Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences

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The Novo-Mikhailovsky Palace on Palace Quay is the home to the Institute of Oriental Manuscripts (formerly the St. Petersburg branch of the Institute of Oriental Studies)

The Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Russian: Институт востоковедения Российской Академии Наук), formerly Institute of Oriental Studies of the USSR Academy of Sciences, is a Russian research institution for the study of the countries and cultures of Asia and North Africa. The institute is located in Moscow, and formerly in Saint Petersburg, but in 2007 the Saint Petersburg branch was reorganized into a separate Institute of Oriental Manuscripts.


The Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) history began in 1818, when an Asiatic Museum under the Imperial Academy of Sciences was set up in St. Petersburg. It was a depository of oriental manuscripts, a museum with exposition for visitors, a scientific and organizing center for oriental studies as well as a library for academic research.

At the beginning of the 20th century, by the 100th anniversary of its foundation, the Asian Museum became a major Oriental center with a collection of manuscripts in 45 oriental languages and a library. In 1929-30 the Oriental Department of the Academy of Sciences was reorganized, and the Institute of Oriental Studies was created on the basis of the Museum under the Academy of Sciences of the USSR. In 1950 the institute was transferred to Moscow. At the end of the 1950s the institute became a center of oriental studies, the largest one in the USSR. Iosif Amusin was a noted research fellow at the institute around this time.

Now, the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences is a research center where history and culture, economics and politics, languages and literature of the countries of Asia and North Africa are studied. The chronology covers all periods of the history of the Orient - from antiquity to the present day. About 500 experts work there.

Most scientific centers and departments of the institute conduct research on certain countries and regions (e.g., Center for Arab Studies, Center for Japanese Studies, Center for Indian Studies, etc.). Some departments conduct research on problems of the Orient (in particular, the Center for Energy and Transport Studies, etc.).

The institute’s depositories contain ancient books and manuscripts, exceeding one million volumes.

Conferences of the institute include:

  • Rerikhovskie chteniya (Roerich’s Readings), on historical, cultural and religious problems of countries of Central Asia and the Indian subcontinent,
  • Problems of modern Iran,
  • The society and state in China,
  • Annual conference of Arabists,
  • Australia and Oceania: history and modernity,
  • Russia and the Orient: problems of interaction,
  • In 2004 the Institute of Oriental Studies organized the International Congress of Asian and North African Studies (ICANAS XXXVII).

The institute develops contacts with the Indian Council for Social Sciences Researches and with some universities of India, with the International Association for Mongol Studies as well as with the scientific and non-governmental organization of Arab countries (e.g. ALECSO).

Institute publishing includes the following:

  • Southeast Asia: current problems of development,
  • Eastern Archives,
  • Epigraphics of the Orient,
  • Japan, Altaica and Irano-Slavica.
  • Vostok/Oriens for specialists,
  • The magazine Asia and Africa Today for the general public,
  • Institute of Africa of the RAS.
  • Internet journal New Eastern Outlook which primarily focuses on the region from "Japan and the remote coasts of Africa" but also examines events in other regions of the planet in terms of their relation to the Orient.[1][2] In 2019, Kevin Poulsen in The Daily Beast accused it of being a source of Russian propaganda and fake news.[3] Articles from New Eastern Outlook have been published by the American Veterans Today website, a partnership which began in 2013.[4]

The institute founded the Oriental University (, which trains experts in regional studies and orientalists for scientific and teaching work, public service, to work at international organizations and commercial enterprises, etc. The programs of training, textbooks and original methods have been worked out by the scholars of the Institute of Oriental Studies.

Partnerships and collaborations[edit]

Partnerships in international programs of scientific cooperation, research projects and publishing programs, representation in academic institutions of near and distant foreign countries, participation in international expeditions, conferences and seminars, teaching activity abroad in the sphere of Orientalism, training courses of members of the Institute at foreign universities and visits of trainers from abroad, membership in international Oriental associations and in societies of business, cultural and humanitarian cooperation.

There are scientific contacts with Turkey, India, Egypt, Japan, Iran, and China.

Institute research topics have included:

  • "Comprehensive study of ethnogenesis, ethnic and cultural image of the people, contemporary ethnic processes, historical and cultural cooperation in Eurasia",
  • "Studying the historical roots of terrorism, monitoring of xenophobia and extremism in Russian society, anthropology of extreme groups and subcultures, an analysis of the complex ethnic and religious factors in the local and global processes of the past and present",
  • "Problems of the theory of historical process, summarizing the experience of social transformation and social potential of the history",
  • "The evolution of human societies and civilizations: the man in the history and the history of everyday life. Retrospective analysis of forms and contents of relations between the authorities and society",
  • "Study of the spiritual and aesthetic values of national and world literature and folklore",
  • "Genesis and the interaction of social, cultural and linguistic communities",
  • "The historical experience of social transformation and conflict".[5]



  • Department of Israel
  • Department of the History of the Orient
  • Department of the History and Culture of the Ancient Orient
  • Department of China
  • Department of the Problems of International Relations
  • Department of Korea and Mongolia
  • Department of Asian Literatures
  • Department of Monuments of Oriental Writing
  • Department of Comparative Theoretical Studies
  • Department of Comparative Culture Studies
  • Department of Near and Middle East
  • Department of CIS Countries
  • Department of Southeast Asian Studies
  • Department of Economics Research
  • Department of South Pacific Research
  • Asian Languages Department
  • Center for Arabic and Islamic Studies
  • Center for Indian Studies
  • Center for Japanese Studies

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "About | New Eastern Outlook". Retrieved 18 September 2020.
  2. ^ Schreckinger, Ben (12 June 2017). "How Russia Targets the U.S. Military". Politico Magazine. Archived from the original on 14 June 2017. Retrieved 18 September 2020.
  3. ^ Poulsen, Kevin (30 July 2019). "Accused Russian Troll Uses a Novel Argument to Fire Back at Facebook". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 29 August 2019.
  4. ^ "GEC Special Report: Russia's Pillars of Disinformation and Propaganda" (PDF). United States Department of State. August 4, 2020. Retrieved 2020-11-13.
  5. ^ "190 лет ИВ РАН. 19 декабря Институт востоковедения отмечает свое 190-летие (On December 19, the Institute of Oriental Studies celebrates its 190th anniversary)" (in Russian). Institute of Oriental Studies. 16 December 2008. Archived from the original on 10 March 2009. Retrieved 7 February 2009.
  6. ^ "Структура (Structure)" (in Russian). Institute of Oriental Studies. Archived from the original on 22 June 2006. Retrieved 7 February 2009.

External links[edit]