Article ID: CBB001211530

Winged Prometheans: Arctic Aviation as Socialist Construction in Stalinist Russia, 1928--1939 (2010)


McCannon, John (Author)

Scientia Canadensis: Journal of the History of Canadian Science, Technology, and Medicine
Volume: 33, no. 2
Issue: 2
Pages: 75-97

Publication Date: 2010
Edition Details: Part of a special issue, “The History of Circumpolar Science and Technology”
Language: English

During the 1920s and especially the 1930s, aviation became an increasingly important tool in the exploration and development of the USSR's Arctic territories. The deployment of aircraft proved a boon to scientific research, but Soviet priorities in the Arctic during these years, particularly with the advent of Stalin's five-year plans from 1928 onward, were more about building infrastructure and realizing the region's potential for resource extraction. The use of aircraft in the Soviet Arctic was affected accordingly, with economic and developmental needs privileged over scientific ones. In line with its cultivation of pilots as national heroes, the Stalinist regime also took advantage of the international and domestic popular appeal of polar aviators---and the many exploits they staged in 1928 and afterward---to generate positive publicity for itself. Integrating Arctic aviation into the larger cultural framework of socialist realism, the USSR's state-controlled media complex transformed polar fliers into symbols of Soviet virtue, exemplifying not just trailblazing courage, aptitude, and the mastery of futuristic technology---motifs common to the aviation cultures of many countries during this era---but also self-discipline and collective effort on behalf of the Soviet homeland and the attainment of socialist utopia.

Included in

Article Piper, Liza (2010) Introduction: The History of Circumpolar Science and Technology. Scientia Canadensis: Journal of the History of Canadian Science, Technology, and Medicine (pp. 1-9). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Josephson, Paul R.
Homburg, Ernst
Daniela Koleva
Nencioni, Giuseppe
Simon Ings
Bathsheba Demuth
Ambix: Journal of the Society for the History of Alchemy and Chemistry
Slavic Review
Science in Context
Osiris: A Research Journal Devoted to the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences
History of the Human Sciences
American Historical Review
University of Pittsburgh Press
University of Chicago Press
Princeton University Press
Imperial College Press
Harvard University Press
Grove Press
Science and politics
Science and ideology
Science and government
Indigenous peoples; indigeneity
Stalin, Joseph
Lysenko, Trofim Denisovich
Bogdanov, Alexander
Time Periods
20th century, early
20th century
19th century
20th century, late
Soviet Union
Arctic regions
United States
Polar regions
Great Britain

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