On 24 January, representatives of the Faculty of Physics and the Faculty of Romance and Germanic Philology met in the main building of Voronezh State University. The participants of the meeting summed up the preliminary results of the work on the translation of lectures by VSU Professor Nikolay Nifontov and discussed the ongoing development of the project.
“It has been six months since our first inter-faculty seminar on the restoration of Nikolay Nifontov's legacy, who was a professor at VSU's Faculty of Physics.
There is always a risk with such projects and you ask yourself, will the work continue? Today’s meeting has confirmed that it’s a long-term project and this is only the beginning. The next step is involving the VSU student research community,” said Oleg Kozaderov, VSU Vice Rector.
Dmitry Zhukalin, Associate Professor at the Department of Semiconductor Physics and Microelectronics, talked about the plans and further prospects.
“In June 2021, we presented the first translations of Nikolay Nifontov’s works from French. Today, our students continue to work on them together with their scientific supervisors. We find more and more artefacts telling about his life. And there are several reasons why this is important. First, we’re restoring historical justice. Second, it’s a reference point for future generations who will be able to learn about lecturers and employees who made a great contribution to the formation and development of our university, our city, and country.
During the first semester, 15 students and 6 new faculties joined the work on the translation and the study of Nikolay Nifontov’s legacy. 53 students from 13 faculties are now participating in this project. The translation of 350 pages from two volumes of Nifontov’s book “Semiconductors”, that was written in 1956–1958 and has never been published, was completed. In the rare book section of VSU's library we also studied the surviving materials in French from the professor’s personal archive, including his diary, books from his personal library published in France in the first half of the 20th century that were brought to Russia and are kept in the collections in VSU's library, as well as other artefacts proving that he was broad-minded and had various interests. We are also planning to scan the new documents and give them to Elena Kashkina, Associate Professor of the Department of French Philology and head of practical translations, to be translated into Russian by 4th and 5th year students of the programme “Translation and Translation Studies”, said Nina Cherepkova, Associate Professor of the Faculty of Romance and Germanic Philology and supervisor of this project.
Professor Evelina Domashevskaya from the Faculty of Physics and Professor Elena Alekseeva, Head of the Department of French Philology, highly praised the results of the students, including the participation of Alexander Ushkov and Anastasia Vdovenko, second-year students of the “Radiophysics” programme of the Faculty of Physics. The students were recommended to continue this worthwhile study.
In May 2022, an exhibition dedicated to Professor Nifontov will be held in the renovated VSU museum. It will display some of his personal records, remaining artefacts, biographical information, and memoires of his contemporaries.