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Research seminar: the image of "Other" in Japan and "civilizing policy" in England in 16th – 17th centuries

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. 

Daniil Bobrov in the presentation "The Highland Problem: the civilizing policy of James I, Charles I and military migration in the late 16th – first half of the 17th century" highlighted the importance of Gaelic heritage in the Highlands and the general impact of the Gaelic culture on the mechanisms of identification in Scotland. He emphasized that the transformations in Highlands at the end of the 16th – first half of the 17th century were caused by actions of the Scottish monarch and his policy of "pacification" of the northern area, among the results of which was the mass migration of Scottish mercenaries to the continental armies. Bobrov also outlined main aspects of the "Scottish policy" of Charles I. During the subsequent discussion, the participants considered the goals of the "civilizing policy", as well as the extent of its implementation, the significance of clan ties and of the territory for the process of recruitment and compared the phenomenon of Scottish mercenaries with other "mercenary nations".

Nikolai Serdyuk presented a paper on the image of Japan in the letters of Catholic missionaries of the Jesuit order in the middle of the 16th century. Serdyuk demonstrated the impact of the letters on the subsequent missionary activity of the Society of Jesus in Japan, and noted certain aspects of the image of the Other, the Japanese population, politics and religion in the perception of the members of the Jesuit order. As a result of the discussion, the research group emphasized the prospects of comparative research into the image of the Other in the oeuvre of the missionaries in the 16th – 17th centuries