The Project is supported by the grant of the Russian Science Fund “Fundamental and Exploratory Research Conducted by Individual Research Teams”, 2018 – 2020.
Members of the research team: O.S. Porshneva, Doctor of History, Professor; V.N. Zemtsov, Doctor of History, Professor; N.N. Baranov, Doctor of History, Associate Professor; A.A. Postnikova, Candidate of Historical Sciences, Associate Professor, Yu.M. Galkina, A.I. Golotin.
The era of the Napoleonic wars and the First World War were the key stages that shaped the contemporary world order and the national identity of its peoples. These tremendous international upheavals produced a number of fundamental national and universal historical myths and laid the basis for the politics of memory and historical politics. Anniversaries are central points at which the former overlaps with the natural process of accumulation of the historical memory, creating room for conflict and discussion..
The project aims to identify the sources of national memory in the countries known as main participants in these military conflicts (Russia, France, Germany, and Great Britain), to explicate the forms, practices, and evolution of the images of war, to trace the peculiarities of historical myths related to the war, and the perspectives of modifying these images. It also seeks to explore the cases of cooperation and conflicts between the authorities and the public (including those in the past) which occurred during the anniversaries of wars, as well as the goals, the format and the outcomes of anniversaries.
The project focuses on identifying the modalities and options for the creation of antagonistic / alternative warfare images and determining the factors for building new memory patters that would be noncontradictory both to the authorities’ desire to exploit the memory in order to grandstand for political purposes and the objective social need to retain the memory so as to shape the prospects for progressive development.
The scientific and social relevance the project is measured, firstly, by the absence of works proving a holistic view on the commemoration of the events of the Napoleonic Wars and the First World War in Russian and world historiography. Secondly, the nature and the diverse approaches to organizing anniversaries of military events in the countries of Western Europe and in Russia will be reviewed in a comparative manner. Thirdly, the project will deliver a closer look on the existing practices of interaction (both constructive and destructive) between the authorities and public structures during war anniversaries, providing options for positive formatting and reformatting the memory of war.
The practical importance of the project stems form its potential to reveal the opportunities and risks of using anniversary celebrations to shape images of the past that do not fall counter to the well-established historical reality, which, in turn, will help in building a true and well-grounded national historical perspective and historical politics.
Created / Updated: 7 June 2019 / 7 June 2019