Red Waves: A maritime history of socialist Cold War

Red Waves: A maritime history of socialist Cold War

Max Weber Foundation – Georgia Branch Office, Tbilisi
Findet statt
Vom - Bis
05.06.2024 - 07.05.2024
Natalia Arzamastseva, Max Weber Netzwerk Osteuropa

International Workshop at the Max Weber Stiftung – Georgia Branch Office, June 5-7, 2024

Red Waves: A maritime history of socialist Cold War

Focussing on soviet coasts and maritime activities of socialist states, this workshop explores new approaches to maritime history and challenges common narratives of Cold War history.


Wednesday, June 5
19:00 Public Key Note Lecture
Rinna Kullaa (Tampere): To Connect and to Control the Globe: History of the Soviet Mediterranean Fleet
Reception at MWS – Georgia Branch Office

Thursday, June 6
10:00 Andreas Hilger (Tbilisi): Welcome
10:15 Helena Holzberger (Tbilisi / Munich): Introduction
10:30 Panel 1: Soviet Fish(ing)
Elizabeth Banks (Edinburgh): Soviet Fisheries, International Organizations and the Cold War of the Sea
Natalia Telepneva (Glasgow): Soviet Fishing and Social Democracy in 1970s Guinea Bissau
Karina Simonson (Vilnius): Maritime Journeys and Visual Narratives of Soviet Lithuanian Fishermen
12:30 Lunch Break
13:30 Panel 2: Making and Working of Socialist Navies
Alexander Herbert (Worcester, MA): On Waves and in Caves: The Soviet Pacific Fleet as Heterotopia, 1918-1925
Gabriel Wolfson (Tübingen): Anchor, Hammer, Sickle: The ,Politische Erziehung' in the East German naval forces (1970-1990)
Alexander Hill (Calgary): Cold War Soviet Navy in Sub-Saharan Waters
15:30 Coffee Break
16:00 Panel 3: Global and Transnational Maritime Encounters
Katja Castryck-Naumann (Leipzig): Socialist Contributions to International Shipping Policy: Polish Emigrants, Experts and State Officials (1950s-1970s)
Julia Laius (Helsinki): Soviet marine sciences on the international scene in the mid 1950-1960s
Sarah Lemmen (Madrid): Contact zone, loophole, or Communist bulwark? The Czechoslovak Port in Hamburg during the Cold War

Friday, June 7
10:00 Panel 4: Red Pacific
Ryan Tucker Jones (Eugene, OR): The Port Vladivostok and „Socialist Cosmopolitanism”
Derek Kramer (Sheffield): In the Nation's Wake: North Korean Maritime Mobilization and the Search for a Socialist Plenty
Yu Yao (Shanghai): Global Cold War and the Initial Development of Zhanjiang Port
12:00 Coffee Break
12:30 Panel 5: Soviet Georgia in Cold War Waters
Giorgij Ghvinjilia (Tbilisi): Revolution of 1905 in Batumi and Soviet Historiography
Helena Holzberger (Munich / Tbilisi): Contested Contact Zones: The Soviet (and) Georgian Merchant Fleet during the Cold War
Irakli Javakhishvili (Tbilisi): The Military-Naval Base of Poti
14:30 Lunch Break
15:30 Commentary (Andreas Hilger) and Concluding Discussion
16:00 only for participants in person: Filmscreening “The Port that never was” and (tbc) Q&A with the director Stefan Tolz

To participate in the workshop online via Zoom, please register here:


Helena Holzberger (
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