The Unexplored History of the USSR, Afghanistan, and the Cold War with Timothy Nunan

September 24th, 2021 · 43 mins 30 secs

About this Episode

In this episode, Dr. Nunan explores the nuances of the Soviet Union’s relationship with Islam throughout its lifetime, both inside and outside of its borders, before diving into the varied strategies of Soviet nation building efforts within Afghanistan as well as this ever important Central Asian country’s experience in the Cold War overall. With Afghanistan spanning news headlines, this episode is an outstanding introduction to the experiences that shaped Afghanistan's modern history. We hope you enjoy!!


Timothy Nunan is a scholar of international and global history. Combining international history methods with the toolkit of area studies, his work looks at how actors from the former Soviet Union, Iran, and Afghanistan have sought to challenge the Western-dominated world order. Since October 2016, he works as an Assistant Professor (Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter) at the Center for Global History at the Free University of Berlin. His position and current research is funded by a Freigeist Fellowship from the Volkswagen Foundation. In 2020, he was awarded with the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize, the major prize for early-career researchers of the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft). Timothy received his intellectual training to this point at Princeton (A.B., 2008), the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen and the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, where he was a Fulbright Scholar from 2008-2009, and Corpus Christi College of the University of Oxford (M.Phil., 2011), where he was a Rhodes Scholar. After receiving a D.Phil. in History at Oxford, he began as a Harvard Academy Scholar at the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies. Visit him at and follow him on Twitter: @timothynunan.

PRODUCER'S NOTE: This episode was recorded on September 1st, 2021 via Zoom.

Co-Producer: Lera Toropin (@earlportion)
Host/Associate Producer: Cullan Bendig (@cullanwithana)
Host/Assistant Producer: Sergio Glajar
Assistant Producer: Zach Johnson
Executive Assistant: Katherine Birch
Recording, Editing, and Sound Design: Michelle Daniel

Music Producer: Charlie Harper (Connect: Instagram: @charlieharpermusic) (Main Theme by Charlie Harper and additional background music by Charlie Harper, Strgatsky Brothers, Ketsa, Polish Ambassador)

Executive Producer & Creator: Michelle Daniel (Connect: Instagram: @michelledaniel86)

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