Federal State Autonomous Educational Institution of Higher Education "Belgorod National Research University"

DOI 10.18413/2312-3044-2017-4-2-181-183


Iuliia A. Kiseliova, Sergei I. Posokhov

V. N. Karazin Kharkiv National University

Copyright: © 2017 Kiseliova, Posokhov. This is an open-access publication distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source, the Tractus Aevorum journal, are credited.

Correspondence to: Iuliia A. Kiseliova and Sergei I. Posokhov, School of History, V. N. Karazin Kharkiv National University. 61022, Svobody sq. 4, Kharkiv, Ukraine. E-mails: yu.a.kiselyova[at]karazin.ua, sposokhov[at]karazin.ua


Юлия А. Киселева, Сергей И. Посохов

Харьковский национальный университет им. В. Н. Каразина


The year 2017 marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of the great historian Nikolai Ivanovich Kostomarov (1817–85). His alma mater, V. N. Karazin Kharkiv National University, hosted a scholarly seminar celebrating this date on June 22, 2017. Several academic divisions of the university collaborated in the organization of the seminar: the Department of Historiography, Sources Study, and Archaeology; the Academician P. T. Tron’ko Center for Area Studies; and the D. I. Bahaliy Department of Ukrainian Studies. A number of commemorative events accompanied the seminar: the presentation of the booklet Nikolai Kostomarov and Kharkiv University (T. A. Chuhuy, Director of the D. I. Bahaliy Department of Ukrainian Studies); the presentation of a commemorative coin devoted to N. I. Kostomarov, issued by the National Bank of Ukraine on the initiative, among others, of the Tron’ko Center; and the presentation of a tourist route, “Kostomarov Landmarks in Kharkiv” (authors—V. V. Popov and I. M. Lebedenko, undergraduate students at the Faculty of History). The seminar`s participants also took part in the opening of a special exhibition at the Kharkiv University Museum, “N. I. Kostomarov: Life, Work, and Memory (for the 200th Аnniversary).” The main idea of the exhibition was to represent Kostomarov`s life through the lens of his autobiographical narrative, focusing on works of special significance to him that were mentioned in the autobiography, journey routes and landmarks, and photographs of people and places whose memory he valued. One of the seminar’s outcomes was a collective appeal to city residents of Kharkiv to dedicate a memorial plaque in honor of N. I. Kostomarov.

Fifteen papers were presented at the seminar, authored by scholars from Kharkiv, Dnipro, and Kyiv. These scholarly reports concerning different aspects of N. I. Kostomarov`s life and work can be grouped according to their approach and subject.

One group included papers dealing with the interpretation of Kostomarov’s oeuvre and problems related to the commemoration of his legacy: “N. I. Kostomarov and His Works in the Assessment of Kharkiv University Scholars” (S. M. Kudelko), “N. I. Kostomarov in the Visual Arts” (O. G. Pavlova), and “Commemorating N. I. Kostomarov in Kharkiv and Ukraine” (O. I. Vovk).

A few papers analyzed Kostomarov’s contributions to the study of individual scholarly problems. Among these were P. V. Ieremeev’s talk concerning Kostomarov’s views on the history of Old Believers, S. S. Kushnariov’s report on Kostomarov`s research into the Time of Troubles in the early seventeenth century, and T. F. Litvinova’s paper on Kostomarov’s understanding of the genesis of serfdom in Ukrainian lands.

Kostomarov’s academic work was also examined in the context of general trends in the development of historical writing during his lifetime. This subject was taken up in such papers as “Late Romanticism vs Early Positivism: N. I. Kostomarov’s Adoption of the Newest Ideas (1860s though 1880s)” by H. N. Bogdashina, “N. M. Karamzin and N. I. Kostomarov: Two Historians—Two Destinies” by V. M. Dukhopelnikov, and “N. I. Kostomarov and the Development of Ukrainian National Historiography” by O. I. Zhurba.

A few of the authors aimed to uncover the specifics of Kostomarov’s worldview and define some aspects of his sociopolitical views: “The Historiosophical Views of Nikolai Kostomarov” (S. I. Svitlenko), “Kostomarov’s Views on How to Reform Russian Universities: Some Comments on the Discussion of the Early 1860s” (S. I. Posokhov), and “Kostomarov’s Position in the Discussion of the Rural Orthodox Clergy in the Russian Empire in the Nineteenth Century” (E. Iu. Zakharchenko).

Another group of talks revisited individual moments and aspects of N. I. Kostomarov’s life by rereading the historian’s personal papers in new ways. These talks included “Alina and Kostomarov: Love Reflected in Letters” (I. V. Vorozhbit) and “The Emotional Dimension of Kostomarov’s Autobiography” (Iu. A. Kiseliova).

The diversity of subjects raised at the seminar stems from the magnitude of N. I. Kostomarov’s legacy and defines the circle of topical problems in Kostomarov studies today. More generally, this diversity reflects the broad spectrum of research interests and concerns represented in modern Ukrainian historiography.

The seminar materials were published in Number 16 of the Kharkiv Historiographical Almanach («Харківський історіографічний збірник») with financial support from the Kowalsky Program for the Study of Eastern Ukraine at the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, University of Alberta.


About the authors

Iuliia A. Kiseliova, Candidate of Science (History), is Senior Lecturer in the School of History at the V.N. Karazin Kharkiv National University (Ukraine).

Sergei I. Posokhov, Doctor of Science (History), is Professor and Head of the Department of Historiography, Sources Study, and Archaeology at the V. N. Karazin Kharkiv National University (Ukraine).


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