Tag Archives: propaganda

Special Issue of HHS: “Social and Human Sciences across the Iron Curtain”

The  October/December 2016 issue of History of the Human Sciences is now online. This special issue on “Social and Human Sciences across the Iron Curtain” is guest edited by Olessia Kirtchik and Ivan Boldyrev. Full titles, authors, and abstracts follow below.

“On (im)permeabilities: Social and human sciences on both sides of the ‘Iron Curtain’,” by Ivan Boldyrev and Olessia Kirtchik. The abstract reads,

While the history of Cold War social and human sciences has become an immensely productive line of inquiry and has generated some exciting research, a lot remains still to be done in studying more deeply the known stories, venturing into the unknown ones and, in particular, looking in greater detail at the Soviet side of the Iron Curtain. In our expository introduction to this special issue, we demonstrate how its articles enhance our understanding of the postwar social and human sciences. The special issue invites us to rethink the role of the local intellectual and disciplinary contexts in the postwar cultures of knowledge; to pay more attention to the networks and institutions that fostered communication across the Iron Curtain; to trace various asymmetries at work in the divided academic world and the ambiguous status of many actors who enable the East–West contacts despite the general hostility and ideological cleavages; and finally to arrive at a more differentiated and complex view of the whole intellectual landscape in the history of social and human sciences opening up once all the Cold War protagonists, including the countries of the eastern bloc, are subject to a detailed study. This project, we believe, is worthwhile not just for the sake of historical accuracy but also for understanding and changing the societies we live in, which are often still contaminated by the maladies of the Cold War.

“After Nikolai Bukharin: History of science and cultural hegemony at the threshold of the Cold War era,” by Pietro D. Omodeo. The abstract reads, Continue reading Special Issue of HHS: “Social and Human Sciences across the Iron Curtain”

Sex & Propaganda in The Psychologist

The latest issue of the British Psychological Society’s flagship journal The Psychologist contains a fascinating article by Herbert A. Friedman on the use of sex in wartime propaganda during World War II. Often the strategy was to drop leaflets from the sky that contained pictures of nude women and/or that accused other men (allied soldiers or those who had evaded military service) of having their way with the soldiers’ girlfriends and wives “back home” while they were on the front fighting. Friedman argues that the strategy usually failed, the leaflets becoming favored keepsakes of the soldiers rather than lowering morale, as intended.

The full article can be found here on the new all-on-line edition of The Psychologist. (Congrats to BPS on this new venture!) Just “flip” to page 84 to find it.

Back in May, AHP posted an item about the website on which this article is based here.

History of Sexual Propaganda

Mind Hacks has alerted me to a fascinating webpage on the history of “Sex and Psychological Operations” in the military. The site was written by Herbert A. Friedman, a retired Sgt. Major in the US Army. It surveys a wide array of attempts to use sexually explicit text and images for propaganda purposes, usually directed at enemy soldiers, running from World War II up to the Vietnam war. Examples from a number of different countries are shown, including Germany, Japan, Britain, Italy, the USSR, Korea, Vietnam and the US.

The website is particularly notable for the large collection of rare illustrated ephemera on display.