Future in the past: The predicament of contemporary Russian intellectual culture
Elfimov, Alexei L.
Marcus, George E.
Doctor of Philosophy
On the basis of field and archival research, conducted during the year of 1995 and the summer of 1996 in Russia, this project offers ethnographic and historical accounts of Russian intellectual culture in the transitional post-perestroika period of the last decade of the 20th century. The author argues that within this period of time a crucial shift has occurred in the intellectual climate of Russian society, which consisted principally in the emergence and rapid spreading of the so called "historical/cultural paradigm" in intellectual thinking. Focusing on the academic milieu and two important social discourses in Russia and the Soviet Union, that of history and that of architecture, the author explains how this particular paradigm came to be and what consequences it brought about. A set of interrelated issues, such as ideological and political moods among the academics, Slavophile and Westernizing trends, and the general state of the academy in Russia are analyzed.