Visegrad Grantees at Blinken OSA

Photo by Edit Blaumann/Budapest100

As the board of the Visegrad Fund is assessing the second round of the new applications for the successful 2021–2022 calls for the Visegrad Scholarship at OSA, let us highlight the work of the winners of the previous call.
The Visegrad Scholarship at OSA was launched to invite researchers, scholars, artists, journalists to do research at Blinken OSA, covering their Budapest stay and travel.

The theme of the scholarship varies from year to year, the latest call titled Possibilities of Knowing: Truth Seeking in a Polarized World and [in] Its Aftermath invites applicants from the fields of history, the arts, philosophy, and sociology, to reflect on the conditions of knowledge production during and after the Cold War. Successful applicants spend a period of eight weeks studying related documents, analyzing them, and at the end of their scholarship, they would all be required to give a short lecture with the end results of their research at the Archives.

Matyja Bartosz (Poland) is seeking an answer to his question Who is to blame? Explaining the inequalities of development in Socialist Poland in the 1970s. His aim is to investigate how the effort to modernize Socialism fueled by the scientific-technical revolution (STR) in Poland in the 1970s was depicted by the RFE/RL Research Institute, whether the growing inequalities were viewed as the phase in the development and opening up to the West, and how the Polish development doctrine was evaluated in regard to Capitalism’s normative framework in the RFE collection. Bartosz also raised the question of whether Blinken OSA as a counter-archive may offer insight into the self-awareness of the Capitalist world and its reflection in the documents of RFE/RL.

Isaac Bershady (US) came to Blinken OSA to research how Chinese-Hungarian relations shaped Hungarian officials’ visions of economic and visa reforms from 1979 to 1992. His aim is to understand how the late-20th-century economic policies in Hungary resulted from a confluence of officials’ interactions with actors from Western Europe and East Asia. He believes that historical scholarship has often examined the diffusion of economic policies and practices from Western Europe, therefore he seeks to understand the diffusion of economic paradigms and flow of consumer goods from East Asia as well, particularly from China.

Alexander Suβman (Germany) for his research conducted an intimate documentary portrait of the former mayor of Budapest, Gábor Demszky, titled “I Used to Be the Mayor.” The project is in its development stage, where comprehensive research on the recent history of Hungary and the life of Gábor Demszky is necessary. The research aims to create a dynamic portrait of a public person, which was once shaped by power, and redefined by his present life.
Nicholas Kulawiak (US/Ireland) is investigating how Cold War geopolitics shaped and informed Polish media presentation of the 1972 Black September attack on the Israeli team He compares it to the American media coverage of the event, uncovering the various aspects that were either highlighted, or not stressed, and how it was shaped by geopolitical and state concerns.

Alice Trinkle’s research is about understanding Socialist economic reform as a global phenomenon. Assessing exchanges between Europe and China and their influence on Chinese economic reform in the 1980s and 1990s, her aim is to understand how “Socialist” and authoritarian ideologies, policies, and economic knowledge intermingled with “neo-liberal” approaches in the late 20th century, and how this shaped the transformation of “Socialist” countries such as (but not only) the People’s Republic of China.

Ripka Vojtech’s research is about Knowledge production regarding public opinion in State Socialist Czechoslovakia at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE-RL). His objectives in his research are twofold, firstly to establish a framework to approach the quality of evidence, especially regarding credibility, representativeness, and meanings. And secondly, to apply the findings, acquire documents, and eventually use them in an informed way in inquiry-based history education for the and Historiana projects.