March 28, the University held two thesis defense to award a degree of Candidate of Philology  according to SPbU’s own rules and regulations. Two degree-seekers — Evgeniia Mitkina and Tatiana Kornilieva — presented their theses to the world and Russia’s leading scholars in Chinese literature.

  The works, prepared within St Petersburg sinological school, focus on Chinese literature. The main concern of Evgeniia Mitkina’s work “Imagery and stylistics of lyrical cycles by Хуан Цзинжэня is unique poetry in 18 century. Little is said and written about Хуан Цзинжэня, a bright poet of the Qing dynasty (1644–1912), and just a few of his poems have been translated in Russian so far. Evgeniia Mitkina has translated word for word more than 150 poems and gained insight into imagery of his love poems. The Dissertation Council unanimously agreed that the author had made a significant contribution into the research of the Chinese poetry: the research findings can form a holistic approach to the study of the poetry of Цзинжэня and Chinese literature of the Qing dynasty, which is, as experts say, little studied in Russia and abroad.

Tatiana Kornilieva is an author of the work “The Shangshu as a genre of Chinese literature” with a focus on a specific form of print publications for congregations. Apart from library and archive sources, the work is extensively based on empirical material collected during the trips to China and discusses the main features of the genre of the Shangshu, i.e. “books inspiring to bring kindness”. Although religious and philosophical literature is rich in history, it is being revived. A typical format of this literature is a “list of kind things you have done” and now it has an e-version: a mobile application to calculate the balance of good and bad things you have done, which is extremely popular among Chinese young people.

The defense held according to SPbU’s own rules and regulations to award a degree in “10.01.03 — Foreign Literature (Middle and Far East literature)” opens up opportunities for those who are willing to defend their thesis and obtain a degree of SPbU Candidate of Philology. “This Dissertation Council has not worked for four years, and it was a big problem for us, — said Doctor of Philology, Prof Aleksandr Storozhuk, who is a scientific supervisor of both researchers defended their thesis on March 28, 2017.

According to the University’s rules and regulations, the Dissertation Councils must be formed for each defense procedure and comprise Doctor of Sciences who have gained a wide recognition in the corresponding fields. These Dissertation Councils comprised scholars from various institutions from Russia and abroad: Prof Aleksandr Fedotov, University of Sofia, Bulgaria; Igor Alimov, Doctor of History, Peter the Great's Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera) of RAS; Irina Kulganek, Doctor of Philology, Institute of Oriental Manuscripts of RAS;  Prof Igor Gerasimov, SPbU; Prof Mikhail Pelevin, SPbU; and Prof Mikhail Suvorov, SPbU.

The defense held according to SPbU’s rules and regulations must be open and transparent. First, you can come to see it personally or watch it on-line in Russian and English (it is simultaneously interpreted). Prof Aleksandr Fedotov, who could not take part in the work of the Dissertation Council personally, was on-line from Sofia.

Secondly, the thesis must be translated in English, which makes them accessible to a wider audience. “If your thesis is translated into English, it becomes available to scholars from Russia and abroad. So our research findings are well known locally and globally”, — said Evgeniia Mitkina.

Moreover, the thesis must be published on the SPbU web-site, so the peers can write external reviews. Tatiana Kornilieva, whose work was broadly discussed and debated, had received four positive reviews from research fellows from National Tsinghua University; Library of the RAS; Institute of Asia and Africa, Moscow State University; and Institute of Far East of RAS.

The Dissertation Councils voted for awarding a degree of SPbU Candidate of Philology to Evgenniia Mitkina and Tatiana Kornilieva, and SPbU Rector Nikolay Kropachev will make a final decision after the theses and materials undergo a three-month public evaluation in the SPbU’s web-site.

The University has already held the defense procedures according to its rules and regulations to award a degree of SPbU Candidate of Philology.  In 2017, Sofia Iampolskaia and Elmira Vasilieva successfully defended their thesis, and the first degree-seeker was Bakhtier Alimdzhanov in history.


May 23, 2016, V.V. Putin endorsed a law to award SPbU and MSU a right to hold defense procedures according to their own rules and regulations and award degrees of Candidate and Doctor of Sciences, which are equally recognized by the state on a par with the VAK’s degrees, from September 1, 2016. The FZ “On Science and State Research and Engineering Policy” was amended accordingly. During the first stage of implementation of the law (2016-2017) SPbU can hold defense procedures according to its own rules and regulations and according to VAK regulations/