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Across the 'Nylon Curtain': Cold War Cooperation and Trans-systemic Exchanges | Call for Papers

Ausschreibende Einrichtung

Centre for the Study of Health, Ethics and Society, University of Hamburg


Anthropologie Kunstwissenschaft Kommunikationswissenschaft Kulturwissenschaft Wirtschaftswissenschaft Geschichtswissenschaft Literaturwissenschaft Medienwissenschaft Sonstige Religionswissenschaft Slawistik Soziologie


Area Studies Ostmitteleuropa Zeitgeschichte Wirtschaftsgeschichte Deutsch-polnische Beziehungen Wissenschaftsgeschichte Geschichte der Volksrepublik Polen Migration


A workshop organised by the Centre for the Study of Health, Ethics and Society, University of Hamburg, 30.09.2022

Across the "Nylon Curtain": Cold War Cooperation and Trans-systemic Exchanges

Studies of post-war Europe stress ideological divisions and competing economic models. As researchers working in the ERC-funded LEVIATHAN project, we approach the post-war period in a way that challenges the traditional view of Europe as a political dichotomy separated by an „Iron Curtain“. Instead, we understand the systemic divide, borrowing the metaphor of the Hungarian historian György Péteri, as a „Nylon Curtain“ – a present and yet surmountable partition that was frequently breached in a variety of ways by ordinary citizens, artists, scientists, politicians, and other historical actors.

We especially welcome proposals for papers from postdoctoral researchers and early career scholars that explore the transgressions and cooperations across the „Nylon Curtain“ from a variety of different angles, including but by no means limited to artistic, cultural, literary, political, scientific, and sociological collaborations between protagonists in East and West.

The workshop will be divided chronologically into three panels, 1945–1961, 1962–1980, and 1981–1990, in order to encourage a multitude of perspectives on specific time periods, and interdisciplinary reflections on the manifold ways the perceived divisions were circumvented, subverted or disregarded in the spirit of international collaboration and shared humanity during the Cold War.

Funding will be available and accommodation will be provided upon request. Workshop papers should be submitted by 31st August for advance circulation, and the proceeds of the workshop will subsequently be published in an edited volume in 2023.

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