Dr Olena Palko is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at Birkbeck College, University of London. She is the author of several publications on early Soviet cultural history in Ukraine. Her current project Contested Minorities: A Transnational History of the Polish-Soviet Borderlands, 1918-1939 investigates the minority policies of the Polish and Soviet governments in the Polish-Soviet borderlands during the interwar period. She is the author of ‘Making Ukraine Soviet. Literature and Cultural Politics under Lenin and Stalin(Bloomsbury Academic, 2020)
Dr Samuel Foster is a visiting academic in the University of East Anglia’s School of History, where he received a PhD  while serving as project manager for the John Corsellis Archive. His research focuses on the First World War in the (pre-)Yugoslavian Balkans on which he has written and presented extensively including contributions to the BBC and International Encyclopedia of the First World War. He is the author of ‘Yugoslavia in the British Imagination. Peace, War and Peasants before Tito’ (Bloomsbury Academic, 2021)

SGMH Communication assistant: Pierre Van Cutsem (he/his) holds two Master’s degrees from the Université Libre de Bruxelles (Belgium) (in Germanic languages and literatures (2015) and Slavic languages and literatures (2018). He is a scholar and translator of Polish weird fiction writer Stefan Grabiński. Pierre is currently a PhD student at the doctoral school of the Uniwersytet Śląski w Katowicach (Poland).

The BASEES Study Group for Minority History (SGMH) is a forum devoted to the study of minority groups in the national and regional histories of Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe from the Napoleonic Wars to the contemporary past. Its key aim is to assist scholars, currently working in this area of inquiry by fostering international networks to help promote and share their research. It also seeks to encourage collaborative forms of scholarship across different aspects of minority history such as the evolution of identity, diaspora-formation, inter-communal engagements, the development of cultural institutions, relations with states and state actors and the impact of regional conflicts. In addition, the SGMH aims to encourage the use of new methodologies, interdisciplinary scholarly approaches and theoretical frameworks in the study of minority groups.

The SGMH main activities include:

  • a biannual 2-day workshop allowing scholars to present and receive feedback on their current research;
  • events organised through the BASEES Annual Conference including panels, roundtables and symposia;
  • publication of papers presented at the SGMH events in relevant peer-review journals, as well as non-specialist publications dedicated to the on-going research in the field.

The group’s current organisers are Olena Palko (Birkbeck, University of London), and Samuel Foster (University of East Anglia).

The SGMH is open to all scholars working in relevant research areas at academic institutions from across the UK and internationally. Registration and membership are free. For further information, membership inquiry and/or to join our mailing list please e-mail: o.palko@bbk.ac.uk or Samuel.foster@uea.ac.uk

Membership in the group is free.

The Study Group will launch with an inaugural symposium ‘Being a Minority in Times of Catastrophe’, will take place at Birkbeck in June 2021 

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