The Institute is pleased to host a presentation by Artemy M. Kalinovsky, Assistant Professor (Universitair Docent) of East European Studies at the University of Amsterdam.
Dr. Kalivonsky’s presentation will explore some of the ways we can write the history of the ‘Soviet South’, that is, the republics of Central Asia and the Caucasus, into the international history of the Cold War and decolonization. Since the leaders and intellectuals in these southern republics and intellectuals were in many ways similar to that of other post-colonial elites, there are a number of opportunities for comparison. However, because of the centrality of these republics (and their representatives) for Moscow’s Third World policy, there is also an opportunity to consider how they impacted each other. Presenting the history of the Soviet South in this way is not simply a question of shedding new light on an understudied area. Rather, it allows us to consider the histories of the Soviet Union, post-colonialism, and the Cold War in a new way. Looking outwards from the Soviet periphery, we begin to appreciate how Soviet globalization ran not just through Moscow, but also through Tashkent, Dushanbe, and Alma-ata, and Baku. We begin to see how much the Soviet claim to lead the struggle against colonialism shaped politics in the region. At the same time, the comparisons Central Asians and others from the Soviet south drew between their own lands and those of the so-called “Third World” were not always favorable – which in turn played an important role in political mobilization in the late Soviet era.