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, 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
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
International Laboratory for the Study of Russian and European Intellectual Dialogue was established at HSE in 2017 with the purpose of showcasing the Russian philosophy, literature and art, and focusing on its universal spiritual significance for the fate of Europe and Russia. HSE News Service has talked to Leonid Luks, Academic Supervisor of the laboratory, about the place of Russian culture in the world and the research the laboratory is undertaking.
In 2017, Sean Winkler joined the School of Philosophy as a research fellow. Originally from Chino Hills, California, he holds an undergraduate and Master’s degree in philosophy from Loyola Marymount University (Los Angeles, California), as well as a Master’s degree and PhD from KU Leuven (Leuven, Belgium), where his dissertation focused on the work of 17th century philosopher Baruch Spinoza. In his role as a postdoctoral research fellow for the School of Philosophy at HSE, Winkler specializes in the study of early modern philosophy. Besides early modern thought, his interests span from 20th-century French continental philosophy, to critical theory, to Daoism and to philosophy of science.
On September 26 and 27, the HSE School of Philology hosted Professor Brian Baer of Kent University (Ohio, USA) for a lecture entitled ‘The Translator’s Biography in Soviet and Post-Soviet Russia: Art, Politics, Identity’, followed by a workshop on ‘Teaching Translation Studies’. Following his lecture and workshop, Professor Baer spoke with the HSE News Service about his career as a translator, the role of the translator in society and his recommendations for international readers looking for exposure to Russian literature.
On September 1, 2017, Sean Winkler joined the School of Philosophy as a research fellow for one year. Originally from Chino Hills, California, he holds an undergraduate and Master’s degree in philosophy from Loyola Marymount University (Los Angeles, California), as well as a Master’s degree and PhD from KU Leuven (Leuven, Belgium).
It was a class in cultural evolution during his second year as an undergraduate at Tufts University that caused Brian McLoone to become hooked on philosophy. A native of Phoenix, Arizona, he went on to complete his PhD in philosophy of biology at the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 2016. He will be joining the HSE School of Philosophy as an Assistant Professor in early September.