On the Origin of Russian Academic Degrees (First Half of the Nineteenth Century)
The authors examine historical circumstances which brought about the perception of an academic dissertation as a result of scholarly research and, simultaneously, as a means to advance a civil servant’s career. Unlike those dealing with universities’ socio-political history they are not exclusively interested in legal norms, defense statistics, and personal recollections. The reserachers are also looking to answer the following questions: in the first half of the 19th century, did the defense procedure serve as a form of academic assessment? Or was it just a way to establish an academic hierarchy and promote education? They also seek to understand how the status of a thesis changed over time and how a dissertation became more research-oriented.