Using newly-discovered archival documents, this article reconstructs the cohesive aesthetic and social conception of children’s literature that lay behind the public appearances of writer, critic and editor Lydia Chukovskaya (1908-1994) between 1953-57. This conception rested on the idea of “truth” as a synonym for psychological authenticity and as an overcoming of the estrangement created by the clichéd mental constructions of socialist realism. The author shows that Chukovskaya’s In the Editor’s Laboratory (1960) synthesized her thoughts over the previous decade on literature and the future of Soviet culture, in the form of a utopian conception of literary editing as a means of social-moral therapy for post-Stalinist society. This conception had a noticeable effect on several young writers of the “Thaw” period. The article includes an appendix of three previously unknown speech outlines for talks Chukovskaya gave at literary discussions in the 1950s.
The article examines the now-typical condition of universities worldwide, in which the unity of research and teaching is on the decline. In Safronov’s opinion, because teaching has no palpable, materially evident results (in comparison with scientific results), it is now being deprofessionalized. Yet this deprofessionalization opens up some new opportunities for educational theory and practice. The special asymmetry in the relationship between a teacher and her/his audience might bring about new forms of educational communication, no longer the distanced professional variety, but rather one built around friendly mutual need.
This article discusses the history of large-scale Soviet boarding schools at the start of their existence. Her basic hypothesis is that the boarding schools were meant to provide answers to some of the most pressing questions of the time: what are the limits of the Soviet citizen’s personal and political freedom, what are his/her basic obligations to the state, what is the state prepared to offer in return for fulfillment of these obligations, what kind of resources exist for the country’s accelerated economic development, given the anticipated arrival of mature communism within twenty years, etc. Maiofis suggests that Nikita Khrushchev thought of the boarding schools as an unprecedented act of liberation of Soviet citizens, who had borne the burden of war and the immediate post-war troubles; at the same time, the boarding schools were meant to be an equally unprecedented act of en-serfment (or enslavement) of Soviet children. And though Khrushchev’s project was realized only in part, today’s Russian boarding schools still show a family resemblance to their predecessors.