Ouachita’s Bethany Hicks authors “Germany” chapter essay in published Cold War handbook

ARKADELPHIA — Ouachita Baptist University’s Bethany Hicks, associate professor of history, authored a chapter essay titled “Germany” in the book East Central European Migrations During the Cold War: A Handbook, published in May 2019. The volume is a compilation of essays written by historians, sociologists and political scientists from eight countries.

The volume serves as a survey of major migrations that occurred throughout East and Central Europe after World War II and due to the political circumstances of the Cold War. The volume – organized by country – also provides resources for more in-depth research and study of each major migration.

Hicks’ chapter, “Germany,” provides an overview of migratory movements between and within the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) and the Federal Republic (West Germany) from the end of World War II through the 1990s. In addition, the chapter provides an overview of American and German archival resources for conducting further research.

“This is the first major publication to explore Germany as a part of an East-Central European migratory region and is an important step toward a reconceptualization of the geography of the Cold War movement, from politically driven and one directional (East to West) to a more nuanced view of the way in which political, economic and social factors influenced a range of migratory behaviors,” Hicks said.

Hicks has studied extensively the relationship between the end of the Cold War in Germany, migration patterns and how Cold War structures in West Germany led to continued economic depression and a distinctive East Germany. For her dissertation, Hicks conducted research as a Fulbright IIE scholar at the Institute for Migration and Intercultural Research at the University of Osnabrück, Germany.

Hicks also spent a recent sabbatical serving as a visiting associate professor of history at the University of Gdańsk in Poland. While in Poland, Hicks traveled to Germany to conduct archival research for a new book project, exploring the state of ransoming of East German political prisoners by the West German state from 1967 to 1989.

“Dr. Hicks’ cutting-edge scholarship on East German migration, especially during and after the Cold War, deserves to be showcased in such a volume,” said Chris Mortenson, associate professor and chair of the Department of History. “Our department is blessed to include professors who publish for quality and quantity, and Hicks’ work demonstrates such.

“She is a great teacher and scholar, something to be cherished at a university like ours,” Mortenson added.

This is Hicks’ 10th year teaching at Ouachita. Hicks graduated from Western Michigan University with a bachelor’s degree in history and German, and she received a Ph.D. in modern European history from Michigan State University.

East Central European Migrations During the Cold War can be bought on Amazon.com and other online retailers.

For more information, contact Dr. Bethany Hicks at hicksb@obu.edu or (870) 245-5548.

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