Conférence 1. Andy Byford, Imperial Normativities

Andy Byford (Durham University, UK ; PR invité par ILCEA4 et l’UFR de Langues, UGA), Imperial Normativities: Studying Children of National Minorities in the 1920s-30s USSR, le 3 avril, 15h30-17h30,  Salle G203-Bâtiment Stendhal, Université Grenoble Alpes


The lecture will discuss the interest that Soviet researchers whose work focused on child bio-psycho-social development – i.e. those who were part of the field that became prominent in the 1920s-30s under the name ‘pedology’ – showed towards the study of Soviet ethnic minority populations. The pedology of national minorities emerged in the context of increased efforts by the Soviet state at the end of the 1920s to incorporate so-called ‘backward’ populations living in more remote parts of the Union into the Soviet body politic as part of the push for rapid modernization and radical economic and socio-political restructuring during the First Five-Year Plan. The lecture will focus on how the problem of ethno-racial ‘difference’ complicated and problematised the more general task of early-Soviet pedology to determine the norms of child development and socialisation for the Soviet child population as a whole. Particularly important, but also most controversial, were pedology’s efforts to establish norms of intellectual development. The lecture will focus on specific examples of psychometric research, principally mental testing done on Uzbek children in Tashkent, Tatar children in Moscow, as well as ethno-pedological research done on certain more isolated groups in Siberia.