What is a "human"? Leading linguists, historians, anthropologists of Russia and abroad do not stop looking for answers to the main questions of mankind. This could be seen on November 23-25, 2021 in Magnitogorsk, where at the site of Nosov Magnitogorsk State Technical University hosted the International Interdisciplinary Scientific and Practical Conference "HUMAN +", organized by the Institute for the Humanities.
The interdisciplinarity of this scientific conference should not be interpreted as the courage or whim of the organizers. This approach to the study of the humanities is long overdue. As many conference participants noted, only multidisciplinarity makes it possible to achieve a synergistic effect in human research, the search for a new look at human nature and motor culture, ready to challenge them.
The conference is devoted to the discussion of the most important question for the humanists - "What does it mean to be a Human in the new world?". The answer to it constantly eludes us as soon as it begins to seem that we have come closer to understanding human nature, to understanding the essence of man. Everyone knows the definition of the biological species Homo sapiens - "House of Reason". Of course, we would like to think that we are reasonable, but the history of wars, concentration camps, atomic bombings, environmental disasters make us doubt this, despite the fact that animals sometimes show more intelligence in comparison with humans. For Johan Huizinga, homomoludens is “The Man Playing.” The Dutch scientist convincingly showed that the game is older than culture and that human culture has a playful character. Animals play too. There is also Homodeus, that is, the Divine Man. According to JuvenalHararry, organisms are algorithms and therefore homosapiens cannot dominate a universe where big data is becoming the paradigm.
Humankind's unique ability to give meaning to its actions and thoughts is what has made its many accomplishments possible. Technological developments threaten the development of people's ability to give meaning to their lives. Yu. Harari prophesies the replacement of humanity with a superman, or homodeus, endowed with supernatural powers such as eternal life.
The HUMAN+ Conference was held by the Institute for teh Humanities of NosovMagnitogorsk State Technical University at the site of the scientific and educational EXTEND-Center. It brought together graduate students, teachers and researchers (about 40 participants in total), conducting their research in various scientific fields (linguistics, translation studies, humanities, local history, history, pedagogy, ethnography, etc.), in different countries (Russia, Great Britain, France , Poland, Latvia, Sweden, Brazil), on different continents. It should be noted a large number of students and undergraduates who attended the conference or made presentations at the sections.
The English language has become a significant feature of this conference. All participants presented reports in English. It is significant that not only teachers of the Department of Linguistics and Translation or the Department of Foreign Languages in technical areas, professionally speaking foreign languages, but also teachers, students and undergraduates of other departments took part in the conference from the Magnitogorsk University: the Department of Psychology, Preschool and Special Education, Linguistics and Literary Studies , general history, etc.
The objective feature of the conference was the mixed format of the participants’ speeches, which became traditional in pandemic times: face-to-face meetings, online broadcasting and online reports of speakers who could not come were organized. This required well-coordinated technical and organizational work of both the organizers of the conference and its participants.
The grand opening of the HUMAN+ conference took place on November 23rd. Alexey Georgiyevich Korchunov, Vice-Rector for International Affairs addressed the participants with a welcoming speech; Chairman of the Program Committee, Director of the Institute for Humanitarian Education Tatyana Evgenievna Abramzon and Leading Researcher at the Institute of the History of Natural Science and Technology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, teacher at the School of Art and Design of the State University Higher School of Economics (Moscow) Irina Evgenievna Sirotkina.
At the plenary sessions, scientific reports were made by: in person - Honorary Professor of Lancaster University (Great Britain), honorary member of the Institute of Philosophy of the Russian Academy of Sciences, author of fundamental works on the history of psychology, the humanities and human nature, Roger Smith; cultural historian, anthropologist, leading researcher at the Institute of the History of Natural Science and Technology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, lecturer at the Moscow School of Art and Design of the State University Higher School of Economics, candidate of psychological sciences, Irina Evgenievna Sirotkina; Doctor of Philology, Doctor of Philosophy, Professor of Moscow State Technical University. G.I. Nosova Svetlana Andreevna Pesina, Director of the Institute for Humanitarian Education, Doctor of Philology, Professor at Nosov magnitogorsk State Technical University Tatyana Evgenievna Abramzon; in a distance format (digital platform ZOOM) - historian, professor at Karlstad University (Sweden) Peter Olausson (PeterOlausson) and Professor of the Federal University of Seragipe (Brazil) Igor Gadioli (Igor Gadioli).
R. Smith in his report “Sense of movement: “action-resistance” as the basis of human subjectivity” presented an interdisciplinary study of a complex and complex sense of movement (kinesthesia), which is also called “dark” (I. M. Sechenov), or "sixth", and associated with intuition. Professor Smith's main focus was on the fact that the sense of movement plays a central role in the functioning of all the senses, in the regulation of posture and movement. Kinaesthesia is a fundamental part of the human experience: our psychophysical state and well-being depends on how, how much and with what sensations we move. Understanding how the sense of movement is arranged and works, we get to know ourselves.
The interdisciplinarity of R. Smith's report was manifested, in particular, in the presented analysis of linguistic metaphors based on the ideas of movement and touch: the prime mover of the Universe, this does not concern me, the earth has gone from under my feet, driven by feeling, a tangible blow to pride, hit? move, hands off, cling to memories, he is unshakable, stroking the wrong way, a radical political movement, a touching speech, grasping the self, etc. The speaker noted that the frequency of referring to the idea of movement in speech has deep reasons, and “common sense” suggests we have the answer: man moves as an individual physical body in the physical world, and the sensory experience of this fundamental connection is a natural source of figures of speech for many less obvious meanings. Metaphor builds on what we know. The introduction to touch and movement sets the theme for the story. From the very beginning of life, a living being touches the objects of the real world or feels various touches; moves and meets another movement. Then there are gestures and speech, which are also movements. Our language of touch and movement has a physical, psychological, and social nature: when we realize ourselves as a person, a sense of movement pervades each of these dimensions. Contact, movement and resistance underlie the awareness of self and others, subject and object. Sensory modalities of touch and movement are at the center of a linguistic game that reflects our presence in the world, and this game, like the world, is characterized by richness and multidimensionality. This is how a person becomes a part of the world. In trying to describe what it means to live, we rely in a certain sense on the language of "contact." Philosopher Matthew Ratcliffe, a follower of the phenomenological tradition, observed on this occasion that "no part of the body is ever in a tactile 'void'". R. Smith also relied on the idea of Maurice Merleau-Ponty, expressed by him back in 1999, that “the phenomenological world is a corporeal world, experience is a situational phenomenon, and not detached observation.” Roger Smith's speech set one of the vectors of the general discussion at the conference.
The report of the cultural historian, anthropologist, leading researcher at the Institute of the History of Natural Science and Technology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, teacher of the School of Art and Design of the State University Higher School of Economics (Moscow) Irina Evgenievna Sirotkina on the topic "Author's courseindanceandmotionculture-foreveryone" encouraged listeners to a deeper understanding of dance as an art form and an integral part of motor culture of mankind, an element that serves as a companion of rituals and festivities. Presenting the essential characteristics and history of the development of dance, I. E. Sirotkina pointed out the differences between dance and dance; suggested thinking about whether dance is an element or an art; introduced the conference participants to research on the connection between dance and everyday life and attempts to determine the signs of an ideal body for dancing.
A deep analysis of the theory of metaphor was made in the report "Thewordsthathelpusunderstandtheworld" by Doctor of Philology, Philosophical Sciences, Professor of Nosov magnitogorsk State Technical University Svetlana Andreevna Pesina. Interest in metaphor contributed to the interaction of various areas of scientific thought, their ideological consolidation, which resulted in the formation of cognitive science, which is engaged in the study of different aspects of human consciousness. The development of this science, according to S. A. Pesina, is based on the assumption that “human cognitive structures (perception, language, thinking, memory, action) are inextricably linked within one common task - the implementation of the processes of assimilation, processing and transformations of knowledge, which, in fact, determine the essence of the human mind. The research conducted by Professor Pesina confirms the idea of R. Hoffman: “Metaphor, wherever we meet it, always enriches the understanding of human actions, knowledge and language.”
The topic of metaphor in various aspects of speech and language culture will then be raised more than once at the conference, in particular, in the report "Semantic component basic configuration in the word structure: metaphorical aspect" of the candidate of philological sciences, associate professor of the Nosov Magnitogorsk State Technical University O. L. Zimareva and senior lecturer at Nosov Magnitogorsk State Technical UniversityM. A. Velichko.
Doctor of Philology, Professor of Nosov Magnitogorsk State Technical University named after G. I. Nosova Tatyana Evgenievna Abramzon devoted her speech “Fridrikh the Great and Ekaterina the Great: dialogues of the realm of the dead in the world of the living” and a vivid presentation to a detailed analysis of the correspondence between the great monarchs of the 18th century Frederick II and Catherine II. Tyatiana Evgenievna drew attention to an interesting circumstance: all letters were written in French, although both correspondents were Germans by origin. Despite the friendly tone of the letters (all expressions of concern and direct political threats are given in hints and usually in postscripts), Frederick II and Catherine II saw each other primarily as monarchs, and, as we now understand, great monarchs.
Report of the historian, lecturer of Karlstad University Peter Olausson “History and Family Memories in a Local Setting. Swedishironsmith´sintheUralsofthe 1800s” aroused particular interest among the audience and participants of the conference, as it touched on the history of Tirlyan, a place well known to the people of Magnitogorsk. It was about the migration of Swedish metallurgists in the late 1800s to the territory of the south of the Ural Mountains, in particular to Tirlyan. The daily life of the Swedish colony is evidenced by stories and artifacts preserved by the descendants of those metallurgists, the funds of museums in Russia and Sweden. P. Olausson also analyzed how this “detail” of the history of Swedish emigration and the modernization of the Russian ferrous metallurgy is presented in modern historical research. The scientist analyzes the problem of presentation of cultural heritage in modern scientific publications and museum expositions.
The plenary session ended with a videoconference presentation by Igor Gadioli, a Brazilian professor from the Federal University of Seragipe, on the topic “Assertive Communication mean: wha tyou say, say what you mean”. The speaker's focus was on assertiveness, a social skill that requires both genuine expression of the communicant's thoughts and empathy. These conditions make it possible to ensure that what is said meets someone's needs and to respect the feelings of another person. Professor Gadioli analyzed some effective techniques and methods of assertive human behavior, in which the interlocutor keeps himself from aggressiveness and passivity, conveys the message in such a way that the result of communication is acceptable to both parties in the conversation.
During the plenary and breakout sessions, the participants discussed the nature of man through the prism of the word, the culture of the movement and history.
Within the framework of the “Human + Movement” direction, the section “Dance and movement culture in the system of humanitarian education” worked, where 7 reports were presented. I. E. Sirotkina acted as a moderator. The section participants discussed the place of dance research in the study of motor culture within the humanities, as well as the importance of dance theory both for the professional training of dancers and students of some humanitarian areas. In this vein, remote (Zoom) reports were presented by A. S. Polyakova, N. V. Kuryumova, L. A. Zaks (Institute for the Humanities, Yekaterinburg); face-to-face report by O. V. Pustovoitova, N. A. Shepilova, L. A. Yakovleva, A.S. Borisenko (NMSTU, Magnitogorsk). The distance performances of I. V. Narsky (SUSU, Chelyabinsk) and V. V. Ustyugova (Perm National Research University, Perm) were devoted to the development of choreographic art, the issues of improvement and modernization of choreographic education, as well as the historical aspects of the study of dance, dance and movement culture.
An interesting discussion followed the report “Perceptionofdance: onlineandin 3D cinema” by dancer Elena Oleshchenko, postgraduate student of the HSE School of Art and Design, curator of the Chelyabinsk Fashion Week. The researcher analyzed the perception of 3D dance.
The section "Cognition and communication: language units in the new paradigm of research" from the section "Man + Word" was focused on the problems of cognitive linguistics and intercultural communication, considered in a broad interdisciplinary context. We note here the reports of Magnitogorsk researchers: I. R. Pulekha, O. L. Zimareva, M. A. Velichko, O. M. Sedlyarova, N. S. Solovieva, E. V. Tulina, M. V. Artomonova and E. A. Gubchevskaya. The report "Multicomponent Terms in Translation Activities" by V. V. Mikhailov (NMSTU) was devoted to topical issues of training specialists in general and sectoral translation in the modern technological world. Conceptualization of the realities of the changing world in the language of N. Gumilyov is presented in the report “N. Gumilev’slyrics: the concept of happiness” by Magnitogorsk researchers V. V. Tsurkan, S. A. Predeina.
Interdisciplinary, at the intersection of philosophy, cognitive, socio-, ethno- and psycholinguistics, were the arguments of the professor of the Department of Psychology of Nosov Magnitogorsk State Technical University M. V. Musiychuk “Internet humor during the COVID-19 pandemicandself-isolation “feast in time ofplague”?” and co-author in the report “The Black Swan” by N. N. Taleb through the prismofwit" C. V. Musiychuk (Sochi State University in Anapa, Krasnodar Territory).
Theoretical and methodological problems of philology in the applied, pedagogical aspect were considered in the reports of Magnitogorsk residents N. N. Zerkina, P. A. Ateeva and D. V. Vederko, O. V. Dorfman, A. Yu. Lobova and L. D. Ponomareva.
In total, 14 reports were presented at this section, including a poster presentation “Inference in the Virtual Discourse”), prepared by Moscow colleagues E. V. Suvorova and Yu. A. S. Griboedova (Moscow). The moderator of the section was Professor S. A. Pesina (NMSTU).
The third section "Human + History" was devoted to the problems of historical memory, ethnic identity, commemorative practices and included 8 reports. Speakers emphasized that over the past two centuries, historical memory has been used to create nations and maintain ethnic identity through various commemorative practices. Public events to glorify the past or commemorate victims have become one of the ways of political legitimation. Trauma from the past and nostalgia serve as the basis for the creation of national narratives and the basis for choosing enemies and heroes. Contradictory historical personalities are "cleansed" in the name of national harmony. In this vein, face-to-face presentations by E. V. Shestialtynova, (NMSTU). The speakers noted that, unfortunately, wars, genocide, forced migration and epidemics have become the dominant topics of commemorative practices in the 21st century. The latest European trend is to respect, include and even highlight the theme of the “other”, especially if the “other” is some kind of minority. Another trend of historical science is the shift of interest from the state to the individual experience of a person, both in historiography and in the description of the cultural memory of the people. In this vein, the report by E. M. Buryak (NMSTU) and remote presentations by Agatha Tchaikovsky (Poland), Sotiria-Markela Kalamvoka (France), T. G. Pashkovskaya (NMSTU).
The conference program included, in addition to the reports themselves, master classes and lectures by invited guests - world-famous scientists. So, on the first day, within the framework of the section “Human + Movement”, a creative master class on free dance was held for the participants from the cultural historian and anthropologist I. E. Sirotkina. The participants of the master class got acquainted with the art of "free", "plastic" dance, or "modern dance" - a direction created by Isadora Duncan and her contemporaries, which changed not only our understanding of dance, but also our attitude to the body, clothing, movement and lifestyle. i.e., which led to changes in the motor culture of the twentieth century. The master class was attended by students and teachers of the Institute of Humanitarian Education, Nosov Magnitogorsk State Technical University, the Magnitogorsk State Conservatory, as well as choreographers and members of dance groups in Magnitogorsk.
The third day within the framework of the section "Human + History" began with the screening of the feature documentary film "The Impossible" directed by Igor Goncharov. The film is dedicated to the history of the birth of the legendary Magnitogorsk, the formation of its spirit, courage and courage of the generations that forged victory in the Great Patriotic War. In the opinion of the film director, it was during these years that the spiritual matrix of the city, its mental core, was formed. The film was shot under the project with the general name "Who are we?", implemented using the grant of the President of the Russian Federation for the development of civil society, provided by the Presidential Grants Fund in 2020. Active support for the project was provided by Nosov Magnitogorsk State Technical University. The experts of the film were representatives of two departments - Professor of the Department of Metallurgy and Chemical Technology V. A. Bigeev, Head of the Department of World History Professor M. N. Potemkina and Associate Professors N. N. Makarova and N. V. Chernova. According to the general opinion of experts, the film has historical and cultural value. It is important for the formation of civic responsibility and patriotic education of young people. As a result of the discussion of the film between Nosov Magnitogorsk State Technical University and the ANO "Cultural Center "Vek" in Magnitogorsk, an agreement was signed on creating subtitles in English for the film "Impossible" in order to participate in international documentary film festivals and promote the history of Magnitogorsk on venues at the international level.
The final event of the conference in the framework of the section "Human + Word" for students of the Institute of Humanitarian Education, Roger Smith gave a lecture on the topic "Culture Shock: British vs Russian Characters, Manners and Stereotypes". The Honorary Reader of Lancaster University in the UK revealed the peculiarities of the British mentality in its reflection in the language, touched upon the issues of national identity, the relationship of culture with demography, paying attention to the role of language in shaping the national character. R. Smith led the audience to the conclusion that "English will indeed play a decisive role in shaping the linguistic order in the new world, but its main impact will affect the consciousness of new generations of people around the world who know two or more languages." A number of thematic cultural and educational events were also held for the guests of the conference, including excursions around the city and the Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works, a trip to the Metallurg-Magnitogorsk Ski Center (Bannoye Resort), a visit to the concert of the Orchestra in Rock symphony orchestra, which performed as part of the festival at the Magnitogorsk State Conservatory. M. I. Glinka. The conference ended with summing up and awarding certificates of participants, but the discussions and exchange of views did not end. The relevance of the topic and the productivity of the conference suggests that within the walls of the hospitable Institute of Humanitarian Education ofNosov Magnitogorsk State Technical University, interdisciplinary scientific research, if they did not find exhaustive answers to the questions of human nature in the modern world, then posed new problems in the oppositions "Human and Word", "Human and Movement", "Human and History".