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Research Academic Group 'Languages for Describing the Other in Early Modern Europe: Social Contexts and Repertoires of Interpretation'

Administration

Professor at the Department of History – Adrian A. Selin
Group Head

Senior Lecturer at the Department of History – Feliks Levin
Group Lecturer

Associate Professor at the Department of History – Evgeny Khvalkov
Group Lecturer

Annotation of the project

In 2020-21 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 contextualise of European “ethnographic” knowledge.

Early modern European ethnographic discourses attract scholarly interest due to postcolonial turn in historiography which encouraged researchers to historicise 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.

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 contextualisation 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.

News

On February 11, during the session of the Research Group “Languages for Describing the Other in Early Modern Europe: Social Contexts and Repertoires of Interpretation” two master students of the Department of History of the Higher School of Economics, Saint Petersburg, presented their papers. 
February 11
On january 28th another meeting of the research group «Languages for Describing the Other in Early Modern Europe: Social Contexts and Repertoires of Interpretation» was held. 
February 28
On December 11, at 18:00, the final meeting of the research group and the research seminar were simultaneously held. The meeting began with the report "?" by Associate Professor of Tomsk State University Anton Kotov. After that the members of the research group discussed the structure of the report and all possible prospects for the development of the group.
December 14, 2020
On Novermber 2 at the eleventh session of the research seminar “Languages for Describing the Other in Early Modern Europe: Social Contexts and Repertoires of Interpretation” a PhD student of Saint Petersburg State University Evgenii Tishunin presented his paper «Ireland and the Irish in the imperial project of late Tudors: mythologeme, practices of describing and paths of incorporation»
November 02, 2020
On October 2, during the tenth session of the research seminar “Languages for Describing the Other in Early Modern Europe: Social Contexts and Repertoires of Interpretation” a PhD student of Saint Petersburg State University Dmitry Verkhovtcev presented his paper “”Latvians” in Livonia, Ingria and Karelia: describing diversity in early modern time”.
October 02, 2020
On September 18, during the ninth session of the research seminar “Languages for Describing the Other in Early Modern Europe: Social Contexts and Repertoires of Interpretation” the participants presented their research reports and created three new groups which will be preparing the preprints. 
September 18, 2020
On June 2, 6 PM on the ninth seminar of the research group “Languages for Describing the Other in Early Modern Europe: Social Contexts and Repertoires of Interpretation” Maxim Shkil, Alena Kuznetsova, Daria Zubkova presented a report on the images of the Other in the works by the English diplomat Paul Raycout, the English merchant and traveler Peter Mundy and the Italian cartographer and diplomat Pietro Coppo. 
June 02, 2020
On 13 May 2020, on the seventh seminar of the research group “Languages for Describing the Other in Early Modern Europe: Social Contexts and Repertoires of Interpretation” Gleb Paromonov and Julia Zakrzhevskaya presented a research report about peculiarities of the image of Muscovites in the seventeenth century in the works of Peter Petreius and Johan Sparwenfeld, two Swedish authors of profound academic background.
May 14, 2020
On 29 April 2020, on the sixth seminar of the research group “Languages for Describing the Other in Early Modern Europe: Social Contexts and Repertoires of Interpretation” Alexei Vovin, the visiting scholar of National Research University Higher School of Economics, Saint Petersburg, presented a paper “The image of the ‘Other’ in Pskov Chronicles”.
April 29, 2020
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