Introducing previously neglected primary sources and suggesting an alternative approach to researching history of art during the Cold War, in this article, I rethink Soviet Thaw- and post-Thaw fate of cubism. In doing so, I acknowledge the movement's major constituting role within Soviet art discourse. In a first step, I analyze an unknown strategy of apology of cubism designed by seminal Kulturträgers Igor Golomstock and Andrei Sinyavsky. This is to challenge dominant scholarly accounts paying overly attention to Soviet negative criticism of cubism while ignoring the actual complexity of debates within the allegedly monolithic totalitarian discourse. Analyzing results of the apology, I argue that the attempt to rehabilitate cubism caused an intensification of negative criticism characteristic of novel anti-modernist patterns such as by Mikhail Lifshitz, a prominent Soviet philosopher. This re-actualization of debates on cubism had both domestic and transnational premises. Ultimately, situating Soviet discussions of cubism within relevant European debates on modernist art, I nuance interpretations of Soviet art discourse as that of an isolationist.
This article examines the phenomenon of Soviet industrial and technical creativity (promyshlennoe i tekhnicheskoe tvorchestvo) from the late 1950s to the 1980s. It particularly focuses on invention and rationalization movement at industrial enterprises via the lens of Soviet industrial policy. It emphasizes creativity as a labor resource and incentive developed into the oversized system and shows its structural elements and encouragements. The paper argues that beginning in the 1950s onwards, the Soviet state placed labor creativity into the center of industrial development and own vision of progress seeing it as a resource for technological competitiveness from Khrushchev`s aim to reach communism to perestroika. The Soviet leadership, however, overemphasized creativity as workers` ability to come up with new ideas and find rapid technical solutions to industrial problems in addition to their main duties to show the creative nature of socialist labor. As a result, it developed a formalized branched system of numerous institutions and nominal awards which made creativity not only an industrial necessity but to a large extent a performative product.This article examines the phenomenon of Soviet industrial and technical creativity (promyshlennoe i tekhnicheskoe tvorchestvo) from the late 1950s to the 1980s. It particularly focuses on invention and rationalization movement at industrial enterprises via the lens of Soviet industrial policy. It emphasizes creativity as a labor resource and incentive developed into the oversized system and shows its structural elements and encouragements. The paper argues that beginning in the 1950s onwards, the Soviet state placed labor creativity into the center of industrial development and own vision of progress seeing it as a resource for technological competitiveness from Khrushchev`s aim to reach communism to perestroika. The Soviet leadership, however, overemphasized creativity as workers` ability to come up with new ideas and find rapid technical solutions to industrial problems in addition to their main duties to show the creative nature of socialist labor. As a result, it developed a formalized branched system of numerous institutions and nominal awards which made creativity not only an industrial necessity but to a large extent a performative product.
The arctile uncovers Soviet biopolitics of respiratory safety.
This article examines the history of socialist collaboration in Comecon through the lens of a large industrial project in Soviet Siberia. It examines the construction of the Ust`-Ilimsk forest industrial complex which was conceived as a collective effort of six socialist European countries. On the one hand, the project formed part of the Soviet Union’s strategy of technological colonization of Soviet Eastern lands, and on the other, it aimed to enhance socialist collaboration and integration efforts through the exchange of material goods and expertise, as prescribed by the project agreements. The paper focuses on the interplay between ideological implications, national interests and material shortages when completing the project, showing the contradictory nature of socialist collaborative construction. It argues that the Soviet central government sought material resources for the construction from ‘brother’ socialist countries with an ideological emphasis on how important it was for further cooperation in the Eastern bloc. In fact, the project exposed difficulties, ranging from material shortages typical of state socialism and the predominance of national economic interests, with the result that this socialist project was compelled to also make use of Western equipment and expertise, transforming Ust`-Ilimsk from a socialist to a far more international construction site.
The paper discusses prefiously unknown story of the first documented international voyage of the Russian whaling vessel throught the perspective of the early experience of interaction between the Russian seafarers and the foreign judicial system.
In the first half of the 1930s in the Vyatka region about 60 Old Believers-Wanderers, mostly women, committed suicide, no longer wanting to live in a world overrun by the Antichrist. The initiator of the wave of voluntary deaths was the local preacher, Khristofor Ivanovich. It is easy to write off these episodes as an actualization of traditional Old Believers’ religiously-motivated suicides or as a reaction to the excesses of Stalinist religious policies. However, as will be shown in the article, the Vyatka Wanderers were neither persistent escapist radicals nor uncompromising dissidents in their dealings with the Soviet authorities. My hypothesis is that this grim practice became possible not because the Wanderers were consistent underground millenarians, but because, squeezed into the catacombs by Stalin’s social and religious policies, they found themselves unable to maintain this unprecedented (for them) regime of existence.
is chapter examines the diering opinions between industrial and scientic institutions over the use of the waters of Lake Baikal in the context of Soviet development policies in Siberia, beginning in the 1950s. It argues that institutions and people experienced Baikal as a place of contradiction, clearly illustrating that Soviet industry posed the risk of harm to the natural environment. In dierent professional layers of Soviet society, Baikal became an arena of conict over water (and nature more broadly) and the lake’s own, natural ability to purify chemical waste discharged into the waters. Employing new archival sources, such as institutional and individual correspondence and reports, this chapter discusses the role of Baikal in the interplay between industry and environment at the institutional level and contributes to the scholarship on Soviet postwar environmental history.
Aleksandr Turbin looks at the ethnically diversified merchant communities of the far east of Russia, investigating the means with which Russian citizenship was acquired, and their evolution, within the dynamics of inclusion animating the Priamurye region during the thirty years preceding the war. He pays particular attention to the rhetoric of the discourse concerning the inclusion and exclusion of individuals on the grounds of local, national, racial and other forms of classification. To understand more fully the nature and role to be attributed to Russian citizenship, the author made a comparison not only of local or regional contexts, but also of global processes, by considering the relationship between elements present within the empire and by measuring them against those of other empires of the time. This approach reveals the constant search for alternative languages with which to discuss the relationship between sovereignty, political community and individuals, bringing into question a teleological narrative on the transformation of Russian citizenship.
Although nation and empire – as well as the organicist and universalist visions mirroring them – are usually put in opposition to each other, this article argues that the two can create synergistic alliances. The attempt of the Danish dynastic union proposal to Sweden in 1810 sheds light on the repertoire of rhetoric and arguments the state could harness to substantiate its potential to rule over diverse populations. First, the paper demonstrates how the trope of Scandinavian kinship was formulated in the Danish public debate during the transitional period, or what Koselleck calls Sattelzeit. Then, the article shows how this language was embedded into power relations and configured to reinforce the imperial aspirations of the Nordic amalgamation, meaning the fusion of the Scandinavian nations. The core sources I consult are the pamphlets published to advertise union-building and the documents stored in the folders of the Royal Archive in Copenhagen (Rigsarkivet).
This case study is a first-ever attempt to compare the perceptions of the Crusades that emerged in Arab and Tatar Muslim modernist narratives of the late 19th – early 20th centuries through the discourse-analysis of their written legacy. The comparison itself is of particular interest to understand the emergence of early Muslim modernist discourse, influential enough to set the tone for the various ideological concepts among modern Muslims. It is argued in this paper that Arab and Tatar Muslim reformers expressed significant differences in their interpretations of the Crusades period, despite a number of summary explanations can be reviewed in the Muslim modernist discourse under consideration (such as divine punishment, great shock for the Ummah, etc.).
At the same time, the Crusades’ concept along with the image of the "Christian-Crusader-Other" became an integral part of Muslim intellectual discourse of the late 19th - early 20th centuries, due to the widespread occurrence of "print capitalism" and actualization of anti-colonial narratives among Muslims.
In the last ten years, history of technology has transformed from a national, single-authored endeavour to an increasingly transnational or even global undertaking that follows the cross boundary flows of matter, scientific and technological knowledge as well as experts and organisations. Transnational history of technology such as in the Making Europe book series has highlighted the asymmetrical relations of power and mobility in the state-sanctioned and unofficial flows of technology and expertise, without sacrificing the materiality of the technologies. Our own international project on global history of nuclear energy, in which the seven of us have been working together since 2018, is part of this movement. The following is an outcome of the many methodological discussions in our heterogenous team on how history of technology can and should be written.
Woolly mammoth tusk hunting has become a black-market industry in the Siberian region of Yakutia, where thawing permafrost due to climate change is revealing the bodies of thousands of mammoths. They are often in a state of incredible preservation, and their accompanying tusks can be sold to China where they are carved into ornaments as a marker of status. Alongside tusk hunting, another potential industry has emerged: deextinction. Many of the mammoths found on the tundra have potentially viable DNA that might be used to resurrect a mammoth through genetic technology. Mammoth de-extinction is a cryopolitical process – a focus on the preservation and production of life at a genetic level through cold storage. 'Cryobanks' have emerged as a way to safeguard endangered and extinct species' genetic material, and forms part of a turn towards preempting conservation crises during what some scholars are calling the 'sixth great extinction.' The mammoth's body is broken down into pieces – tusks form luxury commodity chains, whilst flesh and blood is parceled into frozen genes and cells. The mammoth in the freezer is indicative of a reorganization of cold life in a warming world, with the specific cryopolitics found in the cryobank an attempt at extending human control over planetary processes that are now seemingly out of control. Drawing on fieldwork undertaken at the Mammoth Museum in Yakutsk, Siberia, and at the Natural History Museum's cryobank in London, I follow the mammoth from permafrost, to freezer, to back outside, and consider how her de-extinction is a response to a particular sort of future crisis – that of our own extinction.
The introduction to the archival documents published in this issue of Ab Imperio frames the broad context of the political reform of 1905–1906 in the Russian Empire and highlights the imperial dimension in the elabora- tion of the first electoral law (the Bulygin Duma law). The authors explore the multisided and layered nature of political conflicts as well as divergent political imaginaries with regard to the institution of political representation in the ranks of the imperial bureaucracy. In particular, the text explicates the nationalizing and colonializing imaginary of social engineering that guided the work of Sergey Kryzhanovskii on electoral principles and mecha- nisms. That imaginary stood in contradiction to the vision and practice of imperial citizenship that was shared by more senior officials in the central government of the empire such as Count Dmitry Sol’skii and Count Illarion Vorontsov-Dashkov. The concept of imperial citizenship can be traced to the Great Reforms of the 1860s, which created the universalizing framework of norms and institutions for diverse space and groups of population in the empire. At the same time, the political logic of the Great Reforms allowed the incorporation of imperial particularisms into universalizing norms and institutions. Analyzing responses to ministerial proposals of the electoral law by high-ranking officials of various imperial peripheries, the authors demonstrate how the institutions of imperial citizenship framed the campaign of information-gathering marshaled by the imperial center and how the language of imperial citizenship conditioned the approach of local officials to the phenomenon of political representation.
Several days after a failed assassination attempt on the life of the Russian tsar on April, 2 1879, a new regime of "permission to exercise the right to purchase and carry weapons" was introduced in St. Petersburg. Despite the fact that the first attempt on Alexander II's life occurred in 1866, also in St. Petersburg, it took thirteen years to make a radical departure from the previously unrestricted regime of access to arms in the capital of the Russian Empire.
In this article I analyze archival materials documenting how this new regime of weapons ownership was implemented. In particular, I am interested in the dimensions of locality and temporality in the practices by which imperial legislation introduced gun-control in St. Petersburg and Warsaw, the Russian Empire's most cosmopolitan cities. The archival documents that I rely on show that the gun control regulations that were intended as a repressive act of the authorities in reality unfolded as a process of negotiations and merciful exclusions. The imperial legal order's intermediaries reacted to the international challenges posed by emergent revolutionary movements, including the negotiation of the permissible restriction of subjects' rights. As a result, new practices of “public safety” were implemented as exceptional measures — both locally and temporally. This article sheds light on the imperial legal regime of gun control as a practice of ‘exception.’
This chapter serves a dual function, helping students of Tolstoy understand both the
legal contexts that influenced Tolstoy and contexts where his moral theory made an impact. In the first case, it will help students and scholars new to Tolstoy to make sense of his targets, that is, the references and allusions that appear in his works (for example, mentions of Russian law, of jury trials or of private property). In the second case, it will inform students about the enormous and charismatic influence that his writing had on practices and ideas of what we call today ‘popular sovereignty,’ ‘legal nihilism,’ and ‘nonviolent protest’.
Applying Fr. D. Turner's frontier theory and M. Foucault's concept of heterotopic spaces the author studies “other” spaces created by Russian railway men and Cossacks in Northern Manchuria in the late 19th – first half of the 20th centuries. Particular attention is paid to the organization of leisure in Harbin. The article considers two quite interesting spaces: the yacht club on the bank of the river Sungari and the hippodrome. The choice of these leisure spaces was based on a number of important characteristics. The purpose of this study is to analyze the spaces of the yacht club and the hippodrome as heterotopic spaces on the frontier territory. The author reaches several important conclusions about the basic principles of the basic principles of the creation and the functioning of these leisure spaces. Within these spaces, many cultural processes took quite different forms. The article provides numerous previously unknown facts about the development of yachting and trotting in Harbin.
Popular skepticism of the state COVID-19 vaccination campaign and street dogs in Russian cities... What do such seemingly different problems have in common?