The journal intends to be published four times per year in the form of special issues. We aim to be interesting to our readers, staying within the academic discourse. We use literary allusions in topics of journal issues as a way of updating scientific problems, being aware of conventionality of disciplinary boundaries in human knowledge.
The New Past is a peer-reviewed journal which publishes original papers in Russian and English on issues, covering such disciplines as history, cultural anthropology, language studies and different hybrid areas of Social Sciences and Humanities without any regional or chronological limitations.
The Editorial Board accepts papers for publication in the following areas of research:
- Phenomenon of the past and identity;
- academic practices of representation of the past;
- mass historical representations in different epochs;
- symbols of the past and their role in the functioning of historical consciousness;
- historiographical schools and trends, and their characteristics;
- historical memory and historical oblivion, factors of their formation;
- politics of memory, tools and mechanisms for managing the past;
- collective trauma and its role in the reflection on the past;
- documents and archives, techniques of working with them;
- biographies and shaping of historical consciousness.
The main journal topics are (No)Doubt, Theme of the issue, Theory and Methodology, Articles and Reports, Discussions, Sources, Reviews, Academic Life.
Submitted articles must contain the following elements:
- Introductory part, containing the statement of the problem and justification of the goal, the novelty and relevance of the presented research;
- Analysis of the sources and literature on the basis of which the research was carried out;
- Description of the methods used or theoretical basis;
- Analysis of arguments (main part);
We draw your attention that the submitted articles should correspond to the concept of the journal. The journal publishes manuscripts in which the past is perceived as a subject of constant processing in the framework of academic and non-academic practices. The Editorial Board of the journal prefers manuscripts that reflect not only the events of the past but rather different forms of reflection about it or a new look at the events - a new problem statement, use of new methods of analysis or introduction of new sources that open up a new perspective for the research. We expect these new aspects to be reflected in the submitted papers.
Sections of the journal and length of the manuscript:
Sections "(No)Doubt", “Main Issue”, “Theory and methodology”, “Articles”, “Sources”, "Discussion" are regular and peer-reviewed.
The recommended length of the article is from 20,000 to 40,000 characters, spaces included, taking into account all units of the article (see Author’s Guide).
The section “Main Issue” contains submitted articles on topics proposed in advance by the Editorial Board following the Annual Program.
In the section “Theory and Methodology” articles that highlight the current state of theoretical and methodological aspects of historical research are published.
Articles that are not related to the topic of the current issue are published in the section “Articles”.
In the “Sources” section previously unpublished sources and archival materials are introduced for further scientific use. The section is intended for the publications of written historical sources, narrative or documentary. In some cases, the Editorial Board may consider publishing a specific set of archaeological sources, although it is not possible to follow this practice in each of the issues. Priority is given to sources first introduced for scientific use through their archaeographic publication. Reprinting sources is not encouraged and should be justified.
In methodological terms, an archaeographic publication should meet the requirements of "Rules for the publication of historical documents in the USSR" (Moscow, 1990), as well as methodological recommendations for the publication of certain varieties of written historical sources (e.g. acts). In the structure of the publication, it is necessary to highlight the archaeographic introduction (foreword), an array of published documents (if there are several) and comments on them. Guided by the methodological recommendations of leading Russian archaeographers and counting on the development of an archaeographic culture of text transmission, we consider it necessary for the authors to justify the inclusion of the sources in the publication. The number of published documents, however, is not regulated. The recommended total amount of accepted materials is up to 40,000 characters, including spaces. Author’s Guide are identical to the requirements for manuscripts for other sections.
The “Discussion” section contains 4 authors' materials ranging from 15,000 to 20,000 characters each on the issues previously announced to the participants (related to the topic of the current issue) and based on questions formulated by the Editorial Board. The authors can choose all questions or just several to answer. The column "Discussion" is peer-reviewed, and therefore, the materials must contain all units of the manuscript structure (see. Author’s Guide). The Editorial Board invites leading experts, representing different points of view, to participate in the discussion.
The recommended length of manuscripts for sections “Reviews” and “Academic Chronicle” ranges from 12,000 to 15,000 characters (spaces included). The materials in these sections contain all units of a scientific article (see Author’s Guide).
Opinions articulated in published articles reflect personal views of authors and could not coincide with those of the Editorial Board.
"Metamorphoses" (1/2023). The problem of the integration of the North Caucasus is traditionally perceived from the perspective of it being a part of the Russian Empire, from the perspective of the spread of imperial management technologies, norms of social control and cultural standards. This side of the integration process is well represented both in Russian and foreign historiography. However, the internal unification of the territory of the North Caucasus is no less significant. Internal integration manifested itself in the elimination of ethno-territorial isolation, the formation of new administrative borders and practices, the emergence of regional socio-economic and cultural centers, new logistics ties, transport hubs, and a regional market for goods and services. The study of the North Caucasus integration will make it possible to more accurately assess the scale of the transformation of the region during the Imperial and Soviet periods. Within this framework, the search for an optimal model of administrative management and economic zoning of the region was carried out, as well as the development of sub-regional economic specialization. These numerous changes influenced not only the level of political and socio-economic institutions but also directly the structures of everyday life, as well as the images of cultural memory. Therefore, Ovid’s “Metamorphoses” was chosen as a metaphor for various transformations in a certain sequence. We look forward to articles that would present Imperial and Soviet integration practices in a comparative manner, which will allow us to assess the effectiveness of various regional transformation strategies.
"For whom the bell tolls" (2/2023). For a long time, the concept of ideology has been one of the central theoretical categories of humanitarian knowledge. The concept of ideology was criticized from different angles. Some researchers draw attention to the weakness of its theoretical foundations, others insist on numerous internal contradictions, while others argue that criticism of ideology is too moralized or politicized to be used as a tool in the social sciences. Most use the concept of ideology as a metaphor when describing social phenomena of the past and the present, i.e. we use the combination of “bourgeois ideology” to explain the internal mechanisms of bourgeois thought, and “consumption ideology” as a way to describe modern commercial culture.
Any ideology, like the metaphorical bell from the title of Hemingway’s novel, mobilizes potential supporters under its banner and claims to represent a consolidated idea that reflects the interests of the masses. At the same time, any ideological system is full of internal contradictions. During the Cold War, the very texts of Hemingway, especially after his suicide in 1961, were subjected to analysis from the ideological point of view. The moral, religious, political aspects of his works seemed (and, perhaps, turned out to be) more important than the literary merits. It is no coincidence that the first researchers of Hemingway’s work, fierce American patriots, contributed to the nationwide anti-communist campaign in the 1950s and the formation of the ideological beliefs during the Cold War. As a result, the artistic polysemy of Hemingway’s texts gave way to ideological stability and unambiguity, and the author, who preferred to live abroad, expressed doubts about the values of the American way of life, and was skeptical about the world around him, came to be regarded as a spokesman of American ethics. This fact probably reflects the internal logic of the development of any ideology: the desire for homogenization of thought and the need for mass mobilization at the expense of simplifying the surrounding reality.
The main question this issue analyzes is how ideology functions; how it mobilizes supporters, and what motivates people to adhere to different ideological attitudes. Instead of considering the normative aspect and classifying ideologies, this issue asks how internal contradictions function within the framework of ideologies themselves, how in different historical eras they are formulated, represented, overcome at different levels: personal and group levels, ideological and institutional, national and transnational.
The questions planned for discussion are as follows:
1. (Un)freedom in ideologies. What are the factors of transformation and evolution of ideological systems? What are the mechanisms for the dissemination of ideas, and what role does coercion play in this process? Who are the hostages of ideologies – the creators themselves, or those who share these ideas? How is a complex reality dissected in ideological systems and reduced to a set of clichés?
2. Mass and elite aspects in ideology. Robert Jordan, the protagonist of Hemingway’s For whom the bell tolls, asks us if “there [was] ever a people whose leaders were as truly their enemies as this one?” What are the mechanisms of assimilation of elite ideas into mass discourse? What is the degree of idealism in ideologies? How do the plans and ideas of intellectuals relate to their implementations? What remains in the mass consciousness of intellectual constructs?
3. National and transnational aspects in ideology. Ideologies appear as a result of the need for national mobilization, acquiring one if its features – mass character. But how does the national become transnational? What national ideological materials are used to create transnational ideological traditions?
4. The role of violence in the assertion of ideologies. “The Fair of Liberty and from this day, when these are extinguished, the town and the land are ours”. The heroes of the novel raise question of dehumanization of the ideological enemies and legitimization of the sacrifice. What determines the degree of acceptability of violence for different ideological systems? Is the revolution not only the “midwife of history” but also of ideology? And more broadly, what kind of conflicts and traumas are capable of generating and adapting ideologies?
5. Heroes and victims of ideologies / heroes and victims in ideologies. What is the role of ideological symbols? How are they developed? What is their life cycle? How do ideas and symbols correlate? Is there a gradual replacement of ideas with their symbols? And, finally, who are the victims of ideologies?
"Byzantism and Russia" (3/2023). The year 2023 is marked by two anniversaries that are extremely significant for Russian culture and social thought. 170 years have passed since the birth of Vladimir Sergeevich Solovyov, one of the greatest Russian philosophers and predecessor of the Silver Age. Half a millennium has passed since the moment when Philotheus of Pskov coined the formula that is considered the calling card of the Russian Middle Ages: “two Romes have fallen, the third stands, and there will be no fourth”. The intersection of the symbolic vectors embodied in these two iconic figures of the Russian history of ideas is the text, the title of which has been chosen as the topic of this issue. The essay “Byzantism and Russia” was published by Vladimir Solovyov four years before his death, in 1896, and can be attributed to the final texts of the philosopher, because it expresses his most intimate thoughts about the fate of Russia, its place in history and divine plan for humanity. This text can be viewed both as a reflection of the ideological and political agenda of the late 19th century, and as a landmark in the centuries-old dispute over the historical path of Russia, where the last point has not yet been put. At the same time, this work says a lot about the author himself, whose insight made it possible to see in the idea of “Byzantine heritage” something that neither the accusers of “La misérable Byzance”, nor its apologists from the conservators, nor politicians and publicists who dreamed of the conquest of Constantinople. Having chosen the idea of the Third Rome as the focal point of the analysis, V.S. Soloviev came closest to understanding the meaning that Filofey Pskovsky put into it. The core of this idea is not absolute autocracy, and certainly not the dream of the throne of Constantinople, but a warning about the threat of a repetition of the fate of the two fallen Christian kingdoms that could not bear the spiritual burden and moral responsibility.
On this anniversary we propose to reflect on the eternal questions, the comprehension of which are prompted by the insights and warnings of two Russian prophets: the “Byzantine vector” of Russian history and its interpretation in Russian historiosophy and social thought; the place and significance of the heritage of the Byzantium in the culture, ideology, political and legal traditions of Russia; the inspiring motives and dangerous temptations of doctrines and concepts, derived from the theory “Moscow, the Third Rome”; the extent to which these ideas can be relevant today, and to what extent we remain hostage to their misinterpretations.
"Distant Land" (4/2023). The interpretation of the development of the Russian Far East as the history of the colonization of new territories by the Empire is widespread in Russian and foreign historiography. We suggest adjusting the optics and evaluating these processes in the light of global history. This will allow us to move away from national and state narratives and look at the history of the Far East as a cross-border interaction process of various social elements (institutions, people, living environment, etc.). No less relevant in this context is the problem of distance, when remoteness and weak ties with the region naturally gave rise to new forms of political, economic and social relations in the state structure. Alternating between different scales of analysis reveals mechanisms for overcoming cultural and political boundaries at the interstate, regional and local levels. It is no coincidence that the novel by N.P. Zadornov "Distant Land" is a story about complex history of interactions of various ethnic groups, religions, institutions and, of course, people in a transboundary environment. We suggest these topics in a broad chronological framework, taking into account the historically established ties in the Far East.
"Essays on the Bursa" (1/2024). The issue’s topic is reminiscent of the mid-19th century bestseller, which shocked the public with descriptions of the morals in the theological school, where cramming, poverty, hunger, beatings and harassment of students by cruel teachers and older comrades were widespread. The story set the framework for the perception of spiritual education and the daily life of students of theological schools and seminaries for many years, becoming a paradigmatic text not only for secular readers, who unconditionally accepted all the horrors of the church school, but also for the priests themselves, who subsequently wrote their memoirs about the years of youth with patterns of N.G. Pomyalovsky. Based on the “Essays on the Bursa”, we suggest turning to the history of religious education in the Russian Empire, focusing not on the content of a series of educational reforms or the content of curricula, but on its anthropological dimension: everyday life, social practices, interpersonal relationships, norms and their violations, specific culture of a closed educational institution. Within the framework, we expect to have a discussion about the influence of literary bestsellers, such as “Essays on the Bursa”, on contemporaries, including government officials who make political decisions under their influence, as well as historians who fall under the charm of a literary text.
The date of paper acceptance to an issue is the date of positive decision on the publication made at a meeting of the Editorial Board.