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Red Globalism: The 'Other' Europe, Decolonization and African Heritage

Lecture | March 14 | 4-5:30 p.m. | 201 Moses Hall


Paul Betts, Professor of Modern European History at St Antony's College, University of Oxford

Institute of European Studies, Center for German and European Studies, Institute of Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ISEEES)


The study of the Cold War has undergone fundamental transformation in recent years. While most of the scholarship on superpower confrontation has given way to wider notions of a global Cold War, comparatively little attention has been accorded to trans-continental interactions between smaller states, such as the relationship between Eastern Europe and its socialist partners in Africa and Asia. What little scholarly work has been done on this interface generally has been concerned with political, economic and/or military assistance. However, cultural relations ‹ even remote ones ­ were no less decisive in inventing new trans-continental solidarities. In this talk, Betts will look at the fields of architecture, anthropology and art as sites that helped build imagined bridges across the socialist world, with a particular focus on East German-African relations in the 1960s.

Paul Betts is Professor of Modern European History at St Antony's College, University of Oxford. He is the author of several books on German cultural history, including "Within Walls: Private Life in the German Democratic Republic (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010), as well as co-editor of seven books, most recently: "Religion, Science and Communism in Cold War Europe" (London, 2016), and "The Ethics of Seeing: 20th Century German Documentary Photography Reconsidered", (co-edited with Stefan-Ludwig Hoffmann, October 2017). Currently he is working on a collaborative project based in the UK on the relationship between Eastern Europe and the Third World in the wake of decolonization.


heike.friedman@berkeley.edu, 510-4558