Methodology

The methodological tools of the research group will be based on the following concepts and principles:
  • methodological approach of global (transnational) history, designed to compensate for the limited efficiency of the national historical perspectives in the study of processes such as cross-cultural contacts, integration aspirations, folding and functioning of modern empires. The methodological reference point to this concept is the principle of "transnational", emphasizing the procedural nature of culture, the fluidity of the boundaries of the nation, constantly appearing new definitions of the content of these two phenomena. Cultural transfer is not only a meeting place for different communities, but also includes contacts that change these communities and create their new identity (Werner M., Zimmermann B. 2002. S. 607–636). Nowadays researchers, while studying empires or cultural influences in general, use illustrative metaphor of rhizome described by G. Deleuze and P.-F. Guattari, which involves interweaving of hybrid crops that do not have the same root, but based on many mutual influences, contradictions, permeability and dehierarchization;
  • methodological approach of cultural history, the focus of which is aimed at studying the values and meanings of social and cultural practices, the formation of cultural codes of subjects and communities, including interest to the cultural transfer, emotional and symbolic dimension of political practices;
  • the concept of collective memory, which is defined as an important element of individual and collective identity, as well as a meaningful powerful tool and a means of domination. It is supposed to describe how the inconvenient memories were displaced and excluded from the originally multilayer environment of memories through the process of institutional treatment, while suitable for the prevailing pattern memories erected to the status of a template; how the different social groups and powerful institutions managed to translate the symbolic capital of memory in social and political capital, replace some of the traditional forms of international contacts so-called "Memorial diplomacy".

Within the framework of the approaches described above the following research methods will be applied:

  • Comparative analysis, which involves identifying of the general and the particular in the development processes and phenomena, the specifics of their synchronic and diachronic dimensions, central and local levels;
  • visual analysis, allowing to use informative features of images, which until recently took marginal position in historical researches in comparison with the text, effectively;
  • discourse analysis, allowing learning the perception and interpretation of the meaning of events, and the impact interpretational models on the institutional and social practices;
  • the method of oral history, productive for the study of communicative aspects of the postwar history and compensating lack of sources or its objective "silence" on the issues studied in the project with the help of specifically aligned deep biographical interviews. The interpretation of the collected data will take into account the concept of collective memory focusing historians’’ attention on the constructed nature of the of memories, the processes of forgetting and repression, stratification of cultural codes and the actualpersonal experiences.