History of the Department of History of Central and Eastern Europe and special branches of historical science

The department was established in 1993, when prospects for the development of Ukrainian science and education opened up in independent Ukraine. At that time, it was called the Department of History of Slavs. Students of the Faculty of History from the first to the fourth year have a profound opportunity to study the history of Eastern, Western and Southern Slavs from the most ancient times up to nowadays. Studying the past of the Slavic peoples has provided better understanding of the national history as well as establishing scientific and educational cooperation between Ukraine and neighboring countries. The emergence of a new department has become a natural stage in the development of Slavonic studies at the Vasyl Stefanyk Precarpathian National University.

The department was organized by Doctor of historical sciences, Professor P.S. Fedorchak who became the first chairman of the Department of History of Slavs. Since 1993, candidates of historical sciences, associate professors A. V. Kriukov, M. M. Nahorniak, V. I. Siletskyi, Yu. I. Tomyn, and senior laboratory assistant A. A. Tkach have worked at the department.

In 1994, a comprehensive study of the department subject matter “Ethnopolitical and socio-economic development of the Slavic peoples” began under the leadership of Professor P. S. Fedorchak. Already at the time, the main areas of scientific work of the department’s lectures were defined, the most significant of which was the study of Ukrainian-Polish relations and the history of Poland in particular.

In November 2006, Candidate of Historical Sciences (PhD), Associate Professor V. Komar headed the Department of Slavic History. In 1994 he became the first postgraduate student of the department, and in 1998, after defending his PhD thesis, began his teaching career as an assistant professor. The department staff was replenished with professors, who were mostly graduate students of the Department of Slavic History under the mentorship of Professor P. Fedorchak. Among them were V. Komar, V. Debenko, and M. Vitenko. Senior lecturer R. Kobylnyk has been working at the department since 2002 after completing his postgraduate studies. The department also successfully collaborated with doctors of historical sciences, professors: P. Siredzhyuk in 2018-2020 and I. Pylypiv in 2020-2022. O. Didyk has been the senior laboratory assistant at the department since 1996.

Considering Ukrainian-Polish relations to be a priority area of research, the Department has launched international scientific conferences, in particular: «Ukrainian-Polish relations in Galicia in the 20th Century», November 21-22, 1996; «The Hadiach Union in the History of Polish-Ukrainian Relations 1658-2008», November 28-29, 2008; «The Pilsudski-Petlura Union of 1920: Historical Conditions and Modern Interpretations», October 22-25, 2009. The annual Regional Scientific Conference dedicated to the anniversary of the deportation of ethnic Ukrainians in Poland and Operation Vistula in 1947 have become traditional for the department. These conferences have been held every 5 years since 2002 (2002, 2007, 2012, 2017, 2022, respectively).

On March 15, 2021, the Department of Slavic History was renamed the Department of History of Central and Eastern Europe and Special Branches of Historical Science, with Doctor of Historical Sciences, Professor V. Komar as its new head. The department’s staff has also been replenished with professors who teach special historical disciplines: Doctors of History, Professors L. Sholohon and N. Kindrachuk, and Candidate of History, Associate Professor H. Stefanyuk. The Department has a Teaching Laboratory of Special Historical Disciplines, headed by V. Sahaniuk.

Academic work remains the most important area of the Department’s staff activities, which provides courses in the history of foreign Slavs and countries of Central and Eastern Europe, archival studies, museum studies, special historical disciplines, and selective disciplines.

The Department’s lecturers provide accreditation and implementation of the Educational Program (EP) «History and Archeology» (first, undergraduated level), supervised by Prof. V. Komar. The specialty 032 «History and Archeology», in turn, is part of the double degree program, which allows some students to simultaneously receive education in the specialty «Public history» at the Pomeranian University in Słupsk (Poland).

The Department of History of Central and Eastern Europe and Special Historical Science Branches remains faithful to its traditions, actively researching the history of the countries and people of Central and Eastern Europe and sharing its knowledge and experience with students. At the same time, the department’s lecturers have a new and promising research area related to the study of special historical science branches, which will be interesting and useful for students of the EP «History and Archeology» – future scholars, archival and museum specialists.