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ISSN 0869-5377
Author: Dmitriev Alexander

Dmitriev Alexander

Alexander Dmitriev is a historian, a sociologist of science, a leading researcher at the Institute for Theoretical and Historical Humanities Research of National Research University—Moscow HSE, assistant professor of the history of HSE. He is the author of articles on Russian and European intellectual history and the monograph ‘Marxism without a proletariat: Georg Lukacs and the early Frankfurt School’ (2004) and the editor of the collections ‘The historical culture of Imperial Russia’ (2012), ‘The University and the City in Russia in the early twentieth century’ (2009), etc. E-mail:


Reinventing the Soviet University/ Logos. 2013. № 1 (91). P. 41-64
annotation:  The article revealed the various elements and structural characteristics of the concept of ‘university tradition’ in relation to Soviet and post-Soviet times. The complex nature and multiversity of this tradition is emphasized. It does not only include commemorative and historiographical practices, rituals and symbolic ways to maintain boundaries, but also methods of unification of the past,
and deleting unwanted periods of forgetfulness or circumstances. This re-invention and mobilization of the past for political purposes, or for the sake of self-preservation became quite apparent with the breakdown of the imperial university system and the establishment of a Soviet one in the 1920–1930s. In the post-Stalin years a gradual rehabilitation of the pre-revolutionnary university began, including the principle of the autonomy of higher education. However, from the 1990s this symbolic resource started to be actively used, as opposed to the new trends and institutions, to legitimize the rights and privileges of the ‘classic’ university (in fact, models and hierarchies of the late Soviet era).

Keywords:  university education, university corporation, commemoration, the invention of tradition, the history of the USSR, educational reform, symbolic capital, intellectual history.
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