Dr. Rosamund Johnston

Dr. Rosamund Johnston

Research interests: 

  • History of Central and Eastern Europe
  • Oral History
  • Science, Technology and Society Studies
  • Media History
  • Sound Studies
  • Migration History

Current Research Project:

"Comrades in Arms: A Global History of Czechoslovakia's Weapons Industry, 1954-1994"

Czechoslovakia, rarely thought of as one of the Cold War's major players, was perhaps the biggest exporter of small arms to Africa throughout the 1960s. And lurking in the background of Cold War crises—from Guatemala and Suez in the 1950s to Angola and Afghanistan in the 1980s—were Czechoslovak weapons. 

Comrades in Arms follows the flow of commodities from the Czechoslovak provinces to the Cold War's flashpoints, excavating the role played by Czechoslovak arms in shaping global conflict in the twentieth century. Conversely, it asks how global conflict shaped class configurations and gender relations on the factory floor. Rather than a top-down tale of politics and diplomacy, Comrades in Arms focuses in turns on the state's leaders, arms dealers, munitions workers, international students, and the general public to demonstrate the complex web of interactions upon which Czechoslovakia's international arms trade relied. It reveals both the sovereignty of Soviet "satellite" states during the Cold War and socialist internationalism's shifting forms.  



Red Tape: Radio and Politics in Czechoslovakia, 1945-1969 (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2024)

Havel v Americe: Rozhovory s americkými intelektuály, politiky a umělci [Havel in America: Interviews with American Intellectuals, Politicians and Artists], co-authored with Lenka Kabrhelová (Brno: Host, 2019).


Listening in on the Neighbors: The Reception of German and Austrian Radio in Cold War Czechoslovakia (2021). Central European History, 54(4), 603-620. doi:10.1017/S0008938921000054. 

Book Chapters:

"The Peace Train: Anticosmopolitanism, Internationalism and Jazz on Czechoslovak Radio during Stalinism" in Alice Lovejoy and Mari Pajala (eds.) Remapping Cold War Media: Institutions, Infrastructures, Translations (forthcoming with Indiana University Press).

"Secret Agents: Reassessing the Agency of Radio Listeners in Czechoslovakia, 1945-1953" in Muriel Blaive (ed.) Perceptions of Society in Communist Europe: Regime Archives and Public Opinion (London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2018) pp. 15-32.