What have been the major obstacles you have faced in putting a research project together?

What have been the major obstacles you have faced in putting a research project together?

I found the methodology component tricky, as it felt like a lot of jargon. This meant that I misunderstood components for the first essay, which was reflected in my grade. Moreover, I found it hard at times to figure out what methodology was used by historians in their articles and books. However, I feel that I’ve got to grips with it now.

In addition, I found a lot of the theoretical approaches to my subject quite dry, which made it a chore to study. Nonetheless, I recognise the importance to theory in maintaining originality to my research question.

Annotated Bibliography – Benjamin Davidson

Annotated Bibliography

Taras Shevchenko Storinka. “Taras Shevchenko’s Poem ‘My Testament’.” Accessed  1st February, 2021 https://taras-shevchenko.storinka.org/my-testament-poem-of-taras-shevchenko-translated-by-john-weir.html

I found this article while searching online for works by Taras Shevchenko, as his work would be considered primary sources. I chose to research Shevchenko’s work as he was a leading Ukrainian nationalist and poet, from the 19th century, with this nationalist movement being the focus of my dissertation. In the poem, Shevchenko outlines his desires for a free Ukraine, unbound from any Tsarist Russian oppression, which had banned the publication of documents and teaching in the Ukrainian language. Therefore, Shevchenko’s poems would be useful for me, as they offer a direct insight into the mind of Ukraine’s most prominent nationalist, whose work was hailed in awakening Ukrainian national consciousness.

Kostomarov, Mykola. “Two Russian Nationalities.” In Towards an Intellectual History of Ukraine : An Anthology of Ukrainian Thought from 1710 to 1995, edited by Ralph Lindheim, and George, S.N. Luckyj, 122-134. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1996.

This is a poem written by Mykola Kostomarov, a pan-slavic activist, ethnographer, Ukrainian historian and author. In the poem, Kostomarov highlights the differences between Ukrainians and Russians, with the intention of identifying a distinct Ukrainian identity. Altough the poem doesn’t make any case for Ukrainian separatism, it can still be used to analyse the feelings of the Ukrainian nationalists. In order to try and suppress the Ukrainian nationalist movement, the Russian Imperial authorities tried to deny any differences between Ukrainians and Russians, arguing that they were the same people. Subsequently, I believe this is a good primary source, as it makes clear examples of how the Ukrainian people differ from the Russians, therefore legitimising the claims made by the likes of Taras Shevchenko.

Miller, Alexei. The Ukrainian Question. Budapest: Central European University Press, 2003.

This is a book that examines the Ukrainian nationalist movement, with an emphasis on the Russian authorities reaction to the Ukrainian question. In the book, Miller explains the origins of the Ukrainian nationalist movement, with its awakening coinciding with events like the French Revolution and the American War of Independence. I find this useful because, it links back to what Shevchenko said about freedom, with the Ukrainian nationalists wanting independence and liberty. Furthermore, the historiography verifies Kostomarov said about divergences between Ukraine and Russia, with middle class intelectuals in Ukrainian Universities being inspired by events in France and America, which encouraged Ukrainians to start secret societies and publish literature in the Ukrainian langauge.


Introduction – Ben

Hi everyone, my name is Ben. I am from Dundee, which is on the East Coast of Scotland. I am interested in studying the Russian Empire for my dissertation, although I have yet to select a specific area to study.

Personally, I have had no problems with the online learning, as I used to watch lectures on listen again anyway, rather than go in to the campus.

Benjamin Davidson

3rd Year Student