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Global History and Culture Centre Blog

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Golden Fever in the 1920s–30s and the Soviet Reception of Medieval Alchemy

The reception of alchemy in the early USSR remains a completely unknown field. This is despite the fact that many historians now work extensively on the history of alchemy more broadly. However, there were many mentions of alchemy both in the occult and the science literature in Russian in the 1920s and 1930s. In this blog entry, PhD student Sergei Zotov discusses how transnational connections in the beginning of the twentieth century shaped the reception of alchemy in the USSR.

The International Origins of the Malawi Young Pioneers

From a Ghanaian emphasis on respect for state leaders and Soviet-style patriotism to an Israeli interest on agricultural production and a scout-like enthusiasm for bushcraft, the creators of the Malawi Young Pioneers drew inspiration from a range of different places. In this blog, Emma Orchardson traces the origins of Malawi's agricultural-turned-paramilitary youth organisation and explores some of its foreign influences in the 1960s. In doing so it reveals the effect these had on the organisation’s early construction and development, as well as highlighting some of the wider international connections Malawi forged in the initial years of independence.