The University Mission in the Humanitarian Dimension: Stating the Problem
Zinevich Olga,  Balmasova Tatyana
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2021-13.3.1-116-132

The article focuses on the mission humanitarianism of a university as a social institution from the perspective of social ontology. The mission is viewed as a perfect benchmark (supreme goal and purpose) necessary for university existence as well as for maintenance and authorization of its institutional identity. It is shown that despite the changes in functionality of universities under the conditions of knowledge-intensive economy development (use of business models in interaction with the society), the humanitarian orientation has not lost its significance since it is necessary for the existence of a university as an institutionally organized specific educational activity, including knowledge generation, storage and transmission. Key institutional characteristics are considered that reveal the importance of humanitarianism for preserving the university as a unique social phenomenon. The authors are guided by the methodology of moderate constructivism – the study of value and meaning of human mentality, ideas and ideals in forming the institutional design of social reality. The role of the ideal and the intentionality of human actions in the construction and function of an educational social institution, which is expressed in the university corporation’s drive to be orientated at values, which give positive social significance to its activities and are aimed at achieving good, are explored. The university produces and conveys knowledge through establishing a knowledge subject, in other words, it forms the very intention to achieve a socially significant result not only in an objectified form of knowledge, but also in the form of evolution (development) of an individual who can produce and use knowledge for the good of society and for their personal advancement. In this context, the mission is understood to be a supreme goal and an ideal benchmark in the concrete historic practices of university education in forming a knowledge subject who must master the fundamental values ​​necessary for society’s existence. The university mission is based on the concrete historic interpretation of the key socially significant goal of education: the development of a “human being” who acts for the good and benefit of society and its members via conveying the thesaurus of universal human values in their concrete historic theoretical and ideological formats.

“Red Funeral”. New Funeral Rites in Early Soviet Russia
Savin Andrey,  Teplyakov Alexey
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2021-13.3.1-205-228

The article analyzes the emergence of the so-called red funeral ritual in the 1920s in Soviet Russia as an important component of political everyday life. The first part of the article examines the funeral rituals of representatives of the Bolshevik elite. The second part attempts to characterize the transformation of funeral rites among the “common” population. The analysis undertaken clearly shows the undoubted political and public nature of funeral rituals in early Soviet Russia. Initially, Soviet funeral rituals were powerfully influenced by radical utilitarianism and total nihilistic denial of the religious worldview, intensified by the excesses of the World War, Revolution and Civil War. Nevertheless, nihilism and utilitarianism, the highest expression of which was the idea of ​​cremation, were quickly pushed out by a new funeral ritual, the key elements of which were demonstration and “theatrical ritual” with its music, processions, pretentious speeches and fireworks, in many respects borrowed from military funerals. The main role in the emergence of the red funeral ritual was played by the cult of fallen heroes, which in turn was a guarantee of political immortality of the Bolshevik leaders. As a result, the red funeral became an important element of the alternative Bolshevik culture. The concept of Vladimir Buldakov, who characterized revolutionary funeral rituals as “neo-pagan”, is at least controversial. The attempt to make funerals of the Bolshevik elites a model for mass funerals collided with conservative rituals, especially in the countryside. With regard to the 1920s, at best, we can talk about the emergence of a kind of “the effect of dual faith", a specific symbiosis of red and religious funeral rites. Thus, in the 1920s, the process of a new Soviet ritualism development was far from complete, including the Soviet party and state elites, as evidenced by the fluctuations between party asceticism with its utilitarian attitude to ashes and splendid funerals of leaders.

“Spring Palace Paintings” in Chinese Traditional Painting
Zavyalova Anna
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2021-13.1.2-414-424

The article considers the erotic genre of traditional Chinese art, chun gong hua (‘spring palace paintings’), which was developed in painting. The study uses comparative - historical, cultural and historical methods, as well as methods of systematization, analysis and synthesis. The author traces the formation and evolution of the genre, reveals its specific features. The paper analyzes the system of artistic images of the works of chun gong hua, reveals that they are based on the ideas of Taoism, which are visualized through painting, which made it possible to reveal a second, meaningful plan of paintings filled with metaphors and allegories. Particular attention is paid to the characterization of expressive means, specific techniques and visual techniques of the genre.

The study shows that due to the richness of images, artistic and expressive means and techniques, juxtaposition of the conditional and the real, double transformation of nature, the first impression of seemingly pornographic images of naked bodies and erotic scenes is subdued. The high artistry of the ‘spring palace paintings’ allows us to attribute them to the unique works of Chinese traditional art.

The Phenomenon of Metamodernism in Contemporary Russian Art (On the Example of Paintings by V. Pushnitsky)
Podlednov Denis
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2021-13.1.2-425-441

The article is devoted to the analysis of the functioning of metamodernism in the field of Russian contemporary art. Researchers of metamodernism talk about the revival of historicity, depth and affect that were lost with the era of postmodernism. Metamodernism is characterized by oscillation, metaxis, new sincerity, neo-romantic sensuality, reconstruction, etc. In this paper, the author attempts to analyze markers of metamodernism in the visual arts using the example of the artist Vitaly Pushnitsky (St. Petersburg). The material for the study was a research interview with the artist V. Pushnitsky, as well as a semiotic and formal-stylistic analysis of his works (2015-2020). The author comes to the conclusion that through such markers of metamodernism as oscillation, reconstruction and appeal to new sincerity, the artist V. Pushnitsky seeks to show the reality in which the artist is at the stage of searching for new artistic means of expression. Along with this, through certain compositional and color features, V. Pushnitsky pays tribute to such artists as Pierre-August Renoir, Claude Monet, Leonardo da Vinci, Francis Bacon, as well as the Japanese poet I. Kosugi.

Three links in a Golden Chain
Bigelow John
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2020-12.4.2-372-393

One of Plato’s dialogues, the Timaeus (ca 370 BCE), describes an abstract numerical pattern that is said to have guided the creative work of an artisan, the Demiurge, who designed both the soul that animates the material world as a whole and the souls of each of the sentient beings that live within this world. Any artist or artisan who took this creation story seriously might reasonably be motivated to take guidance from this same numerical design in his or her own creative work, hoping thereby to mirror the macrocosm in the microcosm of a work of art. Have any artists in history tried to do that? Three likely candidates will be examined here. The first is Plato himself (in a short narrative of the generation of the pantheon of Greek gods, which he recounts in the Timaeus). The second is an unknown Medieval author of an epic poem about Charlemagne (The Song of Roland, ca. 1100 CE). The third is Iris Murdoch (in a novel, The Unicorn, 1963).

Back to the Future: A New Reality in Old Texts
Burgete Ayala Marina
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2020-12.4.1-38-58

The article proposes to consider the concept of nonlinearity as a metaphor performing the function of acquiring new knowledge, using this concept as a tool in the strategy for reading, understanding and interpreting texts, regardless of their national, language or temporary affiliation. The current situation of uncertainty and unexpected changes that affect all walks of life form challenges that make us look at the future of mankind in a new way. The questions, set today, inevitably make you wonder if today’s events are so unique. Has mankind previously encountered something similar? Namely: were there in the history such situations, the era, in which people had to react to the fact that “overnight”, by historical standards, rebuild and change radically their life, break the habitual foundations of society, revise them on a global scale? Similar events to the contemporary ones were observed in the first century after the discovery of America, in which epidemics were one of the “actors”, causing irreparable damage to the indigenous people of the New World and practically destroyed it. This process was reflected in the texts of the chronicles, as it was understood by contemporaries, both winners and losers. Is it possible to learn from this experience and how to project this knowledge onto a new possible reality? The author considers texts, fragments from chronicles of the XVI century, which describe epidemics that erupted in New Spain at the height of the conquest and the first decades after it. The purpose of the article is to show the relationship of processes between the predicted end of globalization nowadays and the technogenic civilization transformations. Various aspects of this relationship identified through the application of non-linearity metaphors allow us to reconstruct and interpret the historical reality as a complex continuous process. This, in its turn, gives an opportunity to formulate and set new tasks for research in various areas of knowledge.

Soviet Woman as an Agent of Government in a Family in the Period of Anti-Alcohol Policy
Bolotova Elena
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2020-12.2.2-418-433

The article is devoted to the image of a woman constructed by the government discourse in the early Soviet period. The government’s propaganda imposed the social role of a woman as a social controller in addition to the social role of a worker, a social activist and a mother. In particular, this study is dedicated to the transformation of a female image in the anti-alcohol policy. The author uses content analysis investigating this complex image and the ways of its reflection in the mass literature. The sources of the study were articles showing the editorial Board ideas and “the reader’s letters” published in the “Rabotnitsa” magazine dated from 1925 to 1936, the articles from “Revolution and Culture” magazine dated from 1928 to 1930 and the propaganda brochures.

The study showed that soviet propaganda began to change their messages recipients during realization of “cultural alcohol-drinking program”. This anti-alcohol propaganda turned its attention from the men’s to the women’s audience. The anti-alcohol articles’ characters appeared as innocent victims of their alcoholic husbands. But at the same time the propaganda stressed the idea that women had great potential to fight against alcoholism. Gradually, the woman’s image began to acquire more and more positive features. Often female fates stories evoked compassion and pity or even admiration. Along with this tendency their husbands’ images turned more and more pathetic, helpless and infantile.

The governmental discourse of the 30-s strived to transfer the family responsibility and social control to women considering them to be a reliable support for the propaganda projects implementation. Consequently, the constructed working and mothering woman’s image was enriched with socio-educational and socio-regulating functions. Thus, anti-alcohol propaganda caused the change of the previously existing gender order when a man played a dominant role in a family and put a woman to the priority position implying that she is more conscious than a man.

Sociocultural Transformation: Interpretation Options, Diagnostics оf Russian Experience
Popkov Yuri,  Tyugashev Evgeny
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2020-12.1.2-405-421

The article raises the problem of a methodologically correct variable description of sociocultural transformations models as the basis for effective models regulating the corresponding processes. In the paradigmatic field of sociocultural research, there is a whole range of interpretations of the sociocultural approach put forward in connection with the analysis of the socio-cultural dynamics and sociocultural transformations of various world regions. On the basis of highlighting various interpretations of the sociocultural approach, the authors explicate different models of sociocultural transformations. The importance of the methodological heritage of P.A Sorokin for the analysis of this process is emphasized. The authors offer their vision of this prominent Russian-American sociologist’s research on the description of sociocultural transformations, and an assessment of its possible use in relation to contemporary Russia.

According to the authors, in the terminology of P.A. Sorokin pre-revolutionary Russian and Soviet cultures should be identified as ideational cultures that developed in the paradigm of Orthodoxy and its reformation. The history of Russia can be viewed as a series of successive and growing tides of ideational culture that were occasionally held back by the temporary rise of sensual culture. The post-Soviet period is viewed as a controversial process of planting sensual culture. In the future, another tide of ideational culture is possible.

It is concluded that in the diagnosis of the sociocultural dynamics of modern Russia, it is possible to use various interpretations that provide an empirically-specific description of the course of sociocultural transformations. The use of competing methodological interpretations and model typologies can provide a diverse and panoramic analysis of sociocultural dynamics, which is an important theoretical prerequisite for determining the optimal models for its regulation at different levels of social organization in the perspective of sociocultural integration of Russia. Taking into account its wide regional and ethnocultural diversity, it is possible to implement various phase models of sociocultural transformations depending on the type of region, characteristics of the ethnocultural and ethno-confessional landscape.

“Honor and Preeminence” of Mothers in Dutch Art of the Late XVII - Early XVIII Centuries
Makarova Nina
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2020-12.1.2-248-256

   The article analyzes two pictures by the Dutch artist Arent de Gelder (1645-1727) “Edna Entrusting Tobias with Sarah” (circa 1690, Leiden Collection, New York) and “Tobias Welcomed by His Mother Hanna” (circa 1705, Museum of the Monastery of St. Catherine in Utrecht). The subject of these paintings is associated with the book of Tobit written in Palestine in the II century BC. This book is a part of the Catholic and Orthodox biblical canons; in Protestantism and Judaism it is considered to be apocryphal. The central role in these paintings (by de Gelder) is played by mothers - Edna and Anna, which is uncharacteristic of the works by other Dutch artists who turned to the book of Tobit. It seems that the interest of Arent de Gelder in these female images is related to his (or his unknown patrons) comparison of the texts of the book in the Vulgate of 1592 and the Dutch Bible, published in 1637, and based on the part of the book of Tobit on the Septuagint. In the text of the Vulgate, where there is a difference between the behavior and feelings of the father and mother, the closeness of the position of the spouses is emphasized, that is, the feelings and actions of the fathers of the family are shared by their wives. In the text of the Septuagint, on the contrary, in several places there is a juxtaposition of the behavior of men and women. A careful reading of the Bible in the 17th century Holland was dictated by the idea of reformers that every believer had to read the Scriptures and interpret them to the best of their understanding. The image of the Old Testament characters during this period gained great popularity in the visual arts. The interpretation of biblical scenes and individual images was notable for its direct perception and individual approach to the depiction of the theme of work.

The Biological Spirit of Old Tiflis: Matchmaking, Money, Interpersonal Relations
Simyan Tigran,  Ghazaryan Grigor
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2020-12.1.2-257-274

The paper analyzes the problems of interpersonal relationships such as matchmaking, the relations between men and women; in other words, the authors describe manifestations of the biological “axioms” in human behavior. Besides, domination can also be viewed as an expression of the biological in interpersonal relationships. The object of study of the present research includes the problems of matchmaking, gambling games, entertainment, and feasts.

As empirical material for the given description, the authors consider literary texts from the Armenian literature of the XIX-XX centuries (M. Nalbandyan, S. Shahazis, G. Sundukyan, A. Ayvazyan and others). The paper is an essential part of the “Tbilisi Text of Armenian Literature”, which adds something new to the “Tbilisi Text of the Georgian Literature”. Those two discourses, in their turn, show a certain commonality with the “Caucasian Text of the Russian Literature».

The authors apply a semiotic meta-language; implicitly, they use the theory of the French sociologist P. Bourdieu together with a typological approach, since the analysis is conducted on recurrent motifs, aiming at the identification of general semantic units.

The main thesis of the present paper is the “elevated” Armenian literature of Old Tiflis (XIX c.), which represents one of the central discourses for the critical presentation of the biological in the middle and the lower class of Old Tiflis. The biological and the principles of “wild capitalism” were destroying the families of small and medium tradesmen not only in the horizontal, class dimension (family, interpersonal), but also in the vertical dimension (inequality of social roles).

The analysis of the empirical material demonstrated that money-hunger guzzles spiritual and social values, such as national identity; the idea of statehood is lost, and the center of aspirations of city inhabitants becomes idle lifestyle: food, feasts, building houses, entertainment (home carnivals), matchmaking, etc. Of course, in the paper, the biological is contrasted to the cultural as well. The Armenian society of Old Tiflis had strategically thinking cultural figures, Armenian princely families, patrons, philanthropists (the Bebutovs, Tumanovs, Arguntinians, Alikhanovs, Yevangulyans, Mantashevs, Tamamshevs), who invested enormous financial means for the multiplication of national values (Nersisyan Seminary of Tiflis). Noteworthy is also the investment by great Armenian philanthropists (the Mantashevs) in the education of gifted Armenian minds abroad (Germany, Russia, etc.), who already in the 1920-ies formed the intellectual basis for the establishment of a national university in Yerevan (1919).