The 11th International Forum “Continuity and Discontinuity in the Field of Social Sciences and Humanities” opened on March 27 within the framework of the Readings. The main topics was social upheavals, the means to overcome them and the academic mission in the digital era.
Acting Rector Bezborodov expressed in his welcoming speech the appreciation toward the organizers of the Readings, noting specifically the roles of Vice-Rector Pavlenko and President Pivovar. He went on to thank the members of the Supervisory Council: the renowned Dr. Tishkov, Dr. Chetverushkin and Dr. Chubaryan of the RAS who did a lot to ensure the presence of leading experts in the Readings.
President Pivovar in his speech touched upon the advantages and the pitfalls the digital era held for the field of education and continued by saying that he welcomed the academic cross-pollination when one expert happened to be a member of several institutions, which ensured inter-university ties and cooperation thus making isolation disappear. President Pivovar reiterated that the idea of interdisciplinary research was key to the modern education and thus the very notion the Readings were promoting.
Vice-Rector Pavlenko talked about the dynamics of the development of the University that was gradually becoming the “melting pot” of interdisciplinary teaching and research. She also acknowledged the role of domestic (both academic and governmental) and international partners in the introduction of innovations in the University. She said that in 2018 the University was allocating R189 million to the development of the academic projects.
Dr. Chubaryan in his speech acknowledged the leading and the unique role RSUH played in the liberal arts institutions of the country, and spoke about its academic exchange programs.
Dr. Tishkov spoke on the subject of specifics of humanities that needed to be taken into account in formal reviews and evaluations and added that, regrettably, there was just one single liberal arts track in the official list of academic research topic of the RF that dealt with extremism and terrorism.
Vice-Rector Shkarenkov spoke on the expansion of liberal art and humanities into other realms of science and added that since the formal result of any liberal arts discipline was text, it related humanities with natural and exact sciences as even in those fields the text was the only way to make your thoughts and conclusions known to other experts. Then Dr. Shkarenkov went on to say that the peer-reviewed articles in foreign journals should not be valued higher than their domestic counterparts and that there was a clear need for the independent, adequate and objective expert evaluation of academic research. He added that it was time the Russian liberal arts thought became prevalent in Russian academic research as opposed to the unconditional admiration towards foreign sources, the task that could be initiated by increasing the prestige of the Russian language abroad.
Dr. Logunov, Dean of School of History, Political Sciences and Law, said in his speech that RSUH had played a key role of taking the humanities in Russia to a new level, determined and delineated by five specific parameters: evaluation, analysis, search for truth, ideologism, and aesthetics.
Dr. Finn, Head of the Department of Intellectual Systems in Humanities, spoke about new methods of experimentation that required a completely new set of terms, a new language that was currently lacking in the liberal arts academic community. New branches of sciences and emergence of the big data methods necessitate creation of certain interdisciplinary approaches and tools that would connect humanities and exact sciences.
Dr. Zvereva, Chair of the Department of History and Theory of Culture, said in her speech that she observed a positive qualitative shift in intellectual forces and potential and added that the idea of interdisciplinary approach marked a new reality in academic research and teaching.
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