Dr Natalia Telepneva

Lecturer

History

Personal statement

I joined the University of Strathclyde in 2019 as Lecturer in International History. My main research lies in the history of the Soviet Union and the Cold War and the history of socialism, especially in Africa. My first monograph, entitled ‘Cold War Liberation: The Soviet Union and the Collapse of Portuguese Empire in Africa, 1961-1975’, is currently under contract with the University of North Carolina Press (New Cold War History series). I have published on the history of Soviet and Czechoslovak involvement in Africa in a number of peer-reviewed journals and co-edited. I have co-edited an edited volume the “Warsaw Pact Intervention in the Third World" (2018) and special issue for the International History Review, "Secret Struggle for the Global South" (2020). 

Before moving to the University of Strathclyde, I taught at the University of Warwick and the London School of Economics. I was the recipient of the British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2017-2020. 

Publications

A cultural heritage for national liberation? The Soviet-Somali historical expedition, Soviet African studies, and the Cold War in the Horn of Africa
Telepneva Natalia
International Journal of Heritage Studies Vol 26, pp. 1185-1202 (2020)
https://doi.org/10.1080/13527258.2019.1664620
'Code Name SEKRETÁŘ' : Amílcar Cabral, Czechoslovakia and the role of human intelligence during the Cold War
Telepneva Natalia
The International History Review Vol 42, pp. 1257-1273 (2020)
https://doi.org/10.1080/07075332.2019.1678508
An introduction : the secret struggle for the global south – espionage, military assistance and state security in the cold war
Richterova Daniela, Telepneva Natalia
The International History Review (2020)
https://doi.org/10.1080/07075332.2020.1777456
Banking on military assistance : Czechoslovakia's struggle for influence and profit in the third world 1955–1968
Richterova Daniela, Pešta Mikuláš, Telepneva Natalia
The International History Review (2020)
https://doi.org/10.1080/07075332.2020.1763422
'Letters from Angola' : Soviet print media and the liberation of Angola, Mozambique, and Guinea-Bissau, 1961–1975
Telepneva Natalia
Southern African Liberation Movements and the Global Cold War 'East' Transnational Activism, 1960-1990 (2019) (2019)
https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110642964-010
Saving Ghana's revolution : the demise of Kwame Nkrumah and the evolution of Soviet policy in Africa, 1966–1972
Telepneva Natalia
Journal of Cold War Studies Vol 20, pp. 4-25 (2019)
https://doi.org/10.1162/jcws_a_00838

More publications

Teaching

The courses I teach correspond to my research interests. I teach courses on the Russian Revolution, the Soviet Union and the Cold War in Africa.

Undergraduate Level

V1711/V1712 The Russian Revolution and its Global Impact, 1917-1928

V1707/1708 The Last Empire: The History of the Soviet Union, 1917-1991

Postgraduate level

V1993 Diplomacy: Evolution, Theory and Practice (co-taught course)

V1999 Red Continent: Africa and the Global Cold War

Research interests

I am a historian of Soviet foreign policy with a particular interest in the history of socialism and the Global Cold War in Africa. My first book, preliminary titled "Cold War Liberation: The Soviet Union and the End of the Portuguese Empire in Africa, 1961-1976” explores Soviet support for anti-colonial movements in the Portuguese colonies. The book recovers the role of Soviet bureaucratic and military elites in the Soviet Cold War and re-interprets the internationalisation of the Angolan Civil War in 1974-75. My current research interests lie in the following inter-related fields:

Espionage and Secret Intelligence in Africa. I continue to investigate the history of Soviet and Eastern bloc intelligence operations in Africa. My focus is on human intelligence, and I have written extensively on Soviet and Czechoslovak intelligence in Ghana, the Congo and Guinea-Bissau. In collaboration with Dr. Daniela Richterova at Brunel, I have co-edited a special issue, "Secret Struggle for the Global South" for the International History Review. The special issue explores the role of espionage, military assistance, and state security in the 'Global Cold War'. I have contributed to the "Secret Struggle for Cold War Dominance" podcast, which is based on the articles in the special issue.

East and Central Europe/Diplomacy in Africa. In collaboration with Phil E. Muehlenbeck, I have drawn out the role of Soviet East and Central European allies in Africa, specifically looking at the role of Czechoslovakia. Our jointly edited volume "Warsaw Pact Intervention in the Third World (I.B. Tauris, 2018) explores the role of Soviet allies in the Third World. I have published on Soviet and Czechoslovak intelligence in the Journal of Cold War Studies, and International History Review.

Development and the End of the Cold War. My new research project seeks to investigate the political economy of the Soviet Cold War in Africa between 1974 and 1991. In particular, it focuses on Soviet development assistance in Africa and on how Moscow’s experience of engagement with modernisation and state-building of key allies in the region affected debates about reform in the Soviet Union. My main case study looks at the post-war history of Guinea-Bissau to explore how different groups of people understood and related to Soviet socialism. The first part of my research was to conduct oral history interviews with former guerilla fighters who studied in the USSR. The interviews were conducted in Bissau in 2019. The project was funded by the British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2017-2020.

I tweet at @nat_telepneva

Professional activities

Contribution to podcast "The Secret Struggle for Cold War Dominance"
Contributor
24/12/2020
Soviet Cold War in Africa: New Findings and Methods
Speaker
22/10/2020
Soviet Secret Intelligence: An Overview
Speaker
12/3/2020
Soviet and Eastern European Intelligence in Africa: the Case of Czechoslovak Relations with Amilcar Cabral
Speaker
21/2/2020
Cold War Liberation: The Soviet Union and the Collapse of Portuguese Empire in Africa
Speaker
17/1/2020
Annual Conference of the British International History Group (BIHG)
Speaker
5/9/2019

More professional activities

Projects

Winning the Development Endgame: The Political Economy of Soviet Cold War in Africa, 1974-1991
Telepneva, Natalia (Fellow)
21-Jan-2019 - 17-Jan-2020
Winning the Development Endgame: The Political Economy of Soviet Cold War in Africa, 1974-1991
Telepneva, Natalia (Principal Investigator)
British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship
01-Jan-2017 - 31-Jan-2020

More projects