NaUKMA Research Papers. History and Theory of Culture

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ISSN / EISSN : 2617-8907 / 2663-2160
Total articles ≅ 60

Latest articles in this journal

NaUKMA Research Papers. History and Theory of Culture, Volume 4, pp 35-45;

The relevance of research. One of the most important unsolved problems of cultural studies, religious studies, art history, and history is to determine the time of the origin of religious ideas: that of the beginning of the spiritual evolution of the mankind, which at a certain stage of development begins to master not only the material world but also tries to comprehend the supernatural transcendent reality. The views of scholars regarding the time of the birth of religious beliefs is divided into two opposing points of view. According to one of them, expressed in the works of R. Marett, F. Ratzel, V. Kabo, A. Zubov, religious representations were inherent in the primitive man since the beginning of existence. A serious argument against this version is the fact that art the site of Olduvai culture no object was found that did not have a utilitarian purpose and that could be interpreted as a cult object. However, this fact can be explained by the fact that the rational awareness of the highest supernatural power was preceded by its subconscious (intuitive) sensation, which did not require objectivation in cult objects. Religious ideas were primitive so that they did not need any cult objects. According to other scholars, one can speak of the emergence of religious ideas only from the moment when the cult artefacts appeared; the pre-religious period had lasted until the end of the Mousterian era. However, the discovery of a number of archaeological sites in the second half of the 20th century at the beginning of the 21st century makes it possible to move the beginning of the appearance of Religious beliefs back until the period of the late Acheulean–beginning of Mousterian era.The purpose of the article: to establish the time of the origin and evolution of the earliest religious beliefs associated with the cult of bones, based on the analysis of the most ancient artefacts currently known, which testify to the ritual activities of the primitive man. The considered artefacts lead to the conclusion that the most ancient evidence of the cults of bones belongs to the era of the late Acheulean and Mousterian. Animal bones were among the first objects that the primitive man singled out from the environment as sacred, and endowed with a supernatural ability to revive the lives of animals and humans. Symbolic compositions of bones and signs carved in them became sacred attributes used for magical rites. The first acts of the ritual symbolization marked the emergence of sacred art and magic, which, radically different from the directly useful work, passed into a special plane of connection of men with the supernatural force. The earliest monuments (Torralba, Ambrona, Azykh), which testify to magical actions with bones, date back to about 400–200 thousand years BC. Thus, more than 2 million years passed from the appearance of man (ca. 2.7 million years ago) to the emergence of religious ideas, which required objectification in cult items and the performance of certain rituals. Although it cannot be denied that the intuitive subconscious sense of the supernatural power has been inherent in man since the beginning of his existence, purposefully by cultic magical actions that called on higher powers for help, he began to practice from the period of the late Acheulean. In the Mousterian era, in addition to the cult of bones, the cult of the skull arose as a container of special energy capable of renewing human life. Despite the fact that there are only a few examples of skull burials in the Mousterian period, apart from Mount Circeo, in Zhoukoudian (1929), Ngandonga (1931–1933) and Steingheim (1933), it can be assumed that about 70–50 thousand years ago, along with burials, an undissected body could be another rite of separation of the skull, which as a container of a special vital energy of man was buried in some parts of the caves on piles of bones and stones, just as at about the same time separately buried the skulls of bears in stone boxes and niches in caves of Regurdu, Azykh, Drachenloh, Wildenmannlisloch, and others. Later, with the development of ideas about the soul, the cult of skulls is further developed, based on the realization of the power of the extracorporeal spiritual essence of the revered dead (= ancestors), the concentration of which requires a magical container.
Nadiia Nikitenko
NaUKMA Research Papers. History and Theory of Culture, Volume 4, pp 70-79;

St. Sophia of Kyiv, built in 1011‒1018 at the turn of the reigns of Volodymyr the Great and Yaroslav the Wise, has preserved a large number of unique secular frescoes. Their customer was Volodymyr, who owns the idea of the temple, which is reflected in the mosaics and frescoes. A triumphal fresco cycle is unfolding in the two stair towers which, according to the Byzantine tradition, glorifies its customer. The frescoes tell about a dynastic marriage between Prince Volodymyr the Great and the Byzantine Princess Anna Porphyrogenitus at the turn of 987–988, which initiated the baptism of the Kyivan State. The cycle consists of narrative historical and symbolic (ornamental, zoomorphic, and teratological 4) plots. The central composition of a symbolic nature is a mysterious teratological plot of five interconnected medallions placed on the vault of the south tower. This combined plot traces the Scandinavian influences caused by Volodymyr’s princely order, which are present in the unique emblematic image of god Odin with two wolves. The decoding of the plot revealsits semantic unity both with the triumphant fresco cycle of towers, which it is a part of, and with the ideological concept of the whole temple complex as a memorial of the baptism of Rus-Ukraine, the founder and builder of which was Volodymyr the Great. The plot reveals deep sacred and at the same time ethnically colored connotations with the image of Volodymyr as a crowned prince-baptizer and a powerful military leader. This concept fits into the general marital leitmotif of the secular cycle. The frescoes of the towers present not only a completely realistic outline of the initial event of the baptism of the people (the engagement of Volodymyr and Anna) but also a corresponding symbolic and metaphorical disclosure of this theme.
Zhanna Shkliarenko
NaUKMA Research Papers. History and Theory of Culture, Volume 4, pp 99-105;

At the end of the 20th century performance art, as a rule, avoids pigeonholing itself as a separate form of the creative process, particular scientific orientation, or a definitive kind of art; it is an art of subliminal hints that everyone can perceive at their own discretion. Performance art involves mandatory involvement of the public and active communicative function. In an attempt to draw the attention of the public to the problem in performance art irony, epatage, exaggeration, metaphor, and association highlights of socialphenomena that provoke the viewer indirectly or directly to some action or reflection on certain social issues, connecting the moment of interactivity are widely used. In addition, public art, which includes performance art, focuses on the unprepared spectator and involves communication with the city’s space and its inhabitants. Democracy in performance art is manifested through the choice of a topic that can relate to any aspect of life. All performances art in the early 21st century are united by external orientation, having an onlooker in mind, but any individual performance art is aimed at the idea of awakening the mind of the viewer.
Iryna Karaeva
NaUKMA Research Papers. History and Theory of Culture, Volume 4, pp 22-27;

Cultural studies cover the genesis and development of culture as a specific human lifestyle. Its universals are representations of human cultural experience, including humans, their life and death. The meaning of human life, death, and immortality became the main objects for consideration and research at all stages of Aldous Huxley’s literary activity.The analysis of his early philosophical novels and novels that offer an anti-utopian model of culture shows his tendency to destroy his characters in order to defend their personalities, a refusal to accept the patterns of ordinary being, when the man’s will is aimed only at self-preservation and reproduction. To identify this tendency, we studied the novels Crome Yellow, Antic Hay, Point Counter Point, Eyeless in Gaza, After Many a Summer, Time Must Have a Stop, Brave New World, Ape and Essence. At this stage of spiritual search, A. Huxley justifies suicide as a way of self-realization.Having reached the level of the philosophical outlook, A. Huxley proposes and promotes the spiritual ideals of self-improvement, love for neighbour as for ‘another one’, the attitude to death as an existential, which is a certain stage of human existence, not tragic but natural. It is reflected in the novel Island. Thanatology is one of the main subjects at school. The yoga of death is promoted: it treats life and death as a single entity, as a kind of art, which should result in Paranirvana.The article proves that A. Huxley’s stance on the problems of purpose of life, death, and immortality had been changing along with the evolution of his outlook. It is shown how this genesis is reflected in A. Huxley’s literary works. Death in A. Huxley’s works is interpreted via meta-anthropological approach as the existential transcendent being of man.
NaUKMA Research Papers. History and Theory of Culture, Volume 4, pp 54-63;

The paper contributes to the anthropological debate surrounding the methodology of the New Melanesian Ethnography and the model of the dividual personhood it is based on. The author introduces a disciplinary and historical context in which the theory was formulated and proposes an extended explication of the monograph The Gender of the Gift that is generally credited as the seminal work for the theoretical movement. Two points of critique are introduced and foregrounded in the ethnographic material from Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu: the limited heuristic potential of the dividual model and its ideological relativism that is fraught with dangerous political consequences for the disciplinary project of anthropology.
NaUKMA Research Papers. History and Theory of Culture, Volume 4, pp 11-21;

This article traces the implementation of the concept of ‘temple consciousness’ in hierotopic processes, including the construction of monuments and the organization of memorial sites. The memorials were designed to stand as an eternal reminder of an event that was experienced as a common heroic story in its symbolic representation. The study shows the transit and transformation of memorial discourse in the Soviet and post-Soviet symbolic spaces, which manifested itself in the redefinition of memorial sites in the direction of either actualization or levelling of the cultural and historical memory, given the dominant ideological paradigm. The sources of research, in addition to architectural and artistic monuments, include the mythopoetics of the mass culture, which also acts as a projection of ideology and contains archetypal patterns of the collective unconscious.Lenin’s memorialization as ‘the leader of the world proletariat’ became useful. The memorial policy of the Bolshevik Party was influenced by the ideas and events that took place back in history, including the discovery of the tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamun in Luxor (1922) and the teachings of Russian cosmologist Nikolai Fedorov in the work Philosophy of Common Cause published in full in 1913. The use of religion should point to key preconditions that have ensured the development of Soviet ideology which should be codified through the dominance of religion, in particular as ‘political religion’ or ‘secular religion’. The peculiarity of this phenomenon is the merging of two forms of thinking: political and religious.In addition, the Bolshevik atheists allowed the bodily resurrection of Lenin considering their unconditional belief in the “science of the future”; incidentally, they were not mistaken, because the leader’s body, engaged in the research work, survived until the invention of the cloning procedure. The secularized religious energy was mobilized to achieve political goals, which made possible the implementation of a totalitarian system, revealing the imitative essence of totalitarianism, which parasitized on religious thinking. Lenin’s Mausoleum is seen as a reliquary temple in the view of the communist cult of Eternity, which became the basis of Lenin’s cult.The levelling of the cult of Lenin began in the 1970s, which was facilitated by the pompous celebration of his 100th anniversary, which gave rise to political anecdotes as a symptom of the destruction of Lenin’s myth. The Revolution of Dignity (2013–2014) in Ukraine contributed to the dismantling of monuments to Lenin which were seen as personifications of Soviet-style ‘Leninism’ and symbols of imperial-Russian oppression.The purpose of this article is to substantiate the legitimacy of the author’s proposed concept of ‘political hierotopy’.
Valentyna Panchenko, Daryna Zhyvohliadova
NaUKMA Research Papers. History and Theory of Culture, Volume 4, pp 28-34;

Globalization processes stimulate the search for new principles of organization of a multicultural environment, optimization of dialogue of its subjects, and the search for new organizational structures of cooperation that would meet the qualitatively new challenges of international coexistence in a post-industrial society. In order to effectively reconcile interests and support the sustainable development of a common world, the multiplicity of actors and forms of intercultural interaction in modern realities requires the ability to direct intercultural cooperation to reorganize the system of transnational cultural practices. International cooperation is becoming a space and a way to promote the sustainable development of solidarity, interdependent communities, creating the most complex system of joint action, led by global international institutions and network structures.The network form of organization of interaction in the field of culture provides cooperation with more varied opportunities for the formation of common resources (tangible and intangible), optimizes the entire system of coordination of their mutual influence on cultural policy and social change. A classic example of a successful and thoughtful organization of network cooperation is the functioning of the European network on cultural management and policy (ENCATC). The network promotes the development and implementation of new key competencies in the field of cultural policy, cultural and creative industries at both local and global levels of the world community. ENCATC expands the resources of cultural management by finding new modern forms and mechanisms for synchronizing knowledge and actions, the synergy of local project experiences, and other forms of activity not only in the field of culture but also in the socio-political, economic spaces of cooperation.
Borys Chumachenko
NaUKMA Research Papers. History and Theory of Culture, Volume 4, pp 90-98;

In this article an attempt is made to place Bakhtin’s case in the context of the Soviet 1960s with their specific mental world. The study question is why this almost forgotten figure of the 1920s has become a proper man in a proper place in time of transition from Stalin’s Great Fear to Khrushchov’s liberalization with its continuation till 1968 and how this resurrection from the dead occured. The virtues and scientific significance of Bakhtin’s works are doubtless and undeniable. But there is something else that helps to explain Bakhtin’s phenomenon and its popularity. His readers mentality determines the fate of books and the spreading of ideas. The sixties witnessed the unprecedented success of Bakhtin’s books. They changed the vocabulary of humanities and the mode of thinking in the generation of so-called Thaw. Bakhtin became one of the most influential figures of the sixties and greatly stimulated the emergence of the new trend known as culturology. Bakhtin’s Rabelais was a special success. This text can be read on different levels and interpreted in many ways. Its content combines such genres as literary criticism, the history of culture, and philosophy. The readers of the sixties paid special attention to Bakhtin’s vision of popular culture with its central image of carnival and were especially sensitive and receptive for the concept of Laughing Renaissance as a spiritual twin of Thaw which had Marxist roots, not Bakhtin’s. Thanks to the complexity of the text’s possible interpretation, Bakhtin was mistakenly considered as an ideologist of Thaw, and his Rabelais – as an intellectual product of this historical moment full of optimism, great expectations and hopes. Bakhtin was read by the generation of the 1960s in accordance with its mentality, its pursuit of a new form of “Socialism with human face” when left and even Marxist ideas dominated in the non-conformist discourse. But all of that had little in common with authentic Bakhtin who could share neither this philosophical worldview nor the illusions of the 1960s. The view of laughter as a kind of social therapy and as a means of emancipation in society was far from Bakhtin’s. He fully realized the demonic nature of carnival and saw it as his ambivalent ally from hell hostile to every kind of ideocracy. His readers who had invented Renaissance as a prototype of their time and the first Thaw in history misunderstood the inner intentions of Bakhtin himself. But doing this quite unconsciously, they gave the first and triumphant life for the outstanding scientific and philosophical text on Rabelais written by the person of a damaged life from the past.
Lyudmila Gots
NaUKMA Research Papers. History and Theory of Culture, Volume 4, pp 5-10;

The purpose of the article is to study mythological transhumanism in the context of the problem of artificial life in the folktales of premodern. The research methodology in the field of cultural studies is based on the comparative mythology, genetic method, as well as structural, semiotic, hermeneutic, and axiological analysis. The criterion for selecting plots for analysis in this article is the category of artificial life created with the help of technology (everyday household practices, craft, magic, etc.), as opposed to birth or revival solely by the order of the demiurge. This paper argues that transhumanistic intentions of humanity are already represented in mythological and traditional thinking. The study showed a frequent use of the motive of the creation of artificial life by a person in folktales. This suggests that transhumanistic thinking may be universal in culture. The peculiarities of the representation of the problems of artificial life in the traditional consciousness are revealed. It was found that folktales about the creation of artificial life from natural materials are related with animism, totemism, and magical ideas. It was found that the mythological creation of artificial life by a demiurge has an invariant in the folk tales. It is the implementation of the transhumanistic act of human creation of artificial life with the help of technologies (everyday household practices, craft, magic). The image of an ordinary head of the household, artisan, master reflects the archetype of the demiurge-creator, the Magician, while the image of an artificial creation reflects the archetype of the Doll who Came to Life. The “man–god” and “alive–dead” binary opposition is blurred in traditional thinking. Quasi-parents treat their artificial creations resemble ordinary children. At the same time, the status of a quasi-child is interpreted ambiguously: as a blessing for quasi-parents, as a curse, or in a neutral way. We found out the reasons why folktales about the creation of artificial life often have a negative ending.
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