A War of Experts: Soviet and American Knowledge Networks in Cold War Competition

Monday, October 5, 2015 • 4:30PM - 6:00PM • 118 DeBartolo Hall

This talk, by Prof. Barbara Walker (University of Nevada, Reno) is about Cold War competition between Soviets and Americans in three different areas of expertise pertaining to the discovery and analysis of information: computing, scholarship, and journalism. Its specific focus is on the “informal discourses,” in the form of professional gossip, story-telling and myth-making, that were channeled by professional networks in these areas on either side. It explores the impact that these discourses had on the progress and outcome of the Cold War, arguing that in transnational expert encounters, they could turn competition into collaboration and vice versa.