Shagi / Steps the Journal of the SASH


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The space dimension of alternative history: Popular science, transmedia storytelling and the contemporary agenda

E. G. Lapina-Kratasyuk
National Research University Higher School of Economics (Russia, Moscow), The Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (Russia, Moscow)

DOI: 10.22394/2412-9410-2022-8-3-100-118

Keywords: counterfactual history, transmedia storytelling, public history, popular science, platform series

Abstract: The purpose of the article is to consider the possibilities that the genre of alternative history applied to the history of space, scientific and technical achievements of the 20th century opens to public history and popular science professionals. The genre of alternative history, firstly, allows us to draw public attention to the fact that global scientific discoveries and technological inventions are no less important facts of modern history than wars and political confrontations. Secondly, due to stories that are deliberately antonymous to textbook history (for example, Alexey Leonov landed on the Moon first), an alternative history provokes viewers to consider in detail the documentable past. And finally, with the help of transmedia storytelling and modern digital tools, the historical project can be extended to topics from the natural and engineering sciences (for example, by studying a 3D virtual model of the lunar station). In addition, transmedia storytelling involves expanding an audiences experience: now its members can not only watch a serialized program, but also be involved in gaming and crowdsourcing practices in the projects applications. In general, this approach draws attention to the multivariance of the past, and to the uncertainty of events and ideological schemes of the history of the Cold War and the first space race.

Acknowledgements: The publication was prepared within the framework of the Academic Fund Program at the National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE) in 2019-2021 (grant 19-01-078 Visualization of Outer Spaces Objects in Digital Media (Cinema, Astrophotography, Games and 3D Projects): Political, Educational and Aesthetic aspects).

To cite this article: Lapina-Kratasyuk, E. G. (2022). The space dimension of alternative history: Popular science, transmedia storytelling, and the contemporary agenda. Shagi/Steps, 8(3), 100118. (In Russian). https://doi.org/10.22394/2412-9410-2022-8-3-100-118.