Russian and Italian Intellectuals Speak a Common Language
In late May Moscow hosted a Russian-Italian research conference marking the anniversary of the birth of Italian philosopher Benedetto Croce. The conference entitled 'The Legacy of Benedetto Croce in the 21st Century' was organized by and held at the HSE's Humanities Faculty in conjunction with the Italian Cultural Institute in Moscow.
Croce's work has had a significant impact on philosophy and cultural studies. As a critic, literary and art historian, and as the creator of his own aesthetic theory, he was one of the most influential figures in the humanities in modern times. As a politician and public figure who defended the principles of freedom, reason, and human worth, he found himself at the center of intellectual battles of the last century. He had a profound influence on the aesthetics of Russian thought in the first third of the 20th century.
The conference in Moscow not only demonstrated participants' very real interest in the philosophical thought of one of Italy's best known thinkers of the last century, it also showed how beneficial opportunities like this are for the exchange of ideas between experts from different countries and in setting out the prospects for collaboration between researchers from HSE and universities in Italy. International participants included: Giuseppe Bedeschi, Professor at La Sapienza University, Rome; Corrado Ocone, from the LUISS University of Rome; Professor Paolo Bonetti from the Cassino University and Urbino University, among others.
Corrado Ocone, from the LUISS University of Rome shared his impressions:
'I was most impressed by the fact that I was in Moscow, at the prestigious National Research University HSE, and found an entire host of Russian intellectuals of various ages who are studying and who are intimately acquainted with the oeuvre of Benedetto Croce. It is to the initiative taken by the director of the Italian Cultural Centre in Moscow, Olga Strada, that the 150th anniversary of the birth of this Neapolitan thinker, who is sadly still much overlooked in our country, was marked by a two-day Russian conference drawing numerous who devoted profound analysis to a number of aspects of his work.'
Professor Paolo Bonetti from the Cassino University and Urbino University commented:
'I have nothing but positive impressions of the Italian-Russian conference dedicated to Croce. I was extremely impressed by my Russian colleagues’ serious approach and the wide scope of the information they used to study the theme of Croce and the Italian philosophical tradition as a whole, starting from Vico. The historical perspective of certain papers was especially interesting, and demonstrated the deep link between historical knowledge and philosophical understanding, one of the fundamental aspects of Croce’s thought. I was also pleasantly surprised by the young, keen and well-prepared researchers who participated in the conference, who gave us hope that interest in Italian culture and history is being revived in Russian culture. I hope that this Italian-Russian study of Croce organized by the HSE Faculty of Humanities with the support of the Italian Institute of Culture in Moscow will promote greater mutual understanding. We Italians, should also be more interested in contemporary Russian thinkers and study them more closely.'
Rosalia Peluso, PhD, specialist in theoretical and moral philosophy from the Federico II University of Naples described her participation in this conference as a 'significant event' and looks forward to further collaboration with Russian discussion participants.
Olga Strada, Director of the Italian Institute of Culture in Moscow, one of the organizers of the conference, also noted how apt and promising the prospects are for international cooperation between researchers:
'There were positive write-ups of the conference in the Italian press and also, following the two days of work we saw interest in inviting Russian researchers to the upcoming symposium organized by the Benedetto Croce Library Foundation in Naples.'
Anna Chernyakhovskaya, HSE News Service
In June, faculty members from HSE’s School of Cultural Studies, the School of Philosophy, and the Poletayev Institute for Theoretical and Historical Studies in the Humanities met with colleagues from the University of Pittsburgh (USA) and a Russian art historian to participate in a round table on the importance of gender studies in the humanities. The researchers discussed questions such as what historians, philosophers, and historians can achieve when approaching their fields of study from the standpoint of gender studies, and what the state of gender studies is in contemporary Russia and abroad.
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.
On January 14, 2019, Professor Giovanni Tria spoke at HSE on contemporary globalization, including its consequences and problems. Below are the key highlights of his talk.
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.
Researchers from the Higher School of Economics have begun working with the research centre of the French Saint-Cyr Military Academy (École spéciale militaire de Saint-Cyr) on the moral and political issues of modern-day warfare. One part of this partnership was a conference devoted to just war theory and problems with combating terrorism. Below, Faculty of Humanities Professor Boris Kashnikov, also a participant of the conference, tells Scholar Viewpoint whether there can be justice in war and how scholars of the humanities are able to work together with the military.
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.
Ever since she completed her dissertation on ‘The role of the Ecclesiastical Academies in Reception of Kantianism in the Russian Empire’ in 2015, Vera Pozzi, a native of the northern Italian city of Lecco, has sought an opportunity to return to Russia to take her research to the next level. When she saw HSE’s call for international fellowships, she was drawn by the internationally oriented nature of the application and the opportunity to apply for a field like ‘History of Russian Intellectual Culture’, which aligns perfectly with her current research interests. In September, Vera will be enrolled in the Faculty of Humanities, School of Philosophy for one year under a post-doc fellowship.