Tomsk State University
Department of History

634051 Russia, Tomsk, 34, Lenin Ave., room 30

Tel.: 007 3822 529 796

The First World War and Russian university teaching community: everyday life of wartime

Anthropology, Archaeology, History and Philosophy: International Multidisciplinary Scientific Conferences on Social Sciences and Arts (SGEM). Albena, 2014. pp. 631-637.

M. Gribovskiy

The phenomenon of man and corporative communities in the context of war is of interest to historians and anthropologists because addressing it one can see how our ancestors and public institutions acted under extraordinary and borderline circumstances. University teaching staff members entered a complex period of development in 1914 related to the reconsideration of values, some changes in occupational activities, and the worsening conditions of everyday life. The paper attempts to reconstruct the life and work of the university teaching community in the context of changes in 1914, in the run-up to even greater changes in 1917. The start of the WWI led to the rise of quite sincere patriotic sentiments among university professors and teachers which for some time brought the former political opponents closer to one another. University professors that had been divided for political reasons in the beginning of the 20th century now united. The wave of patriotism generated both positive initiatives (e.g. charity) and those not so constructive but understandable phenomena (anti-German moods). The evacuation into the Russian territory had a great impact on the everyday life of Russian universities situated in the western part of the Empire (those of Warsaw, Kiev, and Tartu). The deterioration of living conditions also influenced the life and work of university teachers which is indicated by numerous historical sources. Political consolidation and anti-German sentiments were to a great extent characteristic of the first war years. Military defeats of Russia in 1915–1916, domestic political processes, and hardships of wartime would then cause criticism towards the authorities in academia where the February Revolution accompanied by anti-war slogans would be welcomed.

Read more online (in English)

The project "Man in a Changing World. Identity and Social Adaptation: Past and Present" is funded by the Russian Government
(grant #14.В25.31.0009)
© Laboratory for Social and Anthropoligical Research, 2013

The website is translated into English by LSAR Fellow Elena M. Karageorgii, e-mail: visits: 226179

If you have found a spelling error, please, notify us by selecting that text and pressing CTRL + ENTER