Friday, 31 March 2023 to Sunday, 2 April 2023

Academic Exchanges between Romania, East Germany and West Germany during the Cold War

Fri31  Mar04:15pm(15 mins)
East Quad Lecture Theatre


Irina Nastasa-Matei1
1 University of Bucharest, Romania


My paper analyses the academic exchanges, and mostly the fellowship schemes, between Romania, East Germany and West Germany between 1949-1989, pointing out the cultural, but also the technological transfers (most of the academic exchanges and fellowships during that time were in technological fields and natural sciences, but there was also significant collaboration in the field of literature/linguistics, philosophy and history) between these three countries situated on opposite sides of the Iron Curtain. The soft-power mechanisms and the role played by the academic exchanges and fellowship schemes in the cultural diplomacy of the three countries will be analyzed. Furthermore, their unsteady evolution during the four decades in question (1949-1989) will be questioned. I argue that, besides the cultural, academic and technological importance of these collaborations, they were also a tool of political / ideological propaganda for all three countries involved. Nevertheless, this academic exchange was managed according to each country’s practices and interests.