IUFU Summer School for Ukrainian Students in Budapest and Lviv

IUFU Summer School panel discussion at the Blinken OSA Archivum


The second IUFU Summer School, taking place in Budapest, July 2–10, 2023, provides Ukrainian students with the opportunity to discuss, with globally renowned scholars, issues like national canon-building, and develop strategies to valorize Ukrainian culture. The summer school also includes the exhibition Unissued Diplomas open to the public at CEU, and a panel discussion at the Blinken OSA Archivum on archival Cold War records on Ukraine.


As an immediate response to the Russian aggression on Ukraine, Central European University (CEU) launched the Invisible University for Ukraine (IUFU) in 2022, offering continuing academics for students from Ukraine whose studies have been affected by the war. Since then, IUFU has supported over 400 students from diverse backgrounds, many of them internally or externally displaced students, facilitating their academic projects and creating opportunities for intellectual exchange. Now IUFU opened its second IUFU Summer School, with parallel sessions at the CEU buildings in Budapest, Hungary, and at the Lviv Center for Urban History in Ukraine. Titled Cultural Representation, Decolonization, and Canon-Building: Ukraine Before and After 2022, the focus of the second IUFU Summer School is on how Ukrainian war experiences are reflected in the cultural sphere, and how they reshape our understanding of the country. With globally renowned scholars, students discuss issues like multiethnic heritages, national canon-building, and cancel culture, developing strategies to study and valorize Ukrainian culture and institution practices, and to maintain resilient academic organizations.

Students traveling from Ukraine first spend a day in Lviv, after which those who can cross the border travel on to CEU in Budapest, while those who cannot, continue the program in Lviv. As in the past years, the Blinken OSA Archivum continues to contribute to IUFU, this year also by providing archival documents selected by Slavic Archivist Katerina Belenkina from our upcoming Curated Collection on the Ukrainian transition period between 1980s–1990s. Exploring the historical and archival context of these records, on Day 4 of the summer school, the Archivum hosts the panel discussion “Interpreting Cold War and Perestroika Archival Collection on Ukraine,” with Director István Rév, Slavic Archivist Anastasia Felcher, and Associate Research Fellow Ioana Macrea-Toma from the Archivum staff, as well as Taras Fedirko from the University of Glasgow, as well as Marta Haiduchok and Balázs Trencsényi from CEU.

Also seeking to direct international attention to the Ukrainian cause, the 2nd IUFU Summer School’s other notable invited guests include Marci Shore, Jan Kubik, Joep Leerssen, Ostap Slyvynsky, Tamara Hundorova, Maria Sonevytsky, and Andriy Zayarnyuk. As an accompanying event of the program, the exhibition Unissued Diplomas opened at CEU. A stark reminder of those young lives whose dreams will never be fulfilled, the exhibition displays symbolic diplomas issued posthumously to students from Ukraine who were killed by the Russian aggression since February 24, 2022. The Budapest chapter of the Unissued Diplomas Worldwide Exhibition Series is open to the public until July 20, with a related online audio tour available here.