WORKSHOP | Commodities, Trade, and Materiality in the Global Cold War (April 19-20, 2023)

Photo by Sergey Svechnikov on Unsplash

This workshop will explore how the history of the Cold War and its aftermath can be told through the goods and technologies that were traded at the time. It will bring global, social and economic historians into conversation with sociologists to ask what material objects can reveal about historical transformations, such as the ones that took place in Central and Eastern Europe around 1989. The workshop will map how commodity flows, as well as the people involved in the production and trade of these items, came to shape and be shaped by changing legal regimes, competing development models, and shifting transnational alliances. Taking a rich range of empirical case studies and theoretical contributions, the workshop will reflect upon how the relationship between human and non-human actors can be theorized and employed as a tool for historical research. Moreover, it will interrogate how such exchanges live on in the technologies and ideas that circulate today. While drawing on participants' expertise in the field of Eastern Europe and the socialist world, this workshop incorporates contributions addressing other geographical and disciplinary areas. 


Contact Person:

Univ. Professor Dr. Jannis Panagiotidis, RECET, University of Vienna

CENTRAL Partners:

Professor Dora Vargha, Professor of History and Medical Humanities, Humboldt Universität, Berlin

Dr. hab./Associate Professor Márkus Keller, Eötvös Loránd University. (Budapest)

Director Dr. Ondřej Vojtěchovský, Institute of World History, FF UK, Charles University