At Home among Strangers: U.S. Artists, the Soviet Union, and the Myth of Rockwell Kent during the Cold War
During the Cold War, official Soviet institutions organized tens of exhibitions of an American figurative artist Rockwell Kent. These exhibitions, undertaken bypassing the official United States, demonstrate that promotion of Kent in the USSR was an exclusively Soviet enterprise. Examining the role of Soviet institutions in Kent’s success, the article sheds new light on the Soviet approach to the representation of American visual art during the Cold War.
Basing on unique findings from American and Russian archives, the article provides a comprehensive analysis of political and aesthetical factors, which predetermined Kent’s incredible popularity in the Soviet Union. Contextualizing the Soviet representation of Kent within relevant Cold War contexts, the article argues that Kent occupied a specific symbolic position in Soviet culture, as Soviet propaganda re-conceptualized the artist’s biography and established the Myth of Rockwell Kent. This myth served for legitimization of Soviet ideology and for anti-American propaganda.
This collection of essays was published in a form of a catalogue for one of the propgrams screened at the Yamagata International Documentary Film Fstival in October 2019. The program entitled "The Creative Treatment of Grierson in Wartime Japan" was co-organized by the Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival and the National Film Archive of Japan and presented a broad variety of wartime Japanese documentaries as well as British and Soviet films that have influenced them. The collection of essays explores the development of wartime Japanese documentary cinema from variety of historical and theoretical perspectives.
The Russian-U.S. confrontation provoked by the Ukrainian crisis is most often viewed as a purely regional phenomenon. However, its roots are much deeper than the problems faced by Ukraine; its nature is much more complex than the ongoing geopolitical struggle for that country; and its consequences affect the United States’ relations with other centers of power and global governance in general. The outcome of the Ukrainian conflict will likely determine the rules of relations among the great powers for decades to come.
Given their relationship to political rhetoric, myths of the Cold War certainly matter today; the legal field is no exception. Although Cold-War studies remains a blooming field, its legal dimensions have not been sufficiently developed. Only recently have legal scholars begun to embark upon research in law and the Cold War and how this area is regarded nowadays, both explicitly implicitly. Preliminary results show that, on both sides of the Iron Curtain, knowledge of law of the ‘Other’ was encapsulated within two main frameworks: ideological and pragmatic. How did these approaches interrelate and influence one another? Can pure knowledge strictly be divided from contextual conditions? The chapters in this volume present retrospective accounts of actors who have been involved in the circulation of knowledge through the Curtain and, also, research on recent political and legal phenomena echoing the Cold-War discourse.
The Iron Curtain as Semi-Permeable Membrane: The Origins and Demise of the Stalinist Superiority Complex
The article analyses the struggle of the broad public circles in the U.S. against the outbreak of the Cold War, attempts to maintain an alliance with the USSR.
The book covers the history of relations between Soviet Russia and South Africa, which, for many decades, remained hidden even from those who were a part of it. It is devoted mostly to the Soviet period, although the first, introductory, chapter presents the history of relations between the two countries in the previous three hundred years, and the last one the relations after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the establishment of the diplomatic relations. In the first part of the book the reader will find a detailed analysis of close ties between the Communist Party of South Africa and the Communist International, the activities of the South African NGO Friends of the Soviet Union, trade relations in in the 1930s and the cooperation and diplomatic relations during the Second World War. The second part of the book is devoted to the relations between the USSR, South African communists and the African National Congress during the cold war era: Soviet assistance to the ANC's armed struggle, its ideological influence on the anti-apartheid movement, as well as the analysis of both Soviet and South African ideological constructs concerning one another and their mutual policies towards one another. The last part of the book covers Gorbachev's perestroika period and the infuence of the changes in the USSR and of its collapse on the situation in South Africa and on the relations between the two countries.
In this chapter we want to see what historical narratives can tell us in order to better understand our concerns with the vanishing ice as evidence of a current mega-transition. Was the 2007 minimum unique? When and why did science start to study Arctic sea ice? Have there been periods of an ice-free Arctic Sea in the past? And, if they did occur, how does it impact on interpretations of our present- time discourse on the possible emergence of anice- free Arctic Sea? Climate change may, in retrospect, have appeared an obvious companion idea, but this relationship between ice and climate was rarely put forward as a serious alternative for the immediate future on the human timescale of decades, generations, or even centuries. But when it finally was, comparatively late in the middle of the twentieth century, sea ice was part of the story. We start by visiting the idea of an ice-free Arctic in the past, then moving on to the scientific undertakings on sea -ice in the Soviet Union. Interwar efforts outside the Soviet Union were as only matched by Nordic researchers, with whom we deal with subsequently. Finally we discuss the Cold -War effortsand their military connections. That science is interest-driven is evident throughout the entire period. Sea- ice minima may comprise straightforward facts, but the underlying knowledge is the outcome of a complex science politics of circumpolar ice.
This article provides a new synthesis on the origins of self-management in Yugoslavia on the basis of new archival research. It rejects the dominant view in the historiography that self-management arose merely as an ideological justification for the split with Stalin's USSR in 1948. Rather, it demonstrates that the introduction of workers' councils was part of an elaborate effort on the part of the Communist leadership to return to its pre-1948, proto-‘reform Communist’ strategy that was remarkably open to interaction with the world market. This is shown to have implications for understanding Yugoslavia, Eastern Europe, the Cold War and Communism.
This comparative study shows how the revival of geopolitics came not despite, but because of, the end of the Cold War. Disoriented in their self-understandings and conception of external role by the events of 1989, many European foreign policy actors used the determinism of geopolitical thought to find their place in world politics quickly. The book develops a constructivist methodology to study causal mechanisms, and its comparative approach allows for a broad assessment of some of the fundamental dynamics of European security.
This article uses new evidence to investigate Yugoslav foreign policy through the prism of inter-party relations rather than traditional high diplomacy. It shows the Yugoslav Communists hoped comradeship with Britain's Labour Party would influence Western policies to counter the Soviet threat. Initial successes, especially a deterrent statement by the British Cabinet in February 1951, inspired great optimism. The Labour left was also delighted that Communism could be reformed and Cold War tensions lessened. However, ideological differences crystallised over the Djilas affair and Yugoslavia's choice for Non-Alignment. Only mutual opposition to the USSR during the crises of 1956 ensured their continuing friendship.
In the cultural sphere, the period between the October Revolution and the initiation of the first five‑year plan was marked by a series of heated public debates about the function of visual art and media in the new socialist society. Prominent theorists, including the Commissar of Enlightenment, Anatolii Lunacharskii, and writers associated with the journal Lef, such as Boris Arvatov and Sergei Tret´iakov, participated in these debates, as did modernist artists and realist painters. Photography was a central theme, and by 1925 the question of how the advances in photographic and other forms of mechanical reproduction were changing the nature of the visual had emerged as the debates’ most pressing problem. While all of the debates’ contending factions recognized the significance of photography, they also agreed that the material components of painting—particularly color and surface texture—remained essential to the development of comradely socialist relations. This article brings to light for the first time the aspects of early Soviet thought on aesthetics and communication that led to the firm establishment of painting as a visual medium essential to socialism. It demonstrates in particular that the materiality of painting and its traces were linked to the activation and transmission of the sensations of the body, which were considered necessary for the formation of socialist connections.