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PSU Scholars in History Discuss Innovations in Humanities, Joined by Colleagues from Australia 

The Faculty of History and Political Science, PSU, has hosted for an International Symposium “New Concepts and Research Technologies in Interdisciplinary Areas of History and Culture”. The Symposium was held under a wing of the university-wide Forum “Science and Global Challenges in the 21th Century”. The event was organized by the Scientific and Educational Center for Digital Humanities, PSU.

This year, the event took place in both on- and offline format, attended by scholars from Moscow, Kaliningrad, Omsk, Perm and other cities of Russia, as well as international partners.

Professor Paul Arthur from Edith Cowan University (Perth, Australia) presented his report “Open Research in the Humanities” at the plenary session. The Australian scholar spoke about current trends in open science based on open data, including free access to the research process and its outcomes. Professor Arthur mentioned open educational resources, showed trends within the growing amount of digital formats, tools, standards and effective research infrastructure.

As part of the English section regarding new concepts and technologies in interdisciplinary domains of history and culture, Daria Vershinina, Associate Professor at the Department of History and Archeology , PSU, presented reports on women’s agenda in political protests and social portraits of female parliamentaries. Viktor Vakhoneev, Head of the Scientific and Educational Center “Archaeological Research” at Sevastopol State University demoed the opportunities of innovative geophysical technologies used at building geographic information systems of underwater archaeological sites. Anna Kosmovskaya, Associate Professor at the Department of Interdisciplinary Historical Research, PSU, regarded the issue of poll tax debts of local provincial offices across the Kama territory (Urals, Russia) in the 18th century. Alina Ekhlakova, Assistant at the Department of Interdisciplinary Historical Research, PSU, shared the results of her research of the Siberian army image formed in periodical press.

The scholars paid special attention to the problems associated with the use of new technologies and innovations in the humanities, the preservation of historical and cultural heritage in the digital age and the digital transformation of education. Likewise, the report by Professor Oleg Syromyatnikov, Department of Russian Literature, PSU was devoted to fideistics and confessional literary criticism. Mikhail Pereskokov, Director of the “Kama Archaeological Expedition” Research Center, PSU, shared his experience of integrated use of statistical methods and GIS tools-spatial analysis at studying archaeological ceramics. Nadezhda Povroznik, Deputy Dean for Science, Head of the Scientific and Educational Center for Digital Humanities, PSU, spoke about the use of digital cultural heritage in science, education and creative industries.

“Academic communication is the key condition of any successful research. The Symposium raised multiple discussions on the progress of humanitie, and related application of information technologies. This year, the event was held in a hybrid format, which made it possible to combine the advantages of on- and offline interaction, the opportunity of remote participation and the joy of human communication,” admits Nadezhda Povroznik.

The expected result is a collection of papers, published and indexed in the Russian Research Citation Index (RSCI). Those reports presented in English language will be included in the “Lecture Notes in Networks and Systems” series by Springer, indexed in Scopus. For the Symposium reports, please see here.

PSU Scholar Shares her Vision of Digital Humanities

What will future historians study? Nadezhda Povroznik, Head of the Center for Digital Humanities at Perm State University shares her passion to virtual museums, unveils understanding of digital humanities, recollects international opportunities in this direction and shares hints on writing the first textbook on web history, nationally!

“What is digital humanities?” – Nadezhda sets the story pace. “This is the question which still raises much debate in the scientific community, and there is no single answer to it. In a broad sense, digital humanities is the use of information technology in relation to humanities, with a different and broader attitude”.

“My colleague Andrey Volodin, associate professor at Moscow State University, once defined digital humanities a love marriage between these two words. Dr. Manfred Thaler, Professor of Computer Science for the Humanities, University of Cologne also said: “It doesn’t matter the way you call it, yet it is passion you put in it, which matters. I do believe it’s true,” comments Nadezhda Povroznik.

At the present moment, Nadezhda is writing a first textbook on web history in Russia, as part of a grant from the Vladimir Potanin Charitable Foundation, developing a new course for a master’s degree in web history.

“Unfortunately, the only large web archiving project in Russia is connected with the preservation of official data by government bodies. Obviously, this is not enough. The historians of today need to understand what they will have to keep for the future. The Internet data is quite vulnerable: if it is not saved, then it is irretrievably lost,” says Nadezhda. To answer the question, she has initiated a new master’s course “Web History of Society and its Institutions”, for the academic year 2022/2023.

Nadezhda Povroznik’s favorite area of activity is the research in virtual museums, encouraged and acclaimed by the European scientific community. Since 2017, Nadezhda has been actively working to preserve the historical and cultural heritage of the collections of the Museum of History of Perm University. She was also invited as an expert to a large international project of Virtual Multimodal Museum.

“One of the main advantages of a digital museum vs a real museum is the possibility of an exposition extension and expansion of geographical limits. In addition, any interested visitor may enjoy the opportunity of viewing the exhibit close and from all sides. This is probably the most appealing charm of an electronic collections over a virtual one”.

In 2019, Nadezhda Povroznik completed an internship as a visiting specialist at the C2DH Center for Contemporary and Digital History, University of Luxembourg. There, she researched the digital history of virtual museums – the way they grow, change content, increase functionality and resolve task. As a result, she created a project website, dedicated to her research.

As a result, an Nadezhda was invited to the editorial board of the Journal of Digital History, published by one of the largest academic publishing houses in Western Europe, De Gruyter. Most recently, at a meeting of the Advisory Board, Nadezhda Povroznik was unanimously elected as a co-chairman of Centernet, an organization that unites DH centers globally, as a part of the Alliance of Digital Humanities Organizations (ADHO).

Nadezhda Povroznik was running research in digital humanities, since 2003. While still a student, she took a course in historical informatics and decided to participate in the International Conference by the History and Computer Russian Association. She won the first place in the competition for young scientists and decided to keep on going in that direction.

“I was quite a modest student, back in the days. Yet, when I realized I could attend international conferences for a symbolic student fee, without thinking twice, I found myself on a bus from Moscow to Netherlands,” says Nadezhda Povroznik. “That particular trip gave me the opportunity to build a network of professional connections. I met wonderful, fantastic people, to mention Dr. Manfred Thaler, professor at the University of Cologne, or Dr. Ingo Kropach, the star of historical information science. Furthermore and on, I was lucky to fruitfully collaborate with them”. Today, Nadezhda Povroznik holds the position of a Deputy Dean for Science at the Faculty of History and Political Science, Perm State University (PSU), an associate professor of the Department of Interdisciplinary Historical Research, as well as runs the Center for Digital Humanities and the Laboratory of Historical and Political Informatics, PSU. “Now, as we are living in the age of inter-, trans- and cross-disciplinary research, and the most amazing things happen at its borders and beyond,” Nasezhda sums up.

PSU to Launch a New Masters Program, Uniting Partners from Europe and Asia

Perm State University team has joined a consortium of scholars from Russia and abroad – discussing the new ARTEST project, aiming at implementation of digital methods of research and teaching within humanities. The partner universities from Russia, Germany, Italy, Greece, Cyprus and Mongolia shared their positive experience in the field, as well as discussed possible tasks to perform.

In 2020, the ARTEST project became a grant winner of the EU international program Erasmus+. The main goal of the project is to rethink education in art and heritage and humanities in Russia and Mongolia, incorporating European standards and research practices in the field. The ARTEST program intends to create a new master’s program, run by the Faculty of Philosophy and Sociology, PSU.

“Our first meeting has demonstrated the willingness of partners to start the project. Albeit online, we managed to get to know the project teams and learn about their activities in digital humanities – serving a basis for creating an interdisciplinary master’s program. We are glad to start the project with such a positive “go” signal,”

says Natalya Dobrynina, Head of Department of Network Programs and Educational Projects, PSU.

PSU will serve the goal of re-translating its experience in to Asian partners from Tuva and Mongolia, while being a recipient of the knowledge the University learnt from European partners. Faculty of History and Political Science, Faculty of Philology, and the Faculty of Philosophy and Sociology, PSU will also take part. The consortium is coordinated by the University of Cologne (Universität zu Köln, Germany).

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