Moving Knowledge - The Soviet Union and China in the Twentieth Century

  • Marc A. Matten (Prof. Dr., Professor für chinesische Zeitgeschichte, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg )
  • Julia Obertreis (Prof. Dr., Lehrstuhl für Neuere und Neueste Geschichte mit dem Schwerpunkt der Geschichte Osteuropas, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg )


This special issue is dedicated to the history of knowledge circulation in Russia / Soviet Union and China in the 20th century. Focusing on scientific knowledge production in biology, medicine, and natural sciences in both empires we argue that their translation, reception, transfer, and dissemination can only be described properly when taking into account that development and diffusion of science and knowledge are shaped by local circumstances. The papers in this special issue discuss the role of brokers in movement of knowledge across linguistic, ideological, and cultural borders. Educated in transnational contexts, having multilingual competence, and integrated in global communication networks these brokers faced considerable challenges in their work resulting from two big fields of tension: the tension between “Western” input and national adaptation, and between “bourgeois” knowledge production and socialist ideas of science and knowledge. It is these tension that are at the core of the different papers.

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How to Cite

Matten, M. A., & Obertreis, J. (2019). Knowledge Circulation in Russia / the Soviet Union and China in the 20th Century. Comparativ, 29(1), 7-21.