From the Editors

Published Date:

For citation: Fhing in histiry. From the Editors, in Studia Slavica et Balcanica Petropolitana. 2018. № 2. Pp. 3-4.

Title of the article  Thing in history. From the Editors
In the section  Commentarii / Articles
Year 2018 Issue  2 Pages  3-4
Type of article RAR Index UDK   Index BBK  


Paradoxically, the thing in everyday life and the thing in history are two completely different things. Nobody denies the importance of the former. It is clearly impossible to live without things. As for the latter, the situation is the opposite. We know (or sense by intuition) that all historical events developed against the background and in the context of a certain complex of things. However, this complex — the world of the things of the past — attracts our attention at best as theatrical scenery (e.g., “domestic life of Russian tsars and tsarinas”) or as a research area of specialist communities — archeologists, ethnographers and students of artefacts. What people do is in no way related to what things do, since things do nothing — that is one the central postulates of Cartesianism, which until recently was the basis of the modern European view and understanding of the world.
In the contemporary world, the role and place of a thing in people’s life and history have essentially changed. Actor-network theory, object-oriented ontology, new materialism, assemblage theory — all these influential trends of thought suggest reconsidering things and acknowledging their agency, which used to be only a human being’s prerogative.Such paradigm changes have led to a new rise of interest for the problem of “the thing in history” in contemporary historiography. The papers in this section do not cover all the approaches to the problem but outline some potentially useful ways for a closer consideration of the issue.The editorial staff welcomes you to continue the discussion in the subsequent publications.

Keywords sources studies, museology, museum, thing, object, collection
Full text version of the article. Article language  Russian; English