Dr. Darina Volf

Research Associate
Chair of East and Southeast European History
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München

Alumna of the Graduate School
Affiliated Researcher


Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
Historisches Seminar
East and Southeast European History
Geschwister-Scholl-Platz 1
80539 München
Phone: +49 (0) 89 / 2180-5441
Fax: +49 (0) 89 / 2180 - 5656 (Secretary)

Research Projects

The Apollo-Soyuz Test Project (ASTP): East-West Cooperation despite System Competition (1970s)

Subproject 1 within the DFG research group "Cooperation and Competition in the Sciences"

The successful docking maneuver of an Apollo and a Soyuz spaceship on July 17, 1975 was a historic event. The two space-faring nations, the USA and the USSR, completed their most ambitious cooperation project. The Apollo-Soyuz Test Project (ASTP) raised many hopes and expectations, as it intended to establish a lasting scientific and technical cooperation and was considered a political symbol of the policy of détente.

The project analyses the difficult negotiation processes, which preceded the cooperation. Firstly, it focuses on the actors, who, because of their various interests and motivation, intensified, negotiated, legitimised, questioned and hindered collaboration with the political opponent and the main competitor in science, technology and economy. Secondly, the project examines the actual arrangements of the cooperation, the involved actors’ perceptions and expectations as well as the epistemic effects of the ASTP. Thirdly, the images of the self and others, which were publicly disseminated in the course of the successful American-Soviet cooperation, are analysed and compared. A fourth aim of the project is to evaluate the conditions that enable the continuation of scientific cooperation. While some joint projects launched under the ASTP came to an end with the worsening of the political conditions in the second half of the 1970s, other cooperation initiatives have continued successfully (for instance in the field of space biology and medicine) despite the unfavorable political climate.

Czechoslovak images of America and Russia between 1948 and 1992 [completed]

Ph.D. dissertation project at the Graduate School

The aim of this PhD project was to analyze images of America and Russia/Soviet Union in Czechoslovak discourses from 1948 to 1992. The study will focus on images that played an important role on the political debates in Czechoslovakia. These images were used for the purposes of the legitimization of the political system and the country’s foreign policy, mobilization, identity building, or they were misused against political enemies. Since the images of “the others” say more about those who created them than about the actual others, I will also analyze the Czech and Slovak self-images during this period. This study attempts to show how images of the Soviet Union and of the US were created, transmitted, spread and how they changed over time. Assuming that these processes are closely related to the power relations in the respective society, one important goal of the study is to highlight the political conditions and interests of social actors that had a crucial impact on the construction of these images.

Please also see an overview of her project in the Graduate School's Newsletter Nr. 7 Winter Semester 2016/17.

The study has been published as volume 7 in the Graduate School's book series "Schnittstellen. Studien zum östlichen und südöstlichen Europa"

Curriculum Vitae

Born in Poprad (Slovakia). 2007-2012 Studies in Political Science, East European History and Slavic Studies in Munich (2012 M.A., thesis on Civil society in Poland and Slovakia). 2007-2012 DAAD-scholarship Holder, 2010-2012 Max Weber Programme Scholarship Holder, 2010-2012 Assistant Librarian at the Academic Library at the Sudetendeutsche Haus. 2012 to 2016 PhD candidate at the Graduate School for East and Southeast European Studies, March-April 2014 research visitor at the Charles University in Prague. Since October 2017 Research Associate in the DFG research group "Cooperation and Competition in the Sciences" and at the Chair for East and Southeast European History.



Über Riesen und Zwerge. Tschechoslowakische Amerika- und Sowjetunionbilder 1948-1989, Göttingen 2017 (= Schnittstellen. Studien zum östlichen und südöstlichen Europa; Bd. 7).


Tomáš Hermann / Doubravka Olšáková (Hgg.): Plánování socialistické vědy. Dokumenty z roku 1960 ke stavu a rozvoji přírodních a technických věd v Československu. In: Jahrbücher für Geschichte Osteuropas / jgo.e-reviews, jgo.e-reviews 1/2017, S. 36-37.

Jiří Křesťan: Případ Václava Talicha: k problému národní očisty a českého heroismu [= Der Fall Václav Talich. Zum Problem der nationalen Säuberung und des tschechischen Heroismus]. In: Bohemia 57 (1), 2017, S. 229-231.

Doubravka Olšáková: Věda jde k lidu! Československá společnost pro šíření politických a vědeckých znalostí a popularizace věd v Československu ve 20. století. In: Jahrbücher für Geschichte Osteuropas / jgo.e-reviews, jgo.e-reviews 4/2014, S. 46-47.

Further Publications

"Noch sind wir im Krieg" – Die tschechoslowakische Geschichte des 20. Jahrhunderts im Comic. In: Erinnerungskulturen. Erinnerung und Geschichtspolitik im östlichen und südöstlichen Europa, 27.07.2018.

Российский государственный архив научно-технической документации / The Russian State Archive for Scientific-technical Documentation, in: ESE Archives Guide: A Web Guide to East and Southeast European Archives, 2018 (2018-04-19), http://www.ese-archives.geschichte.uni-muenchen.de/?p=914.

Архив Российской Академии Наук – Москва / The Archive of the Russian Academy of Sciences – Moscow, in: ESE Archives Guide: A Web Guide to East and Southeast European Archives, 2018 (2018-04-19), http://www.ese-archives.geschichte.uni-muenchen.de/?p=787.

Helden aus der "Nation der Schwejks". Das Attentat auf Reinhard Heydrich in der tschechischen Erinnerungskultur. In: Erinnerungskulturen. Erinnerung und Geschichtspolitik im östlichen und südöstlichen Europa, 29.06.2017.

10 Jahre "Geschichten des 20. Jahrhunderts": Zeitzeugeninterviews in der tschechischen Erinnerungskultur. In: Erinnerungskulturen. Erinnerung und Geschichtspolitik im östlichen und südöstlichen Europa, 16.06.2016.

Shifting Attitudes Toward the Second World War Commemorations in the Czech Republic. In: Cultures of History Forum, 01.03.2016.

Jugend im 20. Jahrhundert in der Tschechoslowakei. 07.–10.11.2013, Bad Wiessee (Tagungsbericht). In: Bohemia 54, 2014, S. 162-166.

Lectures (selected)


"Unmasking the Myth of American Freedom and Democracy: Representations of the US in Czechoslovak Media in the Stalinist Period" (20th Annual ASN World Convention, New York, April 2015).

Vorstellung des Dissertationsprojektes (19. Münchner Bohemisten-Treffen, März 2015).


Vorstellung des Dissertationsprojektes (Kolloquium "Sociální a kulturní dějiny 20. Století", Karlsuniversität Prag, März 2014).

Vorstellung des Dissertationsprojektes (AG "Visuelle Medien im deutsch-tschechischen Kontext", März 2014).


"Befreiung oder Okkupation? Erinnerung an die US‐Armee in Westböhmen in der sozialistischen Tschechoslowakei" (Tagung "Die Transformation der Erinnerung nach 1945. Stadt, Migration und Gedächtnis im europäischen Vergleich", Košic, Oktober 2013).

Darina Volf