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Humanitarian sciences in Siberia

2016 year, number 1

HISTORICAL AND REGIONAL STUDIES OF A.P. UMANSKY IN THE SECOND HALF OF THE 1950s - EARLY 1960s

M.A. Demin
Altai State Pedagogical University, 55, Molodyozhnaya Str., Barnaul, 656031, Russia
Keywords: Aleksey Pavlovich Umansky, Altai, the epoch of the Thaw, history, regional studies, ideological statements, scientific approach

Abstract

Studying the early works on regional history written by a well known Siberian historian and archeologist Aleksey Pavlovich Umansky is of particular interest not only for the purpose of reconstructing his scientific career but also for investigating the cultural landscape of a provincial town in the second half of the 1950s-early 1960s, when the contradictory tendencies of the Thaw began to manifest themselves in the regional communities. The scholars works written in the middle of the 1950s present a mixture of properly scientific factors with the ideological motives. In further articles, reviews, resource books and in the summarizing work Cultural Monuments of Altai the political declarations were gradually overcome; he worked out a critical approach to some dogmatic statements of official propaganda and successfully addressed various problems in his scientific and regional studies. The immensity of A.P. Umanskys personality was revealed in his ability to get out of his everyday duties and mobilize his intellectual resources to solve a broader range of problems of his scientific and local lore studies. His transfer from a higher educational institution to school and then to an administrative institution didnt help to enhance his research activities. However even then A.P.Umansky tried to realize his scientific potential and prepared several popular scientific publications, wrote a number of reviews which, on the one hand, were in line with his work as inspector of the Department of Culture. On the other hand, they can be considered as the first experience of systematizing and summarizing historical sources and working out methods and skills of scientific research as such. The author concludes that A.P. Umansky should be considered a representative of the generation of the Sixtiers in the sense that the new tendencies in social life made it possible for him to form his own nonstandard creative personality free of provincial narrow-mindedness and odious officialism while living far from scientific and cultural centers of the country.