Address: 123 Naberezhnaya Kanala Griboedova
Research activity at St. Petersburg School of Arts and Humanities takes place at its departments, 2 research centers (Center for Historical Research and Laboratory for Environmental and Technological History), and research academic groups.
At the moment there are 3 research academic groups at the faculty:
Center for Historical Research
Center for Historical Research was founded in 2012.
The Center's goal is to systematically develop methodology and approaches for global, comparative, and transnational history in various fields of historical research. Key research topics for the Center are: opportunities and potentialities of historical research across the boundaries of national history and beyond the research agenda of national historiographic canon; the history of diversity and the politics of difference; the porous boundaries between the discipline of history and adjacent fields of social sciences and potentialities of the cross-disciplinary research agenda-setting; the imagined boundary between the past and the present and the relevance of historical knowledge for contemporary and future-oriented public and expert debate in modern societies.
Since its Foundation in 2012, the Center for historical research has been an organizational platform for a wide range of fundamental research projects on Russian and world history, supported by leading international organizations and specialists.
Since the beginning the Center hosts a regular research seminar “Boundaries of History”. The main strategic partners in organizing the seminars are German Historical Institute Moscow, Norwegian University Center in St. Petersburg and the Netherlands Institute in St. Petersburg. Research staff of the Center can use the archive of audio recordings from the discussions of the seminar.
Laboratory for Environmental and Technological History
The Laboratory for Environmental and Technological History (LETH) was founded in 2016 as a division of the Center for Historical Research of the Department of History. It is an interdisciplinary center for research in the history of environment and technology. Research at LETH also includes history of science which contributes to understanding of technological development and functioning of nature and natural resources.
Our research is geographically broad and specifically emphasizes transnational history of the North and the Arctic as well as the Baltic Sea region. We also partly address the history of the Global South and the BRICS countries. Environmental and technological history is in high demand in large international projects including those connected with the current policies of use of natural resources, climate change, and socio-technical systems.
The research agenda of the LETH is built around the following themes:
The mission of the LETH is to advance the discussion on the interaction of environment and humans, technology and humans, and environment and technology. Our research contributes into understanding past changes via an interdisciplinary lens and discussing future challenges. We are deeply involved into cooperation with Russian and foreign scholars, governmental and non-governmental organizations fostering an interdisciplinary dialogue.
We advance the research of environmental and technological history via the variety of activities. The LETH supports its staff in the publication of their research and taking part in numerous international academic events. We also organize a regular seminar to invite distinguished and early career scholars as speakers and hold workshops and conferences. The staff of the LETH is actively engaged in the activities of the European Society for Environmental History (ESEH), Research Network on History, Technology and Europe “Tensions of Europe” (ToE), and other professional networks.
Currently, the largest project of the LETH supported by the Russian Science Foundation is the project: “Natural Resources in History of Russia: Economic Institutes, Communities of Experts and Infrastructures” led by the Head of LETH Dr. Julia Lajus.
Languages for Describing the Other in Early Modern Europe: Social Contexts and Repertoires of Interpretation
In 2020-2021 the objective of the research academic group "Languages for Describing the Other in Early Modern Europe: Social Contexts and Repertoires of Interpretation" is translating, comparing and carrying out discourse analysis of the sources which shed light on the issues of identification of universal linguistic mechanisms of description of European Other in the early modern time and enable to contextualize of European “ethnographic” knowledge.
Direction and research field – ethnography of Early Modern Times; ethnicity; colonialism; social statuses; British Isles; Ireland; Moscow Kingdom; Balkans; Dalmatia; Istria
Certain similarity of languages for describing overseas and European peripheral territories is assumed to have existed since the discourses were based on the same intellectual resources (Biblical ethnography, Classical ethnography and political theory, medieval political theory). Moreover, these languages could have been interconnected because the same authors wrote about both European and overseas peoples. The novelty of the research project lies in contextualization of early modern ethnographic narratives, identification and consideration of universal mechanisms of construction of the Other and repertories of interpretation, and elaboration on the social contexts which defined these representations.
Early modern European ethnographic discourses attract scholarly interest due to postcolonial turn in historiography which encouraged researchers to historicize modern colonialism and to turn to its early scenarios and discursive practices. Therefore, it is hardly surprising that scholarly literature is mainly dedicated to the images of overseas population. However, the phenomena of internal European expansion and intellectual appropriation of periphery have not been sufficiently examined. These phenomena are connected with early modern colonialism involving not only settlement and governance of territories, but also particular discourses legitimating social order and hierarchy. The purpose of the research project is to bridge this gap.
Among the objectives of the research group there are: