Victoria Sophie Donovan


  • KY16 9AL

    United Kingdom

Personal profile

Research overview

My current research is on the industrial history and heritage of the Ukrainian East, also known as Donbas, questions of heritage management and manipulation and the role of the industrial past in forming community identities and politics. I teach on several modules that intersect with these research interests, including my honours modules on Soviet and post-Soviet cultural memory politics, and the city in Soviet and post-Soviet cinema, and co-taught modules in the environmental and energy humanities.  


I have led several collaborative research projects with partners in Ukraine, including “De-industrialisation and Conflict in Donbas: Capacity building in Ukraine to make Donbas (mono)towns inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable,” (Global Challenges Research Fund, 2018-19) “Un/archiving Post/industry: Engaging Heritage and Developing Cultural Infrastructures,” (Global Challenges Research Fund and House of Europe, 2019-20), and “Donbas in Focus: Visions of Industry from the Ukrainian East” (Arts and Humanities Research Council, 2021-23). I am currently joint PI on the “Ostroh Academy/University of St Andrews Partnership for Advancing the Public Humanities” funded by UUKi.


My research and knowledge transfer work has been recognised with prestigious national prizes and grants, including an Arts and Humanities Leadership Fellowship, British Academy Rising Star Engagement Award, and an AHRC/BBC New Generation Thinker award. In 2023, my work with partners in Ukraine on the “Un/archiving Post/industry” project was awarded a European Heritage Award/EuropaNostra Award for Citizens’ Engagement and Awareness Raising, the EU’s most prestigious award for heritage preservation in Europe. 


I am the co-author with Darya Tsymbalyuk of Limits of Collaboration: Art, Ethics and Donbas (Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung, 2022), and co-editor with Iryna Sklokina of “Donbas Imaginaries: Heritage, Culture, and Community,” a special collection published with REGION: Regional Studies of Russia, Eastern Europe and Central Asia in 2021. Before I began my research in Ukraine, I worked on Russian cultural nationalism and heritage politics in the historic northwest of the country. My monograph, Chronicles in Stone: Preservation, Patriotism and Identity in the Russian Northwest was published with NIUP imprint at Cornell in 2019.  My research also makes contributions to emerging debates in the public, civic and engaged humanities, and my writings in this area have been published with Modern Languages Open and Canadian Slavonic Papers. My next monograph Monotown: Tales of Resistance from the Ukrainian East is forthcoming with Daunt Books Publishing in 2024.


I welcome enquiries from potential PhD students whose work intersects with any of the above research areas.  

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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