Russian regional studies are key to the development of cultural studies at HSE University. The Laboratory of Cultural Studies has accumulated a vast array of data over the past few years, while reliable partner relations have been established with a whole range of regional institutions and cultural initiatives. In addition, the Laboratory has gained considerable experience in expert activities aimed at supporting the development of state and cultural policies, at both regional and federal levels. This accumulated potential will certainly boost the University’s competitiveness in the market of consulting services. However, while Russian researchers increasingly focused on urban cultural policies, the field of Russian Regional Studies was obviously stagnating. In the near future, efforts will be focused on bridging this gap and, therefore, interest in Russian Regional Studies is expected to grow. The International Laboratory “Russia’s Regions in Historical Perspective”, which has received the support from Mikhail Prokhorov’s Fund, is working under a similar agenda.
Prospective areas primarily include the following:
- Cultural policy and institutional analysis of culture. Over the next 5–10 years, it is planned to establish an analytical centre for the development of federal and regional cultural policies, as well as an innovation centre aimed at HR and methodological support of existing cultural institutions, as well as launching new commercial and non-commercial projects, including state-run projects or initiatives with the support of various Russian charitable foundations. These institutions can be established in partnership with the Institute of Public Resource Management at HSE University and the Laboratory of Museum Engineering, as well as the envisaged Institute of Cultural Studies;
- Nature and culture. Interest in the newly identified features of relations between nature and culture, brought about by changes in basic environmental awareness, as well as intensified anthropogenic impact on nature and the rise of new post-industrial attitudes towards flora and fauna;
- Visual culture.
These areas are well represented globally, but have insufficient presence within the Russian humanities. They remain integral parts of the current research agenda in contemporary Social Sciences. Therefore, the development of these areas at HSE University will boost its competitiveness at both the national and international levels.
Contributions to the Development of Education
The following areas of research will receive in-depth study:
- launching Bachelor’s programmes in the humanities with a choice of 1–2 professional competencies. This means the introduction of serious changes in admissions processes and study logistics: applicants will be admitted to a field in the humanities (due to the simplified admissions procedure), rather than to any particular concentration, while their Major will be determined during the second year of study (thanks to the enhanced internal competitiveness of the Faculty’s degree programmes);
- launching doctoral programmes in Cultural Studies, which will be integrated with research projects. In addition to the current degree programmes, mass Master’s programmes in Cultural Studies will also be created in accordance with the Master of Arts model; the international Master of Science programme on the basis of the Master’s programme in Visual Culture. The Master’s programme in Applied Cultural Studies will be further developed in the federal centre for training staff to work in today’s various cultural institutions. In addition, there are plans to open a Master’s programme in Russian Studies.