Post-Soviet Perspectives on Russian Psychology

Post-Soviet Perspectives on Russian Psychology

Post-Soviet Perspectives on Russian Psychology

Post-Soviet Perspectives on Russian Psychology

Excerpt

In late December 1991 we took part in the First International Lomov Scientific Readings held in Moscow and sponsored by the Institute of Psychology, USSR Academy of Sciences. The event celebrated the twentieth anniversary of the institute (December 17-21) and commemorated Boris Lomov, the founder and first director of the institute, who died in 1989. The Soviet hammer and sickle and Russian tricolor flags were both flying over the Kremlin. A few days after we left Moscow on December 22, there was no Soviet Union and what had been the USSR Academy of Sciences became the Russian Academy of Sciences. Needless to say, this was no ordinary Russian winter, and we were overwhelmed by the drama of the moment.

We were invited primarily because Lomov had written a chapter on Soviet psychology for our edited work the International Handbook of Psychology (1987). One of us (Albert) was eager to take part in the conference, not only because he wanted to learn more about Soviet psychology but because it gave him a chance to discuss his work on the history of American psychology with Russian colleagues.

About five months later we returned to Moscow to take part in the International Conference on the History of Psychology: Past, Present, and Future (May 27 through June 2, 1992), again sponsored by the Institute of Psychology. The weather was beautiful and the visit most enjoyable and productive. It was at that meeting that we discussed with Vera Koltsova and Yuri Oleinik the possibility of editing a book on Russian psychology after what some called the Third Revolution." We agreed that such a volume was needed and that working on the project would be exciting. The fact that we could remain in contact with each other via E-mail and FAX increased our chances of completing the task. One of us (Carol), who had majored in Russian at Bryn Mawr, was intrigued by finally being able to put her academic background to some specific use, though . . .

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