Goal of research: The project’s goal is to study a complex process of comprehension, construction and use of “historical heritage” as a unique and significant resource that influences social, cultural and economic transformations both in the past and present.
Methodology: The project employs methods of the collective memory studies, history research of both material and intangible heritage (analysis of the archival texts, visual materials, interviews, overt observation and etc.)
Empirical base of research: The research is based on several case studies within which both scientific literature and primary historical sources are studied. Collections of unique interviews, archival, visual, and other materials are collected on several cases:
- research of interaction of a monastery as a cultural space and an object of historical heritage with the surrounding social and cultural environment as in the case of Solovetsky and Kirillo-Belozersky monasteries;
- review of practical and theoretical approaches in the representation of the past in the process of museumification of Russian mansions of imperial time, which nowadays are part of heritage of Russia’s neighboring states (Estonia);
- review of practices of visual commodification in the history touristic practices;
- research of usage of marine infrastructure of the Baltic Sea and Sankt-Petersburg as a historical knowledge production site and issues of contested memory;
- research of functioning of industrial heritage of imperial and Soviet time in Russia’s northern borderlands with Finland;
Results of research: Our project has proposed a novel outlook on past and present of the Russian historical heritage (Industrial, Cultural and Natural). This outlook developed within three major dimensions of research: empirical, methodological and theoretical. We collected, described, and analyzed empirical data on functioning of several sites of historical heritage, which enabled testing new methodological approaches and ideas of theoretical interpretation in the field of heritage studies. The major methodological contribution of the project is an innovative application of game theory of cultural history (Johan Huizinga) to heritage studies. This methodology provides new modalities of theoretical interpretation of empirical data. It allows overcome overwhelming ‘political trend’ in heritage research focused on power relations and myths-making. On the contrary, game studies approach highlights new angles of heritage commercialization via application of ‘identity shopping’ practices.