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Ukraine's Education Policy under a Foucauldian Gaze

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Coffee and tea are available from 4:45pm

This presentation by Dr Olena Fim’yar (Freie Universität Berlin) will report the findings of a recently completed study ‘Educational Policy-Making in Post-Communist Ukraine: Policies, Subjectivities, Rationalities, Power – A Foucauldian Perspective’, which can be accessed… here: http://ulmss-newton.lib.cam.ac.uk/vwebv/holdingsInfo?bibId=33647

Dr Fim’yar’s discussion will offer a reflective account of a ‘Westernised post-communist intellectual’, who critically assesses her successes and struggles in establishing herself as a social science researcher in Western academia. Reflecting on her various (sometimes conflicting and sometimes, in a paradoxical way, complementary) identities, the presenter will explain how her personal oscillation between and dissatisfaction with two systems of thought and patterns of socialisation was translated into her research agenda and theoretical/methodological standpoint. Committed to a non-Euro/Americo-centric approach to research, the presenter advocates a poststructuralist perspective as a more powerful explanatory tool, which better accounts for the emerging hybridities, uncertainties, and oscillations that increasingly characterise everything that used to be covered by the term “Soviet”: countries, societies, identities, and— of particular relevance to the problematic raised in this paper—intellectuals. The presenter will conclude by problematising predominant “Western” analytical knowledge traditions, and calling for a new form of political engagement, ethics, and critique as these were once envisaged by Foucault.

The seminar will encourage the participants to reflect upon their own positioning in (Western) academia and their interest in the Ukrainian studies theme. The participants are advised to consult this and other papers by the presenter in order to ensure a lively and engaging discussion.

This talk is part of the CamCREES seminars (Cambridge Committee for Russian and East European Studies) series.

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