Video conference: Competing Socialisms:
The Sino-Soviet Rivalry in Africa during the Cold War
Date: 17 – 18 May 2021
Convenors: Kirsten Bönker (Bielefeld, GER), Thoralf Klein (Loughborough, GBR)
The participants of the workshop consider the Cold War as a multilateral conflict that created specific global connections'. We seek to realign the interdisciplinary analysis of its 'glocal' interdependencies. We will do this by raising essentially new questions on the social, economic, cultural, and political dimensions of the as yet barely researched Sino-Soviet rivalry for the African continent. First, our aim is to initiate the necessary international collaboration between scholars working in the hitherto poorly networked fields of African, Chinese and Soviet history. These speakers will explore topics at the intersection of different sets of expertise, applying a transnational and multi-perspective approach. Second, these transnational historical approaches will be supplemented and enriched by scholars from political science, linguistics, literary studies and economics. The analysis of historical phenomena will thus be embedded in an interdisciplinary discussion to shed new light on the multilateral interdependencies on the basis of three broader fields, such as (1) economic aid and development, (2) the export of educational models, the educational migration to the USSR and China and back, foreign language policies, as well as (3) the imagination and emotionalization of the 'Other'.