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Slavisches Seminar

Roman Horbyk

Roman Horbyk, Dr.

  • Lecturer Medienwissenschaft
PLG 1 108

Roman Horbyk is known for his work in media, language, politics, and modern history. He worked as postdoctoral researcher at Södertörn University and Umeå University after defending two dissertations, on illustrated press in the 1920s Weimar Republic and Soviet Ukraine (Kyiv National Taras Shevchenko University, 2015) and on media power in representations of Europe in Ukraine, Russia and Poland during Euromaidan (Södertörn University, 2017); the latter was shortlisted for the best Swedish dissertation in media studies award. He has also been a Senior Lecturer at Örebro University and an URIS Fellow at the University of Basel, among other academic affiliations he has held in recent years.

Dr Horbyk’s studies are interdisciplinary and focus on various aspects of postcolonial and mediatization theories, sociolinguistics, history of representations and ideas. Roman has also extensively worked as journalist, publishing articles in Ukraine, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, and Brazil. He is active as playwright and screenwriter whose most notable credits include Pryputni (2017). Recent notable contributions by Dr Horbyk include works on fake news and viral disinformation as a genre, the history and techniques of Soviet and Russian propaganda and disinformation, public diplomacy and nation branding during the Russo-Ukrainian War, and military communication. One of his most important projects focused on the use of mobile phones by Ukrainian soldiers and civilians in war. A study based on it received the Top Paper award at International Communication Association’s annual conference in Paris, 2022.


2020-2021 Train the Trainer (1, 2, 3) programme for teachers of journalism, Deutsche Welle Akademie (Bonn/online)
2017 PhD in Media and Communication Studies (Södertörn University)
2016 Ekran+ filmmaking programme, Wajda Film School (Warsaw)
2015 Candidate of Sciences in History of Journalism (Kyiv National Taras Shevchenko University)
2012 Journalisten International exchange (Internationales Journalisten-Kolleg, Freie Universität Berlin)
2012 MA in Journalism and Media within Globalisation (Aarhus University/University of Hamburg; programme also included University of Amsterdam and UC Berkeley)
2008 MA in Journalism (Kyiv National Taras Shevchenko University)
2006 BA in Journalism (Kyiv National Taras Shevchenko University)

Professional experience (selected)

2024-present Research Lecturer (University of Zurich)
Spring 2024 URIS Fellow (University of Basel)
2022-2023 Senior Lecturer [vikarierande universitetslektor] (Örebro University)
2020-2022 Postdoctoral Researcher (Södertörn University, Stockholm)
2020-present Trainer (Journalism Teachers’ Academy by Deutsche Welle Akademie/Ukrainian Media and Communication Institute)
2018-2020 Postdoctoral Researcher (Umeå University, Umeå)
2018-2020 Senior Lecturer [visstidsanställd lektor] (Södertörn University, Stockholm)
2017 Junior Lecturer [visstidsanställd adjunkt] (Södertörn University, Stockholm)
2012-2017 PhD student/project researcher in "Narratives of Europe" project (Södertörn University, Stockholm)
2011-2012 Analyst, Institute of World Policy (Kyiv)
2012 Intern, autorenwerk TV production (Berlin)
2011 Intern, Deutsche Welle (Bonn)
2008-2009 Foreign reporter, National Broadcasting Company of Ukraine (Kyiv)
2008-2009 Teaching assistant, Institute of Journalism (Kyiv)
2007-2008 Coordinator, World Movement for Democracy (Washington DC/Kyiv)
2007 Arts reporter, Gazeta.24 daily newspaper (Kyiv)
2005-2007 Analyst, NGO Europe XXI (Kyiv)
2004-2007 Journalist, (Kyiv)
2003 Intern, RFE/RL (Kyiv)

Academic publications and merits (selected)


Horbyk, R. (2017). Mediated Europes: Discourse and Power in Ukraine, Russia and Poland During Euromaidan. Huddinge: Södertörn University (Södertörn Doctoral Dissertations 149).


  • Boyko, K. & Horbyk, R. (2023). Swarm Communication in a Totalizing War: Media Infrastructures, Actors and Practices in Ukraine during the 2022 Russian Invasion. In: Mortensen, M. & Pantti, M. (eds). Media and the War in Ukraine. New York: Peter Lang, 37-56.
  • Horbyk, R. (2023). The territory resists the map. In: Palko, O. & Férez Gil, M. (eds). Ukraine’s Many Faces: Land, People and Culture Revisited. Bielefeld: Transcript, 365-372.
  • Horbyk, R. (2023). Mediatisation of war and the military: Current state, trends, and challenges in the field. In: Bolin, G. & Kopecka-Piech, K. (eds). Contemporary Challenges in Mediatization Research. London: Routledge, 111-128.
  • Horbyk, R., Prymachenko, Ya. & Yurchuk, Yu. (2022). Mediatization of history: Introducing the concept and key cases from Eastern and Central Europe. In: Minakov, M. (ed.). Inventing Majorities: Ideological Creativity in Post-Soviet Societies. Stuttgart: Ibidem Verlag (Series Soviet and Post-Soviet Politics and Society (SPPS) Vol. 239.)
  • Horbyk, R. (2021). A queen of hearts: Towards the conceptual history of "Europe" in Ukraine, 1591–2014. In: Tupakhina, O., Siriniok-Dolgariova, K. & Makhachashvili, R. (eds). European Values in Ukrainian Education: Challenges and Frontiers. Lviv/Toruń: Liha-Pres, 7–30.
  • Horbyk, R. (2020). Road to the stadium. Televised election debates and "non-debates" in Ukraine: Between spectacle and democratic instrument. In: Juàrez Gàmiz, J., Holtz-Bacha, C. & Schroeder, A. (eds). Routledge International Handbook on Electoral Debates. London/NY: Routledge, 157–165.
  • Horbyk, R. (2017). Narratives at war: Representations of Europe in news media of Ukraine, Russia and Poland during Euromaidan. In: Fornäs, J. (ed.). Europe Faces Europe: Narratives from Its Eastern Half. Bristol: Intellect, 93–132.

Peer-reviewed articles (selected)

  • Horbyk, R., Prymachenko, Ya. & Orlova, D. (2023). The transformation of propaganda: The continuities and discontinuities of information operations, from Soviet to Russian active measures. Nordic Journal of Media Studies, 5(1), 68–94.
  • Horbyk, R. & Orlova, D. (2023). Transmedia storytelling and memetic warfare: Ukraine’s wartime public diplomacy. Place Branding & Public Diplomacy, 19, 228–231
  • Horbyk, R. (2022). "The War Phone": Mobile Communication on the Frontline in Eastern Ukraine. Digital War, online first,
  • Boyko, K. & Horbyk, R. (2022). A Medium Is Born: Participatory Media and the Rise of Clubhouse in Russia and Ukraine During the Covid-19 Pandemic. Baltic Screen Media Review, 10(1), 8–28.
  • Horbyk, R., Löfgren, I., Prymachenko, Ya. & Soriano, C. (2021). Fake news as meta-mimesis: Imitative genres and storytelling in the Philippines, Brazil, Russia and Ukraine. Popular Inquiry, 2(8), 15–39.
  • Horbyk, R., Prymachenko, Ya. & Yurchuk, Yu. (2019). Shared history in shattered spaces: Mediatisation of historical scholarship in Ukraine and broader Eastern Europe. The Ideology and Politics Journal, 3(14), 129–146.
  • Horbyk, R. (2019). In pursuit of Kairos: Ukrainian journalists between agency and structure during Euromaidan. Baltic Worlds, 12(1), 4–19.
  • Horbyk, R. (2018). Discourses on Languages and Identities in Readers' Comments in Ukrainian Online News Media: An Ethnolinguistic Identity Theory Perspective. East/West: Journal of Ukrainian Studies, 5(2), 9–35.
  • Horbyk, R., & Palko, O. (2017). Righting the Writing. The Power Dynamic of Soviet Ukraine Language Policies and Reforms in the 1920s-1930s. Studi Slavistici, 14(1), 67–89.
  • Horbyk, R. (2016). Ideologies of the Self: Constructing the Modern Ukrainian Subject in the Other’s Modernity. Kyiv-Mohyla Humanities Journal, (3), 89–103.
  • Horbyk, R. (2014). From "UkrainEUkraine" to "F** k the EU": Europe in the Public Spheres of Ukraine, Russia and Poland during EuroMaidan. Social, Health, and Communication Studies Journal, 1(1), 62–79.
  • Horbyk, R. (2013). Paper Empires. Orientalism in the Mediated Portrayals of India and Ukraine: A Case Study of British and Russian Press. East/West: The Scholarly Journal for History and Culture, 16, 203–222.

Other academic articles

  • Horbyk, R. (2023). Towards Post-Russian Studies: Decolonizing Imperial Knowledge in Western Academia. Ukrainian Analytical Digest, No 002 (October 2023), 18-19. DOI: 10.3929/ethz-b-000637349,
  • Horbyk, R. (2021). Mobile Phone: Connecting Soldiers? Baltic Rom Economies 2/2021. Available from:
  • Horbyk, R. (2019). Transmedia Storytelling Ushers in New Populism in Ukraine. Baltic Rim Economies 4/2019. Available from:
  • Horbyk, R. (2019). Media Maketh Ze President. Baltic Worlds, 2 May 2019. Available from:
  • Horbyk, R. (2014). Games from the Past: The Continuity and Change of the Identity Dynamic in Donbas from a Historical Perspective. Baltic Worlds, 19 May 2014. Available from:
  • Horbyk, R. (2014). Sociolinhvistyčna sytuacija na storinkax ukrajinśkoji ta nimećkoji rozvažaľnoji presy druhoji polovyny 20-x rr. XX st. [The sociolinguistic situation in the Ukrainian and German entertaining press in the late 1920s]. Masova komunikacija, 3(3): 89–94.
  • Horbyk, R. (2013). Movna sytuacija na storinkax ukrajinśkoji rozvažaľnoji presy druhoji polovyny 20-x rr. XX st. [Language situation in the Ukrainian entertaining press in the late 1920s]. Styl i tekst, 14: 26–37.
  • Horbyk, R. (2013). Masky identyčnostej: sociolinhvistyčni aspekty ukrajinizaciji na špaľtax rozvažaľnoji presy kinća 20-x rr. XX st. [The Masks of Identities: the Sociolinguistic Aspects of Ukrainianization in the Coverage of Entertaining Press in the Late 1920s]. Deržava ta rehiony, 1 (32): 87–96.
  • Horbyk, R. (2012). Metodolohija v istoriї žurnalistyky: možlyvosti kompleksnoho pidxodu [Methodology in the history of journalism: Perspectives of a complex approach]. Žurnalistyka, 11(36): 5–13.
  • Horbyk, R. (2007). Komunikatyvna stratehija poxybky u movnij praktyci mereževyx spil’not [Errorism as a Communicative Strategy in the Parole of Web Communities]. Styl i tekst, 8: 149–153
  • Horbyk, R. (2007). "Universalnyj žurnal" jak javyšče hedonistyčnoji žurnalistyky: mifolohični sjužety ["Universal'nyi Zhurnal" (1928–1929) as a hedonist journalism phenomenon: Mythological sujets]. Naukovi zapysky Instytutu žurnalistyky, 26: 141–145.
  • Horbyk, R. (2005). Osoblyvosti kompozycijnoji struktury "Opovidań pro Majkla Parkera" Majka Johansena [Peculiarities of the Composition Structure in "The Stories about Michael Parker" by Mike Johansen]. Styl i tekst, 6: 174–179.

Media review

Horbyk, R. (2015). Little Patriotic War: Nationalist Narratives in the Russian Media Coverage of the Ukraine‐Russia Crisis. Asian Politics & Policy, 7(3), 505-511.

Book reviews

  • Shkandrij, M. Ukrainian Nationalism: Politics, Ideology, and Literature, 1929-1956. East/West, 2019
  • Dyczok, M. Ukraine's Euromaidan: Broadcasting Through Information Wars with Hromadske Radio. East/West, 2017
  • Colby, H. & R. Pukhov. Brothers Armed: Military Aspects of the Crisis in Ukraine, Europe-Asia Studies, 2017 (co-authored with Glen Grant and Olena Podolian)
  • Bachmann, V. & M. Mueller. Perceptions of the EU in Eastern Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa: Looking in from the Outside, Europe-Asia Studies, 2016
  • Cybriwsky, R. Kyiv, Ukraine. The City of Domes and Demons from the Collapse of Socialism to the Mass Uprising of 2013–2014, Europe-Asia Studies, 2016

Interviews (selected)

Conference presentations (last 5 years; selected)

Conference/Location Paper title Year
10 Years of Occupation of Crimea: Consequences (Université de Lausanne)
Strategic narratives and historical contexts of the 2014 Russian annexation of Crimea 2024
55th Annual ASEEES Convention (Philadelphia) Between Infrastructural Solidarity and Algorithmic Imperialism: Ukraine and the 'Big Tech' Empires 2023
55th Annual ASEEES Convention (Philadelphia) Resistance beyond the Frontlines: Reflections on Decolonization of Ukrainian Scholarly, Literary, and Media Discourse (roundtable member) 2023
CBEES Annual Conference  (Stockholm) Towards the Concept of Swarm Communication in Post-Invasion Ukrainian Mediascape (co-authored with Kateryna Boyko) 2023
Aleksanteri Conference "Decolonizing space in the Global East: Legal Choices, Political Transformations, Carceral Practices" (Aleksanteri Institute, Helsinki University) Between Algorithmic Imperialism and Forced Countermediatization:
Ukrainian Resistance from the Technological Perspective
7th Annual Conference of International Place Branding Association (IPBA): "Place Branding in Times of Crisis and Uncertainty" (Lund University, Campus Helsingborg) From meme brand to storyline warfare: The "Russian Warship" and Ukraine’s weaponized nation branding 2023
Digital Wars: Media and Technologies during the War in Ukraine (Europa-Universität Flensburg)

Swarm in Flux: The Limits of Smartphone-Mediated Participatory Warfare in Ukraine


NordMedia 2023: Technological Takeover? Social and Cultural Implications – Promises and Pitfalls (Bergen) The Unexpected Weapon: Hybridization of Civilian and Military Mobile Phone Use in the Russo-Ukrainian War 2023
NordMedia 2023: Technological Takeover? Social and Cultural Implications – Promises and Pitfalls (Bergen) Storyline Warfare in Nation Branding: The Case of the Russian Warship (co-authored with Kateryna Boyko) 2023
ICA Annual Conference (Toronto) The Scopic Regimes of the Russo-Ukrainian War: From Infrastructural Affordances to Strategic Narratives 2023
ICA Annual Conference (Toronto) Mediatized Battlefield versus Forced Counter-Mediatization: Towards the New Doctrine of Mobile Communication Warfare 2023
ASN Annual Convention (Columbia University) Ukraine's Mediatized Battlefield and the New Doctrine of Mobile Communication Warfare 2023
The International Multidisciplinary Conference "Main Challenges and Issues of University Education in War Conditions: Ukraine – 2022" (University of Manitoba/Zoom)

Time to Redraw the Map: Ukrainian Scholarship and "Post-Sovietology" After 2022


BASEES Annual Conference (Glasgow University) Visual Regimes of the Russo-Ukrainian War: From "The Soldiering Self" to Arrested War, and Beyond 2023
CBEES Annual Conference (Södertörn University) Roundtable "Being a scholar of "area studies" in the (Western) academia: Challenges, hopes and visions for the future" 2022
CBEES Annual Conference (Södertörn University) The charms of hyperreality: Simulating Ukraine in Russia and the West 2022
9th ECREA European Communication Conference: "Rethink Impact" (Aarhus University) Weaponized media vs. mediatized weapons: mobile communication on the frontline in eastern Ukraine 2022
Danyliw Research seminar on contemporary Ukraine: "Ukraine at War" (University of Ottawa) The Unexpected Weapon: Hybridisation of Civilian and Military Mobile Phone Use in the Russo-Ukrainian War 2022
IAMCR Annual Conference "Communication Research in the Era of Neo-Globalisation: Reorientations, Challenges and Changing Contexts" (Zoom/Beijing) The Unexpected Weapon: Hybridization of Civilian and Military Mobile Phone Use in the Russo-Ukrainian War 2022
ICA Annual Conference (Paris) Hybrid War, Hybrid Peace: Mobile Communication at the East Ukrainian Frontline (awarded Top Paper in Mobile Communication division) 2022
Resistance: a panel in a webinar series (Zoom/University of Melbourne) The Territory Resists the Map 2022
BASEES Annual Conference (Cambridge University) The Kalashnikovs of the Information War: Mobile Phones and Communication Rules of the Eastern Ukrainian Frontline 2022
Media Breakdown and Recovery: An International Symposium (Lund University) "Fake News" as a Genre and Meta-Mimesis: The Breakdown of Modernist Journalism 2022
ASEEES 53rd Annual Convention (Zoom/News Orleans) Home and War in the Pocket: The Use of Mobile Communication Technology on the Frontline in Eastern Ukraine 2021
Academic Forum "Revolution of Dignity: Towards History. New Media and Revolutions of the New Type in Ukraine and Around the World" (Zoom/National Euromaidan Museum)

Maidan as a Hybrid Agora: New Social Movements and the Curse of Space


8th ECREA European Communication Conference: "Communication and trust: building safe, sustainable and promising futures" (Zoom) Connecting soldiers: Mediatization of warfare, media ecologies and media materialities on the East Ukrainian frontline 2021
NordMedia 2021: Crisis and Resilience: Nordic Media Research on the Frontline (Zoom/Reykjavik) Mobile lives and deaths: Communication on the mediatized frontline in Eastern Ukraine 2021
ICCEES X World Congress (Zoom/Montreal) Connecting Soldiers: Technical Infrastructures and Media Use at the Frontline in Eastern Ukraine 2021
"Human Rights In The Digital Dimension: The Pandemic, Electoral and Judicial Processes, National Security, and Freedom of Speech on the Internet" (Zoom (American Bar Association, with partners)) How the Development of Artificial Intelligence Affects National (Informational) Security and Human Rights (roundtable speaker) 2021

Soviet 'I' and Soviet 'We' Between Ideology and Reality (Zoom (National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies,

The Earth Will Stand Still: Madness as Political Discourse in the Soviet Ukraine in the 1920s 2021
European Values in Ukrainian Education: Challenges and Perspectives (Zoom (Zaporizhzhia National University)) A Queen of Hearts: Towards the Conceptual History of "Europe" in Ukraine, 1591—2014 2021
Migrant Belongings: Digital Practices and the Everyday (Zoom (Utrecht University)) Saving sergeant Markiv: Information war and mediated self-mobilization of Ukrainian diasporas 2021
ICA Annual Conference (Zoom) Digital networks against "fake news": Fact-checking in Ukraine as media practice 2020
ASEEES Annual Conference (Zoom) In Search of Paradise Lost: Mediated Representations of History in Poland and Belarus 2020
ASEEES Annual Conference (San Francisco) From viral lore to Trojan media: Narrative structures in "fake news" around Russo-Ukrainian war 2019
"Fake News Cultures: The Contexts of Viral Disinformation Across East and West" (Umeå University) The true story of fake news: A morphological approach to false news stories and their narratives 2019
"Ukrainian Revolution and the Long 1920s: The Making and Unmaking of Modern Ukraine, 1917–1930" (Sördertörn University) Did Ukrainisation really happen? Reassessing the scope of "affirmative action" 2019
ICA Annual Conference (Washington, DC) Disinformation by another name? Fake news as a concept for our time 2019

External grants

  • Riksbankens Jubileumsfond Project 2022 (Bank of Sweden Tercentenary Foundation, 2023-2026) – 414,000 USD
  • Baltic Sea Foundation postdoctoral project grant (2020-2022) – 200,000 USD
  • Visby programme for postdoctoral scholars (Swedish Institute, 2019) – 20,000 USD
  • Creative Force grant for establishing collaboration between Umeå University and Ukrainian Catholic University (Swedish Institute, 2019) – 12,000 USD
  • Research initiation grant for organising a conference and two workshops on fake news at Umeå University (Bank of Sweden Tercentenary Foundation, 2019) – 12,000 USD


as a project leader:

  • "Mediatisation of propaganda: From papers to bots" (2023-2026)
  • "Connecting soldiers: Media ecologies and materialities at the East Ukrainian frontline" (2020-2022)
  • "Connect the dots: Genre, narrative and conspiratorial lore in false news stories" (2018-2020)

as a researcher:

  • "Narratives of Europe" (project leader Johan Fornäs, 2012-2016)

Event organiser

  • Winter school "Free Speech for Free Elections: Social Media, Cyber-security and Fake News in Ukraine" (Ukrainian Catholic University in collaboration with Umeå University and Swedish Institute, 10–11 December 2020, chief organiser)
  • Workshop "Fake News and Propaganda 2: Historical and Computational Approaches" (Umeå University, 25 February 2020, sole organiser)
  • Workshop "Fake News and Propaganda 1: Historical and Computational Approaches" (Umeå University, 4 February 2020, sole organiser)
  • International conference "Fake News Cultures: The Contexts of Viral Disinformation Across East and West" (Umeå University, 10–11 October 2019, sole organiser)
  • Workshops "Media Literacy in Sweden and Ukraine" (Centre for Baltic and East European Studies (CBEES), Södertörn University, 4 October and 4 December 2019, co-organiser)
  • International conference "Ukrainian Revolution and the Long 1920s: The Making and Unmaking of Modern Ukraine, 1917–1930" (Centre for Baltic and East European Studies (CBEES), Södertörn University, 24 September 2019, chief organiser)
  • Roundtable "Revolutions and Their Aftermath: A year After Euromaidan", Centre for Baltic and East European Studies (CBEES), Södertörn University, 27 March 2015, co-organiser)
  • Coordinator for research seminars, Södertörn University (2015–2016)

Guest lecturer

  • Uppsala University – 2022–present
  • Ukrainian Catholic University (Lviv) – 2019, 2022
  • Högskolan i Gävle – 2022
  • Mohyla School of Journalism, Kyiv-Mohyla Academy (Kyiv) – 2019

Teaching experience

Ca. 4,900 hours (2013-2024)

  • Supervision and grading of BA theses (C-uppsats): ca. 52 students (in Swedish, at Södertörn University, Umeå University, Örebro University)
  • Supervision and grading of MA theses: 16 students (in English and Swedish, at Södertörn University, Umeå University, and Uppsala University)
  • Supervision and grading of course papers (B-uppsats): 150+ students (in English and Swedish, at Södertörn University, Umeå University, and Örebro University)
  • Internship supervision: 15 students (1 semester, in Swedish)
  • Course administration: course in Media, Culture & Society 1 during 5 semesters; course in Nation and Place Branding during 2 semesters, course in Strategic Communication during 2 semesters, course in PR and Applied Communication, course in PR and Strategic Communication, course in Political Communication during 1 semester each
  • Examples of courses with intensive teaching contribution: Strategic Communication, Science and Knowledge, PR & Applied Communication, Media Production, Political Communication, Media, Culture & Society
  • Co-creator of a course "From Post-Soviet to Post-Truth: East European Media Systems in a Comparative Context", the first course on post-Soviet media in Sweden

Public duties (selected)

  • Chair of ECREA Mediatisation Section (2022-present)
  • Chair of ECREA Ukraine Task Force (2022–present)
  • Section Programme Chair at ECC (2023–resent)
  • Director and Co-Founder of Nordic Ukrainian Film Festival (Stockholm, 2015–2016)
  • Coordinator of Ukraine Research Group at Södertörn University (2014–2015)

Awards and other achievements (selected)

  • ICA Top Paper Award in Mobile Communication (2022)
  • Swedish Media and Communication Studies Association (FSMK) best doctoral dissertation in Media and Communication Studies award (shortlisted, 2019)

  • Screenwriter: "Pryputni" ("Strayed", 2017, Ukraine), prizes at festivals in Ukraine and Bulgaria; 11 nominations at Golden Dziga 2018 (Ukrainian national film prize), best supporting actress win

  • Playwright: "Tsentr" ("Centre", 2014, New Ukrainian Theatre, Kyiv), prizes at festivals in Kyiv and Lviv