Event—Adult Education

Inventing Nations in Eastern Europe: Belarus, Lithuania, Poland, and Ukraine


How do nations come into being?

An 18th century map covering Russia; Ukraine; Poland (after the first partition); Lithuania; Tartary; Transylvania; Turkey; Hungary and surrounding territories, M. Brion, 1775. Source: British Library, Shelfmark: Maps.K.Top.110.53.

Class Description

In 1569 the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was the largest state in Europe. By 1914 it was long gone, its territory partitioned by the German, Austrian, and Russian Empires. Today Belarus, Lithuania, Poland, and Ukraine encompass most of the former Commonwealth's territory. How did this extraordinary transformation come about? What is the origin of the nations that populate this territory today—are they modern inventions, or do they have historic roots? Examine these questions and more through a mix of instructor presentations, weekly readings, and group discussion.

John Kulczycki taught the history of Eastern Europe, Russia, and nationalism for twenty-three years at the University of Illinois Chicago and published four books and some three dozen articles based on his research. He is now Professor Emeritus at UIC

Materials List

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  • Timothy Snyder, The Reconstruction of Nations: Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus, 1569-1999. Yale University Press, 2003. ISBN: 9780300105865

First Reading

  • Read The Reconstruction of Nations: Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus, 1569-1999 pp. ix-12, for the first session.

Cost and Registration

4 Sessions, $200 ($180 for Newberry members, seniors, and students). Learn about becoming a member.

We now offer our classes at three different price options: Regular ($200), Community Supported ($190), and Sponsor ($210). Following the models of other institutions, we want to ensure that our classes are accessible to a wider audience while continuing to support our instructors. You may choose the price that best fits your situation when registering through Learning Stream.

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