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Regular version of the site

HSE Partners with International Project in Humanities

The Higher School of Economics is the first Russian university to become an associate member of a key project run by the Dahlem Humanities Center at the Free University of Berlin – ‘The Thematic Network Principles of Cultural Dynamics’. The project is aimed at strengthening international cooperation in the humanities.

Higher School of Economics became a full partner of the project, joining world-leading educational institutions such as Harvard University, Hong Kong University, Johns Hopkins University, Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and the School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences in Paris. The project is funded by the German academic exchange service (DAAD). Its success has been recognized and decisions made to extend support for it beyond 2017 was recently made.

HSE School of Philology can now participate in almost all types of academic activity offered by the Dahlem Humanities Center. This year a Summer school ‘The Global Humanities Campus (GHC)’ will be held from July 25 – August 7, 2016 as part of larger ‘umbrella’ research. The general theme of ‘East Asia and the West: The Problems of Basic Anthropological and Cultural Constants’ and a two-day workshop ‘The World Outlook, Religion and Cultural Development’ will bring together representatives of several world-leading universities.

 ‘Cooperation between HSE School of Philology and Dahlem Humanities Center strengthens the partnership between HSE and the Free University of Berlin that has developed over the preceding years,’ said Elena Penskaja, Head of the School of Philology. ‘It is important for us that Professor Joachim Küpper, Director of the Dahlem Humanities Center, is a philologist. We immediately identified ideas that were interesting for both sides. This spring I was invited to give a lecture at the Free University of Berlin. My presentation was dedicated to the transformation of commentary in the digital revolution age, the evolution of the ’audience’, commentary tools and practices, and particular aspects of translating commentary. Is it possible to interpret the history of commentary as part of intellectual history? That question was what we discussed.’

‘I tried to explain why humanities specialists have focused on these topics as a subject of academic debate in recent years. I was glad that this topic sparked interest among students, doctoral students and faculty members at the Free University of Berlin. The ensuing discussion enabled researchers to include this subject in the list of fundamental areas of study carried out at the Dahlem Humanities Center.’

I would be happy if all the students with whom I communicate during my visits to universities around the world were as prepared as the students at this university

‘From the very beginning of the project we realized that we need to find a partner in Eastern Europe. In our research we take into account different views and perspectives, and we came to the conclusion that Russian academic culture best suits our goals,’ said Joachim Küpper, Director of the Dahlem Humanities Center. ‘The Higher School of Economics is an outstanding educational institution in today’s Russia, in particular in terms of the Humanities. In my opinion, this university’s main advantages are its students, who are highly qualified and speak several foreign languages, and its lecturers, who are constantly expanding their international contacts and are keen to exchange experience with colleagues from other countries.’

‘In November 2015 I delivered a series of lectures at the Higher School of Economics, and I had very good impressions of communicating with the students. They were very well prepared and asked questions that showed that they understood the material very well. I would be happy if all the students with whom I communicate during my visits to universities around the world were as prepared as the students at this university.’

In September 2016 Joachim Küpper will deliver a series of lectures ‘Humanities and Conceptualization of Time’ at the HSE Faculty of Humanities.

‘We plan to outline the work of the International Advisory Council of the Consortium of Integrated Humanities Schools Humanus, further develop the idea of creating a joint doctoral school, approve plans for teacher and student exchanges, and also to touch base ahead of the joint conference ‘History and Drama’ in late October 2016.

Philologists, historians, philosophers, and staff members at the Poletayev Institute for Theoretical and Historical Studies in the Humanities will spend several days in Berlin at the invitation of the Free University. Involving students and doctoral students in these projects is a clear priority for us. We also plan to prepare joint monographs and publications in leading peer-reviewed journals,’ said Elena Penskaja.

Joachim Küpper is Professor at the Free University of Berlin, Director of the Dahlem Humanities Center, Member of the German National Academy of Sciences, winner of the Leibniz Prize, recipient of the European Research Council grant. He has written papers covering periods from ancient history to the XX century, and his research interests include comparative literature, roman literature, literary theory and aesthetics.