Перелом в истории отечественной африканистики
Could there be any connection between the Zulus and the Kazakhs as early as the 19th century? Between remote parts of Russia and South Africa? According to some archival documents, people from these two countries did know something about one another and had started to form mutual images of one another even in that epoch. And this led to contacts direct or indirect. The available evidence is fragmentary, often contradictory and sometimes difficult to interpret. But it is there.
The publication is the latest in the African Studies in Russia series of compilations which contain reviews and annotations of the most important – from the point of view of editors – works of Russian Africanists over a certain period. The authors work at the Institute of African Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS), other institutions of the RAS, or in Russian higher education institutions. The present issue covers the years 2008 to 2009 and consists of three sections and an appendix. The first section outlines some main contents of conceptual articles on Africa published in authoritative Russian journals. The second one offers synopses of books by Russian authors on history, economics, cultural anthropology, social and political development, and international relations of African countries. The third section contains information on the most significant events in African Studies in Russia (conferences, symposia, etc.). The appendix provides a bibliography of publications on Africa published in Russia in 2008–2009. The main objective of the series of compilations, which come out every 2–3 years, is to introduce new findings of Russian Africanists to interested foreign scholars who do not speak Russian.
The fiftieth anniversary is approaching of the year which has entered the world history as "The Year of Аfrica". In 1960 seventeen new Аfrican states appeared on the map of the world. In connection with this anniversary the summing up of the results is beginning in Аfrica and the whole world: what has this half-century road been like? What difficulties, achievements, mistakes have been on this road? It is necessary also to track the road of science in the field of Аfrican studies, to estimate to what degree its predictions have come true, what achievements, difficulties, mistakes it has had. In his article the author unifies the analysis of scientific achievements with what he saw himself when he was a student and a post-graduate student from the end of the 1940-s to the middle of the 1950-s, and he stresses what is important in this country's Аfrican studies and what is not clear enough to people who came to science at a later time.