The event is a part of the Cultural Diversity Week at KFU.
The book was co-authored by the Department of Russian History employees, Professor Alla Salnikova and Associate Professor Dilyara Galiullina. It is dedicated to Alifba (Tatar school primer) as a historical and cultural phenomenon. The monograph covers different types of primers that have existed since 19th century until now.
Dr. Salnikova commented, «Tatar Alifba has always attracted researchers' interest. However, it has been as an object of linguistics or teaching methods, not from a historical and cultural standpoint. We decided to study it as an element that has shaped the national self-identification of Tatar people». The project was financed by three consecutive Russian Science Foundation grants – the topic appeared to be very relevant.
The monograph concentrates on the results and ways of reflecting political and cultural transformations in Russia and Tatarstan in school primers. This allowed following the changes in perceptions of childhood and children, their place in the society and the world.
As Dr. Galiullina added, «We paid much attention to the roots of the educational system of Kazan Tatars. What were the very first textbooks, how they looked like and what were their contents – all this, unfortunately, we don't know because they were not preserved. However, Kazan Tatars are well-known for nurturing their educational traditions. So, when a period of the oppression of Islam ended, they revived the system».
The book also touches on the role that Tatar schools and teachers have played in preserving the cultural heritage. It's important to note that the research results will be of use to current textbook authors as well.