The Global Antiapartheid Era: 1946-1994

The Global Antiapartheid Era: 1946-1994 (Radical History Review, Number 119)

Deadline: 15 May 2012


The Radical History Review seeks submissions for an issue on the global politics of the anti-apartheid movement, 1946-1994. The time frame underlines our sense of the global significance of what we call the Antiapartheid Era, inaugurated by the postwar United Nations debates on discrimination suffered by Indians in South Africa and culminating in the post-Cold War transition to democracy in South Africa during the 1990s. As we see it, this antiapartheid era encompasses the evolution of the United Nations, decolonization, the Cold War, the founding of the non-aligned movement at Bandung, the rise (and fall) of Third World solidarity structures, the U.S. Civil Rights Movements, Left-Leaning Revolutions, human rights politics, upheavals of the global Sixties, and the onset of neoliberal globalization and offers new ways of connecting and contextualizing these various developments.

In 1990, the same year that Nelson Mandela walked free from prison to celebrations held around the world, the RHR published a double issue on “History from South Africa.” The issue was the result of years of collaboration between the History Workshop at the University of Witwatersrand and the American Social History Project. A little over twenty years later, as a companion and follow-up to that volume, RHR is calling for an issue that centers the history of antiapartheid solidarity. One of the most striking developments in historical research and writing over the last twenty years has been the growing interest in international, transnational, and global history. Widening our focus from the struggle against apartheid inside South Africa to a global frame reveals an exciting range of new perspectives.

For example, what happened in South Africa was bound up with struggles and anti-racist/anti-imperialist work across southern Africa and throughout the world. This activism of citizens from dozens of countries and South/ern African exiles took not only local and national forms, but often transnational forms in such initiatives as sports and cultural boycotts, corporate accountability campaigns, and calls for the release of Nelson Mandela that involved coordination across borders and appeals to a global audience. These transnational networks and campaigns were astonishing in their variety, interconnections, and persistence. There is much more to learn about the nature, scale, and scope of the antiapartheid cause, from civic and popular organizing in India, Japan, the Caribbean, independent Africa, and the “actually existing” socialist countries to the realm of international nongovernmental organizations, such as labor confederations, ecumenical religious councils, and humanitarian, pacifist, and human rights groups, to the formation of a new post-Civil Rights cohort of social activists inside the U.S.

If we borrow from the work of sociologists on global social movements and the global structures of political opportunity they engage with, we can appreciate that the antiapartheid cause unfolded from above as well as below. In addition to transnational advocacy networks and international NGOs, we need to take into account the often substantial efforts of the United Nations and allied intergovernmental agencies (e.g., the International Labour Organisation), the Organization of African Unity, international groupings such as the socialist countries and the European Community, international trade union federations, and individual states. Accordingly, we seek contributions that will trace and assess the extent and limits of the worldwide solidarity achieved in the struggle against apartheid and colonialism in Southern Africa and the impact of this solidarity on global norms of racial equality and human rights to self-determination, democracy, and development.

We are soliciting submissions that engage with one or more of the following areas of concern:

  • the emergence of large-scale organizations, networks, publications, campaigns, that gave shape and weight to this global movement.
  • the roles and experiences of individual activists, advocates, artists, writers, and scholars, especially the diaspora of exiles from South/ern Africa. Interviews with anti-apartheid activists are especially welcome.
  • the role of “new nation-states and socialist nations” such as India, Egypt and Cuba, and/or the Non-aligned Movement in the antiapartheid struggle.
  • the impact of transnational activism on apartheid South Africa and the other white minority and colonial regimes of Southern Africa, the foreign banks, corporations, the governments of the U.S., Britain, and other states involved in the region.
  • the role of intergovernmental and non-governmental agencies such as the United Nations, the OAU, international labor and ecumenical bodies, and collaborations/challenges that emerged between/against these agencies.
  • the production, circulation, and reception of antiapartheid and liberation symbols, imagery, music, fiction, theater, films, and other cultural expressions and media.
  • the adaptation of the global anti-apartheid cause in diverse communities and societies and its articulation to local or national demands, especially around recognition and justice for excluded or subordinated populations, such as indigenous people in Australia and New Zealand, Dalits in India, Palestinians, and people of African descent throughout the Americas. Comparative investigations are welcome.
  • the application of international human rights law to the case of apartheid and the further development of this framework through interaction with the antiapartheid cause.
  • the place of the global anti-apartheid struggle in the reshaping of public history and memory in post-apartheid South Africa, in museums, historical sites, and history textbooks.

Radical History Review publishes material in a wide variety of forms. The editors will consider scholarly research articles as well as photo essays, film and book review essays, interviews, brief interventions, essays on museum and other public history forums, “conversations” between scholars and/or activists, teaching notes and annotated course syllabi, and research notes.

At this time we request that potential contributors submit 1-2 page abstracts summarizing the article you wish to include in this issue as an attachment to with “Issue 119 abstract submission” in the subject line. Initial abstracts and article proposals are due by May 15, 2012.

By June 15, 2012, selected authors will be invited to prepare a full version of their article for peer review. The due date for completed drafts of articles is February 1, 2013. Final article manuscripts ready for publication must be returned to the editors by Aug. 1, 2013. Those articles selected for publication after the peer review process will be included in issue 119 of Radical History Review, scheduled to appear in Spring 2014. The issue editors strongly encourage the submission of images or artwork to illustrate textual pieces, as well as photo or other visual essays. Please send any images as low-resolution digital files embedded in a Word document. If chosen for publication, authors will need to send separate, high-resolution images files (jpg or tif files at a minimum of 300 dpi), along with written permission to reprint all images.



Emilia Robin

Histoire de la guerre froide, humanités numériques, linux, médiation scientifique

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Dag Hammarskjöld, the United Nations, and the End of Empire

Dag Hammarskjöld, the United Nations, and the End of Empire


2 September 2011


The Institute of Commonwealth Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London, The Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation, Uppsala and The United Nations Association Westminster Branch will hold a one-day conference on Dag Hammarskjöld, the United Nations, and the End of Empire at the University of London Senate House on Friday 2 September 2011, to mark the 50th anniversary of UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld”s death. Convenors: Dr Mandy Banton and Dr Susan Williams

Please return all registration forms to Troy Rutt at

Venue: The Chancellor”s Hall, Senate House, University of London


9.30 – Tea/Coffee and Registration

9.45 – Welcome and introduction

Professor Philip Murphy, Director of the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, Dr Henning Melber, Director of the Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation David Wardrop, Chairman, United Nations Association, Westminster Branch

10.00 – Session I: Global Power Shifts (Chair: David Wardrop, Chairman, UNA Westminster Branch)

  • Professor Wm. Roger Louis, CBE, Kerr Professor of English History and Culture and Director of British Studies at the University of Texas at Austin, “Hammarskjöld, the United Nations, and the Middle East”
  • Dr Asahiko Hanzawa, Faculty of International Studies, Meiji Gakuin University, Tokyo, “An invisible surrender: the United Nations and the end of the British empire”
  • Professor David Anderson, Professor of African Politics and Fellow of St Cross College, Oxford, “The Cold War in Africa”

11.30 – Coffee

11.40 – Session II: Reviewing the Past (Chair: Dr Sarah Stockwell, Senior Lecturer in Imperial and Commonwealth History, King’s College London)

  • Dr Benjamin Zachariah, Reader in South Asian History, University of Sheffield, “The place of the United Nations in Indian foreign policy thinking”
  • Ludo De Witte, Brussels, author of De Moord op Lumumba, 1999 [published in English as The Assassination of Lumumba, 2001], “Belgium, the Congo, and the assassination of Patrice Lumumba”
  • Baron Hurd of Westwell, CH, CBE, PC, diplomat, historian and former British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, “”A Ringside View”, a personal flavour of seeing and working with Dag Hammarskjold”

1.10 – Sandwich lunch
2.00 – Session III: Oral and Documentary Historical Sources (Chair: Dr Marion Wallace, African Curator, British Library)

  • Declan Power, security and defence journalist, Dublin, “The use of oral history to uncover the voices of Irish peacekeepers in the Congo”
  • Hans Kristian Simensen, Gothenburg, Secretary to the Scandinavian Committee of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, “Ndola, 18 September 1961: from witness statements to the official reports. More questions”
  • Dr Edward Hampshire, Principal Records Specialist, Diplomatic and Colonial, The National Archives of the UK, “The British official record”

3.30 – Tea

3.45 – Session IV: The United Nations and the Legacy of Dag Hammarskjöld (Chair: Professor Philip Murphy, Institute of Commonwealth Studies)

  • James-Emmanuel Wanki, Irish Aid Anna Lindh Research Fellow, Centre for Peace and Development Studies, University of Limerick, “Disarming war, arming peace: The Congo Crisis, Dag Hammarskjöld”s legacy and the future role of MONUC in the Democratic Republic of the Congo”
  • Professor Manuel Fröhlich, Professor of Political Science, Friedrich-Schiller-University, Jena, “The Hammarskjöld Tradition and Global Leadership”
  • Dr Henning Melber, Executive Director, Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation, Uppsala, “Dag Hammarskjöld, the United Nations and Africa”

5.30 – Wine reception and launch of Who Killed Hammarskjöld? The UN, the Cold War and White Supremacy in Africa by Susan Williams, published by Hurst, September 2011

Emilia Robin

Histoire de la guerre froide, humanités numériques, linux, médiation scientifique

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British Foreign Policy in sub-Saharan Africa since 1957

British Foreign Policy in sub-Saharan Africa since 1957

25 mars 2011


Lieu : Université Paris Diderot, Institut Charles V, 10 rue Charles V, 75004 Paris, salle A50

9h00-9h45: Keynote Speech, Philip Murphy (University of London, Institute of Commonwealth Studies) : «’Unstable and volatile’: British perceptions of African nationalist leaders during the era of decolonization»

9h45-11h15 – Retreating from Empire: strategies, outcomes and international consequences

Chair: Mélanie Torrent, Université Paris Diderot, LARCA

  • Virginie Roiron (Institut d’Études Politiques, Strasbourg) : «L’impact de la crise rhodésienne sur les relations entre la Grande-Bretagne et les Etats africains du Commonwealth
  • Jérémy Chilin (Université Paris Diderot) : «La métropole britannique et l’indépendance mauricienne dans les années 1960: une liberté concédée à tâtons avec réticence et inquiétude»
  • Michael Fowler (Center for Emerging National Security Affairs) : «Success & failure of British decolonization policy in sub-Saharan Africa»

Coffee/Tea Break

11h30-13h00 – Nigeria in focus: power and influence since the eve of independence

Chair: Jean-Luc Martineau, INALCO (HSTM) – SEDET

  • Olakunle Lawal (University of Ibadan) : «Britain, Decolonization and the Construction of Nigerian Foreign Policy on the Eve of the Transfer of Power, 1958-1960»
  • Gary Blank (London School of Economics) : «Britain, Biafra and the Balance of Payments: The Economic Basis for London’s Policy during the Nigerian Civil War (1967-1970)»
  • Odile Bomba Nkolo (University of Cardiff) : «French and British policies towards Cameroon and Nigeria: Towards empowerment or the Exertion of Influence by Other Means?»

Lunch Break

14h30-16h00 – Britain, Africa and multilateralism: beyond imperial divides?

Chair: Virginie Roiron, Institut d’Etudes Politiques, Strasbourg

  • Audrey Bonnery (London School of Economics) : «Diplomacy and Speeches in 1957: la politique étrangère britannique à l’égard de l’Afrique francophone à l’heure du Traité de Rome»
  • Marguerite Guyon de Chemilly (Université Paris 1-Panthéon Sorbonne) : «De la tutelle au partenariat : regards croisés sur le Ghana et la Côte d’Ivoire au tournant des années 1960»
  • Guia Migani (Université de Louvain la Neuve) : «La Grande Bretagne, la naissance du groupe ACP et les négociations pour la Convention de Lomé»

Coffee/Tea Break

16h20-17h15 – Conflicts in non-Commonwealth Africa: British responses in perspective

Chair: Michael Parsons, Université de Pau et des Pays de l’Adour

  • Pedro Aires Oliveira (University of Lisbon) : «The United Kingdom and the independence of Angola and Mozambique, 1974-1976»
  • Dean White (University of Northumbria) : «The Rwandan Crisis of 1994: A Comparison of the British and American Responses»

17h15-18h00 – Assessing current policies and future strategies

Tony Chafer (University of Portsmouth) and Gordon Cumming (University of Cardiff) : «Anglo-French Cooperation: Facing New Challenges in Africa»


This conference is organised as part of the research activities of LARCA (Laboratoire de Recherche sur les Cultures Anglophones) at the Université Paris Diderot. It also has the support of IFRA (Institut Français de Recherche en Afrique) Nigeria, Taylor & Francis, publishers of The Round Table, The Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs, and the Crecib (Centre de Recherches et d’Etudes en Civilisation Britannique).


Emilia Robin

Histoire de la guerre froide, humanités numériques, linux, médiation scientifique

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The USSR in West Africa and the Congo, 1956-1964

MAZOV, Sergueï, A Distant Front in the Cold War. The USSR in West Africa and the Congo, 1956-1964, Stanford : Stanford University Press, 2010, 256 p.

A Distant Front in the Cold War reveals West Africa as a significant site of Cold War conflict in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Although the region avoided the extreme tensions of the standoff in Eastern Europe or in the Cuban missile crisis, it nevertheless offers a vivid example of political, economic, and propagandistic rivalry between the U.S. and the USSR.

For Africa, this was a critical period characterized by decolonization and the formation of African countries’ first foreign policies. The United States and the Soviet Union both hoped to win the sympathies of the newly established states, and Sergey Mazov’s book is the first account of that competition, which the Soviet Union lost, largely through ignorance of the region.

Mazov presents evidence from previously inaccessible or unknown documents in Russian and U.S. archives, as well as an international sampling of recent scholarly works. The rich historical account pays particular attention to the repercussions of Soviet West African experience on future Soviet foreign policy, especially in the Third World.

Copublished with the Woodrow Wilson Center Press.

Sergey Mazov is a professor and chief research fellow at the Institute of World History, Russian Academy of Sciences, in Moscow.

Emilia Robin

Histoire de la guerre froide, humanités numériques, linux, médiation scientifique

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Postcolonial Representations of the Iron Curtain

“The Global Cold War: Postcolonial Representations of the Iron Curtain”

31 mars-1er avril 2011, Vancouver

Date limite : 12 novembre 2010

The past five years have seen the publication of scholarship in the humanities and the social sciences that begins to adumbrate a new, more complex view of the Cold War. Historians and political scientists (Odd Arne Westad, Piero Gleijeses, Gary Baines, Pater Vale) are starting to go beyond the traditional view of a bipolar conflict in which only the heavyweights count (the USA and the USSR). Instead, the image of a global Cold War is emerging. In this conflict postcolonial nations played an essential role and their literatures and cultures recorded the ideological divisions created by the Iron Curtain.

This panel invites papers on postcolonial literary and film representations of the Cold War. Possible topics include (but are not limited to):

  • The Bandung conference and the Non-Aligned nations
  • Tricontinental alliances
  • Diasporas from the postcolonies to the Eastern Bloc and the Western metropolitan centers
  • Communism in India
  • Cuba and the idea of revolution
  • The war in Angola reflected in Southern African literatures
  • From Indochina to the Vietnam War

Papers have to be submitted through the ACLA website ( but e-mail confirmations ( are encouraged.

Seminar at the American Comparative Literature Association conference, March 31-April 1, 2011, Vancouver. Organizer: Monica Popescu, McGill University.

Emilia Robin

Histoire de la guerre froide, humanités numériques, linux, médiation scientifique

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Cold War and Post-Colonial Humanitarian Aid

“The Governance of Relief: Cold War and Post-Colonial Humanitarian Aid”

Mannheim, 10-11 décembre 2010

Vendredi 10 décembre

13.30 – Welcome and Introduction

  • 14.00-15.00 – Heike Wieters (Frankfurt/O.):  “Private-Public Governance of the Food Aid System in Egypt 1950-1975”
  • 15.00-16.00 – Michael Vössing (Mannheim): “Conflicting Strategies of Relief: German Aid to Vietnam in the 1960s and 1970s”

16.00 – Coffee Break

  • 16.30-17.30 -Marie-Luce Desgrandchamps (Geneva): “Bringing Relief to Biafra: The ICRC’s Dilemma during the Nigerian Civil War”
  • 17.30-18.30 – Claus Kjersgaard Nielsen (Aarhus): “The Response of Joint Church Aid to the Politics of Relief Surrounding the Nigerian Civil War”

19.00 – Dinner

Samedi 11 décembre

  • 9.30-10.30 – Pascal Schmid (Basel): “Local Strategies, National Policies and Transcontinental Concepts: Perspectives on Medical Practice in Rural Ghana in the Pre-Alma Ater Period”
  • 10.30-11.30 – Maria Dörnemann (Tübingen): “‘Plan your family, plan your nation’: Population Policies of International Organisations in Kenia, 1965-1990”

11.30 -Coffee Break

12.00-13.00 -Julian Culp (Frankfurt/M.): “Development Aid: Duty of Social Justice or Demand of Humanity?”

13.00 – Conclusion

Lieu : Universität Mannheim, Schloss, Raum O 126

Organisateurs : Prof. Dr. Johannes Paulmann and Michael Vössing (Universität Mannheim, Historisches Institut, Neuere und Neueste Geschichte)

Contact : Michael Vössing (

Emilia Robin

Histoire de la guerre froide, humanités numériques, linux, médiation scientifique

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South of East-West. Post-colonial Planning, Global Technology Transfer, and the Cold War

South of East-West. Post-Colonial Planning, Global Technology Transfer, and the Cold War

Rotterdam, 9-10 November 2010

Deadline: 1 November 2010

The symposium  “South of East-West. Post-Colonial Planning, Global Technology Transfer, and the Cold War”  will address the transfer of knowledge in architecture, urbanism, engineering, and building technology from the socialist East and the capitalist West towards the post-colonial South during the Cold War. Taking place at the Berlage Institute on 9-10 November, 2010, this symposium will be followed by an exhibition at Casco, Utrecht and at the ETH Zurich planned for Summer-Autumn 2011.


Gaining independence since the late 1950s, the former European colonies in Africa and Asia became new actors in the global confrontation between the Soviet Union, the United States, and their allies in the context of the Cold War. Military, economic, and technological modernization became an important means in this confrontation, reflected in the increasing financial commitment allocated to the so-called development aid since the Khrushchev and Kennedy administrations. The addressees’ motivations were as multifold as the donors’ goals were self-referential: besides gaining political and economic influence, the support for modernization processes in the post-colonial countries was incorporated into the ideological discourses of the Soviet Union and the United States, either the Marxist narrative of history inevitably leading to communism; or the alternative story of stages of economic development leading to self-sustained growth, suggested by U.S. economists such as Walt Rostow.  In both versions of the development aid narrative, building could equally be employed as a highly visible expression of modernization efforts and a tangible assertion of engagement-beyond offering an outlet for the respective building industries’ products and a testing ground for planning and construction work.

Until the end of the Cold War, significant means were allocated for the transfer of expertise in engineering, planning and architecture, facilitated by both national and international organizations. They included training and education, but also planning and construction of roads and highways, housing and public buildings like hospitals, schools, or stadiums, waterworks and irrigation structures, factories in almost all branches of industry, prefabricated housing plants, municipal projects, and new towns.

Within the rapidly shifting political conditions of the post-colonial countries, and with the Non-Aligned Movement and China entering the stage, the bipolarity of the Cold War was complicated by an interaction within a complex network of actors. With the competition between the East and the West becoming, since the late 1960s, increasingly complemented by their entanglement in tripartite cooperations in the South, a new global division of labour started to emerge, announcing the post-socialist world.


This symposium will address the practices of architects, urbanists and engineers in this transitory condition, and thus explore the transfer of architectural and urbanist knowledge beyond the modernist dialectics between the metropolis and its colonial “architectural laboratories”.  Special attention needs to be paid to the context and conditions of these practices: a complex entanglement between different cultures and planning approaches, including the heritage of the colonial powers; the objectives of the newly established countries; and the political, technological, economic, and cultural development of the providers of expertise and funding.

This symposium will contribute not only to a clarification of this particularly under-researched topic, but also to an understanding of the current urbanization processes in the Global South, often conditioned by material structures, technologies, and institutions originating from the Cold War. In order to secure the comparative character of the discussion, special attention will be paid to specific locations, situations, projects, and institutions in which the architects, urbanists, and engineers coming from both sides of the Iron Curtain were working. For contributions to the symposium, a focus on particular case studies-realized projects of various scale, ranging from individual buildings to planning proposals and civic infrastructure-is therefore strongly encouraged.


The organizers invite doctoral and postdoctoral researchers to contribute to the poster presentation which will address the transfer of knowledge in architecture, urbanism, engineering, and building technology from the socialist and the capitalist countries towards the post-colonial South during the Cold War. The themes are not limited to a particular scale and they might range from individual buildings to planning proposals and civic infrastructures. Accepted posters will be printed by the organizers and shown at the Berlage Institute during the symposium. Selected contributors will be invited to participate in the exhibition which will take place in Casco, Utrecht and at the ETH Zurich in 2011. The posters should be submitted until November 1st, 2010 to with the use of the template available from Please enclose up to three images to be printed in full color (A3 format).


The organizers of the symposium invite researchers, in particular doctoral and post-doctoral scholars, working on similar themes to participate in the workshop. In order to register, please send an abstract of your research project and a short CV to:


This symposium will consist of a public evening program (November 9, 2010) and of a workshop with a limited number of participants devoted to the discussion of their previously submitted papers (November 10, 2010).

After an introduction by Marion von Osten and Ákos Moravánszky, the contributions to the workshop will include a comparative examination of planning and construction of cities by East-German architects and urbanists in Zanzibar after 1964 (Ludger Wimmelbücker); and an account of the general master-plan of Baghdad drawn by Polish planners in the 1960s, critical to an earlier planning by Costantinos A. Doxiadis, and their overarching General Housing Programme for Iraq in the 1970s (Piotr Bujas, Lukasz Stanek). Other contributions include the export of Soviet and Romanian urban models towards the post-colonial countries in Africa and the Middle East (Elke Beyer, Dana Vais). A biographical focus will be conveyed by contributions about the architectural critic Udo Kultermann working for the German African Society (Tom Avermaete), or architects like Charles Polónyi or Oskar Hansen, who were involved into the institutions of state socialism in Hungary and Poland, while at the same time developing projects in Africa and Latin America, and contributing to the discussions within the Team 10 (Ákos Moravánszky, Lukasz Stanek). This topic will be complemented by the accounts of the export of Soviet and Yugoslav prefabricated building systems to Chile, Cuba, and Africa (Pedro Alonso, Hugo Palmarola Sagredo, Dafne Berc, Dubravka Sekulic); and by a comparative research between the teaching and research programs in “tropical architecture” and “urbanism of developing countries” in Western and Eastern Europe since the 1960s (Judith Hopfengärtner).

Contact: Lukasz Stanek, ETH Zürich (

Emilia Robin

Histoire de la guerre froide, humanités numériques, linux, médiation scientifique

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