Alternative Encounters: The ‘Second World’ and the ‘Global South’, 1945-1990s
Location: Friedrich-Schiller-Universität, Jena
March 28-29, 2014
(a collaboration between the Imre Kertész Kolleg, University of Jena; the Centre for Area Studies, University of Leipzig; and the Centre of Imperial & Global History, University of Exeter)
In the post-war period, as decolonization accelerated, new linkages opened up, and existing ties were remade, between the so-called ‘Second World’ (from the Soviet Union to the GDR) and the ‘Global South’ (from Latin America to Africa to Asia). Contacts multiplied through, for instance, the development of political linkages; economic development and aid; health and cultural and academic projects; as well as military interventions. Yet these important encounters, and their impacts on national, regional and global histories, have hitherto only played a marginal role in accounts of late 20th century globalization, which have mainly focused on links between the West and former colonies, or between the countries of the ‘Global South’. There is still little study of the interaction between these areas, where commonly shared – and contested – beliefs in the power of socialist modernization and anti-imperial culture opened up possibilities of meaningful transfers during the Cold War and its aftermath. This conference seeks to address this lacuna, by bringing together specialists working on different regions (such as Eastern Europe, the Soviet Union, Africa, Latin America, Asia) and on forms of exchange, intervention and subjugation. In doing so, it seeks to provide new insights into the global circulation of ideas during the Cold War, and explore ‘the socialist world’ as well as ‘the Global South’ as a dynamic hub of global interactions during the second half of the twentieth century.
Papers are welcomed on the following themes:
1. ‘DISCOVERY’: How did these regions – East and South – or countries within them, ‘discover’ each other in the postwar period? How did countries or regions re-imagine the world, and their place in it? What groups and institutions were involved in facilitating these connections, and what impact did they have? How did concepts such as ‘Second’ and ‘Third World’, the ‘world socialist system’, ‘national democracy’ or ‘non-capitalist paths of development’ emerge, and how did the political imagination that underpinned these conceptions shape interactions? How were power relationships between these regions imagined, and how did these have an impact on forms of exchange, submission or domination?
2. POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: How did political ideology, economic development, aid or medical assistance bring these regions into contact? What encounters did this enable, and how did these impact on national, regional or global debates about e.g. economic development, state formation, citizenship or rights?
3. CULTURAL AND ACADEMIC EXCHANGE: How did cultural and academic exchange develop in areas such as music, theatre, cinema, mass media, schools and universities? What cultural encounters were facilitated, and how did these influence both sides?
4. ‘THE OTHER’ BACK HOME: How was the culture and politics of the so-called ‘Global South’ appropriated in the ‘Second World’, and vice versa? How did these ‘appropriations’ shape local culture or politics (e.g. through solidarity movements or cultural projects)?
5. COMPETITION AND EXCHANGE: How did competition for influence in the global South – whether from China, Cuba or the US – shape exchange between these regions? How did being in competition, or the object/ arena of competition, shape local, national or regional culture or politics?
6. DECLINE AND AFTERLIVES: What role did exchanges between these worlds play in the evolution and decline of state socialism or statist modernization? What have been the legacies of this interaction in the post-Cold War world?
Papers addressing these issues on different scales – from regional interactions, to nation-nation interactions, and to case studies of groups that facilitated exchange – are welcome. We also invite whole panel proposals. A proposal and short CV should be sent to James Mark (firstname.lastname@example.org) by October 31st 2013. Financial assistance may be available for speakers. This conference is the second in a series: the first ‘Post-war Decolonization and Its Impact in Europe’ will be held at the University of Exeter on 2-3 December 2013.
Department of History
University of Exeter
00-44-(0)1392-724295 Email: email@example.com
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