Колониальное знание в истории Британской империи
“Empire Speaks Out” is a result of the collaborative international research project whose participants aim to reconstruct the origin, development, and changing modes of self-description and representation of the heterogeneous political, social, and cultural space of the Russian Empire. The collection offers an alternative to the study of empire as an essentialized historical phenomenon, i.e. to those studies that construe empire retrospectively by projecting the categories of modern nation-centered social sciences onto the imperial past. It stresses dynamic transformations, adaptation, and reproduction of imperial patterns of sociability and governance. Chapters of the collection show how languages of rationalization derived from modern public politics, scientific discourses of applied knowledge (law, sociology, political economy, geography, ethnography, physical anthropology) and social self-organization influenced processes of transformation of the imperial space.
The article presents a section of the Introduction to the author’s Ph.D. thesis (2000), which reviews the approaches to studying representations of the Other (hence the Other, as well) that by the late 1990s formed in post-colonial theory and the ‘historical turn’ within the context of the critique of Orientalism and ‘classical’ anthropology. The aims of this publication are, on the one hand, to recall the approaches themselves (nowadays dominant, they are still not always recognized in some Russian researchers’ spontaneous practices), and, on the other, to give an example — within the context of discussions on post-Soviet scholars’ attitudes to the afore-mentioned critique — of its interpretation by a post-Soviet ‘Africanist’ (at the time, the author was one). While highlighting the critique of cultural determinism and essentialism, the conceptualization of the ‘West’ and the ‘Orient’ as social constructs, the historical understanding of ‘culture’, as well as renouncing its inner coherence and accentuating multi-level, situational and individualizing analysis (trends new at that time even for those post-Soviet scholars who pursued cultural studies opposed to the orthodox Soviet scholarship), the author also indicated a shift in the approaches under study -- from a hermeneutic ‘understanding’ of the Other to questions of identity. In looking for a way to combine the presumptions of the historical turn and the endeavors of such understanding, she suggested viewing representations of the Other as a sort of cultural boundary where the notions of ‘we’ and ‘they’ are most fully articulated, thus revealing cultural categories that underlie the process.
The article is devoted to military service of K.P. von Kaufman, famous Russian statesman of the second half of the 19th century, during the first stage of his career in 1840s–1850s. This period of his biography had not been studied in details until now. Meanwhile, just during his service in the Caucasus and participation in the Crimean War, Kaufman gained his first experience of relations with oriental peoples and states as the soldier and diplomat. That experience was very important for him later, when he had became a Governor-General of Turkestan Region (1867–1882). Valuable source of information on the “Caucasian” period of life and activity of K.P. von Kaufman are the memoirs of his contemporaries who served with him. In contrast to official documents (such as orders, service records, etc.) these notes contains details on Kaufman’s service, and much information about his talents and abilities, the personal features reflected during his “conquer and organization” of Turkestan.
The article is concerned with the notions of technology in essays of Ernst and Friedrich Georg Jünger. The special problem of the connection between technology and freedom is discussed in the broader context of the criticism of culture and technocracy discussion in the German intellectual history of the first half of the 20th century.