«Работа с сознанием — это прагмема»
М. Мамардашвили

About the Propp Centre

Information about the non-profit organization “The Propp Centre for Humanities-based research in the Sphere of Traditional Culture”. 

The Propp Centre is mainly concerned with humanities-based research in the sphere of traditional culture, the preservation and study of Russia's  cultural and social heritage, in particular its relationship to the present-day situation, political, cultural, and social, as well as conducting educational and  informational activities in these spheres.

The Propp Centre is a public organization:  anyone who shares our professional, ethical and social aims may work on a project with its support. A theme in keeping with the terms of reference of the Centre is offered in project form and submitted to the Executive Committee for its consideration. If the project is approved, the Propp Centre, together with the project's initiator, looks for ways of financing it and later provides organizational and scientific support.

The Propp Centre was legally registered as a non-profit organization only in 2000, but in fact its activities began earlier. In 1995 we held an international conference dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the birth of Vladimir Propp.  During  discussion of the scientific  outcomes of the conference  we realized that there is in existence a large  number of themes which have no direct place in our main work —  the teaching of folklore at the Philological Faculty of St. Petersburg State University —  but which are nevertheless interesting and important for us and presuppose contact with researchers in the Humanities who have  other areas of specialism. It is possible to get an  idea of what those themes are about by familiarizing yourself  with the projects which the Center has already completed:

“The Propp Centre” brings together scientists, lecturers and people who popularize Russian traditional culture for  joint project work whether that is of a research, educational, informational,  cultural or social nature.

The Centre finances its activities with grants provided by state and non-state funding bodies. Thus, in 2002 for example, the project “Museum of Biographies: Provincial Russia in the XX Century”, which included a  competition for the best biography and exhibitions in St. Petersburg and towns of Vologodskaya province (oblast), was held with the financial support of the Institute “Open Society”. The international conferences “Languages of Fear: Female and Male Behavior Strategies” and “Language — Gender — Tradition” —  were supported by the international Heinrich Böll Foundation. Our activities have received funding from the Russian Humanitarian Scientific Fund, INTAS, the Fulbright Program for the exchange of scientists and other charitable funds.

Every year we conduct fieldwork in the Russian North-West- in Vologodskaya, Arkhangelskaya, Leningradskaya and Pskovskaya provinces; we cooperate with the regional administrative organs, local press, television and radio and present the results of our work through the local and Petersburg mass media. We also conduct joint projects together with the regional administrative bodies of Vologodskaya oblast aimed at maintaining and popularizing Russian traditional culture. We cooperate with the leading St. Petersburg publishing houses (“Azbuka”, “Amphora”, St. Petersburg University Press and “Peterburgskoye Vostokovedeniye”).