This two-year course grounds students in the vibrant field of global history through a regional focus on Russian, former Soviet and Eurasian spaces, and a possibility to major in history or anthropology. How do these area studies' cases benefit from the global history paradigm and its key current debates? How does in turn its classic problematic of modern empires and critiques of Eurocentrism benefit from Eurasian regional material, historical and anthropological perspectives and the emerging engagement with the questions of the anthropocene, histories of gender and economy, studies of science and technology, and religion and secularism? How do history and anthropology balance these disciplines' fundamental commitment to exploring societies and cultures, and historical processes from below and the emphasis on translocal and global interconnections and hierarchies?
These questions underpin this programme's core seminars in theory and methodology as well as a broad array of regional courses. These range from the history of St. Petersburg to that of personality cults of the 20th century, the Cold War, imperial crossroads in Eurasia and the Caucasus.
Master students form their curricula and research projects on the basis of a wide methodological spectrum of global history, social anthropology (ethnography), art history, digital and visual methods. Students choose disciplines from the list offered within the two learning paths (majors) 'history' and 'social anthropology'. The choice of taught subjects depends on the interests and, specifically, topics of MA research projects of each student; this choice is normally done in consultation with the students' supervisors of their MA research and the tutors of the two majors.
This major is for those who are interested in contemporary debates in the field of global, transnational and comparative history. Key taught courses are methodologically oriented, and include topics such as global history of empires and the rise of nation state, global inequalities, the Cold War and the Anthropocene, urban studies, including the history of St. Petersburg, the history of justice, early modern empires, etc. It is for those who are interested in history that is taught outside of traditional Russian division into 'domestic' (otechestvennaia) and 'universal' (vseobschaia) history.
Students choose disciplines from the list of proposed courses in history, as well as those within the social anthropology major. The choice of these subjects depends on students' areas of interest and in particular the topics of their MA research, and is made in consultation with the individual student's research supervisor and tutors of the two majors.
Social anthropology explores social and cultural diversity of contemporary world drawing on a distinct research method of ethnography — an in-depth participant observation of human communities and institutions. It was originally a knowledge about the 'Other' (societies under study were to be different from those of researchers themselves). Today anthropologists work in all kinds of societies, 'their own' as well as 'other' — considered in a global historical perspective, including exploration of imperial heritage, postcoloniality and (post)socialism. Gained research skills of this discipline are widely used outside of it, including applied marketing, political science, social policy and public history.
Taught courses are methodologically, and not regionally oriented. They centre on key themes of contemporary anthropological theory, and include the issues of the Anthropocene, the anthropology of bureaucracy and the gift theory, digital and visual anthropology, multispecies ethnography, the anthropology of religion, etc. Each course is structured to include examples of specific case studies so as to convey theoretical perspective through ethnography.
Students choose disciplines from the list of proposed courses in social anthropology, as well as those within the history major. The choice of these subjects depends on students' areas of interest and in particular the topics of their MA research, and is made in consultation with the student's research supervisor and tutors of the two majors.
History is one of the most exciting subjects to study at university today, and HSE St Petersburg is unmatched as a place to study just as somewhere to be. We are a vibrant and friendly programme, innovative and intellectually inspiring, and proud of making everyone part of a community that extends well beyond the department of history. We make an excellent bridge to further postgraduate study. Students significantly improve their Russian. Our recent graduates are enrolled in PhD programmes at Princeton, Oxford and European University Institute, Florence.