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Regular version of the site
Article
Russian-Iranian Economic Interests in Syria (Part 2)

Issaev L., Azizi H.

Asia and Africa today. 2019. No. 9. P. 11-17.

Book chapter
Creating a minority: the views of Japanese intellectuals and Japan’s policy towards Ainu in the 18th and 19th centuries

Shchepkin V.

In bk.: Russian Japanology Review. Vol. Vol. 2 . Iss. No.1. 2019. Ch. 6. P. 128-140.

Working paper
Symbolic Representations of ‘Sovereignty’ in Modern Political Discourse (Comparative Analysis of Contemporary Discourse From France, USA, Russia, and China)

Krivokhizh S., Akopov S.

Basic research program. WP BRP. National Research University Higher School of Economics, 2019. No. 65/PS/2019 .

Scientific seminar “History of Asian and African Civilizations: Concepts and Critique”

On the 15th of April 2015 the Centre of Asian and African Studies in-collaboration with the Department of Asian and African Studies at the Higher School of Economics – St. Petersburg hosted the scientific seminar “History of Asian and African Civilizations: Concepts and Critique”.

The leading research fellow at the Centre of Asian and African Studies Nina Grigoreva opened the seminar with the presentation titled “Ancient Civilizations of Southeast Asia”. In the beginning of her talk Prof. Grigoreva explained her own view on the variety of definitions of the term civilization and applicability of this concept to the study of Southeast Asia during ancient times. She suggested that civilization should be defined as a stable system of cultural elements (in a broad sense), which existed at a certain point in time and at a certain territory, but had an influence beyond this spatial and temporal localization. Two civilizations or “broad cultural zones” can be designated in ancient Southeast Asia: Yue (Viet) and Hindu-Buddhist civilization (typical for southern areas of the region). Prof. Grigoreva discussed each civilization’s typical artifacts and monuments demonstrating some of them on her slides. She concluded her presentation by showing how elements and symbols of ancient civilizations continue to exist in the contemporary culture of Southeast Asia and are used in construction of identities and political discourse.

After the presentation was over Prof. Evgenii Zelenev, Prof. Milana Iliushina, Prof. Sergey Frantsuzov. Associate Prof. Alexey Obraztsov and Senior Lecturer Maria Soloshchevaengaged in a lively debate. The questions discussed by the participants in the seminar included the problem of defining the term civilization and the related dilemma of what ancient societies in East Asia and Middle East can be considered civilizations. The discussants suggested that further research could focus on the two following topics: the artifacts contacting early writings in Asia and Africa and the origins of religious beliefs in the local cultures of Asia and Africa. The scientific debate led to a broader discussion of the new course “History of Asian and African Civilizations”, which will be taught next year by a group of professors from the Department of Asian and African Studies.