Dissidents and the West.
Soviet Exiles, Western Intellectuals and Political Culture during the Late Cold War
Research project of Maike Lehmann
This project aims at a transnational intellectual and everyday history of the Cold War. Following Soviet dissidents and non-conformists into exile in the 'West' I want to write a history of encounter and cultural conditioning of individuals from the Soviet Union, post-'1968' Europe and the United States after 'Vietnam'. While being part of a larger migration movement from the Soviet Union, Soviet dissidents attracted much attention from their new host societies. Their personae thus became the testing ground for political beliefs as well as perceptions of the ‘other’ and the 'self'. In the process, these exiles had to reconcile their Soviet background, their private and professional self-conceptions, their family and other ties with the expectations and the everyday demands of their new surroundings. Their experiences and reactions in this context provide a prism for the dynamics and limits of both Soviet and Western intellectual culture, transnational encounters and everyday mentalities in the late 20th century.Dissidents in Transit. Politics, Culture and Transnational Ties of Soviet ‘non-Conformist’ Intellectuals.