From Contest to Internship at Holocaust Memorial Museum
Yanina Karpenkina won the 2016 annual contest for HSE students, which is organized by the International Centre for the History and Sociology of World War II and Its Consequences. Thanks to the contest, she went on a six-week internship as a research assistant with the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
Here, Yanina Karpenko shares her impressions of both the contest and the internship.
In June 2015, I took part in the Dissertation and Thesis Development Workshop ‘The Holocaust in the Soviet Union’ at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. I was very happy when I heard I had been accepted on this workshop. A year later, I returned to Washington to work as a research assistant at the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies for a month and a half. And this time, I had my personal pass to the museum, which, honestly, I was very proud of.
Daniel Newman, the curator, helped me a lot in my work and helped me adapt to my new environment. I want to express my gratitude to him here. I have very positive impressions of the staff both at the museum as a whole, and particularly at the Centre. Everyone was very nice, helpful, and happy to see us. And, I don’t know how, but almost everyone immediately understood that we were from HSE, ‘from Professor Budnitsky’.
Since the topic of my thesis is related to the Holocaust, I was allowed to spend all my time working on research. So I looked for sources in the archive and selected the necessary literature in the library on the fifth floor of the Holocaust Museum. The time passed so quickly – the month and a half felt like just a couple of weeks. It is very easy to work with the museum’s digital photo archive. You simply choose the photos you need from an online catalogue, and order them via email. Kassandra, a very friendly archivist, very quickly sends you the links you need to download high-resolution copies of the photos. My work with archive documents and library literature was very fruitful.
The United States’ capital is famous for its museums, all the more so that most of them have free admission. Last year I was impressed with the variety and rich exhibitions on show at Washington’s museums. I was most impressed with the National Museum of Natural History, the National Art Gallery, and the National Museum of American History. This summer, I enjoyed visiting these museums again. I was particularly impressed with the National Museum of American History, which is very different from historical museums in other countries.
The exhibition at the Holocaust Memorial Museum is also very special. The museum’s building and interior are very spacious and full of light. They look very modern, but at the same time are able to communicate so much about the concentration camps. Perhaps strangely, rather than being off-putting this was very thought provoking. Perhaps it struck me like this because I would work late, and crossed the big hall to go home later, after the bustling, noisy crowds had receded. I was engulfed with a sense of grief. Of course, the exhibition leaves an even deeper impression because it contains personal belongings from and photos of the Holocaust victims, models of the concentration camps, part of the Warsaw ghetto wall, and many other deeply moving artifacts.
In late July, I decided to give myself a birthday present and spend weekend in New York. There, I saw the typical tourist sights, walked along the Broadway, went up the Empire State Building, and sailed to the Statue of Liberty.
I was able to achieve a surprising amount of work-life balance in the month and a half I spent in the United States. I had enough time for academic research and the typical tourist entertainment. I would like to thank Oleg Budnitsky and Daniel Newman, who organized this amazing trip for us, for this great opportunity to spend a useful and enjoyable time in Washington, D.C. I am also grateful to the Faculty of Humanities for the academic mobility opportunities it provides for its students.
How the Telephone Conquered the World. Episode Five: From the US Free Market to Conservative Britain
In this series of columns on IQ.HSE, Anton Basov, HSE Faculty of Computer Science editor, discusses how telephones have become an integral part of our everyday life. The fifth episode of the series chronicles the early experiences of the telegraph and telephone in Great Britain, shedding light on the challenges they faced, and explores the adverse impact of excessive government regulation and nationalisation on the evolution of telecommunications.
Petroleum for equine care, wood oil for lighting, sandalwood for Easter celebrations, and lemons and olives for entertaining unexpected guests. Russian monasteries often used these and other eastern goods in the period leading up to and during the reign of Peter the Great. Analysing their account books leads to a revision of the traditional assumptions about the primary consumers of oriental goods in Russia. These consumers, in addition to the royal and aristocratic circles, included monastery estates, as discussed in the paper ‘“Three altyns worth of petroleum…”: Oriental goods in Russia at the second half of the 17th and early 18th century’ by historian Arthur Mustafin of HSE University. Based on his paper, IQ.HSE explores the types of goods that were shipped from the East to Russia in the latter half of the 17th to the early 18th century, including the routes and purposes of these shipments.
How the Telephone Conquered the World. Episode Four: David the Start-up Versus the Corporate Goliath
The history of the invention of telephony reads like a captivating detective novel, but even more intriguing are the events that contributed to the worldwide adoption of this technology. In this series of columns on IQ.HSE, Anton Basov, HSE Faculty of Computer Science editor, discusses how telephones have become an integral part of our everyday life. The fourth episode of the series recounts the story of the fledgling start-up's confrontation with hordes of patent trolls and its subsequent victory in a full-blown corporate war against the largest telecommunications company of the late 19th century.
‘In Search of the Key to the Past’: Students of HSE Art and Design School in Nizhny Novgorod Develop Collection of Souvenirs
The HSE Art and Design School in Nizhny Novgorod, together with the ‘Protected Quarters’ project to revive Nizhny Novgorod’s historical territories, have carried out the ‘Timeless’ creative project, which included a design laboratory and an educational programme. As a result of the creative workshop, students made concepts for souvenir products based on the local identity.
Today, we can make a telephone call to anyone, anywhere in the world—but this was not always the case. In this series of columns on IQ.HSE, Anton Basov, HSE Faculty of Computer Science editor, discusses how telephones have become an integral part of our everyday life. The third episode focuses on the evolution of telephone connections, the first subscribers, and the history of the telephone directory.
‘We Have Always Loved You, Sakhalin’: Research Expedition Studies Sociocultural Anthropology of Miners' Working Life in the USSR
Researchers from the School of Foreign Languages and the Group for Historical Research, together with students of the History programme at the HSE University campus in Perm, have come back from an expedition to Sakhalin Island, where they studied Soviet industrial culture and the working life of miners. The expedition participants shared their impressions of their ‘immersion into the past’ and the extraordinary landscapes of the island with the HSE News Service.
Throughout July, students of the HSE International Summer University are studying Russian History and Behavioural Economics. The courses are taking place in an online format—something that seemed unthinkable for a summer programme before the COVID-19 pandemic. Recent years have shown that online learning is a unique opportunity for students from all over the world to study with leading HSE University professors from the comfort of their own homes.
Andrei Lukyanov enrolled in ICEF Master of Financial Economics programme in 2019. In his second year, Andrei went to LUISS University in Rome as a double degree student. Currently a financial analyst at TAU Group, the Italian-Russian engineering startup, Andrei speaks on how to prepare for the career as a quant, the opportunities that come with studying abroad, and what duties the financial experts have in e-mobility.
The first major Soviet publisher of children's literature, Raduga, was established a century ago and featured the debuts of many authors who would later go on to become famous, as well as illustrations by prominent artists. Based on a research paper by Marina Sazonenko, graduate of the HSE Doctoral School of Art and Design, IQ.HSE examines how — and why — the illustrations in Soviet periodicals for children changed over time.
This December, HSE University’s Poletayev Institute for Theoretical and Historical Studies in the Humanities hosted Professor Juliane Fürst, from Leibniz Centre for Contemporary History, who gave a lecture about Soviet hippies and the Soviet Flower Power. In an interview with HSE News Service, Professor Fürst spoke about her interest in Soviet subcultures and her research plans.