Please consider submitting your abstracts for our planned session at the annual conference of the European Society for the History of the Human sciences, July 4-6, 2019 in Budapest, Hungary (www.eshhs.org).
The session presents several case studies from different Central and East European countries in the height of both state socialism and the conflict between the two blocs and brings to the fore aspects of interactions of politics and academic psychology. Talks will focus on how psychological theory and practice have been shaped by political and ideological factors and how, in turn, psychologists used their expertise to impact society. Participants of this session are encouraged to put their focus on one (or several) of the following topics concerning the relation between academic psychology and the political sphere:
1. Tradition, innovation, and repression: Which intellectual and/or practical traditions informed the ways in which research was conducted in certain subdisciplines or regions? Which areas of knowledge flourished in spite of (or because) of ideological regulation and practical constraints, what role did Marxist-Leninist theory play? Are there different grades of freedom to be recognized as to travel regulations, research agendas, theoretical concepts etc.?
2. Scientific internationalism from a comparative perspective: Despite the geopolitical and ideological confrontation between the two blocs, scientists from East and West competed and cooperated with each other in multiple ways. Talks may focus on how scientific communities formed within the Eastern bloc and how they interacted with scientific communities in the Western bloc, in international associations and meetings, etc.
3. The emotional register of East and West encounters: solidarity, trust and mistrust, fear and hope, the role of self-reflexiveness and the application of psychological knowledge for building scientific networks – how did emotionality and expert knowledge bear on international relations?
Publication of papers is envisaged. Contributors are invited to hand in their manuscripts to the organizers of the panel in order to coordinate a collaborative publication after the conference.