PetrSU Hosted the 5th Kirkenes International Seminar of Historians on “Russia and the Countries of Northern Europe: Physical and Symbolic Borders”
“Kirkenes seminars are forums for discussions among historians from Russia and the countries of Northern Europe (mainly Scandinavian countries and Finland). Predominantly, these seminars are attended by the historians from the research and education centers and universities of the North-West of Russia, the northern regions of Scandinavian countries and Finland. The 1st Kirkenes seminar took place in 1999 in Murmansk, the 2nd in Kirkenes, 3rd in Murmansk, 4th in Longyearbyen (the Spitsbergen Archipelago). Petrozavodsk State University is holding the 5th seminar,” said the Director of the Institute of History, Political and Social Sciences Sergey Verigin at the opening of the seminar.
The historians spent two days sharing interesting reports, debating and discussing the perspectives of further cooperation and implementation of new joint projects of the historians of Russia and Scandinavian countries. In the framework of the seminar the participants also presented their books.
The Director of the Barents Institute of the University of Tromsø – the Arctic University of Norway Marianne Neerland Soleim said: “I am grateful to PetrSU for such a warm welcome. Cooperation with Russia and PetrSU plays an important role for the Barents Institute, especially in the field of historical studies. We jointly implement projects in several areas; we do a lot of research regarding the border issues. We look forward to continuing this fruitful cooperation”.
The Professor of the Institute of History and Religious Studies of the University of Tromsø Jens Petter Nielsen shared his opinion: “Borders are an important topic today. Historians, political experts, sociologists and literary scholars from all over the world study this subject. Nowadays it is relevant and very important to raise the issue of borders between countries and people and look for the means to overcome them. That is why Kirkenes seminars are an amazing place for historians to meet and discuss these and other issues.
“It is essential to study and know history. For if you don’t know history, you don’t know the road ahead, you can’t understand the modern society, the events happening here and now. They all are linked to history. Without history there is no today,” noted the professor. Jens Petter also shared his plans: “The next conference takes place in 2017 in Kirkenes. It will be dedicated to the 100-year anniversary of the Revolution of 1917. We will focus on the events of the Revolution in the North and its repercussions in bordering countries”.