CWAR Conferences

The European Institute’s Cold War Archives Research (CWAR) Fellowship offers to selected Columbia students the opportunity to conduct original archival research on the history of culture and the Cold War.

After the conclusion of each research session, the students work on their research papers to be presented at a conference at Columbia University.

In December 2017, the Cold War History Research Center (Budapest) published Students on the Cold War: New Finding and Interpretations, edited by Csaba Békés and Melinda Kalmár. The publication includes work by five CWAR Fellows: Fatima Dar, Adriana Popa, Monique Kil, Thalia Ertman, and Tinatin Japaridze.

Previous CWAR Conferences

The conference is organized in collaboration with the Institute of International Studies, Corvinus University of Budapest; the Institute for Political Science, Centre for Social Sciences, Hungarian Academy of Sciences; and the European Institute, Columbia University, New York.

View the full program here.

Video recordings of the conference below, which are all available on the Cold War History Research Center's Facebook page.

Remarks from the conference: Thomas Kent, President and CEO, RFL/RL on “RFL/RL Today and Yesterday” (full text)


9:30-10am: Welcome Remarks

  • Victoria Phillips, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Research Project, Adjunct Lecturer, European Institute, Department of History, Associated Faculty, Harriman Institute

10-10:45am: Conference Keynote

  • “Managing Influence Projects: Lessons from Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty” 
    A Ross Johnson, Visiting Fellow, Hoover Institution; Adviser to the Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Project, Hoover Archives; former Director, Radio Free Europe

11am-12noon: THEORY IN ACTION: Psychological Warfare, Intellectual Backlash, and Funding for Propaganda in the Cold War

  • Commentator: Greg Tomlin, Branch Chief at Joint Staff, The Pentagon, author, Murrow’s Cold War: Public Diplomacy for the Kennedy Administration
  • Fatima Dar: Psychological Warfare and Soft Power: A State of Total War
  • Adriana Popa: “Radio Free Europe: Intellectual Backlash”
  • Monique Kil: “A Penny for Every Word: Radio Free Europe’s Call for ‘Truth Dollars'”

12pm-1pm: SOFT POWER?: Race, Religion, Gender 

  • Commentator: Victoria de Grazia, Moore Collegiate Professor of History, author, Irresistible Empire: America’s Advance Through Twentieth-Century Europe
  • Lotte Houwink ten Cate: Free Man in a Free Society: Broadcasting the March on Washington in the Soviet Union
  • David Noell: Broadcasting Against Persecution: How American Cold War Broadcasters Used the Communist Quarrel with Religion to Define Religious Freedom
  • Thalia Wells Ertman:  “Every Courageous and Incisive Measure”: The Participation of Jewish and African-American Women’s Groups in the Crusade for Freedom’s Fight Against Communism

1pm-2pm: Luncheon Keynote

  • “One Hundred Years of Cold War: Russian and American Interference in Domestic Politics Abroad”
    Kenneth Osgood, Professor of History, Colorado School of Mines, author, Total Cold War: Eisenhower’s Secret Propaganda Battle at Home and Abroad

2pm-3pm: “Radio Free Europe in the Twenty-First Century”

  • Thomas Kent, President and Chief Executive Officer of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

3:15-4:15pm: RFE FALLOUT: Orchestras, Television, and Balloons

  • Commentator: Greg Tomlin, Branch Chief at Joint Staff, The Pentagon, author, Murrow’s Cold War: Public Diplomacy for the Kennedy Administration
  • Giancarlo Milea: The Philharmonia Hungarica: Pride or Propaganda?  1957-1959
  • Tinatin Japaridze
: MIND THE GAP: Rebuilding the U.S.-Russian Space Bridge in the Post-Cold War Era
  • Sarah Roth: Radiowaves and Weather Balloons: How Radio Free Europe’s Domination of the Airwaves and the 1956 Hungarian Revolution

4:15-5:00pm: Closing Remarks

  • Csaba Békés
Poster for conference "Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty in the Cold War"

Talk and Discussion by A. Ross Johnson, Visiting Fellow, Hoover Institution; Senior Scholar, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars; former Director, Radio Free Europe

Moderated by Victoria Phillips, Adjunct Lecturer, European Institute

Poster for event "East European Crises 1953 – 1989"