г. Екатеринбург

ул. Тургенева 4

Research Project 'Return to Europe'

The Aim and Scope of the Project

The research project «Return to Europe: Russian elites and European innovations, norms and patterns (18 - beginning of 20th centuries) » was implemented by the collective of Laboratory for Studying Primary Sources of UrFU Institute of Humanities and Arts in 2013 - 2015, with the purpose of comprehensive study and verified social-anthropological reconstruction of the process of adaptation of European innovations among the elites of Imperial Russia (18th - early 20th centuries), both on national and regional levels.

The subjects of research were the social, political and cultural elites of 18th - early 20th centuries Russia, which were studied as the actors and participants of the process of innovations transfer and adaptation. The innovation here is understood as a dynamic process of transition of new ideas, objects, and practices from one social-cultural environment (donor) to another (recipient), which is accompanied by the qualitative change in the recipient environment; additionally, innovation could also be understood as a result of such a process.

Supervising the Research

The research supervision of the project is being conducted by Dr. Marie-Pierre Rey - a prominent specialist in Russian history. Dr. Rey is the author of several important research works, including the award-winning biographical study of Russian Tsar Alexander I, translated into Russian and English languages. She is also a director of Pierre Renouvin Institute of History of International Relations at University Paris-I Pantheon-Sorbone. On the side of Ural Federal University, the project is being supervised by Dr. Dmitry Redin, a specialist in the history of Petrine and post-Petrine Russia and a head of the department of Russian history at UrFU.

The Ural Branch of Russian Academy of Science is represented by Dr. Elena Alekseeva, an author of important research works in theory of diffusion of innovations and technologies transfer, who also coordinated the creation of an electronic database ‘Russia and the West: connections and mutual influence'.

The project's chief administrator is Dr. Julia Zapariy (Ural Federal University).

The Six Research Fields

The research conducted in 2013-2015 resulted in the formulating of the theoretical figurative model of modernization development, which served as a framework for adaptation of innovations within the elite groups of Russian society in 18th - early 20th centuries, and the developing of a practical model of diffusion (the process of transfer and adaptation). Due to implementation of these models, and a method of individualizing harmonization of research paradigm, the reconstruction of the process of adaptation of European innovations was made in 6 major fields of research:

  • Identities and Social - Political Reflection (supervisor - Dr. Konstantin Bugrov) - the field reflects the processes of transfer and adaptation of European social and political thought (including the issues of translations) in the social milieu of Russian administrative / courtier and intellectual elite, 18th - 1st half of 19th centuries.
  • Professional Communities in Science and Education (supervisor - Dr. Sergey Sokolov) - the processes of formation of professional scientific and educational communities in Russia of 2nd half of 18th - 1st half of 19th centuries (including the early colleges, the Moscow University, and the Academy of Sciences) in the field of humanities (history, philology, linguistics), along with the processes of innovation transfer and adaptation within these communities.
  • Secularism and Religion (supervisors - Dr. Irina Pochinskaya and Dr. Alexandr Palkin) - processes of innovation transfer and adaptation in the religious culture of Old Believers communities of Urals and Western Siberia, 18th - early 20th centuries.
  • European Innovations in Everyday Life (supervisor - Dr. Olga Yakhno) - the adaptations of European social and practical innovations (that is, fashion) in the habits or Russian elites (both in the centers and in the peripheral regions) in the 18th - early 20th centuries.
  • Administrative Practices (supervisor - Dr. Dmitry Redin) - processes of transfer and adaptation of European innovations in the field of state governance in Russia of 18th - 1st half of 19th centuries.
  • Technology and Production (supervisor - Dr. Elena Alekseeva) - the processes of adaptation of European innovations in the field of technological policy and production / industrial practices in 18th - early 20th centuries Russia.

The Key Results and Indicators

In 2013-2015, more than 30 research articles were published by the members of research team. Among these, there are articles in journals indexed by Web of Science (3 articles published as of September, 2015, another 4 are to be published in the beginning of 2016), Scopus (4 articles published as of September, 2015, another 2 are to be published in the beginning of 2016), and included into the list of Supreme Attestation Commission of Russian Federation (17 articles in total).

In addition, 7 research monographies were published in the framework of the research, including the chapter in a collective work entitled «Napoléon Bonaparte face à l'Histoire», written by the leading scientist Marie-Pierre Rey as a result of 2013-2015 studies, and the unique study of N.V. Anufrieva and I.V. Pochinskaya «The Illustrated Apocalypses of Urals. The Eastern Orthodox Tradition and the Elements of European Cultural Influence», which contributes to the history of innovation transfer in the religious elites of Russian provincial regions. Moreover, the first Russian scientific translation of «Russian Diary» by P. Pascal, leading French slavist of 20th century and the participant of the Russian Revolution in 1917, was prepared and published by V.A. Babintzev.

The 3 objects of intellectual property were created. The database «Translations of moral, social and political literature in 18th century Russia») (author - K.D. Bugrov) is registered by Rospatent in 2014. Two applications for databases «European Technological Innovations in the Publications of Gorny Journal, 19th - early 20th centuries» (author - E.V. Alekseeva) and «Russian Students in the Heidelberg University (Germany), 19th - early 20th centuries» (author - N.N. Baranov) were sent for registration in 2015.

According to the plan of research, the collections of sources for the Digital Corpus of European innovations were made based on results stemming of research in the framework of 6 major fields of study. As of September, 2015, there are 369 electronic copies of the historical sources and documents; the general amount planned for the end of 2015 is approximately 700 copies. In addition, the special methodic of archaeographical and source-studies principles of publication of historical documents was elaborated. Its core was formed by the synthesizing combination of textological, genetical and hermeneutical methods of textual critique, which are linking the text to the author's personality.

Members of the research team worked out 8 new education courses during the implementation of the project. 2 programs of improving skills were implemented with the themes of:

  • Enlighenment Traditions of Europe and Russia in the Modern Age (authors: D.A. Redin, V.S. Rjeoutsky, O.E. Kosheleva; author of a thematic plan - D.A. Redin)
  • Russian Elites and European Innovations, 18th - early 20th centuries (authors - D.A. Redin, D.V. Timofeev).

Moreover, the laboratory staff members developed several new study courses that were implemented at the Ural Federal University:

  • Legal Tradition of Russian Empire: Traditions and Innovation
  • The Early Period of Russian History in the Historical Studies of Modern Age: Traditions of Chronicles and European Innovations
  • The Peculiarities of Russian Historical Process towards the Beginning of 20th century: Present-Day Russian Social and Cultural Conceptions
  • Russian Constitutionalism of 19th - early 20th centuries
  • The Evolution of Russian Judging System in the 2nd half of 17th - early 18th centuries.

The laboratory staff and research team includes 30 specialists, among them 6 are representing French academic centers. The average age of the employed specialists is 37 years, and the percentage of the young researchers (up to 35 years old) is 56 %.

In 2013-2015, there were 2 defenses of candidate dissertations- the dissertations of A.S. Palkin «Edinoverie in the middle of 18th - early 20th centuries: Russian context and regional specifics» (2013), and T.N. Ilyushechkina «The Literary History of ‘Opisanya Novya Zemly, sirech Sibirskago Tsarstva, I Moskovskago Gosudarstva' (text - context)» (2015). There was 1 defense of a doctoral dissertation by I.V. Pochinskaya «Booking Printing in Moscow State of 2nd half of 16th - early 17th centuries in Russian historical studies». Three more dissertation defenses, 1 candidate and 2 doctoral, are planned for November - December, 2015. In addition, the members of laboratory collective had defended 2 Master dissertations: T.S. Romanyuk, «The Old Believers in the Territories of Orenburg and Ural Cossack Armies in the End of 17th - 1st half of 19th centuries», and E.V. Khudyakova «Women Everyday Costume in France as a Reflection of Social - Cultural Transformations».

In 2013 - 2014 laboratory provided the professional retraining programs for 31 specialists from the different institutions. In turn, the members of research collective participated in retraining programs of the leading international centers of science:

  • University Paris-1 Pantheon-Sorbonne (2013, 10 specialists, of them 7 were young researchers)
  • Yale University (2013, 1 specialist)
  • Eotvos Lorand University (2014, 6 specialists of them 5 were young researchers, including 1 master student)
  • University College of London (2014, 1 specialist)
  • University of Graz (2014, 1 specialist).

The scientific results of research were presented at more than 53 conferences of national and international level, including the most important specialized congresses - the Congress of International Society for Eighteen Century Studies ISECS (Rotterdam, the Netherlands, July 2015), where a thematic section devoted to the results of the project was organized; and the 9th Global Congress of the International Council on Central and Eastern Europe Studies ICCEES (Makuhari, Japan, August 2015).

The laboratory organized 2 major international scientific conferences: «Cultural Elites of Russia: the Sources of Formation and the Models of Development» (Ekaterinburg, Russia, October 2013) and «Russian Elites and European Innovations, Norms and Patterns: from Peter the Great to the 1914» (Lyon, France, November 2014), organized in cooperation with the University Paris-1 Pantheon-Sorbonne and the Ecole Normal Superieure de Lyon. Moreover, laboratory organized 2 all-Russian scientific conferences, 2 international schools / conferences, and 3 international seminars on methodology in 2013-2015.

In 2013-2015, the specialists of laboratory received 6 research grants, including the grants of President of Russian Federation, the grants of Russian Humanities Research Foundation, grants of Prokhorov Foundation. Moreover, 2 members of collective (A.S. Krivoruchko, M.T. Nakishova) received fellowships of Oxford Russia Foundation, and Y.A. Lazarev received a scholarship of German Historical Institute in Moscow.