Взгляд из прошлого. Представления о Другом, или Как изучать Другого: некоторые тенденции постколониальных исследований и «исторического поворота» глазами постсоветского африканиста
The article presents a section of the Introduction to the author’s Ph.D. thesis (2000), which reviews the approaches to studying representations of the Other (hence the Other, as well) that by the late 1990s formed in post-colonial theory and the ‘historical turn’ within the context of the critique of Orientalism and ‘classical’ anthropology. The aims of this publication are, on the one hand, to recall the approaches themselves (nowadays dominant, they are still not always recognized in some Russian researchers’ spontaneous practices), and, on the other, to give an example — within the context of discussions on post-Soviet scholars’ attitudes to the afore-mentioned critique — of its interpretation by a post-Soviet ‘Africanist’ (at the time, the author was one). While highlighting the critique of cultural determinism and essentialism, the conceptualization of the ‘West’ and the ‘Orient’ as social constructs, the historical understanding of ‘culture’, as well as renouncing its inner coherence and accentuating multi-level, situational and individualizing analysis (trends new at that time even for those post-Soviet scholars who pursued cultural studies opposed to the orthodox Soviet scholarship), the author also indicated a shift in the approaches under study -- from a hermeneutic ‘understanding’ of the Other to questions of identity. In looking for a way to combine the presumptions of the historical turn and the endeavors of such understanding, she suggested viewing representations of the Other as a sort of cultural boundary where the notions of ‘we’ and ‘they’ are most fully articulated, thus revealing cultural categories that underlie the process.