The paper examines the origins of kraevedenie (local studies), as a distinctive form of public mobilization for regional studies in the early 1920s, and traces its links to the conceptual shift in Russian geography as an academic discipline, which defined itself as a science concerned with the spatial characteristics of natural regions. The paper focuses on the first conference for regional studies (1921) and analyzes the visions of regional studies, as they were offered by the key figures who defined these studies in the 1920s, particularly in the earlier years of the decade – Vladimir Bogdanov and his colleagues from the school of geography at Moscow University, Alexander Fersman, Veniamin Semenov-Tyan-Shansky, and others. The author argues for a further need to examine the connections between new forms of public science, a conceptual shift in geography and related disciplines, and debates about the principles of administrative-territorial organization of the Soviet state, which were directly related to the making of the Soviet Union in the 1920s.


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pp. 83-121
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