The field of Ukrainian Studies is dogged by an epistemological problem. Like nature, knowledge should abhor a vacuum. Academic research should gravitate toward big, unknown, complex things. But if the recent crisis has made anything clear, it is that Ukraine remains Europe’s terra malecognita: large, diverse, understudied, badly understood. At times I illustrate the problem to my students by way of an interdisciplinary analogy: imagine a physicist in 1991 who discovers in her laboratory a new particle, the largest of its kind in a particular system.