducing factories, and excess commodities. Unlike shortages that were often vindicated by the official Bolshevik ideology as the people’s sacrifice on the road to the country’s industrialization and economic growth, excess and waste were endemic to the malfunctioning of a command economy but far more difficult for authorities to explain and justify. By focusing on the emergence of socialist market research and consumer studies, the book explores how the economy of waste reshaped relationships between the state and its citizens. Dr. Laas received her PhD in History from Brandeis University in 2022. Her doctoral dissertation was supported by a Harriman Institute Carnegie Research Grant and a Mellon Dissertation Completion Fellowship from Brandeis, among others.

Igor Niewiadomski



I am PhD Student in History at the University of Warsaw My promoter is Professor Piotr Maciej Majewski.  I am writing my thesis about Polish North and Western Lands (also called 'Recovered Territories') after 1944. I am following mostly about history and propaganda of territories which have been attached to People's Poland from Nazi Germany (Third Reich) between 1944–1945.



Iryna Skubii


Iryna Skubii is a PhD Candidate at the Department of History at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, and a co-editor at H-Ukraine. Her PhD project examines consumption, materialities, and nature during the famines in Soviet Ukraine. She received BA, MA, and Candidate of Sciences Degree in History from the V.N. Karazin Kharkiv National University. The central focus of Iryna’s previous research projects was trade, consumption, and material culture of the early Soviet Ukraine. In 2013, she published her first monograph 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].


Kate Stanton




Kate R. Stanton is a John Roberts Scholar at Merton College, Oxford, undertaking her doctoral research. She is conducting an oral history project on the East German women’s movement in 1989/1990. She holds a Master of Studies in Modern European History from Merton College, Oxford as well as a Master of Teaching and a Bachelor of Arts (Languages) (Honours) from the University of Sydney.