modern ukraine

The Making of Modern Ukraine

Published: Fall 2022


Timothy Snyder, the Richard C. Levin Professor of History and author of Our Malady, On Tyranny, The Road to Unfreedom, Black Earth, and Bloodlands, will make his lectures on The Making of Modern Ukraine available for free to the public within days of delivering them inside the classroom at Yale University. The first lecture will be available on YouTube the week of September 5, 2022.  

The class syllabus for The Making of Modern Ukraine offers an introduction to this critical course. “Often the most important historical experiences are difficult to see. Ukraine tends to exemplify the major trends in European and world history, but sometimes in forms so intense or radical that they escape notice and classification. Ukraine provides an early example of European state formation and an early example of anti-colonial rebellion.” 

The course syllabus and reading list can be found here.

Course Takeaways

  • Reflect on ancient history and geography and cover the Middle Ages and the early modern period but will concentrate upon the nineteenth and the twentieth centuries and will conclude with the current war.
  • Learn about the Kyiv state as well early modern Lithuania and Poland during the age of discovery.
  • Using Ukraine as the example, examine the confrontation between modern national politics and extreme colonial alternatives from the far right and far left.
  • Learn about Russian and Austrian empires; Jewish and Polish urban society; Romanticism and modern nationalism; the Bolshevik Revolution and its Ukrainian counterparts; Soviet modernization and terror; Nazi occupation, the Holocaust, ethnic cleansing; the
Available Now


Available as a Youtube Video Series

7 Weeks
Non-Credit Course

Meet the Instructors

faculty profile image Timothy Snyder is the Richard C. Levin Professor of History at Yale University and a permanent fellow at the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna. He speaks five and reads ten European languages. His chief books are Nationalism, Marxism, and Modern Central Europe: A Biography of Kazimierz Kelles-Krauz (1998); The Reconstruction of Nations: Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus, 1569-1999 (2003); Sketches from a Secret War: A Polish Artist’s Mission to Liberate Soviet Ukraine (2005); The Red Prince: The Secret Lives of a Habsburg Archduke (2008); Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin (2010), Thinking the Twentieth Century (with Tony Judt, 2012); Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning (2015); On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century (2017); and The Road to Unfreedom: Russia, Europe, America (2018). Snyder is co-editor of The Wall Around the West: State Borders and Immigration Controls in Europe and North America (2001); Stalin and Europe: Terror, War, Domination (2013); and The Balkans as Europe (2018). His essays are collected in Ukrainian History, Russian Politics, European Futures (2014), and The Politics of Life and Death (2015). Snyder’s work has appeared in forty languages and has received about as many prizes. He has received state orders from Estonia, Lithuania, and Poland. He was a Marshall Scholar at Oxford, where he earned his D.Phil., and has received the Carnegie and Guggenheim fellowships. Among other distinctions are the Emerson Prize in the Humanities, the Literature Award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Foundation for Polish Science prize in the social sciences, the Leipzig Award for European Understanding, the Dutch Auschwitz Committee award, and the Hannah Arendt Prize in Political Thought. He has appeared in media around the world, including major films. His words has been quoted in political demonstrations in several countries. He is writing a book about freedom.