Matthias Duller

Botstiber Fellow
Period of Stay: 
October 2018 – February 2019
University of Graz, Austria
Project Title: 
The Ford Foundation’s East European Fellowship Program: A Historical Sociology of Intellectuals under Real Socialism
Project Abstract: 

This project examines one of the largest efforts by American agents of cultural diplomacy to instigate a transatlantic intellectual exchange across the Cold War divide: the Ford Foundation's East European Fellowship Program. From 1957 onwards, several hundred intellectuals from real socialist countries of East-Central Europe, most of them from Poland and Yugoslavia, have been awarded fellowships by the US-American Ford Foundation to spend research and study visits at Western universities and other learning institutions. My work will be the first to give a comprehensive overview over the Ford Foundation's activities in several real socialist East-Central European countries during the politically immensely dynamic phase between 1956 and 1968. Against the backdrop of the diplomatic history of the Ford Foundation's East European Program, I will assess the program's effects on the social science and humanities scholars who benefitted from a Ford fellowship and on the academic intelligentsia in East-Central Europe more broadly.