From May 20 to May 22, the Higher School of Social Sciences, Humanities and International Communication hosted the participants of the 3rd All-Russian Interdisciplinary Youth Congress "Issues of Historical Sources Interpretation". The traditions of the congress were started at the Pomor University, when the conference of the same name began to take place.
Students, postgraduates and young scientists from NArFU, NSMU, RSUH, Kuban State University, Perm State University, RTU MIREA, SPbU, Saint Tikhon's Orthodox University of Humanities and MSU presented their reports. They touched upon various past evidences, issues of their interpretation, and their place in the study of specific topics and problems. Despite the inability to come to Arkhangelsk for various reasons, the participants from other cities participated actively in the work of their sections.
The congress began with a plenary talk by Svetlana Mints, Doctor of Historical Sciences, Professor of Kuban State University, on the topic "The Issue of Interpretation in the Source Studies of the Modern and Postmodern Eras". Methodological problems that the researcher faces in the context of theoretical, philosophical and social shifts. Svetlana Mints noted that the purpose of source studies of the Postmodern era is different — to find the core of interpretation and define the border lines of its possible transformations.
The section devoted to historical memory and imagology addressed such issues as images of minorities and their understanding, the Polish question, coverage of the polar aviation, legendary ideas about the relationship between the king and the guards, reflection on dynastic marriages, the memory of the participant of the Great Patriotic War about the war and about the donors of that time, the understanding of the Holocaust by the First Lady of the United States Eleanor Roosevelt.
A separate section was devoted to the place of the historical source in school education. Such issues as visual sources on the topic of the Holocaust, the place of the source in a didactic board game, sources on the history of philosophy in the classroom, and sources on regional history in schools were discussed.
The second day of the Congress ended with a lecture by Igor Danilevsky, Doctor of Historical Sciences, Professor of the Higher School of Economics, dedicated to the issues of historical sources interpretation. It provoked a strong reaction from the audience; the participants of the Congress, first-year students, teachers and researchers of the university asked Igor Danilevsky questions .
The section devoted to sources on regional history touched upon a number of issues. The interpretation of regional historical monuments, diaries, printed publications and lists of personnel of the Arkhangelsk garrison of the 1780s made it possible to reveal such issues as the place of the region in the history of the country, the adaptation and survival of a person in the conditions of social and political upheavals, and the daily life of the military community.
The final section, devoted to sources on intellectual history, addressed such issues as the relationship between ideology and the natural sciences in Sweden at the beginning of the 20th century, propaganda of the Civil War era in the Urals, understanding the socio-economic crisis in Germany in 1923, infrastructure projects of A. Borisov and images of Soviet modernist architecture.
The round table "Kus Za Rus: Does History Needs Memes?" completed the work of the Congress. It touched upon the place of pop culture in the perception of the past by society, historical memory and school education.
We would like to thank all the participants for the interesting reports that provided an opportunity for discussion. We wish everyone success in their scientific work.
We express our gratitude to Svetlana Mints and Igor Danilevsky for their presentations that led to understanding both their research work and the historian craft as a whole.
Special thanks to the heads and moderators of the sections and the staff of the Student Scientific Society of the Higher School of Social Sciences, Humanities and International Communication for organising the event at a high level.
As a result of the event, it is planned to prepare and publish the conference proceedings indexed in the RSCI.
Photo by A. Zueva and A. Bykova