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ИГИТИ провел секцию на международной конференции в Вашингтоне

17-20 ноября в Вашингтоне состоялся 43 Съезд Ассоциации исследований по славистике и изучению евразийского пространства (Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies). 18 ноября ИГИТИ им. А.В.Полетаева провел на этом представительном международном форуме секцию "От советника к эксперту. Гуманитарий как инстанция власти/авторитета в российской истории Нового времени". С докладами выступили И.М.Савельева, А.Н.Дмитриев и Б.Е.Степанов. Председатель секции — проф. Сьюзан Гросс Соломон (Университет Торонто, Канада), дискутант — проф. Михаил Долбилов (Университет Мэриленда, США).

17-20 ноября в Вашингтоне состоялся 43 Съезд Ассоциации исследований по славистике и изучению евразийского пространства (Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies). 18 ноября ИГИТИ им. А.В.Полетаева провел на этом представительном международном форуме секцию "От советника к эксперту. Гуманитарий как инстанция власти/авторитета в российской истории Нового времени". С докладами выступили И.М.Савельева, А.Н.Дмитриев и Б.Е.Степанов. Председатель секции — проф. Сьюзан Гросс Соломон (Университет Торонто, Канада), дискутант — проф. Михаил Долбилов (Университет Мэриленда, США).

Предлагаем Вашему вниманию концепцию секции и аннотации докладов на английском языке (см. также программу конференции).

 

The evolution of the humanities in Russia has traditionally been seen as reflecting the general dynamics of the country’s cultural life, with its leading role of political factors and circumstances (the censorship, dominating ideological trends, the goal of legitimization of the effective authorities, etc.). Today this familiar perspective appears rather one-sided or, at least, incomplete. The world of knowledge on people and society cannot be taken as a mere reflection, or be limited to the function of a mirror of social or cultural and ideological projects. On the contrary, throughout the 20th century the European and American history as well as Russian history saw scholars themselves (including those specializing in social science) and their set of notions become important components, or even factors, in the general social macroprocesses. This process of transformation began as early as the political and social collapse of the 1910-20s – the growing role of ideology increased the authority and significance of knowledge (including the rational and scientific knowledge), even with the emphasis on the legitimizing and technical aspects of intellectual development. For example, the political authorities in the Soviet society did not only oppose the bearers of the scholarly and scientific knowledge, but also used the results of their work, and partly incorporated these specialists into their own institutions (especially since the 1960s). The role of the “people of knowledge” was changing accordingly – from the subordinate specialists on the issues of cultural heritage and keepers of prestige of the dynasty/empire/nation in the 19th century to becoming part of the general team of architects and constructors of the new social order in the transitory post-communist society by the end of the 20th century.

 

 

Irina Savelieva

New Challenges to History in the Modern Russia

 

History has important functions, being together with philosophy, a foundation of humanitarian knowledge. It is generally accepted that historical knowledge provides a transfer of moral and spiritual values as well as an orientation in social time and space. That’s why political authorities, as well as the broader society are interested in the transfer of historical knowledge to the masses in order to perform social functions of history and demand special principles and values to be represented in historical discourse. Historians’ primary interest is in the production of scientific knowledge; nevertheless they have to react to social expectations to a greater or lesser degree.

 Over the course of the last 30 years historians everywhere met a variety of outside challenges. The public interest to the problems of historical consciousness, historical memory, minority rights and related areas, attracted representatives of different social sciences as well as professionals that previously were not involved with writing history: producers of media, government officials, members of the so called new social groups – to numerous discussions on the state and mission of history.

 The special point of my thesis is to identify the format of the new challenges to history in the modern Russia where additional influences came from the two parallel processes: radical transformation of the Russian society and active reception of achievements of the historical science of the XXth century by the Russian historians. This context of transitional period predetermined transitional character of Russian historiography.

 It is proposed to analyze Russian historians’ responses to the recent public challenges in the following areas:

  • The civil society: in political system and historical research;

  • New nationalism and historical policy;

  • Historical memory and oral history;

  • Public historian and history in mass media;

  • Lessons of history (historical education).

All enumerated concepts and practices of dealing with history emerged outside the discipline. Some historians accepted the situation with alacrity, some opposed that public intervention. My point is that public challenges gave an impetus to the progress of our profession when historians’ responses were asymmetrical. As a result of series of asymmetrical responses, historical science diversified its objective, brought forward new methodological questions and sometimes found ingenious answers.


 

 

 

Alexander Dmitriev

Soviet Humanities as Big Science (Legitimization of Power and the Prospects of Autonomization)

 

Whereas the evolution of the Soviet natural science has already been considered in the works of researchers in the light of comparative studies, in parallel with the development of these disciplines in the West (Paul Josephson. Laurent Graham, Alexej Kozevnikov), the humanities are usually approached from the ‘totalitarian’ perspective. Apparently, the Soviet social science (obshestvoznanie) was too closely connected with the issues of ideological support for the authorities, while the new critical approach towards development of the social science in the West (or, for example, American Sovietology) also demonstrates social partiality and ideological message of any large-scale research project in social science.  “Revisionism” as applied to the Soviet humanities does not mean showing their alleged “normality’. It is essential to see similarity between their functional characteristic features and those of the mainstream development in world science on the humanity in the 20th century. It is noteworthy that the “red” social science of the 1920s (along the lines of the Communist Academy), over-engaged in utopian expectations and utilitarianism, was found inappropriate by the Stalin regime. It was as early as mid-1930s that the new cultural policy called for the traditional humanitarian studies. I am going to show the main elements of the ‘pact’ of the Soviet scholars with the state: providing the knowledge on the national issue, expertise of social and economic problems (increasing labor productivity, village’s lagging behind the city), the issue of international status and support for the state interest (the role of historians in the Russo-Polish Committees of the early 1920s or in the plans of the future arrangement of Europe in 1942-1945).

 

 

Boris Stepanov

  “Eurasia” as an Object of Ideological Criticism and Intellectual History in the Post-Soviet Humanities

 The main objective of the paper is to describe different strategies of identifying “Eurasia” and ways of constructing the historical contexts and the actual meaning of  “Eurasianism” in the Post-Soviet humanities. In the definition of historical and political horizon of the scholarly discourse we follow the works of Claude Lefort and Francois Artog. First of all, the difference of the social and political contexts – between the   Eurasianism of the 1920s – 1930s and the Eurasianism of the 1990s – 2000s is to be taken into  consideration. Political context of the contemporary Eurasianism grows not only from the activities of Post-Soviet elites (for example, in Kazahstan, Tatarstan etc) and political movements, such as A.Dugin’s “Eurasian movement”, but – more fundamentally – from inclusion of some of Eurasian topoi in the “intellectual doxa” (P.Bourdieu), which is used also by conservative and liberal thinkers. This “doxa” is reproduced by many educational and cultural institutions and also by mass media, and supports the isolationist orientations in Russian mass culture. Social mechanisms and intellectual forms of this way of identification were analyzed in the works of  Lev Gudkov, Boris Dubin, Galina Zvereva, Victor Shnirelman, Yutta Sherrer etc. There are critical analyses, which give a diagnosis of Eurasian topoi as unequivocal and simply negative, as well as academic reconstructions, which use  Eurasinism as a unified and systematic concept.  Today these strategies do not seem to be effective in resistance and deconstruction of the “intellectual doxa”. In our analysis of the latest works on “Eurasia” and “Eurasinism” we are looking for discursive strategies, which are neither to reproduce doxa’s common places, nor to lock Eurasinism in an “intellectual ghetto”. Eхamples of these strategies are based on a different form of interrelation between the construction of the research subject, self-positioning of a researcher among the disciplines and his or her implicit political orientation. We can find such examples in the works of Patrick Seríot and Mark von Hagen, and also in some works of Russian authors. Through the comparison of their styles of reflection we try to find out significance of “modernization” as an analytic frame and also as a basis for realization of the critical function of the humanities.