Russian historical studies have become an organic part of world social science, argued Alexander Chubaryan, Director of the World History Institute, President of the Russian Society of Archivist Historians and full member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, in remarks to a national conference on issues of development of historiography and history teaching in higher education institutions. The conference, attended by more than 200 scholars and teachers from higher education institutions' schools of history, will continue until Jan. 31.
Chubaryan noted that over the past 15 years, the field had "changed its subjects and tools," referring to the impact of computer technologies on historical research.
Furthermore, history in Russia has "gone beyond abstract ideologism and the general idea of a personality's role in history and come around to concrete personalities, a concrete human being, using a new range of sources," the scholar said. He announced that during the past years, "a revolution occurred" in archival research, with many thousands of hitherto unavailable sources discovered. He said hundreds of young historians have been going into the field.
The overwhelming majority of Russia's historians have come to terms with the view that history cannot be conveyed by only using one factor in its development, he suggested. The past years have witnessed a new approach and a new vision of the role of social and political history, with new ideas such as global history, comparative history or microhistory emerging in the process. Russian historians are finally dabbling into a hitherto undiscovered line of research into the Russian political elite.