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Aleksanteri Conference







Scherrer, Jutta

Having spent my early youth in the German Democratic Republic and later in West Berlin, I  was  profoundly marked by the atmosphere of the Cold War which decided my choice of Russian and East European studies. As a student of Russian and East European history at the Free University in West Berlin and at Harvard I was directly exposed to the interactions of historical research, political reality, and ideology (the concept of totalitarianism as unifying Western master narrativ) became . Later, my professional activities in Paris added another political, cultural, and ideological dimension to my multi facetted perception of the Cold War insofar as the influence of the French Communist Party and its relation to the Soviet Union were very important in French intellectual and academic life.

In my contribution to the roundtable discussion, I propose to present briefly how these three different Western political cultures influenced historiography on  Russia and the Soviet Union and how their academic research institutions reflected the Cold War in production of knowledge. I also want to discuss the impact of the end of the Cold War on the academic agendas of these three countries and show their differences in approaching post-Soviet social sciences and in particular contemporary history. 

Saturday 31 Oct, 9.30-11.30 SESSION 7
Panel: Roundtable