Department of History - Contemporary History (University Fribourg)

Universität Fribourg (Schweiz)
Historische Wissenschaften - Zeitgeschichte
Av de l'Europe 20
1700 Fribourg

Prof. Siegfried Weichlein
Tel. +41 (0) 26 300 7998


The domain of Contemporary History belongs to the Department of History at the University Fribourg (Switzerland).

Cold War Interests: 

The overall purpose of this project is to study Cold War culture from the perspective of the political imaginary. Conflicts not only use culture, they are themselves culturally constructed, framed and reframed. What are commonly referred to as the "Eastern and the Western blocs" did not just employ cultural means to political ends; they were themselves profoundly shaped by the repertoire of cultural forms which governed the antagonism of the Cold War. This project moves from the idea of a "cultural Cold War" to that of "Cold War culture", which entails a move from a predominantly instrumental understanding of culture to an active one, focusing on culture as a sphere of production of meaning. Consequently, instead of accepting the Cold War as an explanans – mainly emphasizing the uses of culture through propaganda – this project understands the Cold War as an explanandum, that is, as a process and an object of cultural construction.