The article is dedicated to the early stage in the development of memory studies in Russian science of the 1920s. The main figure in this process was the eminent psychologist Lev S. Vygotsky. Vygotsky was one of those rare scholars who had developed and used semiotic ideas in their own field of research as early as by the end of the 1920s and the beginning of the1930s. He built a whole system of a new understanding of human high psychic functions on the basis of describing the dominant role of the signs found in them as their most important feature. These results in their full form had been expressed in his writings already, starting from 1928. But in the Stalinist period, and even immediately after its end, the publication of a detailed exposition of this semiotic theory as a whole had not been possible because of ideological censorship. In his works on pedology of school children and adults Vygotsky studied the difference between two types of memory that he described as natural ‘eidetic’, immediate and ‘cultural mnemotechnical’. He stressed the importance of development from ‘natural’ to ‘cultural’ psychological processes that he believed to be characteristic of all mankind. The experimental studies done by Vygotsky himself and by his assistants (Zankov and many others) were analyzed as showing different methods of using signs in mnemotechnical functions.
The article presents the main methods and research problems of the memory studies in the contemporary Russian humanities and social science. The author discusses the most important publications of the keyscholars. In the conclusions, she provides the characteristics of the memory studies in Russia.
The proposed issue is actualized considering the current state of human knowledge, which is determined by the emergence and evolution of new research paradigms, blurring the boundaries of traditional disciplines, active development of interdisciplinary studies, broad thematic and methodological diversity. In Ukraine, socio-humanitarian mainstream memory studies as a direction of social and humanitarian studies of memory meanings emerged at the beginning of the 21st century. The process of formation and development of a new direction joined scientists – representatives of different branches of science and accordingly various research institutions and universities in Ukraine. The spectrum of modern memory studies is extremely wide; it includes the study of language, behavioral and bodily practices, consideration of history and memory as a form of reflecting historical culture, history as the art of memory, and so on. The problem lies in attempt of theoretical understanding processes that accompany the emergence of a new direction of humanities. Nowadays arose the need to reconcile operating categorical apparatus of memory studies, systematize existing achievements of scientists, clearly defining of the objective field research. The basic trends and stages of a new direction of research in Ukraine – Мemory Studies – аnalyzed in the article. The author considers the institutionalization of memory studies in Ukraine as a process of separation and formation of collective memory studies as an independent direction of humanitarian knowledge. The article proves that strengthening of memory studies in contemporary Ukraine affects a diverse range of factors.
The aim of the present article is to ponder over the development of the Ukrainian symbolic domain. First, I discuss the theoretical framework of my presentation. Next, I consider the memorial sites of World War II found in the cultural landscape of the contemporary Ukraine. Using examples of selected buildings and architectural elements, I portray the complex character of the Ukrainian culture of the memory of World War II. The landscape of today’s Ukraine features, side by side, memorial sites of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) and its victims, monuments commemorating the heroes of the Great Patriotic War and memorial sites telling the stories of massacres of Soviet citizens as well as memorial sites testifying to the fact that the Holocaust also took place in the German-occupied USSR. In this context, it is necessary
The purpose of the article is an analysis of popular images of the Great Patriotic War 1941-1945 through the recent Russian feature films for a wide audience. The following two types of modern Russian war film are traced: the first type follows the form of the World War II combat film, while the second one contains the ‘bottom-up’ memory topics. The contradiction between official historical policy of modern Russia and Russian popular culture is argued. The concept of ‘popular cultural memory’ is the methodological basis of the research.
The article looks at the evolution of memory politics in Russia in the 21st century, with special attention paid to the role of various expert communities and NGOs in history politics. It shows how the space for public dialog about history has been dramatically narrowed in 2014 in direct connection with the crisis around Ukraine.
Evaluating the current situation from a broader perspective, the fact that Ukraine plays a significant role in Russia’s foreign policy needs to be emphasised. Ukraine is considered as the key post-Soviet state, a significant ‘near abroad’ country whose position, potential and geopolitical location are vital for the balance of power in both Eastern Europe and Europe in general. The present paper aims at a synthetic examination of the current Russia-‑Ukraine conflict from the point of view of Ukraine’s strife for full independence, memory and identity.
Pierre Nora once called memory laws a ‘purely French legislative sport’. In Russia and Ukraine, the ‘French sport’ has found many fans. Ukraine, that became the centre of Eastern European memory wars in the aftermath of the Orange revolution of 2004, is probably the world leader in the ‘French sport’. Over the last twenty five years, more than ninety drafts of laws concerning historical memory have been presented to the Ukrainian parliament and about 10 have been adopted. The number of projects shows the degree to which a political class is eager to establish the ‘truth of the past’ by means of law. In Russia, about thirty bills regarding historical memory were tabled in the Parliament since 1990 and about eight have become laws. The article examines these projects in the context of the politics of memory in Russia and Ukraine as well as the memory wars between the two countries. This analysis shows that the expansion of memory laws in Eastern Europe is gradually changing their nature. Initially conceived as a means of maintaining peace, memory laws have tended to become one of the preferred instruments of the ‘memory wars’ within and between European countries.