Olena Khodchenko

Olena Khodchenko

I am Olena Khodchenko, PhD in history, a lecturer at the Department of World History at Oles Honchar Dnipro National University in Ukraine. My research primarily focuses on the history of migration processes, the adaptation and integration of immigrants, and the study of diaspora groups, particularly Germans and Mennonites.

Interview with Olena Khodchenko

Current affiliation
  • Oles Honchar Dnipro National University, Ukraine
Hosting institute
Institute for Migration Research and Intercultural Studies
Key expertise

Profile according to FFVT taxonomy

Fields of research
Scientific topics

Academic education / CV

Lecturer at the Department of World History, Oles Honchar Dnipro National University, Ukraine

PhD in World History – Post-graduate course on World History, Oles Honchar Dnipro National University, Dnipro, Ukraine

Master in History, Oles Honchar Dnipro National University, Ukraine, 2007. Graduated with distinction.

Relevant publications


Q1. Who are you?

I am an Associate Professor in the Department of World History at Oles Honchar Dnipro National University, Ukraine (since September 2014). I teach the courses “Modern History of Western Europe and North America”, “History of Diplomacy”, “Political History of Germany”, and “History of Religion and Church”.

My scientific work focuses on the history of migration processes, adaptation, and integration of immigrants, particularly Mennonites and Germans. I am the Executive Secretary and a member of the editorial board of the periodical scientific publication “Modern Studies in German History”, published by Oles Honchar Dnipro National University.

I am a member of the International Association for the Study of the History and Culture of Russian Germans (from 2012 to the present), the Association of Ukrainian Germanists (from 2021 until now), and the Scientific Society named after T. G. Shevchenko (from 2023).

I was a guest lecturer at Kassel University during the summer semester of 2023, where I taught the course “Transatlantic migration”.

Q2. What was your motivation to apply for the FFVT fellowship? Why Germany?

The modern world, which seemed to have developed the legal basis and rules of international relations, was destabilized on February 24, 2022, with the unprecedented invasion of a sovereign state - Ukraine - by the military forces of the Russian Federation. It is clear that this is not the only conflict that humanity has known in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. However, the global consequences of this particular war affect the interests of people in most countries, not just Europe.

As a historian, I anticipated that a military conflict would begin soon. However, I was truly frightened when I heard explosions near my home at 4 a.m. on February 24. On that day, the world changed not only for Ukrainians but also for many people on the European continent.

Millions of women, driven by maternal instinct, were forced to leave their homes with their children and seek refuge in other countries. I was among these women.

As a researcher of historical phenomena, it is both interesting and important for me to understand the consequences of forced migration processes. Using an interdisciplinary approach, I aim to outline the socio-psychological, demographic, economic, and legal consequences of both voluntary and forced migrations.

My motives in this research are threefold. First, to expand my knowledge of the history of migration processes. Second, to trace the causes of forced migrations in a historical context. Third, to narrate the fate of European ethnic groups’ migration and their life in Ukraine.

Why Germany? Because it is a country that is actively developing its research program, a country that has its own history of migration, and a country that stands for democratic freedoms and principles.

Q3. What do you expect from the fellowship?

I expect the program to collaborate on research on the causes and consequences of migration processes. Communication in the field of migration studies. Expansion of knowledge and skills as well as the possibility of academic cooperation.

I would like to meet new people in my profession so that we could become colleagues, and perhaps even friends. I want to learn more about the perspectives of individuals from different countries and cultures on the same historical events, understand the logic behind their viewpoints, and convey my own. To comprehend the world, one must look at it through different eyes.

Q4. What is the focus of your work, and what is innovative about it? / What are your planned outcomes and activities for the fellowship period? And how do they relate to your FFVT hosting institution/ the FFVT cooperation project?

The focus of my work is to popularize information about European ethnic groups in Ukraine and to highlight their role in the cultural and economic development of the country.

What will be presented? The history of the formation of European ethnic diasporas in Ukraine, the conditions of consolidation of diasporic ethnic groups, and their impact on the life of the titular ethnic group in Ukraine.

Why is it interesting? The project aims to help the global (European) community gain a systematic understanding of the place of European ethnic diasporas in the sociopolitical, economic, and cultural life of Ukraine.

Why is it important? To fill the information gap on the mutual influence of European and Ukrainian cultures and to provide historical information for a wide range of stakeholders.

I plan to create a series of video clips (presentations) in English about the history of European ethnic diasporas in Ukraine.

Relevance: At the present stage of society, in times of globalization, the problems of adaptation, assimilation, and preservation of ethno-psychological identity are gaining research interest. The relevance of the topic is due to the content of the present when international migration has become an integral part of the life of ethnic groups.