Transnational Relations between Eastern Europe/USSR and the Middle East: New Perspectives on the Cold War

From February 22nd to February 23rd the University of Geneva hosted an inspiring, interdisciplinary workshop to bring together fresh and unconventional voices on the relationship between the „Socialist Camp“ and the MENA/Region during the Cold War. The workshop was a follow-up of the long/term project by the organizers, Sandrine Kott (University of Geneva) and Cyrus Schayegh (Graduate Institute of Geneva/Princeton), who aim to promote a more critical, differentiated and comprehensive perspectives on the role of the „Global South“ in the Cold War.

1) 14:00-14:30 INTRODUCTION
• SANDRINE KOTT et CYRUS SCHAYEGH: Welcome note
• VLADIMIR HAMED TROYANSKI (Stanford University)
„Trans-Imperial Connections between the Late Ottoman and Russian Empires.“
2) 14:30-16:30 A NEW SPATIALITY (FROM EASTERN EUROPE TO THE MIDDLE EAST)
Chair: NATASHA WHEATLEY (Princeton University) / via skype ONDREJ MATEJKA
(Charles University, Prague)
• NATAŠA MIŠKOVIĆ (University of Basel) The Non-Aligned Movement and the Orientalist Turn.
• RINNA KULLAA (University of Tampere/ University of Vienna)
Third Way Networks and the Redefining of an Eastern Mediterranean Crescent as a Transformative Political Space 1954-1990.
• JOSEPH BEN PRESTEL (Freie Universität Berlin / Orient-Institut Beirut) Global Palestine in Cold War Germany, 1967-1979.

3) 17:00-18:30 STATE BUILDING AND TRANSNATIONAL ENCOUNTERS
Chair: ADAM MESTYAN (Duke University, USA)
• MIRIAM M. MÜLLER (Hamburg Institute for Social Research, Germany) Transnational identity-creation in the Middle East: East Germany’s engagement in South Yemen as a spatial claim to state-identity.
• ISABELLA GINOR and GIDEON REMEZ (Truman Institute, Hebrew University of Jerusalem). Internatsionalisty and “Soldiers of Allah”, Interaction between Soviets and Egyptians in Their Joint War against Israel.

4) 09:00-11:00 CULTURAL CIRCULATION
Chair: VALENTINA CALZOLARI (University of Geneva)
• MASHA KIRASIROVA (New York University Abu Dhabi) Muslim Tradition Forbids Reciting the Qur’an while Drunk:” Soviet Cultural Diplomacy and the Arab Intelligentsia, 1925-1948.
• PHILIPP CASULA (University of Zurich/Manchester) Soviet Travelers to the Middle East: Searching Modernity and a true Soviet Self during the Cold War.
• KONSTANTINOS KATSAKIORIS (University Bayreuth)
The COMECON countries, North Africa and the Middle East: Educational Cooperation during the Cold War.

5) 11:15-13:15 MINORITIES AS BRIDGE BUILDERS
Chair: Vladimir Hamed Troyanski (Stanford University)
• TALINE TER MINASSIAN (INALCO, Paris)
The « Colporteurs » revisited : Soviet Union and transnational minorities in the Middle-East, Act II.
• OLEKSANDRA KUNOVSKA MONDOUX (University of Fribourg, Switzerland) Building the economic relations between Poles, Ukrainians and Jews before and after WWII.
• ALEKSANDAR ZIVOTIC (Department for History, Belgrade University) Dominance of Pramatism over Ideology. Yugoslav Muslims as a Bridge between Yugoslavia and Egypt (1952-1961).

6) 14:30-16:30 FROM ONE PERIPHERY TO THE OTHER:
DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS
Chair: MICHEL CHRISTIAN (University of Geneva)
• AYKIZ DOGAN (University Paris I)
From Soviet to American Development Model: Role of Transnational Actors, Economic Expertise and Knowledge Transfer in the Economic (Re)Construction of Turkey.
• MASSIMILIANO TRENTIN (University of Bologna)
• State-led Development: the privileged linkage between East Germany and Ba’thist Syria, 1963-1972.
• LUKASZ STANEK (University of Manchester)
Architecture and Petrobarter. Romanian and East German Construction Export to Oil Producing Countries, 1970s-1980s.

CONCLUSIONS (ADAM MESTYAN) AND DISCUSSION

 

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