Conferencia: «Crossing Borders, Curtains and Ideologies: Academic Migration as Soft Power Strategy between East and West during the Cold War»

Impartida por la Dra. Irina Nastas?-Matei (University of Bucharest)

Día y hora: 22 de octubre de 2018, de 11 a 13
Lugar: Sala de Grados (Ramon Llull)

After an interruption of the political, economical, cultural and diplomatic relations between FRG and the Eastern Block after the end of WW2, the ties started to be reinitialized beginning with the end of the 1960s, in the context of the changes occurred in the foreign policy of both FRG – discarding the Hallstein doctrine, Willy Brandt’s Ostpolitik - and the Eastern Block – a certain political relaxation in various communist countries. This is the moment when academic exchanges started to be organized and young researchers from communist countries began to study and conduct research in West Germany, most significantly supported by the generous funding from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. The Humboldt fellowships have been, since 1925, the most prestigious fellowships offered by Germany to foreign researchers. But besides their academic significance, they also played an important political and diplomatic role, both during the interwar period (they were an ideological and propagandistic tool for Nazi Germany), and during the Cold War. Consequently, Humboldt fellows from communist countries went to study – and live – for several years in FRG, a Western democracy. This academic exchange played an important role in the cultural and public diplomacy of both FRG and the communist countries.
The presentation will focus on:

  • the quantitative aspect: the number of Humboldt fellows, their fields of research, identifying the universities and institutes where they carried out their research, and who were their coordinating professors;
  • the qualitative aspect: the (academic, political, ideological) profile of the Humboldt fellows and the (official and un-official) criteria used for selecting them;
  • the academic - and possibly political - pathways through which some researchers from the Eastern Block were awarded a Humboldt fellowship;
  • the control of the communist authorities over the Humboldt fellows;
  • establishing the impact the Humboldt fellowships had on the relations between West Germany and the Eastern Block.

This research is highly relevant for the cultural diplomacy and knowledge transfer between the Democratic West and the Communist East during the Cold War and offers a relevant insight into the West Germany’s and the Eastern Block’s soft power strategies between late 1960s-1989.

This work is supported by a grant of Ministry of Research and Innovation, CNCS-UEFISCDI, project number PN-III-P1-1.1-PD-2016-0610, within PNCDI III.

Contacto: Andrada Pintilescu

Data de l'esdeveniment: 22/10/2018

Data de publicació: Mon Oct 15 11:14:00 CEST 2018