Proposal preview

Behind the Iron Curtain: Waves of Globalization in Historiography of Economic History

This session offers a systematic exploration of the relationship between the Western and Eastern historiography of economic history through the relationships between the home and exile Eastern European economic historians. It aims
– to compare the scientists’ work conditions in the framework of the different political circumstances during the Cold War;
– to explore both relevant conflicts and transfers of ideas between the two sides of the Iron Curtain;
– to examine the common publishing and research activities as concrete forms of collaboration between Eastern and Western economic historians during the time of the Cold War.

The session is inspired by the 50th anniversary of the last WEHC in USA and by the fact that it was this congress that made the future prominent economic historian, Alice Teichová leave Czechoslovakia together with her husband, Mikuláš Teich. Two years later, they decided for emigration. Their story shows how complicated the relationship between the home and exile historiography was.
The session is dedicated not only to the memory of recently passed Alice Teichová, but also to many other economic historians who were forced by different 20th century dictatorships to leave their respective countries and to look for a new home and for a space for their work. Their life and scientific fates, personal and professional isolation, disregard and marginalization in both their former and new environment, but also the mutual influence between the home and exile groups – all of this will be a part of the session.

Organizers welcome the papers that follow mainly these three aims:
– to clarify the circumstances for the development of economic history on both sides of the Iron Curtain incl. the role of secrete police in Eastern European countries;
– to conceptualize the transfer of ideas between economic historians in exile and those back in home countries;
– to specify a continuity in the work of the exile economic historians with former home historiography;
– to emphasize the influence of the distinguished exile economic historians and their work on the home historiographies of economic history.


  • Antonie Doležalová, Robinson College, Cambridge University & Charles University, Prague,, Czech Republic

Session members

  • Maxine Berg, University of Warwick, UK,
  • Antonie Dolezalova, Robinson College, University of Cambridge & Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic,
  • Jan-Otmar Hesse, University of Bayreuth,
  • Roman Holec, Slovak Academy of Science, Bratislava,
  • Jerzy Kochanowski, University of Warsaw,
  • Zarko Lazarevich, Institute of Contemporary History, Ljubljana,
  • Judit Pál, Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania ,

Proposed discussant(s)

  • Catherine Albrecht, Ohio Northern University,

This panel has Call for Papers open.
If you are interested in participating, please contact the panel organizer(s) to submit a proposal.

  • Antonie Doležalová, Robinson College, Cambridge University & Charles University, Prague,, Czech Republic