As the main tasks of the 18thcentury Russian medicine were the support of the army and navy, and the protection of the empire from the massive diseases, the regular research of local medical phenomena and resources is not clearly distinguished. The present paper attempts to reveal the ways of medical knowledge production and communication through the consideration of crude oil exploration by a Prussian physician in Russian service, Johann Jacob Lerche (1708–1780). Although both his extensive medical activities over different areas of the Russian empire and extensive written heritage drew only fragmentary scholars’ attention, they reflect the great experience of the physician on the research of naturaliawhile performing his professional duties. Crude oil was one of the most remarkable mineral wonders of the Pre‑Caspian region, visited by Lerche twice (1732–1735, 1745–1747). On the basis of three published accounts by Lerche, which contain information on petroleum qualities and its practical significance, the author investigates, how the Baku crude oil as a natural object was invented as a medical resource by an 18thcentury state physician in the Russian empire, through the consideration of the processes of world discovery in the Age of Enlightenment, and the indigenous practices of the oil’s use. Finally, the significance of the author’s professional position of state physician appears to have influenced the argumentation of curative qualities of petroleum, and, moreover, the advantages of its placement.
Throughout the nineteenth century, language sciences played an eminently political role in Central Europe. They helped to produce or lessen differences, to create narratives of exceptionality or togetherness, or to underscore cultural historicity. The Habsburg Monarchy, where manifold languages were in use, was linguists’ preferred field of inquiry. Often migrating throughout the Monarchy and thus dealing in various ways with Central European cultural diversity, these linguists could thereby easily become political intellectuals. While many of them did indeed openly engage in political activity, I will deliberately leave those cases aside and concentrate on linguists who continued to perceive themselves as scholars; a position Johannes Feichtinger, referring to Pierre Bourdieu, called “autonomously engaged” (Feichtinger 2010, 35–36). As I will argue, however, the factor of scholars entrapped in the culturalizing monarchy, where language, history and finally ethnicity began to shape scholarly inquiry, had a pronounced influence on the production and transformation of language knowledge and the ways in which it became intertwined with politics.
This paper focuses on the Tsoi Wall in Moscow, an iconic place on Russia’s music map that appeared in Moscow in 1990 in memory of the cult Soviet rock musician Viktor Tsoi, to develop a framework for studying non-auratic music place—that is, places that are not connected with the biographies of musicians or musical events, but emerge directly from the experiences of visitors and fans. These places are constantly negotiated and only lightly formalized, but are nevertheless enduring. To analyze this type of place, we propose a concept of institutionalization “in becoming.” The case of the Tsoi Wall reveals that light formalization (vague and changing positions and rules, and openness to different interpretations of a place and ways of using it) leads to the recognition of the place as a significant one and to its popularity. We put institutionalization “in becoming” in a wider context and juxtapose it with well-studied musical places in Europe and the US.
The immediate purpose of this paper is to offer a brief reflection on 1968 as a nodal point in the appropriations and deployments of Romanticism, not least as a diagnostic tool. The article substantiates the case for the continuous after-life of Romanticism in the various guises of post-romanticism, a process which de-emphasizes the notion of period or indeed event, and constructs instead a complex discursive formation that re-negotiates past intellectual agendas and resources by framing them within a discursive longue durée. The article concentrates on the German scene of theory and the student protests during the second half of the 1960s. It traces the mediated links between them and demonstrates how this intellectual and political constellation is traversed by – repurposed and refashioned – Romantic discursive energies that are mobilized in order to make sense of, and respond to, the new developments. The groundwork and the hypotheses advanced in this article require a careful differentiation between two understandings (and projects) of “theory”. In the Conclusion, I discuss the impact of May ’68 on these two different theory projects.
This essay is part of a special issue entitled “Looking Backward, Looking Forward: HSNS at 50,” edited by Erika Lorraine Milam.
Review. Joy Lisi Rankin, A People’s History of Computing in the United States. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2018 336 pages. Figures, maps, notes, bibliography, and index. $29.95.
The article deals with the discussion about theoretical works of B. Porshnev in 1951–1953. The aim of this study was to explain a tremendous shift from the class-based ideological approach to periodization of European history (B. Porshnev) to an economic-oriented approach (E. Kosminsky, S. Skazkin) while the paradigm of «Short Course» and marxist methodology have remained unchanged since the 1930s. Defeating Porshnev wasn’t Kosminsky’s party only piece of struggle for academic freedom. The main results of this discussion was, firstly, the reconfiguration of a convention about what is the objectivity and «scientific statement» in the medievists’ academic community, and, secondly, the final definition of a disciplinary boundaries. The author further stresses that theoretical issues, actively discussed in soviet historiography in the late 1950–1960s, was, in part, initiated by scholars themselves before the death of Stalin, and were not directly related to a political liberalization during the «Khrushchev Thaw».
The main concern of the article is the ways plague was explored and conceptualised by Russian doctors in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Medical theories and epistemologies are accessed in comparison with those employed during the pre-bacteriological era as well as with the European medical ideas of the period.
What is the relevance of the genre of review to the development of the norms of scholarly criticism? What is the extent of a review’s independence and what is the impact of reviews on emerging research trends and the redefining of subdisciplinary boundaries? Are the reviewing practices influenced by external, non-academic factors? What is the place of reviews in the structure of academic communication and how is reviewing built into educational process? Finally, how to write a review and how do iconic scholars write reviews? These and many other questions are considered in the book. The book is intended both for students of philology and Russian community of humanities scholars in general.
The paper is dedicated to the reconstruction of Alexander Piatigorsky’s observational philosophy within the context of the confrontation between two versions of the transcendental project of man-in-the-world. The first project accentuates the invariant functional organization of cognitive systems by abstracting from bodily, affective and phenomenological realization of this realization. On the contrary, the second project emphasizes the phenomenological perspective of the experience of givenness, always already dependent on who’s this experience is and how the cognitive system living this experience is organized. The first project can be called functionalist, and the second – phenomenological. Ontological and epistemological positions of these projects are specified in the problem of the observer, its status in the world and cognitive practice. The observational philosophy possesses an intermediate position between these two programs, for, aiming to disclose the invariant structure of observation, proceeds from the factual experience of the embodied subject placed into the situation of self-observation and observation of the other subject. It is shown that Piatigorsky’s philosophy borrows from the functionalist project the commitment to self-objectivation (observation of thinking is always the observation of the other thinking) and rejection from the spatiotemporal localization of cognitive activity (thinking is always ‘none’s’ and does not belong to any kind of individual). With the phenomenological project of enactivism Piatogorsky shares the aspiration to disclose the invariant cognitive structures during the empirical observation of the real enactment of cognitive agency (the organization of cognitive systems is the same while its structural realizations are multiple), abandonment of substantialization of the self (‘none’s’ thinking is considered as the emergent effect of interaction among two or several observers – the autopoietic systems), as well as the refusal from theoretical formulation of the problem of consciousness (observational philosophy develops metatheoretical prolegomena to theory of consciousness, which in turn is considered as lived and essentially practical in phenomenology).
The article considers the evolution of theoretical views of the representatives of “Santiago school” on the relationship between cognition and biological processes within the context of neocybernetic movement. In contract to the classic (first order) cybernetics, neocybernetics concentrated on observation of the living organisms’ cognitive agency instead of engineering the machines imitating the biological and/or cognitive processes. Basing on the synthesis of data achieved during the studies of the amphibians’ visual perception, in the early 1970s Humberto Maturana, along with Francisco Varela proposed the theory of autopoiesis which considered living systems as cognitive systems. According to theory of autopoiesis, cognition and life are two sides of one process of the living system’s self-production and maintenance. Due to its tensions with the genetic and evolutionary aspects of mainstream biology, this theory received almost no recognition among the biologists, but instead was widely accepted within the countercultural movement. In particular it was the community of CoEvolution Quarterly magazine which was the first to bring up the questions of ecology, systemic thinking and holistic methodology in the social field. Further evolution of “Santiago school” was related to Varela’s project of “neocybernetic dialectics” which aimed at dissolving the dualistic thinking. In it, the elements of binary oppositions (such as “mind/body”) were assessed as two sides of dynamically emerging process. It is shown that Varela’s later studies related to widening the scope of cognitive science (enactivism), methodological solution of the “hard problem of consciousness” (neurophenomenology) and reclaiming the notion of teleology in biology develop the neocybernetic project, which was initially launched by Maturana basing on his criticism of classic cybernetic epistemology.
The article examines financial and statistical aspects of the materials from the Interdepartmental Commission for the Revision of Medical Legislation (the G.E. Rejn commission). The paper contains brief analysis of structure, composition and mechanism and indicates the specifics of its materials. The author looks for the information sources underlying the statistical calculations of the commission and dwells briefly on calculations themselves. Special attention is paid to methods for calculating the financial losses resulting from diseases in the Russian Empire. The study focuses on state health statistics projects and on the financial foundations for the new healthcare system as well as on their perception by the participants of the Pirogov Society. The data obtained by the commission was used for devising plans for optimization and centralization of healthcare, according to which sanitary statistics were to be subordinate to the state. However, it meant financial assistance to local self-government bodies for sanitary needs. Although the doctors from the Pirogov Society were critical of most of the commission’s ideas, in the matter of financing they not only agreed to the main proposals of the commission but also were ready to go a little further.
Catherine ii’s foreign policy has been traditionally considered very successful. She won three wars and incorporated large territories into the Russian Empire making her country one of Europe’s great powers. But arguments for this kind of evaluation miss Catherine’s own perspective. The article argues that the empress failed to reach any of the initial goals she had put forward. Her foreign policy lacked a considered long-term strategy and from the very start was characterized by a series of mistakes. Catherine did turn Russia into a great power but with quite a different reputation from what she initially had planned.
Goldoni’s tragicomedies while being less popular and lesser-studied than his comedies nonetheless provide us with rich material for the study of the genre’s general properties. Goldoni’s tragicomedies fall into two groups: in his plays written in the 1730s, the author but revises conventional repertoire tradition of commedia dell’arte; in his plays of the 1750s, he makes an attempt to reform the genre itself. The latter group forms three peculiar trilogies: passions, sincerities, and hypocrisies. In this part of his creative work, Goldoni remains true to the study of the character as the main object of dramatic representation. However, whereas in comedies, the character is the major impediment to the achievement of the plotline goals, in tragicomedies, it plays the opposite function: leads the dramatic collision to the happy conclusion
The study analyzes the genesis of the modern attitude towards spelling and spelling mistakes in Germany and in Russia in the nineteenth century, showing that both the spelling norms and the relevance of their violation are social constructions to do with major developments of the time such as industrialization, political reaction, proliferation of literacy and mass schooling, and introduction of exams and grading as means to check the upward social mobility via education.