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History and Archeology

A particularly successful sub-field within “History and Archeology”, ensuring HSE University’s top positions in the relevant rankings, is Social and Political History of Russia in the Modern time from the Global and Transnational Perspective. Globally, this subject is examined by certain researchers in the USA, France, and Germany. At present, at HSE University, it is pursued by a large team of experts with a high international profile.  Thus, key partners include American academic institutions (Georgetown University, Stanford University, New York University, etc.), those in the UK (University College London, etc.), France (École des hautes études en sciences sociales, Sorbonne Paris IV, etc.), and Germany (Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, etc.) This sub-field also covers the various aspects of Russian history in the 20th century (e.g., analyzing actual socio-economic practices, political development and every-day life, and comparative analysis in the global context of the 20th century). Although individual topics under this subject are being developed by various academic centres engaged in Russian Studies across Europe and America, the International Centre for the History and Sociology of World War II and its Consequences at HSE University is the leading expert and academic authority on the subject.  

The areas that shall be explored in depth up until 2030 include:

  • comparative history of the Middle Ages in Europe. The HSE University Centre for Medieval Studies is the most significant and respected authority in Russia on the European Middle Ages, as well as the hub for an international network of experts, thus ensuring a competitive standing on the global academic market;
  • diverse historical factors in the social evolution and forms of socio-political organization. Research in this field is focused on developing a coherent concept of the non-linear social evolution of societies featuring a comparative level of socio-cultural complexity. In this respect, special emphasis will be laid on the following two theoretical aspects: the basic principles of social organization and their various historical manifestations, and the types of socio-political organization in pre-industrial societies, which were alternative to state forms. In both aspects, expertise of the Russian academia takes precedence over that of the foreign academic schools in the field, and the work and contributions of HSE University’s researchers have already received wide recognition among both national and foreign peers;
  • knowledge generation and its place in the cultures of the past and modernity. This subject covers several interrelated projects carried out by Poletayev Institute for Theoretical and Historical Studies in the Humanities, implemented in partnership with several foreign universities. The interdisciplinary nature of these projects shall ensure their competitiveness on the global academic market, as well as a leading position in Russia;
  • Middle Eastern Studies. Institute for Oriental and Classical Studies (IOCS) operates in three global research niches: Assyriology, the languages and folklore of South Arabia, and new Aramaic languages and folklore. HSE University shall ensure the stable development of studies in Assyriology, where the University’s experts have already gained international reputation in the global (thus, Akkadian Etymology is explored in partnership with the Universities of Jena and Leipzig, respectively; the written and historical grammar of the Akkadian language; the economics and administration of the Mesopotamian cities around 3,000 BC; the political and economic history of the Syrian-Mesopotamian region during the Middle Bronze Age - in partnership with the Collège de France and the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago). With respect to Assyriology, the University employs a very unique to Russia cluster of diverse specialists, who are the authors of dozens of books and articles, published through top international publishing houses (Brill, De Gruyter, Peeters, etc.) Research into contemporary South Arabic languages and Neo-Aramaic languages and cultures, by contrast, represents classical formats of more inward, small-scale, and frontier areas of Middle Eastern Studies. However, they are justifiably classified among priority fields at HSE University: on one hand, they are, in fact, rapidly advancing areas of research, interest in which is on the rise owing to deep and diverse changes occurring in the relevant regions (Yemen, Oman, Syria, Iraq, Turkey, etc.); on the other hand, HSE University-based experts in these areas have been successful in producing impressive and original research results, which have sparked strong interest on the part of the global academic community;
  • Ancient and Eastern Archeology. The IOCS Centre of Classical and Eastern Archeology is currently developing an academic school, which will place a premium on interdisciplinary methods. In order to carry out extensive research of ancient and medieval civilizations, not only experts in the traditional humanities shall be involved (historians, linguists, archeologists), but also specialists shall be brought in (subject to the use of relevant academic methods and practices) from the natural sciences, primarily, biologists and geneticists.

Contributions to the Development of Education

In light of its transition to a five-year curriculum as from 2019, the Bachelor’s programmes in History will implement, over the next five years, a new model, incorporating Digital Humanities technologies, mathematical analysis methods, 3D-modelling, and visualization of information, as well as eLearning formats. The newly introduced in the 2019/2020 academic year educational standard will start providing more pathways to choose from under degree programmes and open opportunities for diverse specializations. The latter may include such specializations as Economic History, Public History, etc.

Master’s programmes in the field of study “History” will follow the path chartered by the Master of Arts programme, as well as other Master’s programmes (PhD programme – Master’s). At present, a draft concept for a joint Master’s degree programme with the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń (Poland) in the History of Eastern and Northern Europe is being developed under the overall paradigm of global and transnational history. This project will involve other Russian and European academic institutions over the longer term. Furthermore, new Master’s programmes in Economic History and Social Anthropology will be set up by 2025.   

Field of studies “Oriental Studies” - one of the key tasks for the period up until 2030 is to establish the entire range of tracks in Oriental Studies.