The article examines the plethora of ideas regarding norms and deviations in late imperial Russia. Adapting criminal anthropology to the imperial situation, doctors and scientists examined the “natural-born criminal” as a collective category and created a comparative scale of imperial human diversity that allowed them to stigmatize entire groups. In the period between revolutions, the discourse on criminality underwent a semiotic shift from the signifier to the signified, conditioning a new image of the “internal savage,” one that was, however, hybrid and unstable. The following generation of psychiatrists was tasked with overcoming this duality, but this was only achieved in the early Soviet period, when the concept of the “natural-born criminal” was replaced by that of the “counterrevolutionary” and acquired an unambiguous, purely sociological sense.
This article shows how to form and develop research interests A. Remnev role played by books, people and projects, randomness and laws in acquiring their themes. Consistently, from student work to the latest monographs, presents the main research directions and approaches; It shows the contribution of the scientist to the development problems of imperial history. The significance of collective research projects with the participation of A. Remnev dedicated to the regional dimension of the history of the Russian Empire. It describes the main terms of professional skills A. Remnev (leadership qualities, natural sociability, a scientific outlook, possession of vast empirical material rich research tools) and innovative concepts proposed by them.