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Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics


Stepan Blinder


College: Fitzwilliam College                       


Supervisor: Dr Olenka Z. Pevny    

Research Topic: “The Kingdom of Books: The Making of a Global University Library in the Early Modern Zamoyski Academy”  


About Me

Stepan Blinder is a PhD student in Slavonic Studies at the Fitzwilliam College, University of Cambridge. His academic interests overlap late medieval and early modern Central and Eastern European social, intellectual, and cultural history. He specializes in the global history of book circulation and knowledge exchange, urban history with an accent on spatial communications, and Jewish social history.

Stepan received his Bachelor (2016) and Master (2018) degrees (with honours) in history at the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy (Kyiv, Ukraine). Both his theses on the 17th-century patterns of borderland communications between educational institutions of Polish Crown and Ruthenian voivodeships were awarded the prestigious Jerzy Giedroyc International Contest in Polish-Ukrainian History. In 2018-2019, Stepan was a fellow student at the University of Warsaw (Warsaw, Poland) where he researched political culture of Polish-Lithuanian cities.

Before coming to Cambridge, Stepan received a set of research scholarships and took part in internships, fellowship programs, summer schools, and workshops in the theory and practice of medieval and early modern history in Western Europe and Northern America.

Languages: Ukrainian (Native), English (Fluent), Polish (Fluent), Latin (fluent), Russian (fluent), Belarusian (Upper-Intermediate), Italian (Intermediate), Czech (Intermediate), Spanish (Intermediate), French (Pre-Intermediate), German (Pre-Intermediate).


Stepan’s “The Kingdom of Books…” is the global microhistorical research on the social logic of intellectual transfers in early modern Eastern Europe. It traces the nature of university library construction and examines the transmission of the Western European book management practices to the early modern Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.

The Zamoyski Academy – founded in 1594 easternmost classical Western European studium generale – is in the center of this research. On the one hand, Stepan traces sources of the Zamoyski library construction taking into account local book supply and demand, access to Italian and German book markets, and social need for reading. On the other hand, he investigates the adaptation of Italian and Holy Roman technologies of libraries organization to the local needs of the Zamoyski Academy. At the same time, Stepan attempts to reveal whether the Zamoyski librarians invented any extraordinary technique of book exchange management compared with existing samples in Western European universities.



12th Jerzy Giedroyc International Contest in Polish-Ukrainian History, 1st Place [Nomination for the Best MA Thesis], Embassy of Poland in Kyiv (Poland-Ukraine, 2018).

17th Kowalski Student Research Contest in Ukrainian Studies, Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, University of Alberta (Edmonton, Canada, 2017).

10th Jerzy Giedroyc International Contest in Polish-Ukrainian History,1st Place [Nomination for the Best BA Thesis], Embassy of Poland in Kyiv (Poland-Ukraine, 2016).



Harding Distinguished Postgraduate Scholarship, (University of Cambridge, United Kingdom, 2021-2024).

Academic Scholarship of the Polish National Agency for Academic Exchange for the Faculty of “Artes Liberales” (University of Warsaw, Poland, 2019).

Scholarship of the Institute of Eastern Christian Studies: Building Academic Networks (Radboud University Nijmegen, Netherlands, 2019).

Scholarship Program of the Government of the Republic of Poland for Young Academicians (Poland, 2018-2019).

Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Development Cooperation Scholarship for the International Summer University Programs (Estonia, 2017).

Scholarship of the Foundation of Gregory and Rosalia Smolarchuks for the Best Term Paper on the History of Ukraine (Canada, 2016).

Grant of the Foundation of Dioniza and Mykola Nenadkevychs for the Best Term Paper on the History of Ukraine (USA, 2015).



Fellowship in Early Modern Urban History, University of Warsaw, Faculty of “Artes Liberales” (Poland, December 2019).

Internship in Early Modern Religious History, Radboud University Nijmegen, Institute of Eastern Christian Studies (Netherlands, May-June 2019).

Fellowship in Early Modern Social History, University of Warsaw, Institute of History, Department of Early Modern History (Poland, September 2018 – June 2019).

Jewish Studies Internship for the Advanced Students and Junior Faculty, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, International Center for University Teaching of Jewish Civilization (Israel, August 2018).

Certificate Program “History of Diplomacy,” National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, Department of History (Ukraine, September 2012 – June 2016).



National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy [Kyiv, Ukraine]

“History of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth,” Undergraduate Level, 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 academic years [in cooperation with Dr Tetiana Grygorieva];

“History of Ukrainian Culture,” Undergraduate Level, 2019-2020 academic year [in cooperation with Prof Larysa Dovha].


Conference Papers

“‘Bibliothecam lustrauit’: Why Apostolic Nuncio Francesco Martelli (1633-1717) Visited the Zamoyski Academy Library in 1678?” The Kyiv Church Metropolia searching for its identity in the 16th – 18th centuries, Munich, Germany, November 5-6, 2021.  

“Confessionalizing the Eastern European Roman Catholic Borderland: Educational Project of Collegium of Olyka (1630-1640s),” 11th History of Education Doctoral Summer School, Lyon, France, June 4, 2021.

“The Making of a Global Libraries in Early Modern Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth,” Slavonic Studies Graduate Symposium, Cambridge, UK, April 30, 2021.

“Why Do We ‘Inventory’ Reality? The Zamoyski Academy Library in the 17th century,” Fitzwilliam College Postgraduate Talks, Cambridge, UK, April 24, 2021.

“Urbanization of the Ukrainian Borderland in the mid-17th Century (Private Cities Perspective),” Research Seminar of the Institute of Eastern Christian Studies, Nijmegen, Netherlands, June 4, 2019.

“Circulation of Books in the Eastern Europe in the 16-17th Centuries (case of the Zamoyski Academy Library),” Methodological Seminar for Graduate and Postgraduate Students, Warsaw, Poland, May 14, 2019.

“Student Metrics of the Early Modern European Universities: Theory and Practice (Case Study of the University of Basel),” Methodological Seminar for Graduate and Postgraduate Students, Warsaw, Poland, December 4, 2018.

“Position of the Professors of the Collegium of Olyka in the City Society: Social Topography,” International Conference “Exploring the Past: Methodological Renovations of the Ukrainian Historiography,” Kyiv, Ukraine, April 20-21, 2017.

“Collegium of Olyka in the 1630s: Echo of the Roman Catholic Educational Reforms in the Territory of Volhynian Province,” International Conference “Phenomenon of Multiculturalism in the History of Ukraine and Poland,” Kharkiv, Ukraine, October 18-19, 2016.

“Corporate Identities of Professors of the Zamoyski Academy in the Second Half of the 17th century,” International Conference “Ukraine, Rus in the Modern Era. Institutions and Elites,” Cracow, Poland, November 18-20, 2015.

“Age Structure of Academic Careers of Professors in the Zamoyski Academy (1655-1672),” 8th International Conference “Local Communities in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in the 16-18th Centuries,” Cracow, Poland, November 16-18, 2015.

“’University’ as a Model of Higher Studies: Zamoyski Academy and the Kyiv-Mohyla Collegium,” International Jubilee Conference “Ad fontes”, devoted to the 400-Anniversary of the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, Kyiv, Ukraine, October 12-14, 2015.



Stepan Blinder, “‘Academy’-‘Seminary’-‘College’: An Identification of the School of Olyka by the Contemporaries (1630-1670’s),” Polish Studies 13 (2021): 69-87. [second edition in the 2017 article in the collective volume, in Ukrainian].

Stepan Blinder, “The Coexistence of Jews and Christians in the Private Cities of Volynia in the Second Half of 17th Century (on the example of the 1686 Year’s Ordination to the Jewish Quahal of the Olyka town),” Judaica Ukrainica 8 (2019) (forthcoming) [in Ukrainian].

Stepan Blinder, “‘Academy’-‘Seminary’-‘College’: An Identification of the School of Olyka by the Contemporaries (1630-1670’s),” Polish Studies 10 (2017): 28-51. [in Ukrainian].

Stepan Blinder, “Franciszek Xavery Zajerski – the Founder of the College of Olyka,” in Phenomenon of Multiculturalism in the History of Ukraine and Poland, ed. by Serhii Seriiakov (Kharkiv, 2016), 122-129. [in Ukrainian].

Stepan Blinder, “In Search of a Partner of How the School of Olyka Became a Branch of Zamoyski Academy,” Kyivan Academy 13 (2016): 88-108. [in Ukrainian].

Stepan Blinder, “The Visitation of the Collegium of Olyka Dated by 1658 (According to the Records in Basil Rudomych’s Diary,” Magisterium. Historical Studies 54 (2015): 21-25. [in Ukrainian].


Edited Books

Natalia Yakovenko, Stepan Blinder, eds., Docendo discimus: We Learn by Teaching (Methodology of New Directions in Historical Knowledge and its Implementation into the Educational Practices: on the Occasion of the 25th Anniversary of the Department of History of NaUKMA) (Kyiv: Dukh i Litera, 2020). [in Ukrainian]


Other activities and roles

Founder and chair of the Methodological Workshop in East-Central European History.


Personal website: