SAINT-PETERSBURG BRANCH
OF THE RUSSIAN INSTITUTE FOR CULTURAL RESEARCH

russian


NEWSHOMEDEPARTMENTSEVENTSCONTACT USUNESCO Chair

RESEARCHES

Main trends of research
Research projects

PROCEEDINGS

Congresses and conferences proceedings

PROJECTS



International Journal of Cultural Research


Biennale

2000-2002

Philosophical and Psychological Aspects of the Dynamics of Mentality in Information Society
RFBR, 00-06-80065

2000

The focus of this program is an in-depth examination of culture as a complexly structured space of communicative strategies, whose changes and re-orientations immediately bear upon all aspects of human existence. In this view, the program aims to advance new methods of interaction between human sciences (such as history, linguistics and psychology) and philosophical and epistemological reflections in order to promote an understanding of the complex changes taking place in contemporary culture. It emphasizes the transdisciplinary investigation of the dynamics of mentality as well as the processes of transformation in human perception of the self and the world taking place in the information society. The following works and events were planned for the year 2000:
  • To organize and conduct a cycle of international interdisciplinary discussion : "Intellect, Imagination, Intuition: Reflections on the Horizons of Consciousness ";
  • Roundtable discussion: "Reflections on inner and outer factors of the development of self-consciousness, and on new strategies of manipulation of personal consciousness".
The major goals and aims of the program were the following: to focus attention on people's perception of values and meanings; to make a contribution to the dialogue of cultures and to the understanding of the complex dynamics of cultural processes; to foster active development of international cooperation in the sphere of interdisciplinary studies in the field of philosophy and in the humanities in general; and to initiate research in the sphere of the ethical aspects of human activity, humanity's freedom and responsibility in the information society, and related directions. The strategic importance of intellectual research efforts, not only for the understanding and description of the ongoing processes of contemporary culture, but also for accurate forecasting of the possible consequences in the future, will dramatically increase in the course of the historical transformations of values and orientations that humankind is presently facing.
The following factors have been viewed as important in the transformation of the inner and the outer world of a person:
  • The character and the degree of sustainability of the accepted inter-social hierarchy of values;
  • The change of types and mechanisms of socialization: power infrastructures and social hierarchies;
  • The character, nature and opportunities of creative self-expression (self-realization), relative to tradition and innovation;
  • Paradigm change of cognitive foundations: cosmocentrism, anthrocentrism, pragmacentrism, theocentrism;
  • Self-reflection, existential and social freedom: the degree of personal responsibility;
  • Paradigm changes in communicative strategies, ethical and aesthetic orientations;
  • The experience of disasters: existential, ecological and anthropological disasters;
  • The experience of revelations and mystical insight.
The Eighth International Symposium on Philosophy and Theory of Culture "Intellect, Imagination, Intuition: Reflections on the Horizons of Consciousness" have been arranged under the UNESCO auspices. During the Symposium, one full day was devoted to the Roundtable discussion: "Reflections on inner and outer factors of the development of self-consciousness, and on new strategies of manipulation of personal consciousness". Publication on the project: Roundtable Discussion brochure "Reflections on Self-consciousness development"; The International Readings on Theory, History and Philosophy of Culture,: "Symbols, Images and Stereotypes of Contemporary Culture"; 24 articles (in Russian and English).

2001

The following works and events were planned for the year 2001:
  • Consideration of the phenomenon of ecological and cultural crises and its influences on dynamics of mentality;
  • Consideration of social imagination in dynamics of modern historical process;
  • Consideration of actual technologies of art experience;
  • Philosophical and cultural studies of a phenomenon of daily life;
  • Meta-psychological and the linguistic analysis of the changed conditions of mass consciousness (counter-culture and consciousness).
The problems of national and cultural spiritual identity cannot be properly and fully formulated without considering the role being played by religion in the self-determination of regional, national and ethnic communities and also in personal making and development including the specific hierarchy of basic values and definite horizons of personal freedom and responsibility.
To examine this set of theoretical and existential problems of contemporary culture the First international cycle of philosophical and religious discussions "Ontology of Dialogue as the Main Value of Philosophical and Religious Experience" were held in cooperation with the UNESCO Chair on Comparative Studies of Spiritual Traditions, Their Specific Cultures and Interreligious Dialogue (St. Petersburg June 16-21,2001). The conference was conducted under the auspices of UNESCO and with the support of RFBR. By results of the done work the group of authors of executors of the project for the accounting period has prepared for printing 36 scientific articles, from them 11 articles are published, other works are accepted for printing in domestic and foreign editions. It is also prepared and issued two thematic volumes of the International Readings on Theory, History and Philosophy of Culture: "Intellect, Imagination, Intuition: Reflections on Horizons of Consciousness" (vol. # 10). "Intellect, Imagination, Intuition: Mythological and Artistic experience" (vol. # 11).

2002

The program was aimed to make to foster active development of international co-operation in the sphere of interdisciplinary studies and in the field of philosophy and the humanities; to suggest new paths of research in the sphere of ethical aspects of human activity, freedom and responsibility in the contemporary culture.
The strategic importance of intellectual research efforts, not only for the understanding and description of the ongoing processes of contemporary culture, but also for accurate forecasting of the possible consequences in the future, will dramatically increase in the course of the historical transformations of values and orientations that humankind is presently facing.
The following works and events were planned for the year 2002:
To examine this set of theoretical and existential problems of contemporary culture the Fifth International Congress "Creation - Creativity - Reproduction " were held in cooperation with the UNESCO Chair on Comparative Studies of Spiritual Traditions, Their Specific Cultures and Interreligious Dialogue (St. Petersburg September 7- 12,2002). The congress was conducted under the auspices of UNESCO and with the support of RFBR. By results of the done work the group of authors of executors of the project for the accounting period has prepared for printing 30scientific articles, from them 19 articles are published, other works are accepted for printing in domestic and foreign editions. It is also prepared and issued three thematic volumes of the International Readings on Theory, History and Philosophy of Culture: - "Ontology of Dialogue: metaphysical and religious experience" (vol. # 12). - "Ontology of Dialogue: philosophical and artistic experience "(vol. # 13). - "Ontology of Dialogue: existential and historical experience "(vol. # 14).


2003-2005

Theoretical and conceptual analysis of extreme and optimum conditions of life of culture
RFBR, 03-06-80217

2003

In 2003 the project was aimed to develop the transdisciplinary studies of the dynamics of contemporary culture. The major fields of the studies were the following:
  • The character, nature and opportunities of creative self-expression (self-realization), relative to tradition and innovation;
  • Self-reflection, existential and social freedom: the degree of personal responsibility;
  • Paradigm changes in communicative strategies, ethical and aesthetic orientations;
  • The experience of disasters: existential, ecological and anthropological disasters;
  • Searching for optimality in the extreme conditions: philosophical and psychological aspects.
The "headlong onslaught of the future" (A.Toffler) described by twentieth-century theoreticians has become our world situation today, and our cultural realities and everyday stereotypes are being transformed. The crux of the present choice is whether "the value of humanity" is upheld or rejected in favour of a post-human global civilization. The pragmatic technology-based civilization is, by its very nature, aimed at acceleration and success at any cost, at high reproducibility, and the spread of its own achievements and their daily mass consumption. The required mass consumption of any product, including software, is easily secured by exploiting the lower forms of culture, those parts oriented toward bodily comforts, material well-being, and entertainment. The New Information Technologies and networks in the service of the so-called globalization processes are first and foremost effective means of achieving the key objectives of the pragmatic technology-based civilization: expansion and domination. Today, when the world community has been speaking ever more loudly in the language of declarations and manifestoes about the necessity of preserving cultural diversity, stressing the importance of saving the material heritage of national cultures, as well as some non-material riches of culture such as skills and traditions, we should not overlook the need to retain those levels of freedom, dignity, ethic and aesthetic responsibility that enable humankind to be not only a consumer and guardian of culture, but also, and primarily, its creator.
By results of the done work the group of authors of executors of the project for the accounting period has prepared for printing 28 scientific articles, from them 17 articles are published, other works are accepted for printing in Russian and foreign editions. It is also prepared and issued three thematic volumes of the International Readings on Theory, History and Philosophy of Culture: "Creation - Creativity - Reproductions: Philosophical and Religious Experience" (vol. # 15). " Creation - Creativity - Reproductions: Aesthetical and Artistic Experience " (vol. # 16). " Creation - Creativity - Reproductions: Historical and Existential Experience" (vol. # 17).
To examine the above mentioned set of theoretical and existential problems of contemporary culture the Sixth International Congress "Differentiation and Integration of Worldviews: Dynamics of values in Contemporary Culture" were held in cooperation with the UNESCO Chair on Comparative Studies of Spiritual Traditions, Their Specific Cultures and Interreligious Dialogue (St. Petersburg, October 29 - November 2, 2003.) The congress was conducted under the auspices of UNESCO and with the support of RFBR. The realization of the project promote the transmission and sharing of knowledge in the major fields and methods of the humanities; broaden the exchange of scholarly information; and strengthen research and institutional possibilities in the field of interdisciplinary and fundamental research of innovative methods in contemporary culture. The role of philosophic reflection in the development of strategies for communication, mutual understanding, tolerance, and professional expertise is becoming more active. It makes a fundamental contribution to the dialogue of cultures and to the understanding of the complex dynamics of cultural processes; to foster active development of international cooperation in the sphere of transdisciplinary studies in the field of philosophy and the humanities; and to initiate research in the sphere of ethical aspects of human activity, humanity's freedom and responsibility in the space of an information society and contemporary culture.

2004

Systematic description of dominating tendencies of sociocultural dynamics in the framework of globalizing, postindustrial, information society was conducted, basing on a row of oppositions (primarily, 'globalization/localization', 'creativity/passivity', 'anonymous/personified communicative processes'. Conceptual model of alternative cultural strategies, aimed at gaining optimal results in extreme conditions, was elaborated (i.e. strategy of passive adaptation to challenges of globalization as process and globalism as strategy; and strategy of active accommodation, based upon reconstruction of humanistic values in novel, contemporary conditions). We based upon basic principles of this model in formulating conceptual notions and program of the 7th International Congress 'Dynamics of values in contemporary culture: In quest of optimality in extreme conditions', which took place on August 27-31, 2004 in St. Petersburg, Russia, sponsored by the RFBR. This congress gathered about 150 participants from 15 countries, including the USA and China.

2005

Tendencies dominating in cultural dynamics in postindustrial, globalized, information societies were analyzed, basing on such binary 'globalization/regionalization', 'civilization/culture', 'adaptation/creativity', 'virtuality/somatics', 'anonymity/personification of communicative processes'. Conceptual model of basic strategies of attaining cultural optimality in extreme conditions was elaborated (strategy of lagging behind, passive adaptation; strategy of active, fragmentary accommodation; strategy of interactive, creative acculturation in the framework of 'dialogue of cultures'). This theoretical model was taken as basic in formulating the concept and program of the 8th International Congress of Philosophy and Cultural Research 'Unity and Diversity in Religion and Culture', which was organized by us in the USA in 2005 (January 27–30, 2005, Seattle, USA). About 200 persons from 16 countries took part in the works of the congress, including Russian Federation and CIS, EU and the USA, Muslim countries and China.

Now the staff of the St. Petersburg Branch of the Russian Institute for Cultural Research are writing the following theses:

  • Anna Lyashko: Contemporary Artistic Culture of St. Petersburg (Doctor of Cultural Research thesis)
  • Aminad Magamedova: The Phenomenon of Mentality: Ontological and Metaphysical Analysis (Doctor of Philosophy thesis)
  • Irina Sokolova: Phenomenon of Media in Artistic Culture of Neo-Avantgarde (Ph.D. in Cultural Research)
  • Alexey Timashkov: Intermediality as an Author Strategy in European Artistic Culture at the late XIX-th early XX-th Century (Ph.D. in Cultural Research)





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