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  • From Huge Comparisons to Thick Descriptions: Conference in Pushkin Brings Together History Majors from HSE Campuses in Moscow, Perm and St Petersburg

From Huge Comparisons to Thick Descriptions: Conference in Pushkin Brings Together History Majors from HSE Campuses in Moscow, Perm and St Petersburg

The first HSE tri-campus history majors conference From Huge Comparisons to Thick Descriptions: Historical Research and Interpretation,October 1-4, 2014, was a genuine intellectual and organizational feat. The hosts from HSE St Petersburg welcomed students and doctoral candidates from HSE campuses in Moscow, St Petersburg and Perm in the comfortable and quiet setting of the Kochubey Mansion suburban congress center in Pushkin.

The first HSE tri-campus history majors conference From Huge Comparisons to Thick Descriptions: Historical Research and Interpretation,October 1-4, 2014, was a genuine intellectual and organizational feat. The hosts from HSE St Petersburg welcomed students and doctoral candidates from HSE campuses in Moscow, St Petersburg and Perm in the comfortable and quiet setting of the Kochubey Mansion suburban congress center in Pushkin.

Eighteen participants were selected from three HSE campuses. One of the aims of the conference was to prepare HSE history students to speak at international academic events therefore all conference proceedings were conducted in English. The program combined paper sessions with a number of other activities. Editors of the internationally renowned journal Ab Imperio gave a master class that discussed topics such as publishing in peer-reviewed academic journals and the workings of international academic publication market. Another master class delivered by HSE St Petersburg Assistant Professor Ivan Sablin explored the opportunities digital tools offer to historians and how they allow them to make their work more efficient. On the last day of the event HSE St Petersburg first year Ekaterina Galiuta volunteered to give the conference participants a tour of Pushkin (Tsarskoe selo). The conference concluded with a visit to the newly opened World War I Museum located in the period Martial Chamber (Ratnaia Palata).

The students experienced every stage of an academic conference first hand, from submitting an application and writing an abstract to presenting and discussing their papers with colleagues in English. The unique tri-campus conference experience gave the students a chance to learn about the work of their colleagues from other HSE campuses and discover the wide gamut of approaches to doing historical research. The conference strengthened the ties between HSE campuses in Moscow, Perm and St Petersburg for students and faculty members alike.

There were 18 papers grouped in thematic sessions and presented by Nikita Balagurov, Maria Zimina, Evgenia Ivanova, Oleg Kudinov, Kuzma Kukushkin, Ksenia Litvinenko, Evgeny Manzhurin, Sergey Mikhailov, Svetlana Prokhanova (HSE St Petersburg); Francesca Del Dzhudiche, Andrey Moiseev, Alesya Chernyavskaya (HSE Moscow);  Nikita Kochergin, Alexandra Osipenko, Alsu Rakhmetova, Sofia Rudnik, Maxim Sitnikov (HSE Perm). The organizers and participants share the hope that the first conference in Pushkin will serve as a foundation for annual gatherings of history majors. The organizers also hope to open the conference for participation to bachelor, master and doctoral students from other universities and countries leading to new stimulating exchanges and stronger academic links.

The conference was co-organized by faculty members of three participating campuses: Professors Alexander Kamenskii and Oleg Voskoboynikov, HSE Moscow, Professor Alexander Semyonov and Assistant Professor Ivan Sablin, HSE St Petersburg and Andrew Borisov from HSE Perm.