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PHILOSOPHICAL
LITERARY
JOURNAL
ISSN 0869-5377
Author: Ivanov Konstantin

Ivanov Konstantin

Chief Research Fellow, ikv@ihst.ru. S. I. Vavilov Institute for the History of Science and Technology of theRussian Academy of Sciences (IHST RAS), 14 Baltiyskaya str.,Moscow 125315, Russia.

Publications

Astronomers and Surveyors in the Struggle for Central Asia. Notes on the Epistemology of Colonization / Logos. 2020. № 2 (135). P. 15-40
annotation:  Central Asia was mainly desert land that contained just a few small, densely populated oases when it was forcibly occupied by Imperial Russia between 1865 and 1885. What reason was there to gain control of it? It did not serve any military purpose because the Russian Empire was already well protected on its southern frontier by Central Asia’s notorious deserts and dry steppes. Nor was there much economic advantage to be gained. To present it merely as an opportunity for the thievish embezzlement of public money — and theft there was — is somewhat beside the point. The advance of Great Britain into the same region from the opposite side reflected the same trend. What kind of reasoning was behind these incursions? The counterintuitive answer is that the only rational reason to move into the region was a scientific one. At that time the Central Asia was still a blank spot on European maps and it was the only region on Earth in which the great empires had not yet confronted each other. The frontier lines of both empires were bound to move in on each other, although neither empire gained much advantage from the expansion.
The article analyzes the way in which the struggle for the territory eventually turned into a symposium about the territory. The main agents in that war — and also its beneficiaries — were the British and Russian military geodesists and surveyors who used the latest astronomical methods. Systematic mapping of the desert region was important not only for the geographical knowledge it produced, but also for advancing the surveyors’ careers and improving their social status and personal prosperity. The so-called Afghan Demarcation between the Russian Empire and Great Britain in 1885 seemed to them more like an enjoyable conference for sharing topographical and geographical information than a hostile confrontation. After the outer and inner demarcations had been fixed, the result was that this region — “Created by the Lord in Anger” — was surveyed and studied not only in terms of geography, but also geologically, ethnically and historically.

Keywords:  Central Asia; colonization; the Great Game; mapping; surveying; astronomy; imperial epistemology.
Dreams about Journeys Through Space and the Underworld in Early Soviet Science-Fiction / Logos. 2018. № 2 (123). P. 159-224
annotation:  The paper attempts to explain the increased popularity of stories about imaginary journeys through space and the underworld on the threshold of the twentieth century. Although this literary tradition goes back to Cicero, Macrobius, Dante, and a number of authors from the Early Modern period, the fin-de-siècle upsurge in interest towards this genre was not accidental. The paper traces the background of that genre since ancient times and reconstructs the three-tiered structure of the anthropocentric universe that was formed inside of it. The study offers potential reasons that have enhanced the dreams about traveling to the underworld and outer space at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century. One of these reasons was the completion of an extensive colonial conquest. With fewer and fewer unmapped and unexplored spaces on the globe, expectations were rising regarding further steps towards the unknown zones of the universe — both upper and lower. The authors who wrote about traveling to the underworld and outer space employed the terms, metaphors, and plots that reflected the experience of colonialism. The author examines a change in the perception of The Other, caused by the above-mentioned social transformation. He tries to show how it was expressed in the literature on the collisions between the earthlings and the aliens. With regard to early Soviet science-fiction, the author considers three representative cases, each of which describe journeys to distinct cosmic zones: the novels by Alexander Belyaev (Space), Grigory Adamov (Underworld), and Vladimir Obruchev (Earth and its inhabited flip-side). The author then proceeds by comparing them with the classical works of Jules Verne and Herbert Wells. In this regard, there is a distinct difference between the structure of the typical Western and Soviet microcosm of accounts. The paper points out a number of technocratic anticipations to be found in novels by pioneering Soviet science fiction writers.
Keywords:  Soviet science fiction; colonization; The Other; technocracy;anti-modernism

Ivanov Konstantin

Chief Research Fellow, ikv@ihst.ru.
S. I. Vavilov Institute for the History of Science and Technology, Russian Academy of Sciences (IHST RAS), 14 Baltiyskaya St., 125315 Moscow, Russia.

Publications

Astronomers and Surveyors in the Struggle for Central Asia. Notes on the Epistemology of Colonization / Logos. 2020. № 2 (135). P. 15-40
annotation:  Central Asia was mainly desert land that contained just a few small, densely populated oases when it was forcibly occupied by Imperial Russia between 1865 and 1885. What reason was there to gain control of it? It did not serve any military purpose because the Russian Empire was already well protected on its southern frontier by Central Asia’s notorious deserts and dry steppes. Nor was there much economic advantage to be gained. To present it merely as an opportunity for the thievish embezzlement of public money — and theft there was — is somewhat beside the point. The advance of Great Britain into the same region from the opposite side reflected the same trend. What kind of reasoning was behind these incursions? The counterintuitive answer is that the only rational reason to move into the region was a scientific one. At that time the Central Asia was still a blank spot on European maps and it was the only region on Earth in which the great empires had not yet confronted each other. The frontier lines of both empires were bound to move in on each other, although neither empire gained much advantage from the expansion.
The article analyzes the way in which the struggle for the territory eventually turned into a symposium about the territory. The main agents in that war — and also its beneficiaries — were the British and Russian military geodesists and surveyors who used the latest astronomical methods. Systematic mapping of the desert region was important not only for the geographical knowledge it produced, but also for advancing the surveyors’ careers and improving their social status and personal prosperity. The so-called Afghan Demarcation between the Russian Empire and Great Britain in 1885 seemed to them more like an enjoyable conference for sharing topographical and geographical information than a hostile confrontation. After the outer and inner demarcations had been fixed, the result was that this region — “Created by the Lord in Anger” — was surveyed and studied not only in terms of geography, but also geologically, ethnically and historically.

Keywords:  Central Asia; colonization; the Great Game; mapping; surveying; astronomy; imperial epistemology.
Dreams about Journeys Through Space and the Underworld in Early Soviet Science-Fiction / Logos. 2018. № 2 (123). P. 159-224
annotation:  The paper attempts to explain the increased popularity of stories about imaginary journeys through space and the underworld on the threshold of the twentieth century. Although this literary tradition goes back to Cicero, Macrobius, Dante, and a number of authors from the Early Modern period, the fin-de-siècle upsurge in interest towards this genre was not accidental. The paper traces the background of that genre since ancient times and reconstructs the three-tiered structure of the anthropocentric universe that was formed inside of it. The study offers potential reasons that have enhanced the dreams about traveling to the underworld and outer space at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century. One of these reasons was the completion of an extensive colonial conquest. With fewer and fewer unmapped and unexplored spaces on the globe, expectations were rising regarding further steps towards the unknown zones of the universe — both upper and lower. The authors who wrote about traveling to the underworld and outer space employed the terms, metaphors, and plots that reflected the experience of colonialism. The author examines a change in the perception of The Other, caused by the above-mentioned social transformation. He tries to show how it was expressed in the literature on the collisions between the earthlings and the aliens. With regard to early Soviet science-fiction, the author considers three representative cases, each of which describe journeys to distinct cosmic zones: the novels by Alexander Belyaev (Space), Grigory Adamov (Underworld), and Vladimir Obruchev (Earth and its inhabited flip-side). The author then proceeds by comparing them with the classical works of Jules Verne and Herbert Wells. In this regard, there is a distinct difference between the structure of the typical Western and Soviet microcosm of accounts. The paper points out a number of technocratic anticipations to be found in novels by pioneering Soviet science fiction writers.
Keywords:  Soviet science fiction; colonization; The Other; technocracy;anti-modernism

Ivanov Konstantin

Chief Research Fellow, ikv@ihst.ru.
S. I. Vavilov Institute for the History of Science and Technology, Russian Academy of Sciences (IHST RAS), 14 Baltiyskaya St., 125315 Moscow, Russia.

Publications

Astronomers and Surveyors in the Struggle for Central Asia. Notes on the Epistemology of Colonization / Logos. 2020. № 2 (135). P. 15-40
annotation:  Central Asia was mainly desert land that contained just a few small, densely populated oases when it was forcibly occupied by Imperial Russia between 1865 and 1885. What reason was there to gain control of it? It did not serve any military purpose because the Russian Empire was already well protected on its southern frontier by Central Asia’s notorious deserts and dry steppes. Nor was there much economic advantage to be gained. To present it merely as an opportunity for the thievish embezzlement of public money — and theft there was — is somewhat beside the point. The advance of Great Britain into the same region from the opposite side reflected the same trend. What kind of reasoning was behind these incursions? The counterintuitive answer is that the only rational reason to move into the region was a scientific one. At that time the Central Asia was still a blank spot on European maps and it was the only region on Earth in which the great empires had not yet confronted each other. The frontier lines of both empires were bound to move in on each other, although neither empire gained much advantage from the expansion.
The article analyzes the way in which the struggle for the territory eventually turned into a symposium about the territory. The main agents in that war — and also its beneficiaries — were the British and Russian military geodesists and surveyors who used the latest astronomical methods. Systematic mapping of the desert region was important not only for the geographical knowledge it produced, but also for advancing the surveyors’ careers and improving their social status and personal prosperity. The so-called Afghan Demarcation between the Russian Empire and Great Britain in 1885 seemed to them more like an enjoyable conference for sharing topographical and geographical information than a hostile confrontation. After the outer and inner demarcations had been fixed, the result was that this region — “Created by the Lord in Anger” — was surveyed and studied not only in terms of geography, but also geologically, ethnically and historically.

Keywords:  Central Asia; colonization; the Great Game; mapping; surveying; astronomy; imperial epistemology.
Dreams about Journeys Through Space and the Underworld in Early Soviet Science-Fiction / Logos. 2018. № 2 (123). P. 159-224
annotation:  The paper attempts to explain the increased popularity of stories about imaginary journeys through space and the underworld on the threshold of the twentieth century. Although this literary tradition goes back to Cicero, Macrobius, Dante, and a number of authors from the Early Modern period, the fin-de-siècle upsurge in interest towards this genre was not accidental. The paper traces the background of that genre since ancient times and reconstructs the three-tiered structure of the anthropocentric universe that was formed inside of it. The study offers potential reasons that have enhanced the dreams about traveling to the underworld and outer space at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century. One of these reasons was the completion of an extensive colonial conquest. With fewer and fewer unmapped and unexplored spaces on the globe, expectations were rising regarding further steps towards the unknown zones of the universe — both upper and lower. The authors who wrote about traveling to the underworld and outer space employed the terms, metaphors, and plots that reflected the experience of colonialism. The author examines a change in the perception of The Other, caused by the above-mentioned social transformation. He tries to show how it was expressed in the literature on the collisions between the earthlings and the aliens. With regard to early Soviet science-fiction, the author considers three representative cases, each of which describe journeys to distinct cosmic zones: the novels by Alexander Belyaev (Space), Grigory Adamov (Underworld), and Vladimir Obruchev (Earth and its inhabited flip-side). The author then proceeds by comparing them with the classical works of Jules Verne and Herbert Wells. In this regard, there is a distinct difference between the structure of the typical Western and Soviet microcosm of accounts. The paper points out a number of technocratic anticipations to be found in novels by pioneering Soviet science fiction writers.
Keywords:  Soviet science fiction; colonization; The Other; technocracy;anti-modernism

Ivanov Konstantin

Chief Research Fellow, ikv@ihst.ru.
S. I. Vavilov Institute for the History of Science and Technology, Russian Academy of Sciences (IHST RAS), 14 Baltiyskaya St., 125315 Moscow, Russia.

Publications

Astronomers and Surveyors in the Struggle for Central Asia. Notes on the Epistemology of Colonization / Logos. 2020. № 2 (135). P. 15-40
annotation:  Central Asia was mainly desert land that contained just a few small, densely populated oases when it was forcibly occupied by Imperial Russia between 1865 and 1885. What reason was there to gain control of it? It did not serve any military purpose because the Russian Empire was already well protected on its southern frontier by Central Asia’s notorious deserts and dry steppes. Nor was there much economic advantage to be gained. To present it merely as an opportunity for the thievish embezzlement of public money — and theft there was — is somewhat beside the point. The advance of Great Britain into the same region from the opposite side reflected the same trend. What kind of reasoning was behind these incursions? The counterintuitive answer is that the only rational reason to move into the region was a scientific one. At that time the Central Asia was still a blank spot on European maps and it was the only region on Earth in which the great empires had not yet confronted each other. The frontier lines of both empires were bound to move in on each other, although neither empire gained much advantage from the expansion.
The article analyzes the way in which the struggle for the territory eventually turned into a symposium about the territory. The main agents in that war — and also its beneficiaries — were the British and Russian military geodesists and surveyors who used the latest astronomical methods. Systematic mapping of the desert region was important not only for the geographical knowledge it produced, but also for advancing the surveyors’ careers and improving their social status and personal prosperity. The so-called Afghan Demarcation between the Russian Empire and Great Britain in 1885 seemed to them more like an enjoyable conference for sharing topographical and geographical information than a hostile confrontation. After the outer and inner demarcations had been fixed, the result was that this region — “Created by the Lord in Anger” — was surveyed and studied not only in terms of geography, but also geologically, ethnically and historically.

Keywords:  Central Asia; colonization; the Great Game; mapping; surveying; astronomy; imperial epistemology.
Dreams about Journeys Through Space and the Underworld in Early Soviet Science-Fiction / Logos. 2018. № 2 (123). P. 159-224
annotation:  The paper attempts to explain the increased popularity of stories about imaginary journeys through space and the underworld on the threshold of the twentieth century. Although this literary tradition goes back to Cicero, Macrobius, Dante, and a number of authors from the Early Modern period, the fin-de-siècle upsurge in interest towards this genre was not accidental. The paper traces the background of that genre since ancient times and reconstructs the three-tiered structure of the anthropocentric universe that was formed inside of it. The study offers potential reasons that have enhanced the dreams about traveling to the underworld and outer space at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century. One of these reasons was the completion of an extensive colonial conquest. With fewer and fewer unmapped and unexplored spaces on the globe, expectations were rising regarding further steps towards the unknown zones of the universe — both upper and lower. The authors who wrote about traveling to the underworld and outer space employed the terms, metaphors, and plots that reflected the experience of colonialism. The author examines a change in the perception of The Other, caused by the above-mentioned social transformation. He tries to show how it was expressed in the literature on the collisions between the earthlings and the aliens. With regard to early Soviet science-fiction, the author considers three representative cases, each of which describe journeys to distinct cosmic zones: the novels by Alexander Belyaev (Space), Grigory Adamov (Underworld), and Vladimir Obruchev (Earth and its inhabited flip-side). The author then proceeds by comparing them with the classical works of Jules Verne and Herbert Wells. In this regard, there is a distinct difference between the structure of the typical Western and Soviet microcosm of accounts. The paper points out a number of technocratic anticipations to be found in novels by pioneering Soviet science fiction writers.
Keywords:  Soviet science fiction; colonization; The Other; technocracy;anti-modernism

Ivanov Konstantin

Chief Research Fellow, ikv@ihst.ru.
S. I. Vavilov Institute for the History of Science and Technology, Russian Academy of Sciences (IHST RAS), 14 Baltiyskaya St., 125315 Moscow, Russia.

Publications

Astronomers and Surveyors in the Struggle for Central Asia. Notes on the Epistemology of Colonization / Logos. 2020. № 2 (135). P. 15-40
annotation:  Central Asia was mainly desert land that contained just a few small, densely populated oases when it was forcibly occupied by Imperial Russia between 1865 and 1885. What reason was there to gain control of it? It did not serve any military purpose because the Russian Empire was already well protected on its southern frontier by Central Asia’s notorious deserts and dry steppes. Nor was there much economic advantage to be gained. To present it merely as an opportunity for the thievish embezzlement of public money — and theft there was — is somewhat beside the point. The advance of Great Britain into the same region from the opposite side reflected the same trend. What kind of reasoning was behind these incursions? The counterintuitive answer is that the only rational reason to move into the region was a scientific one. At that time the Central Asia was still a blank spot on European maps and it was the only region on Earth in which the great empires had not yet confronted each other. The frontier lines of both empires were bound to move in on each other, although neither empire gained much advantage from the expansion.
The article analyzes the way in which the struggle for the territory eventually turned into a symposium about the territory. The main agents in that war — and also its beneficiaries — were the British and Russian military geodesists and surveyors who used the latest astronomical methods. Systematic mapping of the desert region was important not only for the geographical knowledge it produced, but also for advancing the surveyors’ careers and improving their social status and personal prosperity. The so-called Afghan Demarcation between the Russian Empire and Great Britain in 1885 seemed to them more like an enjoyable conference for sharing topographical and geographical information than a hostile confrontation. After the outer and inner demarcations had been fixed, the result was that this region — “Created by the Lord in Anger” — was surveyed and studied not only in terms of geography, but also geologically, ethnically and historically.

Keywords:  Central Asia; colonization; the Great Game; mapping; surveying; astronomy; imperial epistemology.
Dreams about Journeys Through Space and the Underworld in Early Soviet Science-Fiction / Logos. 2018. № 2 (123). P. 159-224
annotation:  The paper attempts to explain the increased popularity of stories about imaginary journeys through space and the underworld on the threshold of the twentieth century. Although this literary tradition goes back to Cicero, Macrobius, Dante, and a number of authors from the Early Modern period, the fin-de-siècle upsurge in interest towards this genre was not accidental. The paper traces the background of that genre since ancient times and reconstructs the three-tiered structure of the anthropocentric universe that was formed inside of it. The study offers potential reasons that have enhanced the dreams about traveling to the underworld and outer space at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century. One of these reasons was the completion of an extensive colonial conquest. With fewer and fewer unmapped and unexplored spaces on the globe, expectations were rising regarding further steps towards the unknown zones of the universe — both upper and lower. The authors who wrote about traveling to the underworld and outer space employed the terms, metaphors, and plots that reflected the experience of colonialism. The author examines a change in the perception of The Other, caused by the above-mentioned social transformation. He tries to show how it was expressed in the literature on the collisions between the earthlings and the aliens. With regard to early Soviet science-fiction, the author considers three representative cases, each of which describe journeys to distinct cosmic zones: the novels by Alexander Belyaev (Space), Grigory Adamov (Underworld), and Vladimir Obruchev (Earth and its inhabited flip-side). The author then proceeds by comparing them with the classical works of Jules Verne and Herbert Wells. In this regard, there is a distinct difference between the structure of the typical Western and Soviet microcosm of accounts. The paper points out a number of technocratic anticipations to be found in novels by pioneering Soviet science fiction writers.
Keywords:  Soviet science fiction; colonization; The Other; technocracy;anti-modernism

Ivanov Konstantin

Chief Research Fellow, ikv@ihst.ru.
S. I. Vavilov Institute for the History of Science and Technology, Russian Academy of Sciences (IHST RAS), 14 Baltiyskaya St., 125315 Moscow, Russia.

Publications

Astronomers and Surveyors in the Struggle for Central Asia. Notes on the Epistemology of Colonization / Logos. 2020. № 2 (135). P. 15-40
annotation:  Central Asia was mainly desert land that contained just a few small, densely populated oases when it was forcibly occupied by Imperial Russia between 1865 and 1885. What reason was there to gain control of it? It did not serve any military purpose because the Russian Empire was already well protected on its southern frontier by Central Asia’s notorious deserts and dry steppes. Nor was there much economic advantage to be gained. To present it merely as an opportunity for the thievish embezzlement of public money — and theft there was — is somewhat beside the point. The advance of Great Britain into the same region from the opposite side reflected the same trend. What kind of reasoning was behind these incursions? The counterintuitive answer is that the only rational reason to move into the region was a scientific one. At that time the Central Asia was still a blank spot on European maps and it was the only region on Earth in which the great empires had not yet confronted each other. The frontier lines of both empires were bound to move in on each other, although neither empire gained much advantage from the expansion.
The article analyzes the way in which the struggle for the territory eventually turned into a symposium about the territory. The main agents in that war — and also its beneficiaries — were the British and Russian military geodesists and surveyors who used the latest astronomical methods. Systematic mapping of the desert region was important not only for the geographical knowledge it produced, but also for advancing the surveyors’ careers and improving their social status and personal prosperity. The so-called Afghan Demarcation between the Russian Empire and Great Britain in 1885 seemed to them more like an enjoyable conference for sharing topographical and geographical information than a hostile confrontation. After the outer and inner demarcations had been fixed, the result was that this region — “Created by the Lord in Anger” — was surveyed and studied not only in terms of geography, but also geologically, ethnically and historically.

Keywords:  Central Asia; colonization; the Great Game; mapping; surveying; astronomy; imperial epistemology.
Dreams about Journeys Through Space and the Underworld in Early Soviet Science-Fiction / Logos. 2018. № 2 (123). P. 159-224
annotation:  The paper attempts to explain the increased popularity of stories about imaginary journeys through space and the underworld on the threshold of the twentieth century. Although this literary tradition goes back to Cicero, Macrobius, Dante, and a number of authors from the Early Modern period, the fin-de-siècle upsurge in interest towards this genre was not accidental. The paper traces the background of that genre since ancient times and reconstructs the three-tiered structure of the anthropocentric universe that was formed inside of it. The study offers potential reasons that have enhanced the dreams about traveling to the underworld and outer space at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century. One of these reasons was the completion of an extensive colonial conquest. With fewer and fewer unmapped and unexplored spaces on the globe, expectations were rising regarding further steps towards the unknown zones of the universe — both upper and lower. The authors who wrote about traveling to the underworld and outer space employed the terms, metaphors, and plots that reflected the experience of colonialism. The author examines a change in the perception of The Other, caused by the above-mentioned social transformation. He tries to show how it was expressed in the literature on the collisions between the earthlings and the aliens. With regard to early Soviet science-fiction, the author considers three representative cases, each of which describe journeys to distinct cosmic zones: the novels by Alexander Belyaev (Space), Grigory Adamov (Underworld), and Vladimir Obruchev (Earth and its inhabited flip-side). The author then proceeds by comparing them with the classical works of Jules Verne and Herbert Wells. In this regard, there is a distinct difference between the structure of the typical Western and Soviet microcosm of accounts. The paper points out a number of technocratic anticipations to be found in novels by pioneering Soviet science fiction writers.
Keywords:  Soviet science fiction; colonization; The Other; technocracy;anti-modernism

Ivanov Konstantin

Chief Research Fellow, ikv@ihst.ru.
S. I. Vavilov Institute for the History of Science and Technology, Russian Academy of Sciences (IHST RAS), 14 Baltiyskaya St., 125315 Moscow, Russia.

Publications

Astronomers and Surveyors in the Struggle for Central Asia. Notes on the Epistemology of Colonization / Logos. 2020. № 2 (135). P. 15-40
annotation:  Central Asia was mainly desert land that contained just a few small, densely populated oases when it was forcibly occupied by Imperial Russia between 1865 and 1885. What reason was there to gain control of it? It did not serve any military purpose because the Russian Empire was already well protected on its southern frontier by Central Asia’s notorious deserts and dry steppes. Nor was there much economic advantage to be gained. To present it merely as an opportunity for the thievish embezzlement of public money — and theft there was — is somewhat beside the point. The advance of Great Britain into the same region from the opposite side reflected the same trend. What kind of reasoning was behind these incursions? The counterintuitive answer is that the only rational reason to move into the region was a scientific one. At that time the Central Asia was still a blank spot on European maps and it was the only region on Earth in which the great empires had not yet confronted each other. The frontier lines of both empires were bound to move in on each other, although neither empire gained much advantage from the expansion.
The article analyzes the way in which the struggle for the territory eventually turned into a symposium about the territory. The main agents in that war — and also its beneficiaries — were the British and Russian military geodesists and surveyors who used the latest astronomical methods. Systematic mapping of the desert region was important not only for the geographical knowledge it produced, but also for advancing the surveyors’ careers and improving their social status and personal prosperity. The so-called Afghan Demarcation between the Russian Empire and Great Britain in 1885 seemed to them more like an enjoyable conference for sharing topographical and geographical information than a hostile confrontation. After the outer and inner demarcations had been fixed, the result was that this region — “Created by the Lord in Anger” — was surveyed and studied not only in terms of geography, but also geologically, ethnically and historically.

Keywords:  Central Asia; colonization; the Great Game; mapping; surveying; astronomy; imperial epistemology.
Dreams about Journeys Through Space and the Underworld in Early Soviet Science-Fiction / Logos. 2018. № 2 (123). P. 159-224
annotation:  The paper attempts to explain the increased popularity of stories about imaginary journeys through space and the underworld on the threshold of the twentieth century. Although this literary tradition goes back to Cicero, Macrobius, Dante, and a number of authors from the Early Modern period, the fin-de-siècle upsurge in interest towards this genre was not accidental. The paper traces the background of that genre since ancient times and reconstructs the three-tiered structure of the anthropocentric universe that was formed inside of it. The study offers potential reasons that have enhanced the dreams about traveling to the underworld and outer space at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century. One of these reasons was the completion of an extensive colonial conquest. With fewer and fewer unmapped and unexplored spaces on the globe, expectations were rising regarding further steps towards the unknown zones of the universe — both upper and lower. The authors who wrote about traveling to the underworld and outer space employed the terms, metaphors, and plots that reflected the experience of colonialism. The author examines a change in the perception of The Other, caused by the above-mentioned social transformation. He tries to show how it was expressed in the literature on the collisions between the earthlings and the aliens. With regard to early Soviet science-fiction, the author considers three representative cases, each of which describe journeys to distinct cosmic zones: the novels by Alexander Belyaev (Space), Grigory Adamov (Underworld), and Vladimir Obruchev (Earth and its inhabited flip-side). The author then proceeds by comparing them with the classical works of Jules Verne and Herbert Wells. In this regard, there is a distinct difference between the structure of the typical Western and Soviet microcosm of accounts. The paper points out a number of technocratic anticipations to be found in novels by pioneering Soviet science fiction writers.
Keywords:  Soviet science fiction; colonization; The Other; technocracy;anti-modernism

Ivanov Konstantin

Chief Research Fellow, ikv@ihst.ru.
S. I. Vavilov Institute for the History of Science and Technology, Russian Academy of Sciences (IHST RAS), 14 Baltiyskaya St., 125315 Moscow, Russia.

Publications

Astronomers and Surveyors in the Struggle for Central Asia. Notes on the Epistemology of Colonization / Logos. 2020. № 2 (135). P. 15-40
annotation:  Central Asia was mainly desert land that contained just a few small, densely populated oases when it was forcibly occupied by Imperial Russia between 1865 and 1885. What reason was there to gain control of it? It did not serve any military purpose because the Russian Empire was already well protected on its southern frontier by Central Asia’s notorious deserts and dry steppes. Nor was there much economic advantage to be gained. To present it merely as an opportunity for the thievish embezzlement of public money — and theft there was — is somewhat beside the point. The advance of Great Britain into the same region from the opposite side reflected the same trend. What kind of reasoning was behind these incursions? The counterintuitive answer is that the only rational reason to move into the region was a scientific one. At that time the Central Asia was still a blank spot on European maps and it was the only region on Earth in which the great empires had not yet confronted each other. The frontier lines of both empires were bound to move in on each other, although neither empire gained much advantage from the expansion.
The article analyzes the way in which the struggle for the territory eventually turned into a symposium about the territory. The main agents in that war — and also its beneficiaries — were the British and Russian military geodesists and surveyors who used the latest astronomical methods. Systematic mapping of the desert region was important not only for the geographical knowledge it produced, but also for advancing the surveyors’ careers and improving their social status and personal prosperity. The so-called Afghan Demarcation between the Russian Empire and Great Britain in 1885 seemed to them more like an enjoyable conference for sharing topographical and geographical information than a hostile confrontation. After the outer and inner demarcations had been fixed, the result was that this region — “Created by the Lord in Anger” — was surveyed and studied not only in terms of geography, but also geologically, ethnically and historically.

Keywords:  Central Asia; colonization; the Great Game; mapping; surveying; astronomy; imperial epistemology.
Dreams about Journeys Through Space and the Underworld in Early Soviet Science-Fiction / Logos. 2018. № 2 (123). P. 159-224
annotation:  The paper attempts to explain the increased popularity of stories about imaginary journeys through space and the underworld on the threshold of the twentieth century. Although this literary tradition goes back to Cicero, Macrobius, Dante, and a number of authors from the Early Modern period, the fin-de-siècle upsurge in interest towards this genre was not accidental. The paper traces the background of that genre since ancient times and reconstructs the three-tiered structure of the anthropocentric universe that was formed inside of it. The study offers potential reasons that have enhanced the dreams about traveling to the underworld and outer space at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century. One of these reasons was the completion of an extensive colonial conquest. With fewer and fewer unmapped and unexplored spaces on the globe, expectations were rising regarding further steps towards the unknown zones of the universe — both upper and lower. The authors who wrote about traveling to the underworld and outer space employed the terms, metaphors, and plots that reflected the experience of colonialism. The author examines a change in the perception of The Other, caused by the above-mentioned social transformation. He tries to show how it was expressed in the literature on the collisions between the earthlings and the aliens. With regard to early Soviet science-fiction, the author considers three representative cases, each of which describe journeys to distinct cosmic zones: the novels by Alexander Belyaev (Space), Grigory Adamov (Underworld), and Vladimir Obruchev (Earth and its inhabited flip-side). The author then proceeds by comparing them with the classical works of Jules Verne and Herbert Wells. In this regard, there is a distinct difference between the structure of the typical Western and Soviet microcosm of accounts. The paper points out a number of technocratic anticipations to be found in novels by pioneering Soviet science fiction writers.
Keywords:  Soviet science fiction; colonization; The Other; technocracy;anti-modernism

Ivanov Konstantin

Chief Research Fellow, ikv@ihst.ru.
S. I. Vavilov Institute for the History of Science and Technology, Russian Academy of Sciences (IHST RAS), 14 Baltiyskaya St., 125315 Moscow, Russia.

Publications

Astronomers and Surveyors in the Struggle for Central Asia. Notes on the Epistemology of Colonization / Logos. 2020. № 2 (135). P. 15-40
annotation:  Central Asia was mainly desert land that contained just a few small, densely populated oases when it was forcibly occupied by Imperial Russia between 1865 and 1885. What reason was there to gain control of it? It did not serve any military purpose because the Russian Empire was already well protected on its southern frontier by Central Asia’s notorious deserts and dry steppes. Nor was there much economic advantage to be gained. To present it merely as an opportunity for the thievish embezzlement of public money — and theft there was — is somewhat beside the point. The advance of Great Britain into the same region from the opposite side reflected the same trend. What kind of reasoning was behind these incursions? The counterintuitive answer is that the only rational reason to move into the region was a scientific one. At that time the Central Asia was still a blank spot on European maps and it was the only region on Earth in which the great empires had not yet confronted each other. The frontier lines of both empires were bound to move in on each other, although neither empire gained much advantage from the expansion.
The article analyzes the way in which the struggle for the territory eventually turned into a symposium about the territory. The main agents in that war — and also its beneficiaries — were the British and Russian military geodesists and surveyors who used the latest astronomical methods. Systematic mapping of the desert region was important not only for the geographical knowledge it produced, but also for advancing the surveyors’ careers and improving their social status and personal prosperity. The so-called Afghan Demarcation between the Russian Empire and Great Britain in 1885 seemed to them more like an enjoyable conference for sharing topographical and geographical information than a hostile confrontation. After the outer and inner demarcations had been fixed, the result was that this region — “Created by the Lord in Anger” — was surveyed and studied not only in terms of geography, but also geologically, ethnically and historically.

Keywords:  Central Asia; colonization; the Great Game; mapping; surveying; astronomy; imperial epistemology.
Dreams about Journeys Through Space and the Underworld in Early Soviet Science-Fiction / Logos. 2018. № 2 (123). P. 159-224
annotation:  The paper attempts to explain the increased popularity of stories about imaginary journeys through space and the underworld on the threshold of the twentieth century. Although this literary tradition goes back to Cicero, Macrobius, Dante, and a number of authors from the Early Modern period, the fin-de-siècle upsurge in interest towards this genre was not accidental. The paper traces the background of that genre since ancient times and reconstructs the three-tiered structure of the anthropocentric universe that was formed inside of it. The study offers potential reasons that have enhanced the dreams about traveling to the underworld and outer space at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century. One of these reasons was the completion of an extensive colonial conquest. With fewer and fewer unmapped and unexplored spaces on the globe, expectations were rising regarding further steps towards the unknown zones of the universe — both upper and lower. The authors who wrote about traveling to the underworld and outer space employed the terms, metaphors, and plots that reflected the experience of colonialism. The author examines a change in the perception of The Other, caused by the above-mentioned social transformation. He tries to show how it was expressed in the literature on the collisions between the earthlings and the aliens. With regard to early Soviet science-fiction, the author considers three representative cases, each of which describe journeys to distinct cosmic zones: the novels by Alexander Belyaev (Space), Grigory Adamov (Underworld), and Vladimir Obruchev (Earth and its inhabited flip-side). The author then proceeds by comparing them with the classical works of Jules Verne and Herbert Wells. In this regard, there is a distinct difference between the structure of the typical Western and Soviet microcosm of accounts. The paper points out a number of technocratic anticipations to be found in novels by pioneering Soviet science fiction writers.
Keywords:  Soviet science fiction; colonization; The Other; technocracy;anti-modernism

Ivanov Konstantin

Chief Research Fellow, ikv@ihst.ru.
S. I. Vavilov Institute for the History of Science and Technology, Russian Academy of Sciences (IHST RAS), 14 Baltiyskaya St., 125315 Moscow, Russia.

Publications

Astronomers and Surveyors in the Struggle for Central Asia. Notes on the Epistemology of Colonization / Logos. 2020. № 2 (135). P. 15-40
annotation:  Central Asia was mainly desert land that contained just a few small, densely populated oases when it was forcibly occupied by Imperial Russia between 1865 and 1885. What reason was there to gain control of it? It did not serve any military purpose because the Russian Empire was already well protected on its southern frontier by Central Asia’s notorious deserts and dry steppes. Nor was there much economic advantage to be gained. To present it merely as an opportunity for the thievish embezzlement of public money — and theft there was — is somewhat beside the point. The advance of Great Britain into the same region from the opposite side reflected the same trend. What kind of reasoning was behind these incursions? The counterintuitive answer is that the only rational reason to move into the region was a scientific one. At that time the Central Asia was still a blank spot on European maps and it was the only region on Earth in which the great empires had not yet confronted each other. The frontier lines of both empires were bound to move in on each other, although neither empire gained much advantage from the expansion.
The article analyzes the way in which the struggle for the territory eventually turned into a symposium about the territory. The main agents in that war — and also its beneficiaries — were the British and Russian military geodesists and surveyors who used the latest astronomical methods. Systematic mapping of the desert region was important not only for the geographical knowledge it produced, but also for advancing the surveyors’ careers and improving their social status and personal prosperity. The so-called Afghan Demarcation between the Russian Empire and Great Britain in 1885 seemed to them more like an enjoyable conference for sharing topographical and geographical information than a hostile confrontation. After the outer and inner demarcations had been fixed, the result was that this region — “Created by the Lord in Anger” — was surveyed and studied not only in terms of geography, but also geologically, ethnically and historically.

Keywords:  Central Asia; colonization; the Great Game; mapping; surveying; astronomy; imperial epistemology.
Dreams about Journeys Through Space and the Underworld in Early Soviet Science-Fiction / Logos. 2018. № 2 (123). P. 159-224
annotation:  The paper attempts to explain the increased popularity of stories about imaginary journeys through space and the underworld on the threshold of the twentieth century. Although this literary tradition goes back to Cicero, Macrobius, Dante, and a number of authors from the Early Modern period, the fin-de-siècle upsurge in interest towards this genre was not accidental. The paper traces the background of that genre since ancient times and reconstructs the three-tiered structure of the anthropocentric universe that was formed inside of it. The study offers potential reasons that have enhanced the dreams about traveling to the underworld and outer space at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century. One of these reasons was the completion of an extensive colonial conquest. With fewer and fewer unmapped and unexplored spaces on the globe, expectations were rising regarding further steps towards the unknown zones of the universe — both upper and lower. The authors who wrote about traveling to the underworld and outer space employed the terms, metaphors, and plots that reflected the experience of colonialism. The author examines a change in the perception of The Other, caused by the above-mentioned social transformation. He tries to show how it was expressed in the literature on the collisions between the earthlings and the aliens. With regard to early Soviet science-fiction, the author considers three representative cases, each of which describe journeys to distinct cosmic zones: the novels by Alexander Belyaev (Space), Grigory Adamov (Underworld), and Vladimir Obruchev (Earth and its inhabited flip-side). The author then proceeds by comparing them with the classical works of Jules Verne and Herbert Wells. In this regard, there is a distinct difference between the structure of the typical Western and Soviet microcosm of accounts. The paper points out a number of technocratic anticipations to be found in novels by pioneering Soviet science fiction writers.
Keywords:  Soviet science fiction; colonization; The Other; technocracy;anti-modernism

Ivanov Konstantin

Chief Research Fellow, ikv@ihst.ru.
S. I. Vavilov Institute for the History of Science and Technology, Russian Academy of Sciences (IHST RAS), 14 Baltiyskaya St., 125315 Moscow, Russia.

Publications

Astronomers and Surveyors in the Struggle for Central Asia. Notes on the Epistemology of Colonization / Logos. 2020. № 2 (135). P. 15-40
annotation:  Central Asia was mainly desert land that contained just a few small, densely populated oases when it was forcibly occupied by Imperial Russia between 1865 and 1885. What reason was there to gain control of it? It did not serve any military purpose because the Russian Empire was already well protected on its southern frontier by Central Asia’s notorious deserts and dry steppes. Nor was there much economic advantage to be gained. To present it merely as an opportunity for the thievish embezzlement of public money — and theft there was — is somewhat beside the point. The advance of Great Britain into the same region from the opposite side reflected the same trend. What kind of reasoning was behind these incursions? The counterintuitive answer is that the only rational reason to move into the region was a scientific one. At that time the Central Asia was still a blank spot on European maps and it was the only region on Earth in which the great empires had not yet confronted each other. The frontier lines of both empires were bound to move in on each other, although neither empire gained much advantage from the expansion.
The article analyzes the way in which the struggle for the territory eventually turned into a symposium about the territory. The main agents in that war — and also its beneficiaries — were the British and Russian military geodesists and surveyors who used the latest astronomical methods. Systematic mapping of the desert region was important not only for the geographical knowledge it produced, but also for advancing the surveyors’ careers and improving their social status and personal prosperity. The so-called Afghan Demarcation between the Russian Empire and Great Britain in 1885 seemed to them more like an enjoyable conference for sharing topographical and geographical information than a hostile confrontation. After the outer and inner demarcations had been fixed, the result was that this region — “Created by the Lord in Anger” — was surveyed and studied not only in terms of geography, but also geologically, ethnically and historically.

Keywords:  Central Asia; colonization; the Great Game; mapping; surveying; astronomy; imperial epistemology.
Dreams about Journeys Through Space and the Underworld in Early Soviet Science-Fiction / Logos. 2018. № 2 (123). P. 159-224
annotation:  The paper attempts to explain the increased popularity of stories about imaginary journeys through space and the underworld on the threshold of the twentieth century. Although this literary tradition goes back to Cicero, Macrobius, Dante, and a number of authors from the Early Modern period, the fin-de-siècle upsurge in interest towards this genre was not accidental. The paper traces the background of that genre since ancient times and reconstructs the three-tiered structure of the anthropocentric universe that was formed inside of it. The study offers potential reasons that have enhanced the dreams about traveling to the underworld and outer space at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century. One of these reasons was the completion of an extensive colonial conquest. With fewer and fewer unmapped and unexplored spaces on the globe, expectations were rising regarding further steps towards the unknown zones of the universe — both upper and lower. The authors who wrote about traveling to the underworld and outer space employed the terms, metaphors, and plots that reflected the experience of colonialism. The author examines a change in the perception of The Other, caused by the above-mentioned social transformation. He tries to show how it was expressed in the literature on the collisions between the earthlings and the aliens. With regard to early Soviet science-fiction, the author considers three representative cases, each of which describe journeys to distinct cosmic zones: the novels by Alexander Belyaev (Space), Grigory Adamov (Underworld), and Vladimir Obruchev (Earth and its inhabited flip-side). The author then proceeds by comparing them with the classical works of Jules Verne and Herbert Wells. In this regard, there is a distinct difference between the structure of the typical Western and Soviet microcosm of accounts. The paper points out a number of technocratic anticipations to be found in novels by pioneering Soviet science fiction writers.
Keywords:  Soviet science fiction; colonization; The Other; technocracy;anti-modernism

Ivanov Konstantin

Chief Research Fellow, ikv@ihst.ru.
S. I. Vavilov Institute for the History of Science and Technology, Russian Academy of Sciences (IHST RAS), 14 Baltiyskaya St., 125315 Moscow, Russia.

Publications

Astronomers and Surveyors in the Struggle for Central Asia. Notes on the Epistemology of Colonization / Logos. 2020. № 2 (135). P. 15-40
annotation:  Central Asia was mainly desert land that contained just a few small, densely populated oases when it was forcibly occupied by Imperial Russia between 1865 and 1885. What reason was there to gain control of it? It did not serve any military purpose because the Russian Empire was already well protected on its southern frontier by Central Asia’s notorious deserts and dry steppes. Nor was there much economic advantage to be gained. To present it merely as an opportunity for the thievish embezzlement of public money — and theft there was — is somewhat beside the point. The advance of Great Britain into the same region from the opposite side reflected the same trend. What kind of reasoning was behind these incursions? The counterintuitive answer is that the only rational reason to move into the region was a scientific one. At that time the Central Asia was still a blank spot on European maps and it was the only region on Earth in which the great empires had not yet confronted each other. The frontier lines of both empires were bound to move in on each other, although neither empire gained much advantage from the expansion.
The article analyzes the way in which the struggle for the territory eventually turned into a symposium about the territory. The main agents in that war — and also its beneficiaries — were the British and Russian military geodesists and surveyors who used the latest astronomical methods. Systematic mapping of the desert region was important not only for the geographical knowledge it produced, but also for advancing the surveyors’ careers and improving their social status and personal prosperity. The so-called Afghan Demarcation between the Russian Empire and Great Britain in 1885 seemed to them more like an enjoyable conference for sharing topographical and geographical information than a hostile confrontation. After the outer and inner demarcations had been fixed, the result was that this region — “Created by the Lord in Anger” — was surveyed and studied not only in terms of geography, but also geologically, ethnically and historically.

Keywords:  Central Asia; colonization; the Great Game; mapping; surveying; astronomy; imperial epistemology.
Dreams about Journeys Through Space and the Underworld in Early Soviet Science-Fiction / Logos. 2018. № 2 (123). P. 159-224
annotation:  The paper attempts to explain the increased popularity of stories about imaginary journeys through space and the underworld on the threshold of the twentieth century. Although this literary tradition goes back to Cicero, Macrobius, Dante, and a number of authors from the Early Modern period, the fin-de-siècle upsurge in interest towards this genre was not accidental. The paper traces the background of that genre since ancient times and reconstructs the three-tiered structure of the anthropocentric universe that was formed inside of it. The study offers potential reasons that have enhanced the dreams about traveling to the underworld and outer space at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century. One of these reasons was the completion of an extensive colonial conquest. With fewer and fewer unmapped and unexplored spaces on the globe, expectations were rising regarding further steps towards the unknown zones of the universe — both upper and lower. The authors who wrote about traveling to the underworld and outer space employed the terms, metaphors, and plots that reflected the experience of colonialism. The author examines a change in the perception of The Other, caused by the above-mentioned social transformation. He tries to show how it was expressed in the literature on the collisions between the earthlings and the aliens. With regard to early Soviet science-fiction, the author considers three representative cases, each of which describe journeys to distinct cosmic zones: the novels by Alexander Belyaev (Space), Grigory Adamov (Underworld), and Vladimir Obruchev (Earth and its inhabited flip-side). The author then proceeds by comparing them with the classical works of Jules Verne and Herbert Wells. In this regard, there is a distinct difference between the structure of the typical Western and Soviet microcosm of accounts. The paper points out a number of technocratic anticipations to be found in novels by pioneering Soviet science fiction writers.
Keywords:  Soviet science fiction; colonization; The Other; technocracy;anti-modernism

Ivanov Konstantin

Chief Research Fellow, ikv@ihst.ru.
S. I. Vavilov Institute for the History of Science and Technology, Russian Academy of Sciences (IHST RAS), 14 Baltiyskaya St., 125315 Moscow, Russia.

Publications

Astronomers and Surveyors in the Struggle for Central Asia. Notes on the Epistemology of Colonization / Logos. 2020. № 2 (135). P. 15-40
annotation:  Central Asia was mainly desert land that contained just a few small, densely populated oases when it was forcibly occupied by Imperial Russia between 1865 and 1885. What reason was there to gain control of it? It did not serve any military purpose because the Russian Empire was already well protected on its southern frontier by Central Asia’s notorious deserts and dry steppes. Nor was there much economic advantage to be gained. To present it merely as an opportunity for the thievish embezzlement of public money — and theft there was — is somewhat beside the point. The advance of Great Britain into the same region from the opposite side reflected the same trend. What kind of reasoning was behind these incursions? The counterintuitive answer is that the only rational reason to move into the region was a scientific one. At that time the Central Asia was still a blank spot on European maps and it was the only region on Earth in which the great empires had not yet confronted each other. The frontier lines of both empires were bound to move in on each other, although neither empire gained much advantage from the expansion.
The article analyzes the way in which the struggle for the territory eventually turned into a symposium about the territory. The main agents in that war — and also its beneficiaries — were the British and Russian military geodesists and surveyors who used the latest astronomical methods. Systematic mapping of the desert region was important not only for the geographical knowledge it produced, but also for advancing the surveyors’ careers and improving their social status and personal prosperity. The so-called Afghan Demarcation between the Russian Empire and Great Britain in 1885 seemed to them more like an enjoyable conference for sharing topographical and geographical information than a hostile confrontation. After the outer and inner demarcations had been fixed, the result was that this region — “Created by the Lord in Anger” — was surveyed and studied not only in terms of geography, but also geologically, ethnically and historically.

Keywords:  Central Asia; colonization; the Great Game; mapping; surveying; astronomy; imperial epistemology.
Dreams about Journeys Through Space and the Underworld in Early Soviet Science-Fiction / Logos. 2018. № 2 (123). P. 159-224
annotation:  The paper attempts to explain the increased popularity of stories about imaginary journeys through space and the underworld on the threshold of the twentieth century. Although this literary tradition goes back to Cicero, Macrobius, Dante, and a number of authors from the Early Modern period, the fin-de-siècle upsurge in interest towards this genre was not accidental. The paper traces the background of that genre since ancient times and reconstructs the three-tiered structure of the anthropocentric universe that was formed inside of it. The study offers potential reasons that have enhanced the dreams about traveling to the underworld and outer space at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century. One of these reasons was the completion of an extensive colonial conquest. With fewer and fewer unmapped and unexplored spaces on the globe, expectations were rising regarding further steps towards the unknown zones of the universe — both upper and lower. The authors who wrote about traveling to the underworld and outer space employed the terms, metaphors, and plots that reflected the experience of colonialism. The author examines a change in the perception of The Other, caused by the above-mentioned social transformation. He tries to show how it was expressed in the literature on the collisions between the earthlings and the aliens. With regard to early Soviet science-fiction, the author considers three representative cases, each of which describe journeys to distinct cosmic zones: the novels by Alexander Belyaev (Space), Grigory Adamov (Underworld), and Vladimir Obruchev (Earth and its inhabited flip-side). The author then proceeds by comparing them with the classical works of Jules Verne and Herbert Wells. In this regard, there is a distinct difference between the structure of the typical Western and Soviet microcosm of accounts. The paper points out a number of technocratic anticipations to be found in novels by pioneering Soviet science fiction writers.
Keywords:  Soviet science fiction; colonization; The Other; technocracy;anti-modernism

Ivanov Konstantin

Chief Research Fellow, ikv@ihst.ru.
S. I. Vavilov Institute for the History of Science and Technology, Russian Academy of Sciences (IHST RAS), 14 Baltiyskaya St., 125315 Moscow, Russia.

Publications

Astronomers and Surveyors in the Struggle for Central Asia. Notes on the Epistemology of Colonization / Logos. 2020. № 2 (135). P. 15-40
annotation:  Central Asia was mainly desert land that contained just a few small, densely populated oases when it was forcibly occupied by Imperial Russia between 1865 and 1885. What reason was there to gain control of it? It did not serve any military purpose because the Russian Empire was already well protected on its southern frontier by Central Asia’s notorious deserts and dry steppes. Nor was there much economic advantage to be gained. To present it merely as an opportunity for the thievish embezzlement of public money — and theft there was — is somewhat beside the point. The advance of Great Britain into the same region from the opposite side reflected the same trend. What kind of reasoning was behind these incursions? The counterintuitive answer is that the only rational reason to move into the region was a scientific one. At that time the Central Asia was still a blank spot on European maps and it was the only region on Earth in which the great empires had not yet confronted each other. The frontier lines of both empires were bound to move in on each other, although neither empire gained much advantage from the expansion.
The article analyzes the way in which the struggle for the territory eventually turned into a symposium about the territory. The main agents in that war — and also its beneficiaries — were the British and Russian military geodesists and surveyors who used the latest astronomical methods. Systematic mapping of the desert region was important not only for the geographical knowledge it produced, but also for advancing the surveyors’ careers and improving their social status and personal prosperity. The so-called Afghan Demarcation between the Russian Empire and Great Britain in 1885 seemed to them more like an enjoyable conference for sharing topographical and geographical information than a hostile confrontation. After the outer and inner demarcations had been fixed, the result was that this region — “Created by the Lord in Anger” — was surveyed and studied not only in terms of geography, but also geologically, ethnically and historically.

Keywords:  Central Asia; colonization; the Great Game; mapping; surveying; astronomy; imperial epistemology.
Dreams about Journeys Through Space and the Underworld in Early Soviet Science-Fiction / Logos. 2018. № 2 (123). P. 159-224
annotation:  The paper attempts to explain the increased popularity of stories about imaginary journeys through space and the underworld on the threshold of the twentieth century. Although this literary tradition goes back to Cicero, Macrobius, Dante, and a number of authors from the Early Modern period, the fin-de-siècle upsurge in interest towards this genre was not accidental. The paper traces the background of that genre since ancient times and reconstructs the three-tiered structure of the anthropocentric universe that was formed inside of it. The study offers potential reasons that have enhanced the dreams about traveling to the underworld and outer space at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century. One of these reasons was the completion of an extensive colonial conquest. With fewer and fewer unmapped and unexplored spaces on the globe, expectations were rising regarding further steps towards the unknown zones of the universe — both upper and lower. The authors who wrote about traveling to the underworld and outer space employed the terms, metaphors, and plots that reflected the experience of colonialism. The author examines a change in the perception of The Other, caused by the above-mentioned social transformation. He tries to show how it was expressed in the literature on the collisions between the earthlings and the aliens. With regard to early Soviet science-fiction, the author considers three representative cases, each of which describe journeys to distinct cosmic zones: the novels by Alexander Belyaev (Space), Grigory Adamov (Underworld), and Vladimir Obruchev (Earth and its inhabited flip-side). The author then proceeds by comparing them with the classical works of Jules Verne and Herbert Wells. In this regard, there is a distinct difference between the structure of the typical Western and Soviet microcosm of accounts. The paper points out a number of technocratic anticipations to be found in novels by pioneering Soviet science fiction writers.
Keywords:  Soviet science fiction; colonization; The Other; technocracy;anti-modernism

Ivanov Konstantin

Chief Research Fellow, ikv@ihst.ru.
S. I. Vavilov Institute for the History of Science and Technology, Russian Academy of Sciences (IHST RAS), 14 Baltiyskaya St., 125315 Moscow, Russia.

Publications

Astronomers and Surveyors in the Struggle for Central Asia. Notes on the Epistemology of Colonization / Logos. 2020. № 2 (135). P. 15-40
annotation:  Central Asia was mainly desert land that contained just a few small, densely populated oases when it was forcibly occupied by Imperial Russia between 1865 and 1885. What reason was there to gain control of it? It did not serve any military purpose because the Russian Empire was already well protected on its southern frontier by Central Asia’s notorious deserts and dry steppes. Nor was there much economic advantage to be gained. To present it merely as an opportunity for the thievish embezzlement of public money — and theft there was — is somewhat beside the point. The advance of Great Britain into the same region from the opposite side reflected the same trend. What kind of reasoning was behind these incursions? The counterintuitive answer is that the only rational reason to move into the region was a scientific one. At that time the Central Asia was still a blank spot on European maps and it was the only region on Earth in which the great empires had not yet confronted each other. The frontier lines of both empires were bound to move in on each other, although neither empire gained much advantage from the expansion.
The article analyzes the way in which the struggle for the territory eventually turned into a symposium about the territory. The main agents in that war — and also its beneficiaries — were the British and Russian military geodesists and surveyors who used the latest astronomical methods. Systematic mapping of the desert region was important not only for the geographical knowledge it produced, but also for advancing the surveyors’ careers and improving their social status and personal prosperity. The so-called Afghan Demarcation between the Russian Empire and Great Britain in 1885 seemed to them more like an enjoyable conference for sharing topographical and geographical information than a hostile confrontation. After the outer and inner demarcations had been fixed, the result was that this region — “Created by the Lord in Anger” — was surveyed and studied not only in terms of geography, but also geologically, ethnically and historically.

Keywords:  Central Asia; colonization; the Great Game; mapping; surveying; astronomy; imperial epistemology.
Dreams about Journeys Through Space and the Underworld in Early Soviet Science-Fiction / Logos. 2018. № 2 (123). P. 159-224
annotation:  The paper attempts to explain the increased popularity of stories about imaginary journeys through space and the underworld on the threshold of the twentieth century. Although this literary tradition goes back to Cicero, Macrobius, Dante, and a number of authors from the Early Modern period, the fin-de-siècle upsurge in interest towards this genre was not accidental. The paper traces the background of that genre since ancient times and reconstructs the three-tiered structure of the anthropocentric universe that was formed inside of it. The study offers potential reasons that have enhanced the dreams about traveling to the underworld and outer space at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century. One of these reasons was the completion of an extensive colonial conquest. With fewer and fewer unmapped and unexplored spaces on the globe, expectations were rising regarding further steps towards the unknown zones of the universe — both upper and lower. The authors who wrote about traveling to the underworld and outer space employed the terms, metaphors, and plots that reflected the experience of colonialism. The author examines a change in the perception of The Other, caused by the above-mentioned social transformation. He tries to show how it was expressed in the literature on the collisions between the earthlings and the aliens. With regard to early Soviet science-fiction, the author considers three representative cases, each of which describe journeys to distinct cosmic zones: the novels by Alexander Belyaev (Space), Grigory Adamov (Underworld), and Vladimir Obruchev (Earth and its inhabited flip-side). The author then proceeds by comparing them with the classical works of Jules Verne and Herbert Wells. In this regard, there is a distinct difference between the structure of the typical Western and Soviet microcosm of accounts. The paper points out a number of technocratic anticipations to be found in novels by pioneering Soviet science fiction writers.
Keywords:  Soviet science fiction; colonization; The Other; technocracy;anti-modernism

Ivanov Konstantin

Chief Research Fellow, ikv@ihst.ru.
S. I. Vavilov Institute for the History of Science and Technology, Russian Academy of Sciences (IHST RAS), 14 Baltiyskaya St., 125315 Moscow, Russia.

Publications

Astronomers and Surveyors in the Struggle for Central Asia. Notes on the Epistemology of Colonization / Logos. 2020. № 2 (135). P. 15-40
annotation:  Central Asia was mainly desert land that contained just a few small, densely populated oases when it was forcibly occupied by Imperial Russia between 1865 and 1885. What reason was there to gain control of it? It did not serve any military purpose because the Russian Empire was already well protected on its southern frontier by Central Asia’s notorious deserts and dry steppes. Nor was there much economic advantage to be gained. To present it merely as an opportunity for the thievish embezzlement of public money — and theft there was — is somewhat beside the point. The advance of Great Britain into the same region from the opposite side reflected the same trend. What kind of reasoning was behind these incursions? The counterintuitive answer is that the only rational reason to move into the region was a scientific one. At that time the Central Asia was still a blank spot on European maps and it was the only region on Earth in which the great empires had not yet confronted each other. The frontier lines of both empires were bound to move in on each other, although neither empire gained much advantage from the expansion.
The article analyzes the way in which the struggle for the territory eventually turned into a symposium about the territory. The main agents in that war — and also its beneficiaries — were the British and Russian military geodesists and surveyors who used the latest astronomical methods. Systematic mapping of the desert region was important not only for the geographical knowledge it produced, but also for advancing the surveyors’ careers and improving their social status and personal prosperity. The so-called Afghan Demarcation between the Russian Empire and Great Britain in 1885 seemed to them more like an enjoyable conference for sharing topographical and geographical information than a hostile confrontation. After the outer and inner demarcations had been fixed, the result was that this region — “Created by the Lord in Anger” — was surveyed and studied not only in terms of geography, but also geologically, ethnically and historically.

Keywords:  Central Asia; colonization; the Great Game; mapping; surveying; astronomy; imperial epistemology.
Dreams about Journeys Through Space and the Underworld in Early Soviet Science-Fiction / Logos. 2018. № 2 (123). P. 159-224
annotation:  The paper attempts to explain the increased popularity of stories about imaginary journeys through space and the underworld on the threshold of the twentieth century. Although this literary tradition goes back to Cicero, Macrobius, Dante, and a number of authors from the Early Modern period, the fin-de-siècle upsurge in interest towards this genre was not accidental. The paper traces the background of that genre since ancient times and reconstructs the three-tiered structure of the anthropocentric universe that was formed inside of it. The study offers potential reasons that have enhanced the dreams about traveling to the underworld and outer space at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century. One of these reasons was the completion of an extensive colonial conquest. With fewer and fewer unmapped and unexplored spaces on the globe, expectations were rising regarding further steps towards the unknown zones of the universe — both upper and lower. The authors who wrote about traveling to the underworld and outer space employed the terms, metaphors, and plots that reflected the experience of colonialism. The author examines a change in the perception of The Other, caused by the above-mentioned social transformation. He tries to show how it was expressed in the literature on the collisions between the earthlings and the aliens. With regard to early Soviet science-fiction, the author considers three representative cases, each of which describe journeys to distinct cosmic zones: the novels by Alexander Belyaev (Space), Grigory Adamov (Underworld), and Vladimir Obruchev (Earth and its inhabited flip-side). The author then proceeds by comparing them with the classical works of Jules Verne and Herbert Wells. In this regard, there is a distinct difference between the structure of the typical Western and Soviet microcosm of accounts. The paper points out a number of technocratic anticipations to be found in novels by pioneering Soviet science fiction writers.
Keywords:  Soviet science fiction; colonization; The Other; technocracy;anti-modernism

Ivanov Konstantin

Chief Research Fellow, ikv@ihst.ru.
S. I. Vavilov Institute for the History of Science and Technology, Russian Academy of Sciences (IHST RAS), 14 Baltiyskaya St., 125315 Moscow, Russia.

Publications

Astronomers and Surveyors in the Struggle for Central Asia. Notes on the Epistemology of Colonization / Logos. 2020. № 2 (135). P. 15-40
annotation:  Central Asia was mainly desert land that contained just a few small, densely populated oases when it was forcibly occupied by Imperial Russia between 1865 and 1885. What reason was there to gain control of it? It did not serve any military purpose because the Russian Empire was already well protected on its southern frontier by Central Asia’s notorious deserts and dry steppes. Nor was there much economic advantage to be gained. To present it merely as an opportunity for the thievish embezzlement of public money — and theft there was — is somewhat beside the point. The advance of Great Britain into the same region from the opposite side reflected the same trend. What kind of reasoning was behind these incursions? The counterintuitive answer is that the only rational reason to move into the region was a scientific one. At that time the Central Asia was still a blank spot on European maps and it was the only region on Earth in which the great empires had not yet confronted each other. The frontier lines of both empires were bound to move in on each other, although neither empire gained much advantage from the expansion.
The article analyzes the way in which the struggle for the territory eventually turned into a symposium about the territory. The main agents in that war — and also its beneficiaries — were the British and Russian military geodesists and surveyors who used the latest astronomical methods. Systematic mapping of the desert region was important not only for the geographical knowledge it produced, but also for advancing the surveyors’ careers and improving their social status and personal prosperity. The so-called Afghan Demarcation between the Russian Empire and Great Britain in 1885 seemed to them more like an enjoyable conference for sharing topographical and geographical information than a hostile confrontation. After the outer and inner demarcations had been fixed, the result was that this region — “Created by the Lord in Anger” — was surveyed and studied not only in terms of geography, but also geologically, ethnically and historically.

Keywords:  Central Asia; colonization; the Great Game; mapping; surveying; astronomy; imperial epistemology.
Dreams about Journeys Through Space and the Underworld in Early Soviet Science-Fiction / Logos. 2018. № 2 (123). P. 159-224
annotation:  The paper attempts to explain the increased popularity of stories about imaginary journeys through space and the underworld on the threshold of the twentieth century. Although this literary tradition goes back to Cicero, Macrobius, Dante, and a number of authors from the Early Modern period, the fin-de-siècle upsurge in interest towards this genre was not accidental. The paper traces the background of that genre since ancient times and reconstructs the three-tiered structure of the anthropocentric universe that was formed inside of it. The study offers potential reasons that have enhanced the dreams about traveling to the underworld and outer space at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century. One of these reasons was the completion of an extensive colonial conquest. With fewer and fewer unmapped and unexplored spaces on the globe, expectations were rising regarding further steps towards the unknown zones of the universe — both upper and lower. The authors who wrote about traveling to the underworld and outer space employed the terms, metaphors, and plots that reflected the experience of colonialism. The author examines a change in the perception of The Other, caused by the above-mentioned social transformation. He tries to show how it was expressed in the literature on the collisions between the earthlings and the aliens. With regard to early Soviet science-fiction, the author considers three representative cases, each of which describe journeys to distinct cosmic zones: the novels by Alexander Belyaev (Space), Grigory Adamov (Underworld), and Vladimir Obruchev (Earth and its inhabited flip-side). The author then proceeds by comparing them with the classical works of Jules Verne and Herbert Wells. In this regard, there is a distinct difference between the structure of the typical Western and Soviet microcosm of accounts. The paper points out a number of technocratic anticipations to be found in novels by pioneering Soviet science fiction writers.
Keywords:  Soviet science fiction; colonization; The Other; technocracy;anti-modernism

Ivanov Konstantin

Chief Research Fellow, ikv@ihst.ru.
S. I. Vavilov Institute for the History of Science and Technology, Russian Academy of Sciences (IHST RAS), 14 Baltiyskaya St., 125315 Moscow, Russia.

Publications

Astronomers and Surveyors in the Struggle for Central Asia. Notes on the Epistemology of Colonization / Logos. 2020. № 2 (135). P. 15-40
annotation:  Central Asia was mainly desert land that contained just a few small, densely populated oases when it was forcibly occupied by Imperial Russia between 1865 and 1885. What reason was there to gain control of it? It did not serve any military purpose because the Russian Empire was already well protected on its southern frontier by Central Asia’s notorious deserts and dry steppes. Nor was there much economic advantage to be gained. To present it merely as an opportunity for the thievish embezzlement of public money — and theft there was — is somewhat beside the point. The advance of Great Britain into the same region from the opposite side reflected the same trend. What kind of reasoning was behind these incursions? The counterintuitive answer is that the only rational reason to move into the region was a scientific one. At that time the Central Asia was still a blank spot on European maps and it was the only region on Earth in which the great empires had not yet confronted each other. The frontier lines of both empires were bound to move in on each other, although neither empire gained much advantage from the expansion.
The article analyzes the way in which the struggle for the territory eventually turned into a symposium about the territory. The main agents in that war — and also its beneficiaries — were the British and Russian military geodesists and surveyors who used the latest astronomical methods. Systematic mapping of the desert region was important not only for the geographical knowledge it produced, but also for advancing the surveyors’ careers and improving their social status and personal prosperity. The so-called Afghan Demarcation between the Russian Empire and Great Britain in 1885 seemed to them more like an enjoyable conference for sharing topographical and geographical information than a hostile confrontation. After the outer and inner demarcations had been fixed, the result was that this region — “Created by the Lord in Anger” — was surveyed and studied not only in terms of geography, but also geologically, ethnically and historically.

Keywords:  Central Asia; colonization; the Great Game; mapping; surveying; astronomy; imperial epistemology.
Dreams about Journeys Through Space and the Underworld in Early Soviet Science-Fiction / Logos. 2018. № 2 (123). P. 159-224
annotation:  The paper attempts to explain the increased popularity of stories about imaginary journeys through space and the underworld on the threshold of the twentieth century. Although this literary tradition goes back to Cicero, Macrobius, Dante, and a number of authors from the Early Modern period, the fin-de-siècle upsurge in interest towards this genre was not accidental. The paper traces the background of that genre since ancient times and reconstructs the three-tiered structure of the anthropocentric universe that was formed inside of it. The study offers potential reasons that have enhanced the dreams about traveling to the underworld and outer space at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century. One of these reasons was the completion of an extensive colonial conquest. With fewer and fewer unmapped and unexplored spaces on the globe, expectations were rising regarding further steps towards the unknown zones of the universe — both upper and lower. The authors who wrote about traveling to the underworld and outer space employed the terms, metaphors, and plots that reflected the experience of colonialism. The author examines a change in the perception of The Other, caused by the above-mentioned social transformation. He tries to show how it was expressed in the literature on the collisions between the earthlings and the aliens. With regard to early Soviet science-fiction, the author considers three representative cases, each of which describe journeys to distinct cosmic zones: the novels by Alexander Belyaev (Space), Grigory Adamov (Underworld), and Vladimir Obruchev (Earth and its inhabited flip-side). The author then proceeds by comparing them with the classical works of Jules Verne and Herbert Wells. In this regard, there is a distinct difference between the structure of the typical Western and Soviet microcosm of accounts. The paper points out a number of technocratic anticipations to be found in novels by pioneering Soviet science fiction writers.
Keywords:  Soviet science fiction; colonization; The Other; technocracy;anti-modernism

Ivanov Konstantin

Chief Research Fellow, ikv@ihst.ru.
S. I. Vavilov Institute for the History of Science and Technology, Russian Academy of Sciences (IHST RAS), 14 Baltiyskaya St., 125315 Moscow, Russia.

Publications

Astronomers and Surveyors in the Struggle for Central Asia. Notes on the Epistemology of Colonization / Logos. 2020. № 2 (135). P. 15-40
annotation:  Central Asia was mainly desert land that contained just a few small, densely populated oases when it was forcibly occupied by Imperial Russia between 1865 and 1885. What reason was there to gain control of it? It did not serve any military purpose because the Russian Empire was already well protected on its southern frontier by Central Asia’s notorious deserts and dry steppes. Nor was there much economic advantage to be gained. To present it merely as an opportunity for the thievish embezzlement of public money — and theft there was — is somewhat beside the point. The advance of Great Britain into the same region from the opposite side reflected the same trend. What kind of reasoning was behind these incursions? The counterintuitive answer is that the only rational reason to move into the region was a scientific one. At that time the Central Asia was still a blank spot on European maps and it was the only region on Earth in which the great empires had not yet confronted each other. The frontier lines of both empires were bound to move in on each other, although neither empire gained much advantage from the expansion.
The article analyzes the way in which the struggle for the territory eventually turned into a symposium about the territory. The main agents in that war — and also its beneficiaries — were the British and Russian military geodesists and surveyors who used the latest astronomical methods. Systematic mapping of the desert region was important not only for the geographical knowledge it produced, but also for advancing the surveyors’ careers and improving their social status and personal prosperity. The so-called Afghan Demarcation between the Russian Empire and Great Britain in 1885 seemed to them more like an enjoyable conference for sharing topographical and geographical information than a hostile confrontation. After the outer and inner demarcations had been fixed, the result was that this region — “Created by the Lord in Anger” — was surveyed and studied not only in terms of geography, but also geologically, ethnically and historically.

Keywords:  Central Asia; colonization; the Great Game; mapping; surveying; astronomy; imperial epistemology.
Dreams about Journeys Through Space and the Underworld in Early Soviet Science-Fiction / Logos. 2018. № 2 (123). P. 159-224
annotation:  The paper attempts to explain the increased popularity of stories about imaginary journeys through space and the underworld on the threshold of the twentieth century. Although this literary tradition goes back to Cicero, Macrobius, Dante, and a number of authors from the Early Modern period, the fin-de-siècle upsurge in interest towards this genre was not accidental. The paper traces the background of that genre since ancient times and reconstructs the three-tiered structure of the anthropocentric universe that was formed inside of it. The study offers potential reasons that have enhanced the dreams about traveling to the underworld and outer space at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century. One of these reasons was the completion of an extensive colonial conquest. With fewer and fewer unmapped and unexplored spaces on the globe, expectations were rising regarding further steps towards the unknown zones of the universe — both upper and lower. The authors who wrote about traveling to the underworld and outer space employed the terms, metaphors, and plots that reflected the experience of colonialism. The author examines a change in the perception of The Other, caused by the above-mentioned social transformation. He tries to show how it was expressed in the literature on the collisions between the earthlings and the aliens. With regard to early Soviet science-fiction, the author considers three representative cases, each of which describe journeys to distinct cosmic zones: the novels by Alexander Belyaev (Space), Grigory Adamov (Underworld), and Vladimir Obruchev (Earth and its inhabited flip-side). The author then proceeds by comparing them with the classical works of Jules Verne and Herbert Wells. In this regard, there is a distinct difference between the structure of the typical Western and Soviet microcosm of accounts. The paper points out a number of technocratic anticipations to be found in novels by pioneering Soviet science fiction writers.
Keywords:  Soviet science fiction; colonization; The Other; technocracy;anti-modernism

Ivanov Konstantin

Chief Research Fellow, ikv@ihst.ru.
S. I. Vavilov Institute for the History of Science and Technology, Russian Academy of Sciences (IHST RAS), 14 Baltiyskaya St., 125315 Moscow, Russia.

Publications

Astronomers and Surveyors in the Struggle for Central Asia. Notes on the Epistemology of Colonization / Logos. 2020. № 2 (135). P. 15-40
annotation:  Central Asia was mainly desert land that contained just a few small, densely populated oases when it was forcibly occupied by Imperial Russia between 1865 and 1885. What reason was there to gain control of it? It did not serve any military purpose because the Russian Empire was already well protected on its southern frontier by Central Asia’s notorious deserts and dry steppes. Nor was there much economic advantage to be gained. To present it merely as an opportunity for the thievish embezzlement of public money — and theft there was — is somewhat beside the point. The advance of Great Britain into the same region from the opposite side reflected the same trend. What kind of reasoning was behind these incursions? The counterintuitive answer is that the only rational reason to move into the region was a scientific one. At that time the Central Asia was still a blank spot on European maps and it was the only region on Earth in which the great empires had not yet confronted each other. The frontier lines of both empires were bound to move in on each other, although neither empire gained much advantage from the expansion.
The article analyzes the way in which the struggle for the territory eventually turned into a symposium about the territory. The main agents in that war — and also its beneficiaries — were the British and Russian military geodesists and surveyors who used the latest astronomical methods. Systematic mapping of the desert region was important not only for the geographical knowledge it produced, but also for advancing the surveyors’ careers and improving their social status and personal prosperity. The so-called Afghan Demarcation between the Russian Empire and Great Britain in 1885 seemed to them more like an enjoyable conference for sharing topographical and geographical information than a hostile confrontation. After the outer and inner demarcations had been fixed, the result was that this region — “Created by the Lord in Anger” — was surveyed and studied not only in terms of geography, but also geologically, ethnically and historically.

Keywords:  Central Asia; colonization; the Great Game; mapping; surveying; astronomy; imperial epistemology.
Dreams about Journeys Through Space and the Underworld in Early Soviet Science-Fiction / Logos. 2018. № 2 (123). P. 159-224
annotation:  The paper attempts to explain the increased popularity of stories about imaginary journeys through space and the underworld on the threshold of the twentieth century. Although this literary tradition goes back to Cicero, Macrobius, Dante, and a number of authors from the Early Modern period, the fin-de-siècle upsurge in interest towards this genre was not accidental. The paper traces the background of that genre since ancient times and reconstructs the three-tiered structure of the anthropocentric universe that was formed inside of it. The study offers potential reasons that have enhanced the dreams about traveling to the underworld and outer space at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century. One of these reasons was the completion of an extensive colonial conquest. With fewer and fewer unmapped and unexplored spaces on the globe, expectations were rising regarding further steps towards the unknown zones of the universe — both upper and lower. The authors who wrote about traveling to the underworld and outer space employed the terms, metaphors, and plots that reflected the experience of colonialism. The author examines a change in the perception of The Other, caused by the above-mentioned social transformation. He tries to show how it was expressed in the literature on the collisions between the earthlings and the aliens. With regard to early Soviet science-fiction, the author considers three representative cases, each of which describe journeys to distinct cosmic zones: the novels by Alexander Belyaev (Space), Grigory Adamov (Underworld), and Vladimir Obruchev (Earth and its inhabited flip-side). The author then proceeds by comparing them with the classical works of Jules Verne and Herbert Wells. In this regard, there is a distinct difference between the structure of the typical Western and Soviet microcosm of accounts. The paper points out a number of technocratic anticipations to be found in novels by pioneering Soviet science fiction writers.
Keywords:  Soviet science fiction; colonization; The Other; technocracy;anti-modernism

Ivanov Konstantin

Chief Research Fellow, ikv@ihst.ru.
S. I. Vavilov Institute for the History of Science and Technology, Russian Academy of Sciences (IHST RAS), 14 Baltiyskaya St., 125315 Moscow, Russia.

Publications

Astronomers and Surveyors in the Struggle for Central Asia. Notes on the Epistemology of Colonization / Logos. 2020. № 2 (135). P. 15-40
annotation:  Central Asia was mainly desert land that contained just a few small, densely populated oases when it was forcibly occupied by Imperial Russia between 1865 and 1885. What reason was there to gain control of it? It did not serve any military purpose because the Russian Empire was already well protected on its southern frontier by Central Asia’s notorious deserts and dry steppes. Nor was there much economic advantage to be gained. To present it merely as an opportunity for the thievish embezzlement of public money — and theft there was — is somewhat beside the point. The advance of Great Britain into the same region from the opposite side reflected the same trend. What kind of reasoning was behind these incursions? The counterintuitive answer is that the only rational reason to move into the region was a scientific one. At that time the Central Asia was still a blank spot on European maps and it was the only region on Earth in which the great empires had not yet confronted each other. The frontier lines of both empires were bound to move in on each other, although neither empire gained much advantage from the expansion.
The article analyzes the way in which the struggle for the territory eventually turned into a symposium about the territory. The main agents in that war — and also its beneficiaries — were the British and Russian military geodesists and surveyors who used the latest astronomical methods. Systematic mapping of the desert region was important not only for the geographical knowledge it produced, but also for advancing the surveyors’ careers and improving their social status and personal prosperity. The so-called Afghan Demarcation between the Russian Empire and Great Britain in 1885 seemed to them more like an enjoyable conference for sharing topographical and geographical information than a hostile confrontation. After the outer and inner demarcations had been fixed, the result was that this region — “Created by the Lord in Anger” — was surveyed and studied not only in terms of geography, but also geologically, ethnically and historically.

Keywords:  Central Asia; colonization; the Great Game; mapping; surveying; astronomy; imperial epistemology.
Dreams about Journeys Through Space and the Underworld in Early Soviet Science-Fiction / Logos. 2018. № 2 (123). P. 159-224
annotation:  The paper attempts to explain the increased popularity of stories about imaginary journeys through space and the underworld on the threshold of the twentieth century. Although this literary tradition goes back to Cicero, Macrobius, Dante, and a number of authors from the Early Modern period, the fin-de-siècle upsurge in interest towards this genre was not accidental. The paper traces the background of that genre since ancient times and reconstructs the three-tiered structure of the anthropocentric universe that was formed inside of it. The study offers potential reasons that have enhanced the dreams about traveling to the underworld and outer space at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century. One of these reasons was the completion of an extensive colonial conquest. With fewer and fewer unmapped and unexplored spaces on the globe, expectations were rising regarding further steps towards the unknown zones of the universe — both upper and lower. The authors who wrote about traveling to the underworld and outer space employed the terms, metaphors, and plots that reflected the experience of colonialism. The author examines a change in the perception of The Other, caused by the above-mentioned social transformation. He tries to show how it was expressed in the literature on the collisions between the earthlings and the aliens. With regard to early Soviet science-fiction, the author considers three representative cases, each of which describe journeys to distinct cosmic zones: the novels by Alexander Belyaev (Space), Grigory Adamov (Underworld), and Vladimir Obruchev (Earth and its inhabited flip-side). The author then proceeds by comparing them with the classical works of Jules Verne and Herbert Wells. In this regard, there is a distinct difference between the structure of the typical Western and Soviet microcosm of accounts. The paper points out a number of technocratic anticipations to be found in novels by pioneering Soviet science fiction writers.
Keywords:  Soviet science fiction; colonization; The Other; technocracy;anti-modernism

Ivanov Konstantin

Chief Research Fellow, ikv@ihst.ru.
S. I. Vavilov Institute for the History of Science and Technology, Russian Academy of Sciences (IHST RAS), 14 Baltiyskaya St., 125315 Moscow, Russia.

Publications

Astronomers and Surveyors in the Struggle for Central Asia. Notes on the Epistemology of Colonization / Logos. 2020. № 2 (135). P. 15-40
annotation:  Central Asia was mainly desert land that contained just a few small, densely populated oases when it was forcibly occupied by Imperial Russia between 1865 and 1885. What reason was there to gain control of it? It did not serve any military purpose because the Russian Empire was already well protected on its southern frontier by Central Asia’s notorious deserts and dry steppes. Nor was there much economic advantage to be gained. To present it merely as an opportunity for the thievish embezzlement of public money — and theft there was — is somewhat beside the point. The advance of Great Britain into the same region from the opposite side reflected the same trend. What kind of reasoning was behind these incursions? The counterintuitive answer is that the only rational reason to move into the region was a scientific one. At that time the Central Asia was still a blank spot on European maps and it was the only region on Earth in which the great empires had not yet confronted each other. The frontier lines of both empires were bound to move in on each other, although neither empire gained much advantage from the expansion.
The article analyzes the way in which the struggle for the territory eventually turned into a symposium about the territory. The main agents in that war — and also its beneficiaries — were the British and Russian military geodesists and surveyors who used the latest astronomical methods. Systematic mapping of the desert region was important not only for the geographical knowledge it produced, but also for advancing the surveyors’ careers and improving their social status and personal prosperity. The so-called Afghan Demarcation between the Russian Empire and Great Britain in 1885 seemed to them more like an enjoyable conference for sharing topographical and geographical information than a hostile confrontation. After the outer and inner demarcations had been fixed, the result was that this region — “Created by the Lord in Anger” — was surveyed and studied not only in terms of geography, but also geologically, ethnically and historically.

Keywords:  Central Asia; colonization; the Great Game; mapping; surveying; astronomy; imperial epistemology.
Dreams about Journeys Through Space and the Underworld in Early Soviet Science-Fiction / Logos. 2018. № 2 (123). P. 159-224
annotation:  The paper attempts to explain the increased popularity of stories about imaginary journeys through space and the underworld on the threshold of the twentieth century. Although this literary tradition goes back to Cicero, Macrobius, Dante, and a number of authors from the Early Modern period, the fin-de-siècle upsurge in interest towards this genre was not accidental. The paper traces the background of that genre since ancient times and reconstructs the three-tiered structure of the anthropocentric universe that was formed inside of it. The study offers potential reasons that have enhanced the dreams about traveling to the underworld and outer space at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century. One of these reasons was the completion of an extensive colonial conquest. With fewer and fewer unmapped and unexplored spaces on the globe, expectations were rising regarding further steps towards the unknown zones of the universe — both upper and lower. The authors who wrote about traveling to the underworld and outer space employed the terms, metaphors, and plots that reflected the experience of colonialism. The author examines a change in the perception of The Other, caused by the above-mentioned social transformation. He tries to show how it was expressed in the literature on the collisions between the earthlings and the aliens. With regard to early Soviet science-fiction, the author considers three representative cases, each of which describe journeys to distinct cosmic zones: the novels by Alexander Belyaev (Space), Grigory Adamov (Underworld), and Vladimir Obruchev (Earth and its inhabited flip-side). The author then proceeds by comparing them with the classical works of Jules Verne and Herbert Wells. In this regard, there is a distinct difference between the structure of the typical Western and Soviet microcosm of accounts. The paper points out a number of technocratic anticipations to be found in novels by pioneering Soviet science fiction writers.
Keywords:  Soviet science fiction; colonization; The Other; technocracy;anti-modernism

Ivanov Konstantin

Chief Research Fellow, ikv@ihst.ru.
S. I. Vavilov Institute for the History of Science and Technology, Russian Academy of Sciences (IHST RAS), 14 Baltiyskaya St., 125315 Moscow, Russia.

Publications

Astronomers and Surveyors in the Struggle for Central Asia. Notes on the Epistemology of Colonization / Logos. 2020. № 2 (135). P. 15-40
annotation:  Central Asia was mainly desert land that contained just a few small, densely populated oases when it was forcibly occupied by Imperial Russia between 1865 and 1885. What reason was there to gain control of it? It did not serve any military purpose because the Russian Empire was already well protected on its southern frontier by Central Asia’s notorious deserts and dry steppes. Nor was there much economic advantage to be gained. To present it merely as an opportunity for the thievish embezzlement of public money — and theft there was — is somewhat beside the point. The advance of Great Britain into the same region from the opposite side reflected the same trend. What kind of reasoning was behind these incursions? The counterintuitive answer is that the only rational reason to move into the region was a scientific one. At that time the Central Asia was still a blank spot on European maps and it was the only region on Earth in which the great empires had not yet confronted each other. The frontier lines of both empires were bound to move in on each other, although neither empire gained much advantage from the expansion.
The article analyzes the way in which the struggle for the territory eventually turned into a symposium about the territory. The main agents in that war — and also its beneficiaries — were the British and Russian military geodesists and surveyors who used the latest astronomical methods. Systematic mapping of the desert region was important not only for the geographical knowledge it produced, but also for advancing the surveyors’ careers and improving their social status and personal prosperity. The so-called Afghan Demarcation between the Russian Empire and Great Britain in 1885 seemed to them more like an enjoyable conference for sharing topographical and geographical information than a hostile confrontation. After the outer and inner demarcations had been fixed, the result was that this region — “Created by the Lord in Anger” — was surveyed and studied not only in terms of geography, but also geologically, ethnically and historically.

Keywords:  Central Asia; colonization; the Great Game; mapping; surveying; astronomy; imperial epistemology.
Dreams about Journeys Through Space and the Underworld in Early Soviet Science-Fiction / Logos. 2018. № 2 (123). P. 159-224
annotation:  The paper attempts to explain the increased popularity of stories about imaginary journeys through space and the underworld on the threshold of the twentieth century. Although this literary tradition goes back to Cicero, Macrobius, Dante, and a number of authors from the Early Modern period, the fin-de-siècle upsurge in interest towards this genre was not accidental. The paper traces the background of that genre since ancient times and reconstructs the three-tiered structure of the anthropocentric universe that was formed inside of it. The study offers potential reasons that have enhanced the dreams about traveling to the underworld and outer space at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century. One of these reasons was the completion of an extensive colonial conquest. With fewer and fewer unmapped and unexplored spaces on the globe, expectations were rising regarding further steps towards the unknown zones of the universe — both upper and lower. The authors who wrote about traveling to the underworld and outer space employed the terms, metaphors, and plots that reflected the experience of colonialism. The author examines a change in the perception of The Other, caused by the above-mentioned social transformation. He tries to show how it was expressed in the literature on the collisions between the earthlings and the aliens. With regard to early Soviet science-fiction, the author considers three representative cases, each of which describe journeys to distinct cosmic zones: the novels by Alexander Belyaev (Space), Grigory Adamov (Underworld), and Vladimir Obruchev (Earth and its inhabited flip-side). The author then proceeds by comparing them with the classical works of Jules Verne and Herbert Wells. In this regard, there is a distinct difference between the structure of the typical Western and Soviet microcosm of accounts. The paper points out a number of technocratic anticipations to be found in novels by pioneering Soviet science fiction writers.
Keywords:  Soviet science fiction; colonization; The Other; technocracy;anti-modernism

Ivanov Konstantin

Chief Research Fellow, ikv@ihst.ru.
S. I. Vavilov Institute for the History of Science and Technology, Russian Academy of Sciences (IHST RAS), 14 Baltiyskaya St., 125315 Moscow, Russia.

Publications

Astronomers and Surveyors in the Struggle for Central Asia. Notes on the Epistemology of Colonization / Logos. 2020. № 2 (135). P. 15-40
annotation:  Central Asia was mainly desert land that contained just a few small, densely populated oases when it was forcibly occupied by Imperial Russia between 1865 and 1885. What reason was there to gain control of it? It did not serve any military purpose because the Russian Empire was already well protected on its southern frontier by Central Asia’s notorious deserts and dry steppes. Nor was there much economic advantage to be gained. To present it merely as an opportunity for the thievish embezzlement of public money — and theft there was — is somewhat beside the point. The advance of Great Britain into the same region from the opposite side reflected the same trend. What kind of reasoning was behind these incursions? The counterintuitive answer is that the only rational reason to move into the region was a scientific one. At that time the Central Asia was still a blank spot on European maps and it was the only region on Earth in which the great empires had not yet confronted each other. The frontier lines of both empires were bound to move in on each other, although neither empire gained much advantage from the expansion.
The article analyzes the way in which the struggle for the territory eventually turned into a symposium about the territory. The main agents in that war — and also its beneficiaries — were the British and Russian military geodesists and surveyors who used the latest astronomical methods. Systematic mapping of the desert region was important not only for the geographical knowledge it produced, but also for advancing the surveyors’ careers and improving their social status and personal prosperity. The so-called Afghan Demarcation between the Russian Empire and Great Britain in 1885 seemed to them more like an enjoyable conference for sharing topographical and geographical information than a hostile confrontation. After the outer and inner demarcations had been fixed, the result was that this region — “Created by the Lord in Anger” — was surveyed and studied not only in terms of geography, but also geologically, ethnically and historically.

Keywords:  Central Asia; colonization; the Great Game; mapping; surveying; astronomy; imperial epistemology.
Dreams about Journeys Through Space and the Underworld in Early Soviet Science-Fiction / Logos. 2018. № 2 (123). P. 159-224
annotation:  The paper attempts to explain the increased popularity of stories about imaginary journeys through space and the underworld on the threshold of the twentieth century. Although this literary tradition goes back to Cicero, Macrobius, Dante, and a number of authors from the Early Modern period, the fin-de-siècle upsurge in interest towards this genre was not accidental. The paper traces the background of that genre since ancient times and reconstructs the three-tiered structure of the anthropocentric universe that was formed inside of it. The study offers potential reasons that have enhanced the dreams about traveling to the underworld and outer space at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century. One of these reasons was the completion of an extensive colonial conquest. With fewer and fewer unmapped and unexplored spaces on the globe, expectations were rising regarding further steps towards the unknown zones of the universe — both upper and lower. The authors who wrote about traveling to the underworld and outer space employed the terms, metaphors, and plots that reflected the experience of colonialism. The author examines a change in the perception of The Other, caused by the above-mentioned social transformation. He tries to show how it was expressed in the literature on the collisions between the earthlings and the aliens. With regard to early Soviet science-fiction, the author considers three representative cases, each of which describe journeys to distinct cosmic zones: the novels by Alexander Belyaev (Space), Grigory Adamov (Underworld), and Vladimir Obruchev (Earth and its inhabited flip-side). The author then proceeds by comparing them with the classical works of Jules Verne and Herbert Wells. In this regard, there is a distinct difference between the structure of the typical Western and Soviet microcosm of accounts. The paper points out a number of technocratic anticipations to be found in novels by pioneering Soviet science fiction writers.
Keywords:  Soviet science fiction; colonization; The Other; technocracy;anti-modernism

Ivanov Konstantin

Chief Research Fellow, ikv@ihst.ru.
S. I. Vavilov Institute for the History of Science and Technology, Russian Academy of Sciences (IHST RAS), 14 Baltiyskaya St., 125315 Moscow, Russia.

Publications

Astronomers and Surveyors in the Struggle for Central Asia. Notes on the Epistemology of Colonization / Logos. 2020. № 2 (135). P. 15-40
annotation:  Central Asia was mainly desert land that contained just a few small, densely populated oases when it was forcibly occupied by Imperial Russia between 1865 and 1885. What reason was there to gain control of it? It did not serve any military purpose because the Russian Empire was already well protected on its southern frontier by Central Asia’s notorious deserts and dry steppes. Nor was there much economic advantage to be gained. To present it merely as an opportunity for the thievish embezzlement of public money — and theft there was — is somewhat beside the point. The advance of Great Britain into the same region from the opposite side reflected the same trend. What kind of reasoning was behind these incursions? The counterintuitive answer is that the only rational reason to move into the region was a scientific one. At that time the Central Asia was still a blank spot on European maps and it was the only region on Earth in which the great empires had not yet confronted each other. The frontier lines of both empires were bound to move in on each other, although neither empire gained much advantage from the expansion.
The article analyzes the way in which the struggle for the territory eventually turned into a symposium about the territory. The main agents in that war — and also its beneficiaries — were the British and Russian military geodesists and surveyors who used the latest astronomical methods. Systematic mapping of the desert region was important not only for the geographical knowledge it produced, but also for advancing the surveyors’ careers and improving their social status and personal prosperity. The so-called Afghan Demarcation between the Russian Empire and Great Britain in 1885 seemed to them more like an enjoyable conference for sharing topographical and geographical information than a hostile confrontation. After the outer and inner demarcations had been fixed, the result was that this region — “Created by the Lord in Anger” — was surveyed and studied not only in terms of geography, but also geologically, ethnically and historically.

Keywords:  Central Asia; colonization; the Great Game; mapping; surveying; astronomy; imperial epistemology.
Dreams about Journeys Through Space and the Underworld in Early Soviet Science-Fiction / Logos. 2018. № 2 (123). P. 159-224
annotation:  The paper attempts to explain the increased popularity of stories about imaginary journeys through space and the underworld on the threshold of the twentieth century. Although this literary tradition goes back to Cicero, Macrobius, Dante, and a number of authors from the Early Modern period, the fin-de-siècle upsurge in interest towards this genre was not accidental. The paper traces the background of that genre since ancient times and reconstructs the three-tiered structure of the anthropocentric universe that was formed inside of it. The study offers potential reasons that have enhanced the dreams about traveling to the underworld and outer space at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century. One of these reasons was the completion of an extensive colonial conquest. With fewer and fewer unmapped and unexplored spaces on the globe, expectations were rising regarding further steps towards the unknown zones of the universe — both upper and lower. The authors who wrote about traveling to the underworld and outer space employed the terms, metaphors, and plots that reflected the experience of colonialism. The author examines a change in the perception of The Other, caused by the above-mentioned social transformation. He tries to show how it was expressed in the literature on the collisions between the earthlings and the aliens. With regard to early Soviet science-fiction, the author considers three representative cases, each of which describe journeys to distinct cosmic zones: the novels by Alexander Belyaev (Space), Grigory Adamov (Underworld), and Vladimir Obruchev (Earth and its inhabited flip-side). The author then proceeds by comparing them with the classical works of Jules Verne and Herbert Wells. In this regard, there is a distinct difference between the structure of the typical Western and Soviet microcosm of accounts. The paper points out a number of technocratic anticipations to be found in novels by pioneering Soviet science fiction writers.
Keywords:  Soviet science fiction; colonization; The Other; technocracy;anti-modernism

Ivanov Konstantin

Chief Research Fellow, ikv@ihst.ru.
S. I. Vavilov Institute for the History of Science and Technology, Russian Academy of Sciences (IHST RAS), 14 Baltiyskaya St., 125315 Moscow, Russia.

Publications

Astronomers and Surveyors in the Struggle for Central Asia. Notes on the Epistemology of Colonization / Logos. 2020. № 2 (135). P. 15-40
annotation:  Central Asia was mainly desert land that contained just a few small, densely populated oases when it was forcibly occupied by Imperial Russia between 1865 and 1885. What reason was there to gain control of it? It did not serve any military purpose because the Russian Empire was already well protected on its southern frontier by Central Asia’s notorious deserts and dry steppes. Nor was there much economic advantage to be gained. To present it merely as an opportunity for the thievish embezzlement of public money — and theft there was — is somewhat beside the point. The advance of Great Britain into the same region from the opposite side reflected the same trend. What kind of reasoning was behind these incursions? The counterintuitive answer is that the only rational reason to move into the region was a scientific one. At that time the Central Asia was still a blank spot on European maps and it was the only region on Earth in which the great empires had not yet confronted each other. The frontier lines of both empires were bound to move in on each other, although neither empire gained much advantage from the expansion.
The article analyzes the way in which the struggle for the territory eventually turned into a symposium about the territory. The main agents in that war — and also its beneficiaries — were the British and Russian military geodesists and surveyors who used the latest astronomical methods. Systematic mapping of the desert region was important not only for the geographical knowledge it produced, but also for advancing the surveyors’ careers and improving their social status and personal prosperity. The so-called Afghan Demarcation between the Russian Empire and Great Britain in 1885 seemed to them more like an enjoyable conference for sharing topographical and geographical information than a hostile confrontation. After the outer and inner demarcations had been fixed, the result was that this region — “Created by the Lord in Anger” — was surveyed and studied not only in terms of geography, but also geologically, ethnically and historically.

Keywords:  Central Asia; colonization; the Great Game; mapping; surveying; astronomy; imperial epistemology.
Dreams about Journeys Through Space and the Underworld in Early Soviet Science-Fiction / Logos. 2018. № 2 (123). P. 159-224
annotation:  The paper attempts to explain the increased popularity of stories about imaginary journeys through space and the underworld on the threshold of the twentieth century. Although this literary tradition goes back to Cicero, Macrobius, Dante, and a number of authors from the Early Modern period, the fin-de-siècle upsurge in interest towards this genre was not accidental. The paper traces the background of that genre since ancient times and reconstructs the three-tiered structure of the anthropocentric universe that was formed inside of it. The study offers potential reasons that have enhanced the dreams about traveling to the underworld and outer space at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century. One of these reasons was the completion of an extensive colonial conquest. With fewer and fewer unmapped and unexplored spaces on the globe, expectations were rising regarding further steps towards the unknown zones of the universe — both upper and lower. The authors who wrote about traveling to the underworld and outer space employed the terms, metaphors, and plots that reflected the experience of colonialism. The author examines a change in the perception of The Other, caused by the above-mentioned social transformation. He tries to show how it was expressed in the literature on the collisions between the earthlings and the aliens. With regard to early Soviet science-fiction, the author considers three representative cases, each of which describe journeys to distinct cosmic zones: the novels by Alexander Belyaev (Space), Grigory Adamov (Underworld), and Vladimir Obruchev (Earth and its inhabited flip-side). The author then proceeds by comparing them with the classical works of Jules Verne and Herbert Wells. In this regard, there is a distinct difference between the structure of the typical Western and Soviet microcosm of accounts. The paper points out a number of technocratic anticipations to be found in novels by pioneering Soviet science fiction writers.
Keywords:  Soviet science fiction; colonization; The Other; technocracy;anti-modernism

Ivanov Konstantin

Chief Research Fellow, ikv@ihst.ru.
S. I. Vavilov Institute for the History of Science and Technology, Russian Academy of Sciences (IHST RAS), 14 Baltiyskaya St., 125315 Moscow, Russia.

Publications

Astronomers and Surveyors in the Struggle for Central Asia. Notes on the Epistemology of Colonization / Logos. 2020. № 2 (135). P. 15-40
annotation:  Central Asia was mainly desert land that contained just a few small, densely populated oases when it was forcibly occupied by Imperial Russia between 1865 and 1885. What reason was there to gain control of it? It did not serve any military purpose because the Russian Empire was already well protected on its southern frontier by Central Asia’s notorious deserts and dry steppes. Nor was there much economic advantage to be gained. To present it merely as an opportunity for the thievish embezzlement of public money — and theft there was — is somewhat beside the point. The advance of Great Britain into the same region from the opposite side reflected the same trend. What kind of reasoning was behind these incursions? The counterintuitive answer is that the only rational reason to move into the region was a scientific one. At that time the Central Asia was still a blank spot on European maps and it was the only region on Earth in which the great empires had not yet confronted each other. The frontier lines of both empires were bound to move in on each other, although neither empire gained much advantage from the expansion.
The article analyzes the way in which the struggle for the territory eventually turned into a symposium about the territory. The main agents in that war — and also its beneficiaries — were the British and Russian military geodesists and surveyors who used the latest astronomical methods. Systematic mapping of the desert region was important not only for the geographical knowledge it produced, but also for advancing the surveyors’ careers and improving their social status and personal prosperity. The so-called Afghan Demarcation between the Russian Empire and Great Britain in 1885 seemed to them more like an enjoyable conference for sharing topographical and geographical information than a hostile confrontation. After the outer and inner demarcations had been fixed, the result was that this region — “Created by the Lord in Anger” — was surveyed and studied not only in terms of geography, but also geologically, ethnically and historically.

Keywords:  Central Asia; colonization; the Great Game; mapping; surveying; astronomy; imperial epistemology.
Dreams about Journeys Through Space and the Underworld in Early Soviet Science-Fiction / Logos. 2018. № 2 (123). P. 159-224
annotation:  The paper attempts to explain the increased popularity of stories about imaginary journeys through space and the underworld on the threshold of the twentieth century. Although this literary tradition goes back to Cicero, Macrobius, Dante, and a number of authors from the Early Modern period, the fin-de-siècle upsurge in interest towards this genre was not accidental. The paper traces the background of that genre since ancient times and reconstructs the three-tiered structure of the anthropocentric universe that was formed inside of it. The study offers potential reasons that have enhanced the dreams about traveling to the underworld and outer space at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century. One of these reasons was the completion of an extensive colonial conquest. With fewer and fewer unmapped and unexplored spaces on the globe, expectations were rising regarding further steps towards the unknown zones of the universe — both upper and lower. The authors who wrote about traveling to the underworld and outer space employed the terms, metaphors, and plots that reflected the experience of colonialism. The author examines a change in the perception of The Other, caused by the above-mentioned social transformation. He tries to show how it was expressed in the literature on the collisions between the earthlings and the aliens. With regard to early Soviet science-fiction, the author considers three representative cases, each of which describe journeys to distinct cosmic zones: the novels by Alexander Belyaev (Space), Grigory Adamov (Underworld), and Vladimir Obruchev (Earth and its inhabited flip-side). The author then proceeds by comparing them with the classical works of Jules Verne and Herbert Wells. In this regard, there is a distinct difference between the structure of the typical Western and Soviet microcosm of accounts. The paper points out a number of technocratic anticipations to be found in novels by pioneering Soviet science fiction writers.
Keywords:  Soviet science fiction; colonization; The Other; technocracy;anti-modernism

Ivanov Konstantin

Chief Research Fellow, ikv@ihst.ru.
S. I. Vavilov Institute for the History of Science and Technology, Russian Academy of Sciences (IHST RAS), 14 Baltiyskaya St., 125315 Moscow, Russia.

Publications

Astronomers and Surveyors in the Struggle for Central Asia. Notes on the Epistemology of Colonization / Logos. 2020. № 2 (135). P. 15-40
annotation:  Central Asia was mainly desert land that contained just a few small, densely populated oases when it was forcibly occupied by Imperial Russia between 1865 and 1885. What reason was there to gain control of it? It did not serve any military purpose because the Russian Empire was already well protected on its southern frontier by Central Asia’s notorious deserts and dry steppes. Nor was there much economic advantage to be gained. To present it merely as an opportunity for the thievish embezzlement of public money — and theft there was — is somewhat beside the point. The advance of Great Britain into the same region from the opposite side reflected the same trend. What kind of reasoning was behind these incursions? The counterintuitive answer is that the only rational reason to move into the region was a scientific one. At that time the Central Asia was still a blank spot on European maps and it was the only region on Earth in which the great empires had not yet confronted each other. The frontier lines of both empires were bound to move in on each other, although neither empire gained much advantage from the expansion.
The article analyzes the way in which the struggle for the territory eventually turned into a symposium about the territory. The main agents in that war — and also its beneficiaries — were the British and Russian military geodesists and surveyors who used the latest astronomical methods. Systematic mapping of the desert region was important not only for the geographical knowledge it produced, but also for advancing the surveyors’ careers and improving their social status and personal prosperity. The so-called Afghan Demarcation between the Russian Empire and Great Britain in 1885 seemed to them more like an enjoyable conference for sharing topographical and geographical information than a hostile confrontation. After the outer and inner demarcations had been fixed, the result was that this region — “Created by the Lord in Anger” — was surveyed and studied not only in terms of geography, but also geologically, ethnically and historically.

Keywords:  Central Asia; colonization; the Great Game; mapping; surveying; astronomy; imperial epistemology.
Dreams about Journeys Through Space and the Underworld in Early Soviet Science-Fiction / Logos. 2018. № 2 (123). P. 159-224
annotation:  The paper attempts to explain the increased popularity of stories about imaginary journeys through space and the underworld on the threshold of the twentieth century. Although this literary tradition goes back to Cicero, Macrobius, Dante, and a number of authors from the Early Modern period, the fin-de-siècle upsurge in interest towards this genre was not accidental. The paper traces the background of that genre since ancient times and reconstructs the three-tiered structure of the anthropocentric universe that was formed inside of it. The study offers potential reasons that have enhanced the dreams about traveling to the underworld and outer space at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century. One of these reasons was the completion of an extensive colonial conquest. With fewer and fewer unmapped and unexplored spaces on the globe, expectations were rising regarding further steps towards the unknown zones of the universe — both upper and lower. The authors who wrote about traveling to the underworld and outer space employed the terms, metaphors, and plots that reflected the experience of colonialism. The author examines a change in the perception of The Other, caused by the above-mentioned social transformation. He tries to show how it was expressed in the literature on the collisions between the earthlings and the aliens. With regard to early Soviet science-fiction, the author considers three representative cases, each of which describe journeys to distinct cosmic zones: the novels by Alexander Belyaev (Space), Grigory Adamov (Underworld), and Vladimir Obruchev (Earth and its inhabited flip-side). The author then proceeds by comparing them with the classical works of Jules Verne and Herbert Wells. In this regard, there is a distinct difference between the structure of the typical Western and Soviet microcosm of accounts. The paper points out a number of technocratic anticipations to be found in novels by pioneering Soviet science fiction writers.
Keywords:  Soviet science fiction; colonization; The Other; technocracy;anti-modernism

Ivanov Konstantin

Chief Research Fellow, ikv@ihst.ru.
S. I. Vavilov Institute for the History of Science and Technology, Russian Academy of Sciences (IHST RAS), 14 Baltiyskaya St., 125315 Moscow, Russia.

Publications

Astronomers and Surveyors in the Struggle for Central Asia. Notes on the Epistemology of Colonization / Logos. 2020. № 2 (135). P. 15-40
annotation:  Central Asia was mainly desert land that contained just a few small, densely populated oases when it was forcibly occupied by Imperial Russia between 1865 and 1885. What reason was there to gain control of it? It did not serve any military purpose because the Russian Empire was already well protected on its southern frontier by Central Asia’s notorious deserts and dry steppes. Nor was there much economic advantage to be gained. To present it merely as an opportunity for the thievish embezzlement of public money — and theft there was — is somewhat beside the point. The advance of Great Britain into the same region from the opposite side reflected the same trend. What kind of reasoning was behind these incursions? The counterintuitive answer is that the only rational reason to move into the region was a scientific one. At that time the Central Asia was still a blank spot on European maps and it was the only region on Earth in which the great empires had not yet confronted each other. The frontier lines of both empires were bound to move in on each other, although neither empire gained much advantage from the expansion.
The article analyzes the way in which the struggle for the territory eventually turned into a symposium about the territory. The main agents in that war — and also its beneficiaries — were the British and Russian military geodesists and surveyors who used the latest astronomical methods. Systematic mapping of the desert region was important not only for the geographical knowledge it produced, but also for advancing the surveyors’ careers and improving their social status and personal prosperity. The so-called Afghan Demarcation between the Russian Empire and Great Britain in 1885 seemed to them more like an enjoyable conference for sharing topographical and geographical information than a hostile confrontation. After the outer and inner demarcations had been fixed, the result was that this region — “Created by the Lord in Anger” — was surveyed and studied not only in terms of geography, but also geologically, ethnically and historically.

Keywords:  Central Asia; colonization; the Great Game; mapping; surveying; astronomy; imperial epistemology.
Dreams about Journeys Through Space and the Underworld in Early Soviet Science-Fiction / Logos. 2018. № 2 (123). P. 159-224
annotation:  The paper attempts to explain the increased popularity of stories about imaginary journeys through space and the underworld on the threshold of the twentieth century. Although this literary tradition goes back to Cicero, Macrobius, Dante, and a number of authors from the Early Modern period, the fin-de-siècle upsurge in interest towards this genre was not accidental. The paper traces the background of that genre since ancient times and reconstructs the three-tiered structure of the anthropocentric universe that was formed inside of it. The study offers potential reasons that have enhanced the dreams about traveling to the underworld and outer space at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century. One of these reasons was the completion of an extensive colonial conquest. With fewer and fewer unmapped and unexplored spaces on the globe, expectations were rising regarding further steps towards the unknown zones of the universe — both upper and lower. The authors who wrote about traveling to the underworld and outer space employed the terms, metaphors, and plots that reflected the experience of colonialism. The author examines a change in the perception of The Other, caused by the above-mentioned social transformation. He tries to show how it was expressed in the literature on the collisions between the earthlings and the aliens. With regard to early Soviet science-fiction, the author considers three representative cases, each of which describe journeys to distinct cosmic zones: the novels by Alexander Belyaev (Space), Grigory Adamov (Underworld), and Vladimir Obruchev (Earth and its inhabited flip-side). The author then proceeds by comparing them with the classical works of Jules Verne and Herbert Wells. In this regard, there is a distinct difference between the structure of the typical Western and Soviet microcosm of accounts. The paper points out a number of technocratic anticipations to be found in novels by pioneering Soviet science fiction writers.
Keywords:  Soviet science fiction; colonization; The Other; technocracy;anti-modernism

Ivanov Konstantin

Chief Research Fellow, ikv@ihst.ru.
S. I. Vavilov Institute for the History of Science and Technology, Russian Academy of Sciences (IHST RAS), 14 Baltiyskaya St., 125315 Moscow, Russia.

Publications

Astronomers and Surveyors in the Struggle for Central Asia. Notes on the Epistemology of Colonization / Logos. 2020. № 2 (135). P. 15-40
annotation:  Central Asia was mainly desert land that contained just a few small, densely populated oases when it was forcibly occupied by Imperial Russia between 1865 and 1885. What reason was there to gain control of it? It did not serve any military purpose because the Russian Empire was already well protected on its southern frontier by Central Asia’s notorious deserts and dry steppes. Nor was there much economic advantage to be gained. To present it merely as an opportunity for the thievish embezzlement of public money — and theft there was — is somewhat beside the point. The advance of Great Britain into the same region from the opposite side reflected the same trend. What kind of reasoning was behind these incursions? The counterintuitive answer is that the only rational reason to move into the region was a scientific one. At that time the Central Asia was still a blank spot on European maps and it was the only region on Earth in which the great empires had not yet confronted each other. The frontier lines of both empires were bound to move in on each other, although neither empire gained much advantage from the expansion.
The article analyzes the way in which the struggle for the territory eventually turned into a symposium about the territory. The main agents in that war — and also its beneficiaries — were the British and Russian military geodesists and surveyors who used the latest astronomical methods. Systematic mapping of the desert region was important not only for the geographical knowledge it produced, but also for advancing the surveyors’ careers and improving their social status and personal prosperity. The so-called Afghan Demarcation between the Russian Empire and Great Britain in 1885 seemed to them more like an enjoyable conference for sharing topographical and geographical information than a hostile confrontation. After the outer and inner demarcations had been fixed, the result was that this region — “Created by the Lord in Anger” — was surveyed and studied not only in terms of geography, but also geologically, ethnically and historically.

Keywords:  Central Asia; colonization; the Great Game; mapping; surveying; astronomy; imperial epistemology.
Dreams about Journeys Through Space and the Underworld in Early Soviet Science-Fiction / Logos. 2018. № 2 (123). P. 159-224
annotation:  The paper attempts to explain the increased popularity of stories about imaginary journeys through space and the underworld on the threshold of the twentieth century. Although this literary tradition goes back to Cicero, Macrobius, Dante, and a number of authors from the Early Modern period, the fin-de-siècle upsurge in interest towards this genre was not accidental. The paper traces the background of that genre since ancient times and reconstructs the three-tiered structure of the anthropocentric universe that was formed inside of it. The study offers potential reasons that have enhanced the dreams about traveling to the underworld and outer space at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century. One of these reasons was the completion of an extensive colonial conquest. With fewer and fewer unmapped and unexplored spaces on the globe, expectations were rising regarding further steps towards the unknown zones of the universe — both upper and lower. The authors who wrote about traveling to the underworld and outer space employed the terms, metaphors, and plots that reflected the experience of colonialism. The author examines a change in the perception of The Other, caused by the above-mentioned social transformation. He tries to show how it was expressed in the literature on the collisions between the earthlings and the aliens. With regard to early Soviet science-fiction, the author considers three representative cases, each of which describe journeys to distinct cosmic zones: the novels by Alexander Belyaev (Space), Grigory Adamov (Underworld), and Vladimir Obruchev (Earth and its inhabited flip-side). The author then proceeds by comparing them with the classical works of Jules Verne and Herbert Wells. In this regard, there is a distinct difference between the structure of the typical Western and Soviet microcosm of accounts. The paper points out a number of technocratic anticipations to be found in novels by pioneering Soviet science fiction writers.
Keywords:  Soviet science fiction; colonization; The Other; technocracy;anti-modernism

Ivanov Konstantin

Chief Research Fellow, ikv@ihst.ru.
S. I. Vavilov Institute for the History of Science and Technology, Russian Academy of Sciences (IHST RAS), 14 Baltiyskaya St., 125315 Moscow, Russia.

Publications

Astronomers and Surveyors in the Struggle for Central Asia. Notes on the Epistemology of Colonization / Logos. 2020. № 2 (135). P. 15-40
annotation:  Central Asia was mainly desert land that contained just a few small, densely populated oases when it was forcibly occupied by Imperial Russia between 1865 and 1885. What reason was there to gain control of it? It did not serve any military purpose because the Russian Empire was already well protected on its southern frontier by Central Asia’s notorious deserts and dry steppes. Nor was there much economic advantage to be gained. To present it merely as an opportunity for the thievish embezzlement of public money — and theft there was — is somewhat beside the point. The advance of Great Britain into the same region from the opposite side reflected the same trend. What kind of reasoning was behind these incursions? The counterintuitive answer is that the only rational reason to move into the region was a scientific one. At that time the Central Asia was still a blank spot on European maps and it was the only region on Earth in which the great empires had not yet confronted each other. The frontier lines of both empires were bound to move in on each other, although neither empire gained much advantage from the expansion.
The article analyzes the way in which the struggle for the territory eventually turned into a symposium about the territory. The main agents in that war — and also its beneficiaries — were the British and Russian military geodesists and surveyors who used the latest astronomical methods. Systematic mapping of the desert region was important not only for the geographical knowledge it produced, but also for advancing the surveyors’ careers and improving their social status and personal prosperity. The so-called Afghan Demarcation between the Russian Empire and Great Britain in 1885 seemed to them more like an enjoyable conference for sharing topographical and geographical information than a hostile confrontation. After the outer and inner demarcations had been fixed, the result was that this region — “Created by the Lord in Anger” — was surveyed and studied not only in terms of geography, but also geologically, ethnically and historically.

Keywords:  Central Asia; colonization; the Great Game; mapping; surveying; astronomy; imperial epistemology.
Dreams about Journeys Through Space and the Underworld in Early Soviet Science-Fiction / Logos. 2018. № 2 (123). P. 159-224
annotation:  The paper attempts to explain the increased popularity of stories about imaginary journeys through space and the underworld on the threshold of the twentieth century. Although this literary tradition goes back to Cicero, Macrobius, Dante, and a number of authors from the Early Modern period, the fin-de-siècle upsurge in interest towards this genre was not accidental. The paper traces the background of that genre since ancient times and reconstructs the three-tiered structure of the anthropocentric universe that was formed inside of it. The study offers potential reasons that have enhanced the dreams about traveling to the underworld and outer space at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century. One of these reasons was the completion of an extensive colonial conquest. With fewer and fewer unmapped and unexplored spaces on the globe, expectations were rising regarding further steps towards the unknown zones of the universe — both upper and lower. The authors who wrote about traveling to the underworld and outer space employed the terms, metaphors, and plots that reflected the experience of colonialism. The author examines a change in the perception of The Other, caused by the above-mentioned social transformation. He tries to show how it was expressed in the literature on the collisions between the earthlings and the aliens. With regard to early Soviet science-fiction, the author considers three representative cases, each of which describe journeys to distinct cosmic zones: the novels by Alexander Belyaev (Space), Grigory Adamov (Underworld), and Vladimir Obruchev (Earth and its inhabited flip-side). The author then proceeds by comparing them with the classical works of Jules Verne and Herbert Wells. In this regard, there is a distinct difference between the structure of the typical Western and Soviet microcosm of accounts. The paper points out a number of technocratic anticipations to be found in novels by pioneering Soviet science fiction writers.
Keywords:  Soviet science fiction; colonization; The Other; technocracy;anti-modernism

Ivanov Konstantin

Chief Research Fellow, ikv@ihst.ru.
S. I. Vavilov Institute for the History of Science and Technology, Russian Academy of Sciences (IHST RAS), 14 Baltiyskaya St., 125315 Moscow, Russia.

Publications

Astronomers and Surveyors in the Struggle for Central Asia. Notes on the Epistemology of Colonization / Logos. 2020. № 2 (135). P. 15-40
annotation:  Central Asia was mainly desert land that contained just a few small, densely populated oases when it was forcibly occupied by Imperial Russia between 1865 and 1885. What reason was there to gain control of it? It did not serve any military purpose because the Russian Empire was already well protected on its southern frontier by Central Asia’s notorious deserts and dry steppes. Nor was there much economic advantage to be gained. To present it merely as an opportunity for the thievish embezzlement of public money — and theft there was — is somewhat beside the point. The advance of Great Britain into the same region from the opposite side reflected the same trend. What kind of reasoning was behind these incursions? The counterintuitive answer is that the only rational reason to move into the region was a scientific one. At that time the Central Asia was still a blank spot on European maps and it was the only region on Earth in which the great empires had not yet confronted each other. The frontier lines of both empires were bound to move in on each other, although neither empire gained much advantage from the expansion.
The article analyzes the way in which the struggle for the territory eventually turned into a symposium about the territory. The main agents in that war — and also its beneficiaries — were the British and Russian military geodesists and surveyors who used the latest astronomical methods. Systematic mapping of the desert region was important not only for the geographical knowledge it produced, but also for advancing the surveyors’ careers and improving their social status and personal prosperity. The so-called Afghan Demarcation between the Russian Empire and Great Britain in 1885 seemed to them more like an enjoyable conference for sharing topographical and geographical information than a hostile confrontation. After the outer and inner demarcations had been fixed, the result was that this region — “Created by the Lord in Anger” — was surveyed and studied not only in terms of geography, but also geologically, ethnically and historically.

Keywords:  Central Asia; colonization; the Great Game; mapping; surveying; astronomy; imperial epistemology.
Dreams about Journeys Through Space and the Underworld in Early Soviet Science-Fiction / Logos. 2018. № 2 (123). P. 159-224
annotation:  The paper attempts to explain the increased popularity of stories about imaginary journeys through space and the underworld on the threshold of the twentieth century. Although this literary tradition goes back to Cicero, Macrobius, Dante, and a number of authors from the Early Modern period, the fin-de-siècle upsurge in interest towards this genre was not accidental. The paper traces the background of that genre since ancient times and reconstructs the three-tiered structure of the anthropocentric universe that was formed inside of it. The study offers potential reasons that have enhanced the dreams about traveling to the underworld and outer space at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century. One of these reasons was the completion of an extensive colonial conquest. With fewer and fewer unmapped and unexplored spaces on the globe, expectations were rising regarding further steps towards the unknown zones of the universe — both upper and lower. The authors who wrote about traveling to the underworld and outer space employed the terms, metaphors, and plots that reflected the experience of colonialism. The author examines a change in the perception of The Other, caused by the above-mentioned social transformation. He tries to show how it was expressed in the literature on the collisions between the earthlings and the aliens. With regard to early Soviet science-fiction, the author considers three representative cases, each of which describe journeys to distinct cosmic zones: the novels by Alexander Belyaev (Space), Grigory Adamov (Underworld), and Vladimir Obruchev (Earth and its inhabited flip-side). The author then proceeds by comparing them with the classical works of Jules Verne and Herbert Wells. In this regard, there is a distinct difference between the structure of the typical Western and Soviet microcosm of accounts. The paper points out a number of technocratic anticipations to be found in novels by pioneering Soviet science fiction writers.
Keywords:  Soviet science fiction; colonization; The Other; technocracy;anti-modernism

Ivanov Konstantin

Chief Research Fellow, ikv@ihst.ru.
S. I. Vavilov Institute for the History of Science and Technology, Russian Academy of Sciences (IHST RAS), 14 Baltiyskaya St., 125315 Moscow, Russia.

Publications

Astronomers and Surveyors in the Struggle for Central Asia. Notes on the Epistemology of Colonization / Logos. 2020. № 2 (135). P. 15-40
annotation:  Central Asia was mainly desert land that contained just a few small, densely populated oases when it was forcibly occupied by Imperial Russia between 1865 and 1885. What reason was there to gain control of it? It did not serve any military purpose because the Russian Empire was already well protected on its southern frontier by Central Asia’s notorious deserts and dry steppes. Nor was there much economic advantage to be gained. To present it merely as an opportunity for the thievish embezzlement of public money — and theft there was — is somewhat beside the point. The advance of Great Britain into the same region from the opposite side reflected the same trend. What kind of reasoning was behind these incursions? The counterintuitive answer is that the only rational reason to move into the region was a scientific one. At that time the Central Asia was still a blank spot on European maps and it was the only region on Earth in which the great empires had not yet confronted each other. The frontier lines of both empires were bound to move in on each other, although neither empire gained much advantage from the expansion.
The article analyzes the way in which the struggle for the territory eventually turned into a symposium about the territory. The main agents in that war — and also its beneficiaries — were the British and Russian military geodesists and surveyors who used the latest astronomical methods. Systematic mapping of the desert region was important not only for the geographical knowledge it produced, but also for advancing the surveyors’ careers and improving their social status and personal prosperity. The so-called Afghan Demarcation between the Russian Empire and Great Britain in 1885 seemed to them more like an enjoyable conference for sharing topographical and geographical information than a hostile confrontation. After the outer and inner demarcations had been fixed, the result was that this region — “Created by the Lord in Anger” — was surveyed and studied not only in terms of geography, but also geologically, ethnically and historically.

Keywords:  Central Asia; colonization; the Great Game; mapping; surveying; astronomy; imperial epistemology.
Dreams about Journeys Through Space and the Underworld in Early Soviet Science-Fiction / Logos. 2018. № 2 (123). P. 159-224
annotation:  The paper attempts to explain the increased popularity of stories about imaginary journeys through space and the underworld on the threshold of the twentieth century. Although this literary tradition goes back to Cicero, Macrobius, Dante, and a number of authors from the Early Modern period, the fin-de-siècle upsurge in interest towards this genre was not accidental. The paper traces the background of that genre since ancient times and reconstructs the three-tiered structure of the anthropocentric universe that was formed inside of it. The study offers potential reasons that have enhanced the dreams about traveling to the underworld and outer space at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century. One of these reasons was the completion of an extensive colonial conquest. With fewer and fewer unmapped and unexplored spaces on the globe, expectations were rising regarding further steps towards the unknown zones of the universe — both upper and lower. The authors who wrote about traveling to the underworld and outer space employed the terms, metaphors, and plots that reflected the experience of colonialism. The author examines a change in the perception of The Other, caused by the above-mentioned social transformation. He tries to show how it was expressed in the literature on the collisions between the earthlings and the aliens. With regard to early Soviet science-fiction, the author considers three representative cases, each of which describe journeys to distinct cosmic zones: the novels by Alexander Belyaev (Space), Grigory Adamov (Underworld), and Vladimir Obruchev (Earth and its inhabited flip-side). The author then proceeds by comparing them with the classical works of Jules Verne and Herbert Wells. In this regard, there is a distinct difference between the structure of the typical Western and Soviet microcosm of accounts. The paper points out a number of technocratic anticipations to be found in novels by pioneering Soviet science fiction writers.
Keywords:  Soviet science fiction; colonization; The Other; technocracy;anti-modernism

Ivanov Konstantin

Chief Research Fellow, ikv@ihst.ru.
S. I. Vavilov Institute for the History of Science and Technology, Russian Academy of Sciences (IHST RAS), 14 Baltiyskaya St., 125315 Moscow, Russia.

Publications

Astronomers and Surveyors in the Struggle for Central Asia. Notes on the Epistemology of Colonization / Logos. 2020. № 2 (135). P. 15-40
annotation:  Central Asia was mainly desert land that contained just a few small, densely populated oases when it was forcibly occupied by Imperial Russia between 1865 and 1885. What reason was there to gain control of it? It did not serve any military purpose because the Russian Empire was already well protected on its southern frontier by Central Asia’s notorious deserts and dry steppes. Nor was there much economic advantage to be gained. To present it merely as an opportunity for the thievish embezzlement of public money — and theft there was — is somewhat beside the point. The advance of Great Britain into the same region from the opposite side reflected the same trend. What kind of reasoning was behind these incursions? The counterintuitive answer is that the only rational reason to move into the region was a scientific one. At that time the Central Asia was still a blank spot on European maps and it was the only region on Earth in which the great empires had not yet confronted each other. The frontier lines of both empires were bound to move in on each other, although neither empire gained much advantage from the expansion.
The article analyzes the way in which the struggle for the territory eventually turned into a symposium about the territory. The main agents in that war — and also its beneficiaries — were the British and Russian military geodesists and surveyors who used the latest astronomical methods. Systematic mapping of the desert region was important not only for the geographical knowledge it produced, but also for advancing the surveyors’ careers and improving their social status and personal prosperity. The so-called Afghan Demarcation between the Russian Empire and Great Britain in 1885 seemed to them more like an enjoyable conference for sharing topographical and geographical information than a hostile confrontation. After the outer and inner demarcations had been fixed, the result was that this region — “Created by the Lord in Anger” — was surveyed and studied not only in terms of geography, but also geologically, ethnically and historically.

Keywords:  Central Asia; colonization; the Great Game; mapping; surveying; astronomy; imperial epistemology.
Dreams about Journeys Through Space and the Underworld in Early Soviet Science-Fiction / Logos. 2018. № 2 (123). P. 159-224
annotation:  The paper attempts to explain the increased popularity of stories about imaginary journeys through space and the underworld on the threshold of the twentieth century. Although this literary tradition goes back to Cicero, Macrobius, Dante, and a number of authors from the Early Modern period, the fin-de-siècle upsurge in interest towards this genre was not accidental. The paper traces the background of that genre since ancient times and reconstructs the three-tiered structure of the anthropocentric universe that was formed inside of it. The study offers potential reasons that have enhanced the dreams about traveling to the underworld and outer space at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century. One of these reasons was the completion of an extensive colonial conquest. With fewer and fewer unmapped and unexplored spaces on the globe, expectations were rising regarding further steps towards the unknown zones of the universe — both upper and lower. The authors who wrote about traveling to the underworld and outer space employed the terms, metaphors, and plots that reflected the experience of colonialism. The author examines a change in the perception of The Other, caused by the above-mentioned social transformation. He tries to show how it was expressed in the literature on the collisions between the earthlings and the aliens. With regard to early Soviet science-fiction, the author considers three representative cases, each of which describe journeys to distinct cosmic zones: the novels by Alexander Belyaev (Space), Grigory Adamov (Underworld), and Vladimir Obruchev (Earth and its inhabited flip-side). The author then proceeds by comparing them with the classical works of Jules Verne and Herbert Wells. In this regard, there is a distinct difference between the structure of the typical Western and Soviet microcosm of accounts. The paper points out a number of technocratic anticipations to be found in novels by pioneering Soviet science fiction writers.
Keywords:  Soviet science fiction; colonization; The Other; technocracy;anti-modernism

Ivanov Konstantin

Chief Research Fellow, ikv@ihst.ru.
S. I. Vavilov Institute for the History of Science and Technology, Russian Academy of Sciences (IHST RAS), 14 Baltiyskaya St., 125315 Moscow, Russia.

Publications

Astronomers and Surveyors in the Struggle for Central Asia. Notes on the Epistemology of Colonization / Logos. 2020. № 2 (135). P. 15-40
annotation:  Central Asia was mainly desert land that contained just a few small, densely populated oases when it was forcibly occupied by Imperial Russia between 1865 and 1885. What reason was there to gain control of it? It did not serve any military purpose because the Russian Empire was already well protected on its southern frontier by Central Asia’s notorious deserts and dry steppes. Nor was there much economic advantage to be gained. To present it merely as an opportunity for the thievish embezzlement of public money — and theft there was — is somewhat beside the point. The advance of Great Britain into the same region from the opposite side reflected the same trend. What kind of reasoning was behind these incursions? The counterintuitive answer is that the only rational reason to move into the region was a scientific one. At that time the Central Asia was still a blank spot on European maps and it was the only region on Earth in which the great empires had not yet confronted each other. The frontier lines of both empires were bound to move in on each other, although neither empire gained much advantage from the expansion.
The article analyzes the way in which the struggle for the territory eventually turned into a symposium about the territory. The main agents in that war — and also its beneficiaries — were the British and Russian military geodesists and surveyors who used the latest astronomical methods. Systematic mapping of the desert region was important not only for the geographical knowledge it produced, but also for advancing the surveyors’ careers and improving their social status and personal prosperity. The so-called Afghan Demarcation between the Russian Empire and Great Britain in 1885 seemed to them more like an enjoyable conference for sharing topographical and geographical information than a hostile confrontation. After the outer and inner demarcations had been fixed, the result was that this region — “Created by the Lord in Anger” — was surveyed and studied not only in terms of geography, but also geologically, ethnically and historically.

Keywords:  Central Asia; colonization; the Great Game; mapping; surveying; astronomy; imperial epistemology.
Dreams about Journeys Through Space and the Underworld in Early Soviet Science-Fiction / Logos. 2018. № 2 (123). P. 159-224
annotation:  The paper attempts to explain the increased popularity of stories about imaginary journeys through space and the underworld on the threshold of the twentieth century. Although this literary tradition goes back to Cicero, Macrobius, Dante, and a number of authors from the Early Modern period, the fin-de-siècle upsurge in interest towards this genre was not accidental. The paper traces the background of that genre since ancient times and reconstructs the three-tiered structure of the anthropocentric universe that was formed inside of it. The study offers potential reasons that have enhanced the dreams about traveling to the underworld and outer space at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century. One of these reasons was the completion of an extensive colonial conquest. With fewer and fewer unmapped and unexplored spaces on the globe, expectations were rising regarding further steps towards the unknown zones of the universe — both upper and lower. The authors who wrote about traveling to the underworld and outer space employed the terms, metaphors, and plots that reflected the experience of colonialism. The author examines a change in the perception of The Other, caused by the above-mentioned social transformation. He tries to show how it was expressed in the literature on the collisions between the earthlings and the aliens. With regard to early Soviet science-fiction, the author considers three representative cases, each of which describe journeys to distinct cosmic zones: the novels by Alexander Belyaev (Space), Grigory Adamov (Underworld), and Vladimir Obruchev (Earth and its inhabited flip-side). The author then proceeds by comparing them with the classical works of Jules Verne and Herbert Wells. In this regard, there is a distinct difference between the structure of the typical Western and Soviet microcosm of accounts. The paper points out a number of technocratic anticipations to be found in novels by pioneering Soviet science fiction writers.
Keywords:  Soviet science fiction; colonization; The Other; technocracy;anti-modernism

Ivanov Konstantin

Chief Research Fellow, ikv@ihst.ru.
S. I. Vavilov Institute for the History of Science and Technology, Russian Academy of Sciences (IHST RAS), 14 Baltiyskaya St., 125315 Moscow, Russia.

Publications

Astronomers and Surveyors in the Struggle for Central Asia. Notes on the Epistemology of Colonization / Logos. 2020. № 2 (135). P. 15-40
annotation:  Central Asia was mainly desert land that contained just a few small, densely populated oases when it was forcibly occupied by Imperial Russia between 1865 and 1885. What reason was there to gain control of it? It did not serve any military purpose because the Russian Empire was already well protected on its southern frontier by Central Asia’s notorious deserts and dry steppes. Nor was there much economic advantage to be gained. To present it merely as an opportunity for the thievish embezzlement of public money — and theft there was — is somewhat beside the point. The advance of Great Britain into the same region from the opposite side reflected the same trend. What kind of reasoning was behind these incursions? The counterintuitive answer is that the only rational reason to move into the region was a scientific one. At that time the Central Asia was still a blank spot on European maps and it was the only region on Earth in which the great empires had not yet confronted each other. The frontier lines of both empires were bound to move in on each other, although neither empire gained much advantage from the expansion.
The article analyzes the way in which the struggle for the territory eventually turned into a symposium about the territory. The main agents in that war — and also its beneficiaries — were the British and Russian military geodesists and surveyors who used the latest astronomical methods. Systematic mapping of the desert region was important not only for the geographical knowledge it produced, but also for advancing the surveyors’ careers and improving their social status and personal prosperity. The so-called Afghan Demarcation between the Russian Empire and Great Britain in 1885 seemed to them more like an enjoyable conference for sharing topographical and geographical information than a hostile confrontation. After the outer and inner demarcations had been fixed, the result was that this region — “Created by the Lord in Anger” — was surveyed and studied not only in terms of geography, but also geologically, ethnically and historically.

Keywords:  Central Asia; colonization; the Great Game; mapping; surveying; astronomy; imperial epistemology.
Dreams about Journeys Through Space and the Underworld in Early Soviet Science-Fiction / Logos. 2018. № 2 (123). P. 159-224
annotation:  The paper attempts to explain the increased popularity of stories about imaginary journeys through space and the underworld on the threshold of the twentieth century. Although this literary tradition goes back to Cicero, Macrobius, Dante, and a number of authors from the Early Modern period, the fin-de-siècle upsurge in interest towards this genre was not accidental. The paper traces the background of that genre since ancient times and reconstructs the three-tiered structure of the anthropocentric universe that was formed inside of it. The study offers potential reasons that have enhanced the dreams about traveling to the underworld and outer space at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century. One of these reasons was the completion of an extensive colonial conquest. With fewer and fewer unmapped and unexplored spaces on the globe, expectations were rising regarding further steps towards the unknown zones of the universe — both upper and lower. The authors who wrote about traveling to the underworld and outer space employed the terms, metaphors, and plots that reflected the experience of colonialism. The author examines a change in the perception of The Other, caused by the above-mentioned social transformation. He tries to show how it was expressed in the literature on the collisions between the earthlings and the aliens. With regard to early Soviet science-fiction, the author considers three representative cases, each of which describe journeys to distinct cosmic zones: the novels by Alexander Belyaev (Space), Grigory Adamov (Underworld), and Vladimir Obruchev (Earth and its inhabited flip-side). The author then proceeds by comparing them with the classical works of Jules Verne and Herbert Wells. In this regard, there is a distinct difference between the structure of the typical Western and Soviet microcosm of accounts. The paper points out a number of technocratic anticipations to be found in novels by pioneering Soviet science fiction writers.
Keywords:  Soviet science fiction; colonization; The Other; technocracy;anti-modernism

Ivanov Konstantin

Chief Research Fellow, ikv@ihst.ru.
S. I. Vavilov Institute for the History of Science and Technology, Russian Academy of Sciences (IHST RAS), 14 Baltiyskaya St., 125315 Moscow, Russia.

Publications

Astronomers and Surveyors in the Struggle for Central Asia. Notes on the Epistemology of Colonization / Logos. 2020. № 2 (135). P. 15-40
annotation:  Central Asia was mainly desert land that contained just a few small, densely populated oases when it was forcibly occupied by Imperial Russia between 1865 and 1885. What reason was there to gain control of it? It did not serve any military purpose because the Russian Empire was already well protected on its southern frontier by Central Asia’s notorious deserts and dry steppes. Nor was there much economic advantage to be gained. To present it merely as an opportunity for the thievish embezzlement of public money — and theft there was — is somewhat beside the point. The advance of Great Britain into the same region from the opposite side reflected the same trend. What kind of reasoning was behind these incursions? The counterintuitive answer is that the only rational reason to move into the region was a scientific one. At that time the Central Asia was still a blank spot on European maps and it was the only region on Earth in which the great empires had not yet confronted each other. The frontier lines of both empires were bound to move in on each other, although neither empire gained much advantage from the expansion.
The article analyzes the way in which the struggle for the territory eventually turned into a symposium about the territory. The main agents in that war — and also its beneficiaries — were the British and Russian military geodesists and surveyors who used the latest astronomical methods. Systematic mapping of the desert region was important not only for the geographical knowledge it produced, but also for advancing the surveyors’ careers and improving their social status and personal prosperity. The so-called Afghan Demarcation between the Russian Empire and Great Britain in 1885 seemed to them more like an enjoyable conference for sharing topographical and geographical information than a hostile confrontation. After the outer and inner demarcations had been fixed, the result was that this region — “Created by the Lord in Anger” — was surveyed and studied not only in terms of geography, but also geologically, ethnically and historically.

Keywords:  Central Asia; colonization; the Great Game; mapping; surveying; astronomy; imperial epistemology.
Dreams about Journeys Through Space and the Underworld in Early Soviet Science-Fiction / Logos. 2018. № 2 (123). P. 159-224
annotation:  The paper attempts to explain the increased popularity of stories about imaginary journeys through space and the underworld on the threshold of the twentieth century. Although this literary tradition goes back to Cicero, Macrobius, Dante, and a number of authors from the Early Modern period, the fin-de-siècle upsurge in interest towards this genre was not accidental. The paper traces the background of that genre since ancient times and reconstructs the three-tiered structure of the anthropocentric universe that was formed inside of it. The study offers potential reasons that have enhanced the dreams about traveling to the underworld and outer space at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century. One of these reasons was the completion of an extensive colonial conquest. With fewer and fewer unmapped and unexplored spaces on the globe, expectations were rising regarding further steps towards the unknown zones of the universe — both upper and lower. The authors who wrote about traveling to the underworld and outer space employed the terms, metaphors, and plots that reflected the experience of colonialism. The author examines a change in the perception of The Other, caused by the above-mentioned social transformation. He tries to show how it was expressed in the literature on the collisions between the earthlings and the aliens. With regard to early Soviet science-fiction, the author considers three representative cases, each of which describe journeys to distinct cosmic zones: the novels by Alexander Belyaev (Space), Grigory Adamov (Underworld), and Vladimir Obruchev (Earth and its inhabited flip-side). The author then proceeds by comparing them with the classical works of Jules Verne and Herbert Wells. In this regard, there is a distinct difference between the structure of the typical Western and Soviet microcosm of accounts. The paper points out a number of technocratic anticipations to be found in novels by pioneering Soviet science fiction writers.
Keywords:  Soviet science fiction; colonization; The Other; technocracy;anti-modernism

Ivanov Konstantin

Chief Research Fellow, ikv@ihst.ru.
S. I. Vavilov Institute for the History of Science and Technology, Russian Academy of Sciences (IHST RAS), 14 Baltiyskaya St., 125315 Moscow, Russia.

Publications

Astronomers and Surveyors in the Struggle for Central Asia. Notes on the Epistemology of Colonization / Logos. 2020. № 2 (135). P. 15-40
annotation:  Central Asia was mainly desert land that contained just a few small, densely populated oases when it was forcibly occupied by Imperial Russia between 1865 and 1885. What reason was there to gain control of it? It did not serve any military purpose because the Russian Empire was already well protected on its southern frontier by Central Asia’s notorious deserts and dry steppes. Nor was there much economic advantage to be gained. To present it merely as an opportunity for the thievish embezzlement of public money — and theft there was — is somewhat beside the point. The advance of Great Britain into the same region from the opposite side reflected the same trend. What kind of reasoning was behind these incursions? The counterintuitive answer is that the only rational reason to move into the region was a scientific one. At that time the Central Asia was still a blank spot on European maps and it was the only region on Earth in which the great empires had not yet confronted each other. The frontier lines of both empires were bound to move in on each other, although neither empire gained much advantage from the expansion.
The article analyzes the way in which the struggle for the territory eventually turned into a symposium about the territory. The main agents in that war — and also its beneficiaries — were the British and Russian military geodesists and surveyors who used the latest astronomical methods. Systematic mapping of the desert region was important not only for the geographical knowledge it produced, but also for advancing the surveyors’ careers and improving their social status and personal prosperity. The so-called Afghan Demarcation between the Russian Empire and Great Britain in 1885 seemed to them more like an enjoyable conference for sharing topographical and geographical information than a hostile confrontation. After the outer and inner demarcations had been fixed, the result was that this region — “Created by the Lord in Anger” — was surveyed and studied not only in terms of geography, but also geologically, ethnically and historically.

Keywords:  Central Asia; colonization; the Great Game; mapping; surveying; astronomy; imperial epistemology.
Dreams about Journeys Through Space and the Underworld in Early Soviet Science-Fiction / Logos. 2018. № 2 (123). P. 159-224
annotation:  The paper attempts to explain the increased popularity of stories about imaginary journeys through space and the underworld on the threshold of the twentieth century. Although this literary tradition goes back to Cicero, Macrobius, Dante, and a number of authors from the Early Modern period, the fin-de-siècle upsurge in interest towards this genre was not accidental. The paper traces the background of that genre since ancient times and reconstructs the three-tiered structure of the anthropocentric universe that was formed inside of it. The study offers potential reasons that have enhanced the dreams about traveling to the underworld and outer space at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century. One of these reasons was the completion of an extensive colonial conquest. With fewer and fewer unmapped and unexplored spaces on the globe, expectations were rising regarding further steps towards the unknown zones of the universe — both upper and lower. The authors who wrote about traveling to the underworld and outer space employed the terms, metaphors, and plots that reflected the experience of colonialism. The author examines a change in the perception of The Other, caused by the above-mentioned social transformation. He tries to show how it was expressed in the literature on the collisions between the earthlings and the aliens. With regard to early Soviet science-fiction, the author considers three representative cases, each of which describe journeys to distinct cosmic zones: the novels by Alexander Belyaev (Space), Grigory Adamov (Underworld), and Vladimir Obruchev (Earth and its inhabited flip-side). The author then proceeds by comparing them with the classical works of Jules Verne and Herbert Wells. In this regard, there is a distinct difference between the structure of the typical Western and Soviet microcosm of accounts. The paper points out a number of technocratic anticipations to be found in novels by pioneering Soviet science fiction writers.
Keywords:  Soviet science fiction; colonization; The Other; technocracy;anti-modernism

Ivanov Konstantin

Chief Research Fellow, ikv@ihst.ru.
S. I. Vavilov Institute for the History of Science and Technology, Russian Academy of Sciences (IHST RAS), 14 Baltiyskaya St., 125315 Moscow, Russia.

Publications

Astronomers and Surveyors in the Struggle for Central Asia. Notes on the Epistemology of Colonization / Logos. 2020. № 2 (135). P. 15-40
annotation:  Central Asia was mainly desert land that contained just a few small, densely populated oases when it was forcibly occupied by Imperial Russia between 1865 and 1885. What reason was there to gain control of it? It did not serve any military purpose because the Russian Empire was already well protected on its southern frontier by Central Asia’s notorious deserts and dry steppes. Nor was there much economic advantage to be gained. To present it merely as an opportunity for the thievish embezzlement of public money — and theft there was — is somewhat beside the point. The advance of Great Britain into the same region from the opposite side reflected the same trend. What kind of reasoning was behind these incursions? The counterintuitive answer is that the only rational reason to move into the region was a scientific one. At that time the Central Asia was still a blank spot on European maps and it was the only region on Earth in which the great empires had not yet confronted each other. The frontier lines of both empires were bound to move in on each other, although neither empire gained much advantage from the expansion.
The article analyzes the way in which the struggle for the territory eventually turned into a symposium about the territory. The main agents in that war — and also its beneficiaries — were the British and Russian military geodesists and surveyors who used the latest astronomical methods. Systematic mapping of the desert region was important not only for the geographical knowledge it produced, but also for advancing the surveyors’ careers and improving their social status and personal prosperity. The so-called Afghan Demarcation between the Russian Empire and Great Britain in 1885 seemed to them more like an enjoyable conference for sharing topographical and geographical information than a hostile confrontation. After the outer and inner demarcations had been fixed, the result was that this region — “Created by the Lord in Anger” — was surveyed and studied not only in terms of geography, but also geologically, ethnically and historically.

Keywords:  Central Asia; colonization; the Great Game; mapping; surveying; astronomy; imperial epistemology.
Dreams about Journeys Through Space and the Underworld in Early Soviet Science-Fiction / Logos. 2018. № 2 (123). P. 159-224
annotation:  The paper attempts to explain the increased popularity of stories about imaginary journeys through space and the underworld on the threshold of the twentieth century. Although this literary tradition goes back to Cicero, Macrobius, Dante, and a number of authors from the Early Modern period, the fin-de-siècle upsurge in interest towards this genre was not accidental. The paper traces the background of that genre since ancient times and reconstructs the three-tiered structure of the anthropocentric universe that was formed inside of it. The study offers potential reasons that have enhanced the dreams about traveling to the underworld and outer space at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century. One of these reasons was the completion of an extensive colonial conquest. With fewer and fewer unmapped and unexplored spaces on the globe, expectations were rising regarding further steps towards the unknown zones of the universe — both upper and lower. The authors who wrote about traveling to the underworld and outer space employed the terms, metaphors, and plots that reflected the experience of colonialism. The author examines a change in the perception of The Other, caused by the above-mentioned social transformation. He tries to show how it was expressed in the literature on the collisions between the earthlings and the aliens. With regard to early Soviet science-fiction, the author considers three representative cases, each of which describe journeys to distinct cosmic zones: the novels by Alexander Belyaev (Space), Grigory Adamov (Underworld), and Vladimir Obruchev (Earth and its inhabited flip-side). The author then proceeds by comparing them with the classical works of Jules Verne and Herbert Wells. In this regard, there is a distinct difference between the structure of the typical Western and Soviet microcosm of accounts. The paper points out a number of technocratic anticipations to be found in novels by pioneering Soviet science fiction writers.
Keywords:  Soviet science fiction; colonization; The Other; technocracy;anti-modernism

Ivanov Konstantin

Chief Research Fellow, ikv@ihst.ru.
S. I. Vavilov Institute for the History of Science and Technology, Russian Academy of Sciences (IHST RAS), 14 Baltiyskaya St., 125315 Moscow, Russia.

Publications

Astronomers and Surveyors in the Struggle for Central Asia. Notes on the Epistemology of Colonization / Logos. 2020. № 2 (135). P. 15-40
annotation:  Central Asia was mainly desert land that contained just a few small, densely populated oases when it was forcibly occupied by Imperial Russia between 1865 and 1885. What reason was there to gain control of it? It did not serve any military purpose because the Russian Empire was already well protected on its southern frontier by Central Asia’s notorious deserts and dry steppes. Nor was there much economic advantage to be gained. To present it merely as an opportunity for the thievish embezzlement of public money — and theft there was — is somewhat beside the point. The advance of Great Britain into the same region from the opposite side reflected the same trend. What kind of reasoning was behind these incursions? The counterintuitive answer is that the only rational reason to move into the region was a scientific one. At that time the Central Asia was still a blank spot on European maps and it was the only region on Earth in which the great empires had not yet confronted each other. The frontier lines of both empires were bound to move in on each other, although neither empire gained much advantage from the expansion.
The article analyzes the way in which the struggle for the territory eventually turned into a symposium about the territory. The main agents in that war — and also its beneficiaries — were the British and Russian military geodesists and surveyors who used the latest astronomical methods. Systematic mapping of the desert region was important not only for the geographical knowledge it produced, but also for advancing the surveyors’ careers and improving their social status and personal prosperity. The so-called Afghan Demarcation between the Russian Empire and Great Britain in 1885 seemed to them more like an enjoyable conference for sharing topographical and geographical information than a hostile confrontation. After the outer and inner demarcations had been fixed, the result was that this region — “Created by the Lord in Anger” — was surveyed and studied not only in terms of geography, but also geologically, ethnically and historically.

Keywords:  Central Asia; colonization; the Great Game; mapping; surveying; astronomy; imperial epistemology.
Dreams about Journeys Through Space and the Underworld in Early Soviet Science-Fiction / Logos. 2018. № 2 (123). P. 159-224
annotation:  The paper attempts to explain the increased popularity of stories about imaginary journeys through space and the underworld on the threshold of the twentieth century. Although this literary tradition goes back to Cicero, Macrobius, Dante, and a number of authors from the Early Modern period, the fin-de-siècle upsurge in interest towards this genre was not accidental. The paper traces the background of that genre since ancient times and reconstructs the three-tiered structure of the anthropocentric universe that was formed inside of it. The study offers potential reasons that have enhanced the dreams about traveling to the underworld and outer space at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century. One of these reasons was the completion of an extensive colonial conquest. With fewer and fewer unmapped and unexplored spaces on the globe, expectations were rising regarding further steps towards the unknown zones of the universe — both upper and lower. The authors who wrote about traveling to the underworld and outer space employed the terms, metaphors, and plots that reflected the experience of colonialism. The author examines a change in the perception of The Other, caused by the above-mentioned social transformation. He tries to show how it was expressed in the literature on the collisions between the earthlings and the aliens. With regard to early Soviet science-fiction, the author considers three representative cases, each of which describe journeys to distinct cosmic zones: the novels by Alexander Belyaev (Space), Grigory Adamov (Underworld), and Vladimir Obruchev (Earth and its inhabited flip-side). The author then proceeds by comparing them with the classical works of Jules Verne and Herbert Wells. In this regard, there is a distinct difference between the structure of the typical Western and Soviet microcosm of accounts. The paper points out a number of technocratic anticipations to be found in novels by pioneering Soviet science fiction writers.
Keywords:  Soviet science fiction; colonization; The Other; technocracy;anti-modernism

Ivanov Konstantin

Chief Research Fellow, ikv@ihst.ru.
S. I. Vavilov Institute for the History of Science and Technology, Russian Academy of Sciences (IHST RAS), 14 Baltiyskaya St., 125315 Moscow, Russia.

Publications

Astronomers and Surveyors in the Struggle for Central Asia. Notes on the Epistemology of Colonization / Logos. 2020. № 2 (135). P. 15-40
annotation:  Central Asia was mainly desert land that contained just a few small, densely populated oases when it was forcibly occupied by Imperial Russia between 1865 and 1885. What reason was there to gain control of it? It did not serve any military purpose because the Russian Empire was already well protected on its southern frontier by Central Asia’s notorious deserts and dry steppes. Nor was there much economic advantage to be gained. To present it merely as an opportunity for the thievish embezzlement of public money — and theft there was — is somewhat beside the point. The advance of Great Britain into the same region from the opposite side reflected the same trend. What kind of reasoning was behind these incursions? The counterintuitive answer is that the only rational reason to move into the region was a scientific one. At that time the Central Asia was still a blank spot on European maps and it was the only region on Earth in which the great empires had not yet confronted each other. The frontier lines of both empires were bound to move in on each other, although neither empire gained much advantage from the expansion.
The article analyzes the way in which the struggle for the territory eventually turned into a symposium about the territory. The main agents in that war — and also its beneficiaries — were the British and Russian military geodesists and surveyors who used the latest astronomical methods. Systematic mapping of the desert region was important not only for the geographical knowledge it produced, but also for advancing the surveyors’ careers and improving their social status and personal prosperity. The so-called Afghan Demarcation between the Russian Empire and Great Britain in 1885 seemed to them more like an enjoyable conference for sharing topographical and geographical information than a hostile confrontation. After the outer and inner demarcations had been fixed, the result was that this region — “Created by the Lord in Anger” — was surveyed and studied not only in terms of geography, but also geologically, ethnically and historically.

Keywords:  Central Asia; colonization; the Great Game; mapping; surveying; astronomy; imperial epistemology.
Dreams about Journeys Through Space and the Underworld in Early Soviet Science-Fiction / Logos. 2018. № 2 (123). P. 159-224
annotation:  The paper attempts to explain the increased popularity of stories about imaginary journeys through space and the underworld on the threshold of the twentieth century. Although this literary tradition goes back to Cicero, Macrobius, Dante, and a number of authors from the Early Modern period, the fin-de-siècle upsurge in interest towards this genre was not accidental. The paper traces the background of that genre since ancient times and reconstructs the three-tiered structure of the anthropocentric universe that was formed inside of it. The study offers potential reasons that have enhanced the dreams about traveling to the underworld and outer space at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century. One of these reasons was the completion of an extensive colonial conquest. With fewer and fewer unmapped and unexplored spaces on the globe, expectations were rising regarding further steps towards the unknown zones of the universe — both upper and lower. The authors who wrote about traveling to the underworld and outer space employed the terms, metaphors, and plots that reflected the experience of colonialism. The author examines a change in the perception of The Other, caused by the above-mentioned social transformation. He tries to show how it was expressed in the literature on the collisions between the earthlings and the aliens. With regard to early Soviet science-fiction, the author considers three representative cases, each of which describe journeys to distinct cosmic zones: the novels by Alexander Belyaev (Space), Grigory Adamov (Underworld), and Vladimir Obruchev (Earth and its inhabited flip-side). The author then proceeds by comparing them with the classical works of Jules Verne and Herbert Wells. In this regard, there is a distinct difference between the structure of the typical Western and Soviet microcosm of accounts. The paper points out a number of technocratic anticipations to be found in novels by pioneering Soviet science fiction writers.
Keywords:  Soviet science fiction; colonization; The Other; technocracy;anti-modernism

Ivanov Konstantin

Chief Research Fellow, ikv@ihst.ru.
S. I. Vavilov Institute for the History of Science and Technology, Russian Academy of Sciences (IHST RAS), 14 Baltiyskaya St., 125315 Moscow, Russia.

Publications

Astronomers and Surveyors in the Struggle for Central Asia. Notes on the Epistemology of Colonization / Logos. 2020. № 2 (135). P. 15-40
annotation:  Central Asia was mainly desert land that contained just a few small, densely populated oases when it was forcibly occupied by Imperial Russia between 1865 and 1885. What reason was there to gain control of it? It did not serve any military purpose because the Russian Empire was already well protected on its southern frontier by Central Asia’s notorious deserts and dry steppes. Nor was there much economic advantage to be gained. To present it merely as an opportunity for the thievish embezzlement of public money — and theft there was — is somewhat beside the point. The advance of Great Britain into the same region from the opposite side reflected the same trend. What kind of reasoning was behind these incursions? The counterintuitive answer is that the only rational reason to move into the region was a scientific one. At that time the Central Asia was still a blank spot on European maps and it was the only region on Earth in which the great empires had not yet confronted each other. The frontier lines of both empires were bound to move in on each other, although neither empire gained much advantage from the expansion.
The article analyzes the way in which the struggle for the territory eventually turned into a symposium about the territory. The main agents in that war — and also its beneficiaries — were the British and Russian military geodesists and surveyors who used the latest astronomical methods. Systematic mapping of the desert region was important not only for the geographical knowledge it produced, but also for advancing the surveyors’ careers and improving their social status and personal prosperity. The so-called Afghan Demarcation between the Russian Empire and Great Britain in 1885 seemed to them more like an enjoyable conference for sharing topographical and geographical information than a hostile confrontation. After the outer and inner demarcations had been fixed, the result was that this region — “Created by the Lord in Anger” — was surveyed and studied not only in terms of geography, but also geologically, ethnically and historically.

Keywords:  Central Asia; colonization; the Great Game; mapping; surveying; astronomy; imperial epistemology.
Dreams about Journeys Through Space and the Underworld in Early Soviet Science-Fiction / Logos. 2018. № 2 (123). P. 159-224
annotation:  The paper attempts to explain the increased popularity of stories about imaginary journeys through space and the underworld on the threshold of the twentieth century. Although this literary tradition goes back to Cicero, Macrobius, Dante, and a number of authors from the Early Modern period, the fin-de-siècle upsurge in interest towards this genre was not accidental. The paper traces the background of that genre since ancient times and reconstructs the three-tiered structure of the anthropocentric universe that was formed inside of it. The study offers potential reasons that have enhanced the dreams about traveling to the underworld and outer space at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century. One of these reasons was the completion of an extensive colonial conquest. With fewer and fewer unmapped and unexplored spaces on the globe, expectations were rising regarding further steps towards the unknown zones of the universe — both upper and lower. The authors who wrote about traveling to the underworld and outer space employed the terms, metaphors, and plots that reflected the experience of colonialism. The author examines a change in the perception of The Other, caused by the above-mentioned social transformation. He tries to show how it was expressed in the literature on the collisions between the earthlings and the aliens. With regard to early Soviet science-fiction, the author considers three representative cases, each of which describe journeys to distinct cosmic zones: the novels by Alexander Belyaev (Space), Grigory Adamov (Underworld), and Vladimir Obruchev (Earth and its inhabited flip-side). The author then proceeds by comparing them with the classical works of Jules Verne and Herbert Wells. In this regard, there is a distinct difference between the structure of the typical Western and Soviet microcosm of accounts. The paper points out a number of technocratic anticipations to be found in novels by pioneering Soviet science fiction writers.
Keywords:  Soviet science fiction; colonization; The Other; technocracy;anti-modernism

Ivanov Konstantin

Chief Research Fellow, ikv@ihst.ru.
S. I. Vavilov Institute for the History of Science and Technology, Russian Academy of Sciences (IHST RAS), 14 Baltiyskaya St., 125315 Moscow, Russia.

Publications

Astronomers and Surveyors in the Struggle for Central Asia. Notes on the Epistemology of Colonization / Logos. 2020. № 2 (135). P. 15-40
annotation:  Central Asia was mainly desert land that contained just a few small, densely populated oases when it was forcibly occupied by Imperial Russia between 1865 and 1885. What reason was there to gain control of it? It did not serve any military purpose because the Russian Empire was already well protected on its southern frontier by Central Asia’s notorious deserts and dry steppes. Nor was there much economic advantage to be gained. To present it merely as an opportunity for the thievish embezzlement of public money — and theft there was — is somewhat beside the point. The advance of Great Britain into the same region from the opposite side reflected the same trend. What kind of reasoning was behind these incursions? The counterintuitive answer is that the only rational reason to move into the region was a scientific one. At that time the Central Asia was still a blank spot on European maps and it was the only region on Earth in which the great empires had not yet confronted each other. The frontier lines of both empires were bound to move in on each other, although neither empire gained much advantage from the expansion.
The article analyzes the way in which the struggle for the territory eventually turned into a symposium about the territory. The main agents in that war — and also its beneficiaries — were the British and Russian military geodesists and surveyors who used the latest astronomical methods. Systematic mapping of the desert region was important not only for the geographical knowledge it produced, but also for advancing the surveyors’ careers and improving their social status and personal prosperity. The so-called Afghan Demarcation between the Russian Empire and Great Britain in 1885 seemed to them more like an enjoyable conference for sharing topographical and geographical information than a hostile confrontation. After the outer and inner demarcations had been fixed, the result was that this region — “Created by the Lord in Anger” — was surveyed and studied not only in terms of geography, but also geologically, ethnically and historically.

Keywords:  Central Asia; colonization; the Great Game; mapping; surveying; astronomy; imperial epistemology.
Dreams about Journeys Through Space and the Underworld in Early Soviet Science-Fiction / Logos. 2018. № 2 (123). P. 159-224
annotation:  The paper attempts to explain the increased popularity of stories about imaginary journeys through space and the underworld on the threshold of the twentieth century. Although this literary tradition goes back to Cicero, Macrobius, Dante, and a number of authors from the Early Modern period, the fin-de-siècle upsurge in interest towards this genre was not accidental. The paper traces the background of that genre since ancient times and reconstructs the three-tiered structure of the anthropocentric universe that was formed inside of it. The study offers potential reasons that have enhanced the dreams about traveling to the underworld and outer space at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century. One of these reasons was the completion of an extensive colonial conquest. With fewer and fewer unmapped and unexplored spaces on the globe, expectations were rising regarding further steps towards the unknown zones of the universe — both upper and lower. The authors who wrote about traveling to the underworld and outer space employed the terms, metaphors, and plots that reflected the experience of colonialism. The author examines a change in the perception of The Other, caused by the above-mentioned social transformation. He tries to show how it was expressed in the literature on the collisions between the earthlings and the aliens. With regard to early Soviet science-fiction, the author considers three representative cases, each of which describe journeys to distinct cosmic zones: the novels by Alexander Belyaev (Space), Grigory Adamov (Underworld), and Vladimir Obruchev (Earth and its inhabited flip-side). The author then proceeds by comparing them with the classical works of Jules Verne and Herbert Wells. In this regard, there is a distinct difference between the structure of the typical Western and Soviet microcosm of accounts. The paper points out a number of technocratic anticipations to be found in novels by pioneering Soviet science fiction writers.
Keywords:  Soviet science fiction; colonization; The Other; technocracy;anti-modernism

Ivanov Konstantin

Chief Research Fellow, ikv@ihst.ru.
S. I. Vavilov Institute for the History of Science and Technology, Russian Academy of Sciences (IHST RAS), 14 Baltiyskaya St., 125315 Moscow, Russia.

Publications

Astronomers and Surveyors in the Struggle for Central Asia. Notes on the Epistemology of Colonization / Logos. 2020. № 2 (135). P. 15-40
annotation:  Central Asia was mainly desert land that contained just a few small, densely populated oases when it was forcibly occupied by Imperial Russia between 1865 and 1885. What reason was there to gain control of it? It did not serve any military purpose because the Russian Empire was already well protected on its southern frontier by Central Asia’s notorious deserts and dry steppes. Nor was there much economic advantage to be gained. To present it merely as an opportunity for the thievish embezzlement of public money — and theft there was — is somewhat beside the point. The advance of Great Britain into the same region from the opposite side reflected the same trend. What kind of reasoning was behind these incursions? The counterintuitive answer is that the only rational reason to move into the region was a scientific one. At that time the Central Asia was still a blank spot on European maps and it was the only region on Earth in which the great empires had not yet confronted each other. The frontier lines of both empires were bound to move in on each other, although neither empire gained much advantage from the expansion.
The article analyzes the way in which the struggle for the territory eventually turned into a symposium about the territory. The main agents in that war — and also its beneficiaries — were the British and Russian military geodesists and surveyors who used the latest astronomical methods. Systematic mapping of the desert region was important not only for the geographical knowledge it produced, but also for advancing the surveyors’ careers and improving their social status and personal prosperity. The so-called Afghan Demarcation between the Russian Empire and Great Britain in 1885 seemed to them more like an enjoyable conference for sharing topographical and geographical information than a hostile confrontation. After the outer and inner demarcations had been fixed, the result was that this region — “Created by the Lord in Anger” — was surveyed and studied not only in terms of geography, but also geologically, ethnically and historically.

Keywords:  Central Asia; colonization; the Great Game; mapping; surveying; astronomy; imperial epistemology.
Dreams about Journeys Through Space and the Underworld in Early Soviet Science-Fiction / Logos. 2018. № 2 (123). P. 159-224
annotation:  The paper attempts to explain the increased popularity of stories about imaginary journeys through space and the underworld on the threshold of the twentieth century. Although this literary tradition goes back to Cicero, Macrobius, Dante, and a number of authors from the Early Modern period, the fin-de-siècle upsurge in interest towards this genre was not accidental. The paper traces the background of that genre since ancient times and reconstructs the three-tiered structure of the anthropocentric universe that was formed inside of it. The study offers potential reasons that have enhanced the dreams about traveling to the underworld and outer space at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century. One of these reasons was the completion of an extensive colonial conquest. With fewer and fewer unmapped and unexplored spaces on the globe, expectations were rising regarding further steps towards the unknown zones of the universe — both upper and lower. The authors who wrote about traveling to the underworld and outer space employed the terms, metaphors, and plots that reflected the experience of colonialism. The author examines a change in the perception of The Other, caused by the above-mentioned social transformation. He tries to show how it was expressed in the literature on the collisions between the earthlings and the aliens. With regard to early Soviet science-fiction, the author considers three representative cases, each of which describe journeys to distinct cosmic zones: the novels by Alexander Belyaev (Space), Grigory Adamov (Underworld), and Vladimir Obruchev (Earth and its inhabited flip-side). The author then proceeds by comparing them with the classical works of Jules Verne and Herbert Wells. In this regard, there is a distinct difference between the structure of the typical Western and Soviet microcosm of accounts. The paper points out a number of technocratic anticipations to be found in novels by pioneering Soviet science fiction writers.
Keywords:  Soviet science fiction; colonization; The Other; technocracy;anti-modernism

Ivanov Konstantin

Chief Research Fellow, ikv@ihst.ru.
S. I. Vavilov Institute for the History of Science and Technology, Russian Academy of Sciences (IHST RAS), 14 Baltiyskaya St., 125315 Moscow, Russia.

Publications

Astronomers and Surveyors in the Struggle for Central Asia. Notes on the Epistemology of Colonization / Logos. 2020. № 2 (135). P. 15-40
annotation:  Central Asia was mainly desert land that contained just a few small, densely populated oases when it was forcibly occupied by Imperial Russia between 1865 and 1885. What reason was there to gain control of it? It did not serve any military purpose because the Russian Empire was already well protected on its southern frontier by Central Asia’s notorious deserts and dry steppes. Nor was there much economic advantage to be gained. To present it merely as an opportunity for the thievish embezzlement of public money — and theft there was — is somewhat beside the point. The advance of Great Britain into the same region from the opposite side reflected the same trend. What kind of reasoning was behind these incursions? The counterintuitive answer is that the only rational reason to move into the region was a scientific one. At that time the Central Asia was still a blank spot on European maps and it was the only region on Earth in which the great empires had not yet confronted each other. The frontier lines of both empires were bound to move in on each other, although neither empire gained much advantage from the expansion.
The article analyzes the way in which the struggle for the territory eventually turned into a symposium about the territory. The main agents in that war — and also its beneficiaries — were the British and Russian military geodesists and surveyors who used the latest astronomical methods. Systematic mapping of the desert region was important not only for the geographical knowledge it produced, but also for advancing the surveyors’ careers and improving their social status and personal prosperity. The so-called Afghan Demarcation between the Russian Empire and Great Britain in 1885 seemed to them more like an enjoyable conference for sharing topographical and geographical information than a hostile confrontation. After the outer and inner demarcations had been fixed, the result was that this region — “Created by the Lord in Anger” — was surveyed and studied not only in terms of geography, but also geologically, ethnically and historically.

Keywords:  Central Asia; colonization; the Great Game; mapping; surveying; astronomy; imperial epistemology.
Dreams about Journeys Through Space and the Underworld in Early Soviet Science-Fiction / Logos. 2018. № 2 (123). P. 159-224
annotation:  The paper attempts to explain the increased popularity of stories about imaginary journeys through space and the underworld on the threshold of the twentieth century. Although this literary tradition goes back to Cicero, Macrobius, Dante, and a number of authors from the Early Modern period, the fin-de-siècle upsurge in interest towards this genre was not accidental. The paper traces the background of that genre since ancient times and reconstructs the three-tiered structure of the anthropocentric universe that was formed inside of it. The study offers potential reasons that have enhanced the dreams about traveling to the underworld and outer space at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century. One of these reasons was the completion of an extensive colonial conquest. With fewer and fewer unmapped and unexplored spaces on the globe, expectations were rising regarding further steps towards the unknown zones of the universe — both upper and lower. The authors who wrote about traveling to the underworld and outer space employed the terms, metaphors, and plots that reflected the experience of colonialism. The author examines a change in the perception of The Other, caused by the above-mentioned social transformation. He tries to show how it was expressed in the literature on the collisions between the earthlings and the aliens. With regard to early Soviet science-fiction, the author considers three representative cases, each of which describe journeys to distinct cosmic zones: the novels by Alexander Belyaev (Space), Grigory Adamov (Underworld), and Vladimir Obruchev (Earth and its inhabited flip-side). The author then proceeds by comparing them with the classical works of Jules Verne and Herbert Wells. In this regard, there is a distinct difference between the structure of the typical Western and Soviet microcosm of accounts. The paper points out a number of technocratic anticipations to be found in novels by pioneering Soviet science fiction writers.
Keywords:  Soviet science fiction; colonization; The Other; technocracy;anti-modernism

Ivanov Konstantin

Chief Research Fellow, ikv@ihst.ru.
S. I. Vavilov Institute for the History of Science and Technology, Russian Academy of Sciences (IHST RAS), 14 Baltiyskaya St., 125315 Moscow, Russia.

Publications

Astronomers and Surveyors in the Struggle for Central Asia. Notes on the Epistemology of Colonization / Logos. 2020. № 2 (135). P. 15-40
annotation:  Central Asia was mainly desert land that contained just a few small, densely populated oases when it was forcibly occupied by Imperial Russia between 1865 and 1885. What reason was there to gain control of it? It did not serve any military purpose because the Russian Empire was already well protected on its southern frontier by Central Asia’s notorious deserts and dry steppes. Nor was there much economic advantage to be gained. To present it merely as an opportunity for the thievish embezzlement of public money — and theft there was — is somewhat beside the point. The advance of Great Britain into the same region from the opposite side reflected the same trend. What kind of reasoning was behind these incursions? The counterintuitive answer is that the only rational reason to move into the region was a scientific one. At that time the Central Asia was still a blank spot on European maps and it was the only region on Earth in which the great empires had not yet confronted each other. The frontier lines of both empires were bound to move in on each other, although neither empire gained much advantage from the expansion.
The article analyzes the way in which the struggle for the territory eventually turned into a symposium about the territory. The main agents in that war — and also its beneficiaries — were the British and Russian military geodesists and surveyors who used the latest astronomical methods. Systematic mapping of the desert region was important not only for the geographical knowledge it produced, but also for advancing the surveyors’ careers and improving their social status and personal prosperity. The so-called Afghan Demarcation between the Russian Empire and Great Britain in 1885 seemed to them more like an enjoyable conference for sharing topographical and geographical information than a hostile confrontation. After the outer and inner demarcations had been fixed, the result was that this region — “Created by the Lord in Anger” — was surveyed and studied not only in terms of geography, but also geologically, ethnically and historically.

Keywords:  Central Asia; colonization; the Great Game; mapping; surveying; astronomy; imperial epistemology.
Dreams about Journeys Through Space and the Underworld in Early Soviet Science-Fiction / Logos. 2018. № 2 (123). P. 159-224
annotation:  The paper attempts to explain the increased popularity of stories about imaginary journeys through space and the underworld on the threshold of the twentieth century. Although this literary tradition goes back to Cicero, Macrobius, Dante, and a number of authors from the Early Modern period, the fin-de-siècle upsurge in interest towards this genre was not accidental. The paper traces the background of that genre since ancient times and reconstructs the three-tiered structure of the anthropocentric universe that was formed inside of it. The study offers potential reasons that have enhanced the dreams about traveling to the underworld and outer space at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century. One of these reasons was the completion of an extensive colonial conquest. With fewer and fewer unmapped and unexplored spaces on the globe, expectations were rising regarding further steps towards the unknown zones of the universe — both upper and lower. The authors who wrote about traveling to the underworld and outer space employed the terms, metaphors, and plots that reflected the experience of colonialism. The author examines a change in the perception of The Other, caused by the above-mentioned social transformation. He tries to show how it was expressed in the literature on the collisions between the earthlings and the aliens. With regard to early Soviet science-fiction, the author considers three representative cases, each of which describe journeys to distinct cosmic zones: the novels by Alexander Belyaev (Space), Grigory Adamov (Underworld), and Vladimir Obruchev (Earth and its inhabited flip-side). The author then proceeds by comparing them with the classical works of Jules Verne and Herbert Wells. In this regard, there is a distinct difference between the structure of the typical Western and Soviet microcosm of accounts. The paper points out a number of technocratic anticipations to be found in novels by pioneering Soviet science fiction writers.
Keywords:  Soviet science fiction; colonization; The Other; technocracy;anti-modernism

Ivanov Konstantin

Chief Research Fellow, ikv@ihst.ru.
S. I. Vavilov Institute for the History of Science and Technology, Russian Academy of Sciences (IHST RAS), 14 Baltiyskaya St., 125315 Moscow, Russia.

Publications

Astronomers and Surveyors in the Struggle for Central Asia. Notes on the Epistemology of Colonization / Logos. 2020. № 2 (135). P. 15-40
annotation:  Central Asia was mainly desert land that contained just a few small, densely populated oases when it was forcibly occupied by Imperial Russia between 1865 and 1885. What reason was there to gain control of it? It did not serve any military purpose because the Russian Empire was already well protected on its southern frontier by Central Asia’s notorious deserts and dry steppes. Nor was there much economic advantage to be gained. To present it merely as an opportunity for the thievish embezzlement of public money — and theft there was — is somewhat beside the point. The advance of Great Britain into the same region from the opposite side reflected the same trend. What kind of reasoning was behind these incursions? The counterintuitive answer is that the only rational reason to move into the region was a scientific one. At that time the Central Asia was still a blank spot on European maps and it was the only region on Earth in which the great empires had not yet confronted each other. The frontier lines of both empires were bound to move in on each other, although neither empire gained much advantage from the expansion.
The article analyzes the way in which the struggle for the territory eventually turned into a symposium about the territory. The main agents in that war — and also its beneficiaries — were the British and Russian military geodesists and surveyors who used the latest astronomical methods. Systematic mapping of the desert region was important not only for the geographical knowledge it produced, but also for advancing the surveyors’ careers and improving their social status and personal prosperity. The so-called Afghan Demarcation between the Russian Empire and Great Britain in 1885 seemed to them more like an enjoyable conference for sharing topographical and geographical information than a hostile confrontation. After the outer and inner demarcations had been fixed, the result was that this region — “Created by the Lord in Anger” — was surveyed and studied not only in terms of geography, but also geologically, ethnically and historically.

Keywords:  Central Asia; colonization; the Great Game; mapping; surveying; astronomy; imperial epistemology.
Dreams about Journeys Through Space and the Underworld in Early Soviet Science-Fiction / Logos. 2018. № 2 (123). P. 159-224
annotation:  The paper attempts to explain the increased popularity of stories about imaginary journeys through space and the underworld on the threshold of the twentieth century. Although this literary tradition goes back to Cicero, Macrobius, Dante, and a number of authors from the Early Modern period, the fin-de-siècle upsurge in interest towards this genre was not accidental. The paper traces the background of that genre since ancient times and reconstructs the three-tiered structure of the anthropocentric universe that was formed inside of it. The study offers potential reasons that have enhanced the dreams about traveling to the underworld and outer space at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century. One of these reasons was the completion of an extensive colonial conquest. With fewer and fewer unmapped and unexplored spaces on the globe, expectations were rising regarding further steps towards the unknown zones of the universe — both upper and lower. The authors who wrote about traveling to the underworld and outer space employed the terms, metaphors, and plots that reflected the experience of colonialism. The author examines a change in the perception of The Other, caused by the above-mentioned social transformation. He tries to show how it was expressed in the literature on the collisions between the earthlings and the aliens. With regard to early Soviet science-fiction, the author considers three representative cases, each of which describe journeys to distinct cosmic zones: the novels by Alexander Belyaev (Space), Grigory Adamov (Underworld), and Vladimir Obruchev (Earth and its inhabited flip-side). The author then proceeds by comparing them with the classical works of Jules Verne and Herbert Wells. In this regard, there is a distinct difference between the structure of the typical Western and Soviet microcosm of accounts. The paper points out a number of technocratic anticipations to be found in novels by pioneering Soviet science fiction writers.
Keywords:  Soviet science fiction; colonization; The Other; technocracy;anti-modernism

Ivanov Konstantin

Chief Research Fellow, ikv@ihst.ru.
S. I. Vavilov Institute for the History of Science and Technology, Russian Academy of Sciences (IHST RAS), 14 Baltiyskaya St., 125315 Moscow, Russia.

Publications

Astronomers and Surveyors in the Struggle for Central Asia. Notes on the Epistemology of Colonization / Logos. 2020. № 2 (135). P. 15-40
annotation:  Central Asia was mainly desert land that contained just a few small, densely populated oases when it was forcibly occupied by Imperial Russia between 1865 and 1885. What reason was there to gain control of it? It did not serve any military purpose because the Russian Empire was already well protected on its southern frontier by Central Asia’s notorious deserts and dry steppes. Nor was there much economic advantage to be gained. To present it merely as an opportunity for the thievish embezzlement of public money — and theft there was — is somewhat beside the point. The advance of Great Britain into the same region from the opposite side reflected the same trend. What kind of reasoning was behind these incursions? The counterintuitive answer is that the only rational reason to move into the region was a scientific one. At that time the Central Asia was still a blank spot on European maps and it was the only region on Earth in which the great empires had not yet confronted each other. The frontier lines of both empires were bound to move in on each other, although neither empire gained much advantage from the expansion.
The article analyzes the way in which the struggle for the territory eventually turned into a symposium about the territory. The main agents in that war — and also its beneficiaries — were the British and Russian military geodesists and surveyors who used the latest astronomical methods. Systematic mapping of the desert region was important not only for the geographical knowledge it produced, but also for advancing the surveyors’ careers and improving their social status and personal prosperity. The so-called Afghan Demarcation between the Russian Empire and Great Britain in 1885 seemed to them more like an enjoyable conference for sharing topographical and geographical information than a hostile confrontation. After the outer and inner demarcations had been fixed, the result was that this region — “Created by the Lord in Anger” — was surveyed and studied not only in terms of geography, but also geologically, ethnically and historically.

Keywords:  Central Asia; colonization; the Great Game; mapping; surveying; astronomy; imperial epistemology.
Dreams about Journeys Through Space and the Underworld in Early Soviet Science-Fiction / Logos. 2018. № 2 (123). P. 159-224
annotation:  The paper attempts to explain the increased popularity of stories about imaginary journeys through space and the underworld on the threshold of the twentieth century. Although this literary tradition goes back to Cicero, Macrobius, Dante, and a number of authors from the Early Modern period, the fin-de-siècle upsurge in interest towards this genre was not accidental. The paper traces the background of that genre since ancient times and reconstructs the three-tiered structure of the anthropocentric universe that was formed inside of it. The study offers potential reasons that have enhanced the dreams about traveling to the underworld and outer space at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century. One of these reasons was the completion of an extensive colonial conquest. With fewer and fewer unmapped and unexplored spaces on the globe, expectations were rising regarding further steps towards the unknown zones of the universe — both upper and lower. The authors who wrote about traveling to the underworld and outer space employed the terms, metaphors, and plots that reflected the experience of colonialism. The author examines a change in the perception of The Other, caused by the above-mentioned social transformation. He tries to show how it was expressed in the literature on the collisions between the earthlings and the aliens. With regard to early Soviet science-fiction, the author considers three representative cases, each of which describe journeys to distinct cosmic zones: the novels by Alexander Belyaev (Space), Grigory Adamov (Underworld), and Vladimir Obruchev (Earth and its inhabited flip-side). The author then proceeds by comparing them with the classical works of Jules Verne and Herbert Wells. In this regard, there is a distinct difference between the structure of the typical Western and Soviet microcosm of accounts. The paper points out a number of technocratic anticipations to be found in novels by pioneering Soviet science fiction writers.
Keywords:  Soviet science fiction; colonization; The Other; technocracy;anti-modernism

Ivanov Konstantin

Chief Research Fellow, ikv@ihst.ru.
S. I. Vavilov Institute for the History of Science and Technology, Russian Academy of Sciences (IHST RAS), 14 Baltiyskaya St., 125315 Moscow, Russia.

Publications

Astronomers and Surveyors in the Struggle for Central Asia. Notes on the Epistemology of Colonization / Logos. 2020. № 2 (135). P. 15-40
annotation:  Central Asia was mainly desert land that contained just a few small, densely populated oases when it was forcibly occupied by Imperial Russia between 1865 and 1885. What reason was there to gain control of it? It did not serve any military purpose because the Russian Empire was already well protected on its southern frontier by Central Asia’s notorious deserts and dry steppes. Nor was there much economic advantage to be gained. To present it merely as an opportunity for the thievish embezzlement of public money — and theft there was — is somewhat beside the point. The advance of Great Britain into the same region from the opposite side reflected the same trend. What kind of reasoning was behind these incursions? The counterintuitive answer is that the only rational reason to move into the region was a scientific one. At that time the Central Asia was still a blank spot on European maps and it was the only region on Earth in which the great empires had not yet confronted each other. The frontier lines of both empires were bound to move in on each other, although neither empire gained much advantage from the expansion.
The article analyzes the way in which the struggle for the territory eventually turned into a symposium about the territory. The main agents in that war — and also its beneficiaries — were the British and Russian military geodesists and surveyors who used the latest astronomical methods. Systematic mapping of the desert region was important not only for the geographical knowledge it produced, but also for advancing the surveyors’ careers and improving their social status and personal prosperity. The so-called Afghan Demarcation between the Russian Empire and Great Britain in 1885 seemed to them more like an enjoyable conference for sharing topographical and geographical information than a hostile confrontation. After the outer and inner demarcations had been fixed, the result was that this region — “Created by the Lord in Anger” — was surveyed and studied not only in terms of geography, but also geologically, ethnically and historically.

Keywords:  Central Asia; colonization; the Great Game; mapping; surveying; astronomy; imperial epistemology.
Dreams about Journeys Through Space and the Underworld in Early Soviet Science-Fiction / Logos. 2018. № 2 (123). P. 159-224
annotation:  The paper attempts to explain the increased popularity of stories about imaginary journeys through space and the underworld on the threshold of the twentieth century. Although this literary tradition goes back to Cicero, Macrobius, Dante, and a number of authors from the Early Modern period, the fin-de-siècle upsurge in interest towards this genre was not accidental. The paper traces the background of that genre since ancient times and reconstructs the three-tiered structure of the anthropocentric universe that was formed inside of it. The study offers potential reasons that have enhanced the dreams about traveling to the underworld and outer space at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century. One of these reasons was the completion of an extensive colonial conquest. With fewer and fewer unmapped and unexplored spaces on the globe, expectations were rising regarding further steps towards the unknown zones of the universe — both upper and lower. The authors who wrote about traveling to the underworld and outer space employed the terms, metaphors, and plots that reflected the experience of colonialism. The author examines a change in the perception of The Other, caused by the above-mentioned social transformation. He tries to show how it was expressed in the literature on the collisions between the earthlings and the aliens. With regard to early Soviet science-fiction, the author considers three representative cases, each of which describe journeys to distinct cosmic zones: the novels by Alexander Belyaev (Space), Grigory Adamov (Underworld), and Vladimir Obruchev (Earth and its inhabited flip-side). The author then proceeds by comparing them with the classical works of Jules Verne and Herbert Wells. In this regard, there is a distinct difference between the structure of the typical Western and Soviet microcosm of accounts. The paper points out a number of technocratic anticipations to be found in novels by pioneering Soviet science fiction writers.
Keywords:  Soviet science fiction; colonization; The Other; technocracy;anti-modernism

Ivanov Konstantin

Chief Research Fellow, ikv@ihst.ru.
S. I. Vavilov Institute for the History of Science and Technology, Russian Academy of Sciences (IHST RAS), 14 Baltiyskaya St., 125315 Moscow, Russia.

Publications

Astronomers and Surveyors in the Struggle for Central Asia. Notes on the Epistemology of Colonization / Logos. 2020. № 2 (135). P. 15-40
annotation:  Central Asia was mainly desert land that contained just a few small, densely populated oases when it was forcibly occupied by Imperial Russia between 1865 and 1885. What reason was there to gain control of it? It did not serve any military purpose because the Russian Empire was already well protected on its southern frontier by Central Asia’s notorious deserts and dry steppes. Nor was there much economic advantage to be gained. To present it merely as an opportunity for the thievish embezzlement of public money — and theft there was — is somewhat beside the point. The advance of Great Britain into the same region from the opposite side reflected the same trend. What kind of reasoning was behind these incursions? The counterintuitive answer is that the only rational reason to move into the region was a scientific one. At that time the Central Asia was still a blank spot on European maps and it was the only region on Earth in which the great empires had not yet confronted each other. The frontier lines of both empires were bound to move in on each other, although neither empire gained much advantage from the expansion.
The article analyzes the way in which the struggle for the territory eventually turned into a symposium about the territory. The main agents in that war — and also its beneficiaries — were the British and Russian military geodesists and surveyors who used the latest astronomical methods. Systematic mapping of the desert region was important not only for the geographical knowledge it produced, but also for advancing the surveyors’ careers and improving their social status and personal prosperity. The so-called Afghan Demarcation between the Russian Empire and Great Britain in 1885 seemed to them more like an enjoyable conference for sharing topographical and geographical information than a hostile confrontation. After the outer and inner demarcations had been fixed, the result was that this region — “Created by the Lord in Anger” — was surveyed and studied not only in terms of geography, but also geologically, ethnically and historically.

Keywords:  Central Asia; colonization; the Great Game; mapping; surveying; astronomy; imperial epistemology.
Dreams about Journeys Through Space and the Underworld in Early Soviet Science-Fiction / Logos. 2018. № 2 (123). P. 159-224
annotation:  The paper attempts to explain the increased popularity of stories about imaginary journeys through space and the underworld on the threshold of the twentieth century. Although this literary tradition goes back to Cicero, Macrobius, Dante, and a number of authors from the Early Modern period, the fin-de-siècle upsurge in interest towards this genre was not accidental. The paper traces the background of that genre since ancient times and reconstructs the three-tiered structure of the anthropocentric universe that was formed inside of it. The study offers potential reasons that have enhanced the dreams about traveling to the underworld and outer space at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century. One of these reasons was the completion of an extensive colonial conquest. With fewer and fewer unmapped and unexplored spaces on the globe, expectations were rising regarding further steps towards the unknown zones of the universe — both upper and lower. The authors who wrote about traveling to the underworld and outer space employed the terms, metaphors, and plots that reflected the experience of colonialism. The author examines a change in the perception of The Other, caused by the above-mentioned social transformation. He tries to show how it was expressed in the literature on the collisions between the earthlings and the aliens. With regard to early Soviet science-fiction, the author considers three representative cases, each of which describe journeys to distinct cosmic zones: the novels by Alexander Belyaev (Space), Grigory Adamov (Underworld), and Vladimir Obruchev (Earth and its inhabited flip-side). The author then proceeds by comparing them with the classical works of Jules Verne and Herbert Wells. In this regard, there is a distinct difference between the structure of the typical Western and Soviet microcosm of accounts. The paper points out a number of technocratic anticipations to be found in novels by pioneering Soviet science fiction writers.
Keywords:  Soviet science fiction; colonization; The Other; technocracy;anti-modernism

Ivanov Konstantin

Chief Research Fellow, ikv@ihst.ru.
S. I. Vavilov Institute for the History of Science and Technology, Russian Academy of Sciences (IHST RAS), 14 Baltiyskaya St., 125315 Moscow, Russia.

Publications

Astronomers and Surveyors in the Struggle for Central Asia. Notes on the Epistemology of Colonization / Logos. 2020. № 2 (135). P. 15-40
annotation:  Central Asia was mainly desert land that contained just a few small, densely populated oases when it was forcibly occupied by Imperial Russia between 1865 and 1885. What reason was there to gain control of it? It did not serve any military purpose because the Russian Empire was already well protected on its southern frontier by Central Asia’s notorious deserts and dry steppes. Nor was there much economic advantage to be gained. To present it merely as an opportunity for the thievish embezzlement of public money — and theft there was — is somewhat beside the point. The advance of Great Britain into the same region from the opposite side reflected the same trend. What kind of reasoning was behind these incursions? The counterintuitive answer is that the only rational reason to move into the region was a scientific one. At that time the Central Asia was still a blank spot on European maps and it was the only region on Earth in which the great empires had not yet confronted each other. The frontier lines of both empires were bound to move in on each other, although neither empire gained much advantage from the expansion.
The article analyzes the way in which the struggle for the territory eventually turned into a symposium about the territory. The main agents in that war — and also its beneficiaries — were the British and Russian military geodesists and surveyors who used the latest astronomical methods. Systematic mapping of the desert region was important not only for the geographical knowledge it produced, but also for advancing the surveyors’ careers and improving their social status and personal prosperity. The so-called Afghan Demarcation between the Russian Empire and Great Britain in 1885 seemed to them more like an enjoyable conference for sharing topographical and geographical information than a hostile confrontation. After the outer and inner demarcations had been fixed, the result was that this region — “Created by the Lord in Anger” — was surveyed and studied not only in terms of geography, but also geologically, ethnically and historically.

Keywords:  Central Asia; colonization; the Great Game; mapping; surveying; astronomy; imperial epistemology.
Dreams about Journeys Through Space and the Underworld in Early Soviet Science-Fiction / Logos. 2018. № 2 (123). P. 159-224
annotation:  The paper attempts to explain the increased popularity of stories about imaginary journeys through space and the underworld on the threshold of the twentieth century. Although this literary tradition goes back to Cicero, Macrobius, Dante, and a number of authors from the Early Modern period, the fin-de-siècle upsurge in interest towards this genre was not accidental. The paper traces the background of that genre since ancient times and reconstructs the three-tiered structure of the anthropocentric universe that was formed inside of it. The study offers potential reasons that have enhanced the dreams about traveling to the underworld and outer space at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century. One of these reasons was the completion of an extensive colonial conquest. With fewer and fewer unmapped and unexplored spaces on the globe, expectations were rising regarding further steps towards the unknown zones of the universe — both upper and lower. The authors who wrote about traveling to the underworld and outer space employed the terms, metaphors, and plots that reflected the experience of colonialism. The author examines a change in the perception of The Other, caused by the above-mentioned social transformation. He tries to show how it was expressed in the literature on the collisions between the earthlings and the aliens. With regard to early Soviet science-fiction, the author considers three representative cases, each of which describe journeys to distinct cosmic zones: the novels by Alexander Belyaev (Space), Grigory Adamov (Underworld), and Vladimir Obruchev (Earth and its inhabited flip-side). The author then proceeds by comparing them with the classical works of Jules Verne and Herbert Wells. In this regard, there is a distinct difference between the structure of the typical Western and Soviet microcosm of accounts. The paper points out a number of technocratic anticipations to be found in novels by pioneering Soviet science fiction writers.
Keywords:  Soviet science fiction; colonization; The Other; technocracy;anti-modernism

Ivanov Konstantin

Chief Research Fellow, ikv@ihst.ru.
S. I. Vavilov Institute for the History of Science and Technology, Russian Academy of Sciences (IHST RAS), 14 Baltiyskaya St., 125315 Moscow, Russia.

Publications

Astronomers and Surveyors in the Struggle for Central Asia. Notes on the Epistemology of Colonization / Logos. 2020. № 2 (135). P. 15-40
annotation:  Central Asia was mainly desert land that contained just a few small, densely populated oases when it was forcibly occupied by Imperial Russia between 1865 and 1885. What reason was there to gain control of it? It did not serve any military purpose because the Russian Empire was already well protected on its southern frontier by Central Asia’s notorious deserts and dry steppes. Nor was there much economic advantage to be gained. To present it merely as an opportunity for the thievish embezzlement of public money — and theft there was — is somewhat beside the point. The advance of Great Britain into the same region from the opposite side reflected the same trend. What kind of reasoning was behind these incursions? The counterintuitive answer is that the only rational reason to move into the region was a scientific one. At that time the Central Asia was still a blank spot on European maps and it was the only region on Earth in which the great empires had not yet confronted each other. The frontier lines of both empires were bound to move in on each other, although neither empire gained much advantage from the expansion.
The article analyzes the way in which the struggle for the territory eventually turned into a symposium about the territory. The main agents in that war — and also its beneficiaries — were the British and Russian military geodesists and surveyors who used the latest astronomical methods. Systematic mapping of the desert region was important not only for the geographical knowledge it produced, but also for advancing the surveyors’ careers and improving their social status and personal prosperity. The so-called Afghan Demarcation between the Russian Empire and Great Britain in 1885 seemed to them more like an enjoyable conference for sharing topographical and geographical information than a hostile confrontation. After the outer and inner demarcations had been fixed, the result was that this region — “Created by the Lord in Anger” — was surveyed and studied not only in terms of geography, but also geologically, ethnically and historically.

Keywords:  Central Asia; colonization; the Great Game; mapping; surveying; astronomy; imperial epistemology.
Dreams about Journeys Through Space and the Underworld in Early Soviet Science-Fiction / Logos. 2018. № 2 (123). P. 159-224
annotation:  The paper attempts to explain the increased popularity of stories about imaginary journeys through space and the underworld on the threshold of the twentieth century. Although this literary tradition goes back to Cicero, Macrobius, Dante, and a number of authors from the Early Modern period, the fin-de-siècle upsurge in interest towards this genre was not accidental. The paper traces the background of that genre since ancient times and reconstructs the three-tiered structure of the anthropocentric universe that was formed inside of it. The study offers potential reasons that have enhanced the dreams about traveling to the underworld and outer space at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century. One of these reasons was the completion of an extensive colonial conquest. With fewer and fewer unmapped and unexplored spaces on the globe, expectations were rising regarding further steps towards the unknown zones of the universe — both upper and lower. The authors who wrote about traveling to the underworld and outer space employed the terms, metaphors, and plots that reflected the experience of colonialism. The author examines a change in the perception of The Other, caused by the above-mentioned social transformation. He tries to show how it was expressed in the literature on the collisions between the earthlings and the aliens. With regard to early Soviet science-fiction, the author considers three representative cases, each of which describe journeys to distinct cosmic zones: the novels by Alexander Belyaev (Space), Grigory Adamov (Underworld), and Vladimir Obruchev (Earth and its inhabited flip-side). The author then proceeds by comparing them with the classical works of Jules Verne and Herbert Wells. In this regard, there is a distinct difference between the structure of the typical Western and Soviet microcosm of accounts. The paper points out a number of technocratic anticipations to be found in novels by pioneering Soviet science fiction writers.
Keywords:  Soviet science fiction; colonization; The Other; technocracy;anti-modernism

Ivanov Konstantin

Chief Research Fellow, ikv@ihst.ru.
S. I. Vavilov Institute for the History of Science and Technology, Russian Academy of Sciences (IHST RAS), 14 Baltiyskaya St., 125315 Moscow, Russia.

Publications

Astronomers and Surveyors in the Struggle for Central Asia. Notes on the Epistemology of Colonization / Logos. 2020. № 2 (135). P. 15-40
annotation:  Central Asia was mainly desert land that contained just a few small, densely populated oases when it was forcibly occupied by Imperial Russia between 1865 and 1885. What reason was there to gain control of it? It did not serve any military purpose because the Russian Empire was already well protected on its southern frontier by Central Asia’s notorious deserts and dry steppes. Nor was there much economic advantage to be gained. To present it merely as an opportunity for the thievish embezzlement of public money — and theft there was — is somewhat beside the point. The advance of Great Britain into the same region from the opposite side reflected the same trend. What kind of reasoning was behind these incursions? The counterintuitive answer is that the only rational reason to move into the region was a scientific one. At that time the Central Asia was still a blank spot on European maps and it was the only region on Earth in which the great empires had not yet confronted each other. The frontier lines of both empires were bound to move in on each other, although neither empire gained much advantage from the expansion.
The article analyzes the way in which the struggle for the territory eventually turned into a symposium about the territory. The main agents in that war — and also its beneficiaries — were the British and Russian military geodesists and surveyors who used the latest astronomical methods. Systematic mapping of the desert region was important not only for the geographical knowledge it produced, but also for advancing the surveyors’ careers and improving their social status and personal prosperity. The so-called Afghan Demarcation between the Russian Empire and Great Britain in 1885 seemed to them more like an enjoyable conference for sharing topographical and geographical information than a hostile confrontation. After the outer and inner demarcations had been fixed, the result was that this region — “Created by the Lord in Anger” — was surveyed and studied not only in terms of geography, but also geologically, ethnically and historically.

Keywords:  Central Asia; colonization; the Great Game; mapping; surveying; astronomy; imperial epistemology.
Dreams about Journeys Through Space and the Underworld in Early Soviet Science-Fiction / Logos. 2018. № 2 (123). P. 159-224
annotation:  The paper attempts to explain the increased popularity of stories about imaginary journeys through space and the underworld on the threshold of the twentieth century. Although this literary tradition goes back to Cicero, Macrobius, Dante, and a number of authors from the Early Modern period, the fin-de-siècle upsurge in interest towards this genre was not accidental. The paper traces the background of that genre since ancient times and reconstructs the three-tiered structure of the anthropocentric universe that was formed inside of it. The study offers potential reasons that have enhanced the dreams about traveling to the underworld and outer space at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century. One of these reasons was the completion of an extensive colonial conquest. With fewer and fewer unmapped and unexplored spaces on the globe, expectations were rising regarding further steps towards the unknown zones of the universe — both upper and lower. The authors who wrote about traveling to the underworld and outer space employed the terms, metaphors, and plots that reflected the experience of colonialism. The author examines a change in the perception of The Other, caused by the above-mentioned social transformation. He tries to show how it was expressed in the literature on the collisions between the earthlings and the aliens. With regard to early Soviet science-fiction, the author considers three representative cases, each of which describe journeys to distinct cosmic zones: the novels by Alexander Belyaev (Space), Grigory Adamov (Underworld), and Vladimir Obruchev (Earth and its inhabited flip-side). The author then proceeds by comparing them with the classical works of Jules Verne and Herbert Wells. In this regard, there is a distinct difference between the structure of the typical Western and Soviet microcosm of accounts. The paper points out a number of technocratic anticipations to be found in novels by pioneering Soviet science fiction writers.
Keywords:  Soviet science fiction; colonization; The Other; technocracy;anti-modernism

Ivanov Konstantin

Chief Research Fellow, ikv@ihst.ru.
S. I. Vavilov Institute for the History of Science and Technology, Russian Academy of Sciences (IHST RAS), 14 Baltiyskaya St., 125315 Moscow, Russia.

Publications

Astronomers and Surveyors in the Struggle for Central Asia. Notes on the Epistemology of Colonization / Logos. 2020. № 2 (135). P. 15-40
annotation:  Central Asia was mainly desert land that contained just a few small, densely populated oases when it was forcibly occupied by Imperial Russia between 1865 and 1885. What reason was there to gain control of it? It did not serve any military purpose because the Russian Empire was already well protected on its southern frontier by Central Asia’s notorious deserts and dry steppes. Nor was there much economic advantage to be gained. To present it merely as an opportunity for the thievish embezzlement of public money — and theft there was — is somewhat beside the point. The advance of Great Britain into the same region from the opposite side reflected the same trend. What kind of reasoning was behind these incursions? The counterintuitive answer is that the only rational reason to move into the region was a scientific one. At that time the Central Asia was still a blank spot on European maps and it was the only region on Earth in which the great empires had not yet confronted each other. The frontier lines of both empires were bound to move in on each other, although neither empire gained much advantage from the expansion.
The article analyzes the way in which the struggle for the territory eventually turned into a symposium about the territory. The main agents in that war — and also its beneficiaries — were the British and Russian military geodesists and surveyors who used the latest astronomical methods. Systematic mapping of the desert region was important not only for the geographical knowledge it produced, but also for advancing the surveyors’ careers and improving their social status and personal prosperity. The so-called Afghan Demarcation between the Russian Empire and Great Britain in 1885 seemed to them more like an enjoyable conference for sharing topographical and geographical information than a hostile confrontation. After the outer and inner demarcations had been fixed, the result was that this region — “Created by the Lord in Anger” — was surveyed and studied not only in terms of geography, but also geologically, ethnically and historically.

Keywords:  Central Asia; colonization; the Great Game; mapping; surveying; astronomy; imperial epistemology.
Dreams about Journeys Through Space and the Underworld in Early Soviet Science-Fiction / Logos. 2018. № 2 (123). P. 159-224
annotation:  The paper attempts to explain the increased popularity of stories about imaginary journeys through space and the underworld on the threshold of the twentieth century. Although this literary tradition goes back to Cicero, Macrobius, Dante, and a number of authors from the Early Modern period, the fin-de-siècle upsurge in interest towards this genre was not accidental. The paper traces the background of that genre since ancient times and reconstructs the three-tiered structure of the anthropocentric universe that was formed inside of it. The study offers potential reasons that have enhanced the dreams about traveling to the underworld and outer space at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century. One of these reasons was the completion of an extensive colonial conquest. With fewer and fewer unmapped and unexplored spaces on the globe, expectations were rising regarding further steps towards the unknown zones of the universe — both upper and lower. The authors who wrote about traveling to the underworld and outer space employed the terms, metaphors, and plots that reflected the experience of colonialism. The author examines a change in the perception of The Other, caused by the above-mentioned social transformation. He tries to show how it was expressed in the literature on the collisions between the earthlings and the aliens. With regard to early Soviet science-fiction, the author considers three representative cases, each of which describe journeys to distinct cosmic zones: the novels by Alexander Belyaev (Space), Grigory Adamov (Underworld), and Vladimir Obruchev (Earth and its inhabited flip-side). The author then proceeds by comparing them with the classical works of Jules Verne and Herbert Wells. In this regard, there is a distinct difference between the structure of the typical Western and Soviet microcosm of accounts. The paper points out a number of technocratic anticipations to be found in novels by pioneering Soviet science fiction writers.
Keywords:  Soviet science fiction; colonization; The Other; technocracy;anti-modernism

Ivanov Konstantin

Chief Research Fellow, ikv@ihst.ru.
S. I. Vavilov Institute for the History of Science and Technology, Russian Academy of Sciences (IHST RAS), 14 Baltiyskaya St., 125315 Moscow, Russia.

Publications

Astronomers and Surveyors in the Struggle for Central Asia. Notes on the Epistemology of Colonization / Logos. 2020. № 2 (135). P. 15-40
annotation:  Central Asia was mainly desert land that contained just a few small, densely populated oases when it was forcibly occupied by Imperial Russia between 1865 and 1885. What reason was there to gain control of it? It did not serve any military purpose because the Russian Empire was already well protected on its southern frontier by Central Asia’s notorious deserts and dry steppes. Nor was there much economic advantage to be gained. To present it merely as an opportunity for the thievish embezzlement of public money — and theft there was — is somewhat beside the point. The advance of Great Britain into the same region from the opposite side reflected the same trend. What kind of reasoning was behind these incursions? The counterintuitive answer is that the only rational reason to move into the region was a scientific one. At that time the Central Asia was still a blank spot on European maps and it was the only region on Earth in which the great empires had not yet confronted each other. The frontier lines of both empires were bound to move in on each other, although neither empire gained much advantage from the expansion.
The article analyzes the way in which the struggle for the territory eventually turned into a symposium about the territory. The main agents in that war — and also its beneficiaries — were the British and Russian military geodesists and surveyors who used the latest astronomical methods. Systematic mapping of the desert region was important not only for the geographical knowledge it produced, but also for advancing the surveyors’ careers and improving their social status and personal prosperity. The so-called Afghan Demarcation between the Russian Empire and Great Britain in 1885 seemed to them more like an enjoyable conference for sharing topographical and geographical information than a hostile confrontation. After the outer and inner demarcations had been fixed, the result was that this region — “Created by the Lord in Anger” — was surveyed and studied not only in terms of geography, but also geologically, ethnically and historically.

Keywords:  Central Asia; colonization; the Great Game; mapping; surveying; astronomy; imperial epistemology.
Dreams about Journeys Through Space and the Underworld in Early Soviet Science-Fiction / Logos. 2018. № 2 (123). P. 159-224
annotation:  The paper attempts to explain the increased popularity of stories about imaginary journeys through space and the underworld on the threshold of the twentieth century. Although this literary tradition goes back to Cicero, Macrobius, Dante, and a number of authors from the Early Modern period, the fin-de-siècle upsurge in interest towards this genre was not accidental. The paper traces the background of that genre since ancient times and reconstructs the three-tiered structure of the anthropocentric universe that was formed inside of it. The study offers potential reasons that have enhanced the dreams about traveling to the underworld and outer space at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century. One of these reasons was the completion of an extensive colonial conquest. With fewer and fewer unmapped and unexplored spaces on the globe, expectations were rising regarding further steps towards the unknown zones of the universe — both upper and lower. The authors who wrote about traveling to the underworld and outer space employed the terms, metaphors, and plots that reflected the experience of colonialism. The author examines a change in the perception of The Other, caused by the above-mentioned social transformation. He tries to show how it was expressed in the literature on the collisions between the earthlings and the aliens. With regard to early Soviet science-fiction, the author considers three representative cases, each of which describe journeys to distinct cosmic zones: the novels by Alexander Belyaev (Space), Grigory Adamov (Underworld), and Vladimir Obruchev (Earth and its inhabited flip-side). The author then proceeds by comparing them with the classical works of Jules Verne and Herbert Wells. In this regard, there is a distinct difference between the structure of the typical Western and Soviet microcosm of accounts. The paper points out a number of technocratic anticipations to be found in novels by pioneering Soviet science fiction writers.
Keywords:  Soviet science fiction; colonization; The Other; technocracy;anti-modernism

Ivanov Konstantin

Chief Research Fellow, ikv@ihst.ru.
S. I. Vavilov Institute for the History of Science and Technology, Russian Academy of Sciences (IHST RAS), 14 Baltiyskaya St., 125315 Moscow, Russia.

Publications

Astronomers and Surveyors in the Struggle for Central Asia. Notes on the Epistemology of Colonization / Logos. 2020. № 2 (135). P. 15-40
annotation:  Central Asia was mainly desert land that contained just a few small, densely populated oases when it was forcibly occupied by Imperial Russia between 1865 and 1885. What reason was there to gain control of it? It did not serve any military purpose because the Russian Empire was already well protected on its southern frontier by Central Asia’s notorious deserts and dry steppes. Nor was there much economic advantage to be gained. To present it merely as an opportunity for the thievish embezzlement of public money — and theft there was — is somewhat beside the point. The advance of Great Britain into the same region from the opposite side reflected the same trend. What kind of reasoning was behind these incursions? The counterintuitive answer is that the only rational reason to move into the region was a scientific one. At that time the Central Asia was still a blank spot on European maps and it was the only region on Earth in which the great empires had not yet confronted each other. The frontier lines of both empires were bound to move in on each other, although neither empire gained much advantage from the expansion.
The article analyzes the way in which the struggle for the territory eventually turned into a symposium about the territory. The main agents in that war — and also its beneficiaries — were the British and Russian military geodesists and surveyors who used the latest astronomical methods. Systematic mapping of the desert region was important not only for the geographical knowledge it produced, but also for advancing the surveyors’ careers and improving their social status and personal prosperity. The so-called Afghan Demarcation between the Russian Empire and Great Britain in 1885 seemed to them more like an enjoyable conference for sharing topographical and geographical information than a hostile confrontation. After the outer and inner demarcations had been fixed, the result was that this region — “Created by the Lord in Anger” — was surveyed and studied not only in terms of geography, but also geologically, ethnically and historically.

Keywords:  Central Asia; colonization; the Great Game; mapping; surveying; astronomy; imperial epistemology.
Dreams about Journeys Through Space and the Underworld in Early Soviet Science-Fiction / Logos. 2018. № 2 (123). P. 159-224
annotation:  The paper attempts to explain the increased popularity of stories about imaginary journeys through space and the underworld on the threshold of the twentieth century. Although this literary tradition goes back to Cicero, Macrobius, Dante, and a number of authors from the Early Modern period, the fin-de-siècle upsurge in interest towards this genre was not accidental. The paper traces the background of that genre since ancient times and reconstructs the three-tiered structure of the anthropocentric universe that was formed inside of it. The study offers potential reasons that have enhanced the dreams about traveling to the underworld and outer space at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century. One of these reasons was the completion of an extensive colonial conquest. With fewer and fewer unmapped and unexplored spaces on the globe, expectations were rising regarding further steps towards the unknown zones of the universe — both upper and lower. The authors who wrote about traveling to the underworld and outer space employed the terms, metaphors, and plots that reflected the experience of colonialism. The author examines a change in the perception of The Other, caused by the above-mentioned social transformation. He tries to show how it was expressed in the literature on the collisions between the earthlings and the aliens. With regard to early Soviet science-fiction, the author considers three representative cases, each of which describe journeys to distinct cosmic zones: the novels by Alexander Belyaev (Space), Grigory Adamov (Underworld), and Vladimir Obruchev (Earth and its inhabited flip-side). The author then proceeds by comparing them with the classical works of Jules Verne and Herbert Wells. In this regard, there is a distinct difference between the structure of the typical Western and Soviet microcosm of accounts. The paper points out a number of technocratic anticipations to be found in novels by pioneering Soviet science fiction writers.
Keywords:  Soviet science fiction; colonization; The Other; technocracy;anti-modernism

Ivanov Konstantin

Chief Research Fellow, ikv@ihst.ru.
S. I. Vavilov Institute for the History of Science and Technology, Russian Academy of Sciences (IHST RAS), 14 Baltiyskaya St., 125315 Moscow, Russia.

Publications

Astronomers and Surveyors in the Struggle for Central Asia. Notes on the Epistemology of Colonization / Logos. 2020. № 2 (135). P. 15-40
annotation:  Central Asia was mainly desert land that contained just a few small, densely populated oases when it was forcibly occupied by Imperial Russia between 1865 and 1885. What reason was there to gain control of it? It did not serve any military purpose because the Russian Empire was already well protected on its southern frontier by Central Asia’s notorious deserts and dry steppes. Nor was there much economic advantage to be gained. To present it merely as an opportunity for the thievish embezzlement of public money — and theft there was — is somewhat beside the point. The advance of Great Britain into the same region from the opposite side reflected the same trend. What kind of reasoning was behind these incursions? The counterintuitive answer is that the only rational reason to move into the region was a scientific one. At that time the Central Asia was still a blank spot on European maps and it was the only region on Earth in which the great empires had not yet confronted each other. The frontier lines of both empires were bound to move in on each other, although neither empire gained much advantage from the expansion.
The article analyzes the way in which the struggle for the territory eventually turned into a symposium about the territory. The main agents in that war — and also its beneficiaries — were the British and Russian military geodesists and surveyors who used the latest astronomical methods. Systematic mapping of the desert region was important not only for the geographical knowledge it produced, but also for advancing the surveyors’ careers and improving their social status and personal prosperity. The so-called Afghan Demarcation between the Russian Empire and Great Britain in 1885 seemed to them more like an enjoyable conference for sharing topographical and geographical information than a hostile confrontation. After the outer and inner demarcations had been fixed, the result was that this region — “Created by the Lord in Anger” — was surveyed and studied not only in terms of geography, but also geologically, ethnically and historically.

Keywords:  Central Asia; colonization; the Great Game; mapping; surveying; astronomy; imperial epistemology.
Dreams about Journeys Through Space and the Underworld in Early Soviet Science-Fiction / Logos. 2018. № 2 (123). P. 159-224
annotation:  The paper attempts to explain the increased popularity of stories about imaginary journeys through space and the underworld on the threshold of the twentieth century. Although this literary tradition goes back to Cicero, Macrobius, Dante, and a number of authors from the Early Modern period, the fin-de-siècle upsurge in interest towards this genre was not accidental. The paper traces the background of that genre since ancient times and reconstructs the three-tiered structure of the anthropocentric universe that was formed inside of it. The study offers potential reasons that have enhanced the dreams about traveling to the underworld and outer space at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century. One of these reasons was the completion of an extensive colonial conquest. With fewer and fewer unmapped and unexplored spaces on the globe, expectations were rising regarding further steps towards the unknown zones of the universe — both upper and lower. The authors who wrote about traveling to the underworld and outer space employed the terms, metaphors, and plots that reflected the experience of colonialism. The author examines a change in the perception of The Other, caused by the above-mentioned social transformation. He tries to show how it was expressed in the literature on the collisions between the earthlings and the aliens. With regard to early Soviet science-fiction, the author considers three representative cases, each of which describe journeys to distinct cosmic zones: the novels by Alexander Belyaev (Space), Grigory Adamov (Underworld), and Vladimir Obruchev (Earth and its inhabited flip-side). The author then proceeds by comparing them with the classical works of Jules Verne and Herbert Wells. In this regard, there is a distinct difference between the structure of the typical Western and Soviet microcosm of accounts. The paper points out a number of technocratic anticipations to be found in novels by pioneering Soviet science fiction writers.
Keywords:  Soviet science fiction; colonization; The Other; technocracy;anti-modernism
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Дизайн Юлия Михина, jmikhina@gmail.com,
программирование Антон Чубченко