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Listening to the enemy: Radio surveillance and punishment in the early Cold War

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This paper seeks to examine the various levels of mutual surveillance involved in uncensored radio listening behind the Iron Curtain in the early 1950s. Through the lens of Radio Free Europe listeners’ testimonies, this paper aims to identify monitoring practices and forms of punishment that revolved around the production, transmission and consumption of uncensored radio broadcasts in Central and Eastern Europe.

Dr Friederike Kind-Kovacs is assistant professor of Southeast- and East European History at the University of Regensburg. She is the author of Written Here, Published There: How Underground Literature Crossed the Iron Curtain (CEU Press, 2014), a monograph for which she won the University of Southern California Book Prize in Cultural and Literary Studies in 2015. She also co-edited Samizdat, Tamizdat and Beyond. Transnational media during and after socialism. (Berghahn Books 2013). Currently she is working on her second book project, entitled Central Europe’s Starving Children: Humanitarian Child Relief in Budapest after the Great War.

This talk is part of the Slavonic Studies series.

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