• A
  • A
  • A
  • ABC
  • ABC
  • ABC
  • А
  • А
  • А
  • А
  • А
Regular version of the site

The HSE’s French Anniversary

December 5-6, 2013 HSE held an international conference “Diderot, Encyclopaedia, Enlightenment”, which was organised jointly by the Philosophy, History and Philology faculties. Russian academics and French researchers from the universities of Caen, Reims, Paris Ouest and Paris Sorbonne all took part in the forum.


The HSE’s French Anniversary This year the Higher School of Economics has been celebrating 20 years of cooperation with French universities and government and non-government organisations. Since 1993 the HSE has developed partnerships with almost 30 universities and research institutes in France and other francophone countries. To mark the occasion, special pages have been created on the HSE website and the HSE French Centre has prepared a booklet A Twenty year Partnership.


Elena Penskaya, Alexey Rutkevich, Anastasia Yastrebtseva
Elena Penskaya, Alexey Rutkevich, Anastasia Yastrebtseva
It was no accident that three faculties were involved in organising the conference to mark the 300th birthday of Denis Diderot. As a philosopher, teacher, writer, dramatist and literary critic and a representative of the epoch of the Enlightenment both in Europe and in Russia, Diderot fascinates philologists, philosophers and historians alike.

Elena Penskaya, Dean of the Philology Faculty said that we find the precursors to all modern ideas in Diderot’s philosophical writings. “A passionate truth seeker, trying to change the world through reason, - that’s Diderot. It’s interesting to follow how the intellectual reference points of that time correspond to those of the 20th and 21st centuries”, she remarked.

There were papers by Alexey Rutkevich, Dean of the Philosophy Faculty and Alexander Kamenskii, Dean of the History Faculty, and from other experts too. Alexander Kamenskii is a specialist on Catherine the Great and it was on her invitation that Diderot came to St Petersburg. Their long conversations however did not persuade Catherine to do away with the luxuries of court life or introduce free education for all. Alexey Rutkevich spoke about how we can still see the relevance of Diderot’s work today, “if we look at the world around us, we see that the Age of the Enlightenment is not over because the faith of the modern world is in human rights and Diderot wrote a great deal on the subject, particularly in his article on Natural Rights in the 5th volume of the Encyclopedia”.

Deputy Dean of the Philosophy Faculty Anastasia Yastrebtseva talked in more detail about the way the HSE and the universities of Cannes and Reims work together. The cooperation includes student exchanges, internships for teachers and staff and lecture programmes in France and Russia. For example HSE specialists give lectures at Caen University’s annual seminar on Russian philosophy and the Centre for Basic Research also supports joint projects there.

Reporting by Olga Bulycheva, specially for the HSE news website

See also:

‘Today, Ethical Questions Are Front and Centre’

The conference on Philosophy and Culture in Time of Pandemics ran from September 30 to 2 October 2021. It was divided into seven sessions held in a hybrid format. The organizers and participants discussed major topics such as social transformation during the pandemic, the role of mass media in shaping perceptions of the pandemic, and the epistemological and ethical issues that have arisen as a result.

‘Mandelstam Street’ Exhibition Opens at the State Literature Museum with Support of HSE University

On March 16, the HSE Madelstam Centre together with Vladimir Dal State Literature Museum opened a museum dedicated to poet Osip Mandelstam and his wife Nadezhda. Below, HSE News Service talks about the exposition ‘Mandelstam Street: Osip and Nadezhda’.

Master's Programme 'Politics. Economics. Philosophy': Perfect Combination of Three Disciplines

Modelled on classical British programmes, the HSE Master's Programme 'Politics. Economics. Philosophy' (PEP) helps students delve deeper into economics and political science, broaden their philosophical outlook, develop their critical thinking skills, and enhance their social and academic capital. HSE News Services spoke with current first-year student Tamás Barnák and programme alumnus Franz Walternberger about why they chose PEP and what it is like to study at HSE University.

Authorship Proven by Mathematics

Marking Mikhail Sholokhov's 115th anniversary (1905-1984), linguists Boris Orekhov of the HSE and Natalya Velikanova of the Moscow State University confirmed his authorship of the epic novel about the Don Cossacks. The researchers were able to attribute the novel using the text distance measure proposed by John Burrows. Termed Burrows' Delta, it provides a simple and reliable method of attributing or confirming the authorship of various texts. 

Interdisciplinary Research: New Prospects for Philosophy

What connects philosophers, linguists, and logicians? How do you develop partnerships with dozens of foreign research centres in just six months? Can science exist in isolation from the outside world? Elena Dragalina-Chernaya, Head of the International Laboratory for Logic, Linguistics, and Formal Philosophy, discusses these and other issues.

HSE University Joins Digital Archive Project of Silver Age Literature

Autograph is a digital archive that grants researchers access to digitized manuscripts of Russian writers of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Until now, the manuscripts were only available in archives that are closed to researchers and the public and located in different cities and countries around the world.

Library Night at HSE: Shakespeare, Museums and Quests

Almost 40 teams took part in the ‘Through the pages of Basmania’ quest, organized by the Higher School of Economics as part of an annual citywide event, Library Night. Event participants also staged passages from Romeo and Juliet and attended lectures about theatre at HSE library.

International Students Explore Russian Literature in HSE’s Preparatory Year Programme

HSE’s Preparatory Year Programme for international students includes not only intensive Russian language training but also subject specific courses. One such course is ‘Russian Literature’, which introduces international students to classic works by Russian writers such as Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, and Chekhov. In the course, students read and discuss select texts in the original Russian, which helps them gain a better understanding of the Russian culture and history.

Between Two Universities

Alina Pertseva, who earned her PhD in Philosophy from the Doctoral School of Philosophy at HSE in 2017, defended her dissertation at two universities at once — HSE and the University of Paris VIII. In an interview with the HSE news service, Pertseva discussed how she managed to do this and how the Russian and French approaches to research differ.

HSE Academic Is Reviving the Spirit of Socrates

HSE Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Aaron James Wendland, recently launched a popular philosophy column in a prominent British Magazine: The New Statesman. In this interview, we ask Aaron about his research interests, his experience at HSE, and the rationale behind his new column on popular philosophy.