Institute of Historical Research, University of London, 12-13 September 2003
In 1997, the Institute of Contemporary British History held a conference on ‘Britain and the Cold War’, at which the majority of papers concentrated on matters relating to Britain’s role overseas. The conference to be held at the Institute of Historical Research in September 2003, under the auspices of the ICBH, focuses instead on how the Cold War affected Britain on the ‘home front’. In particular, it seeks to examine the relationship between the Cold War and British culture.
While the Cold War remains a crucial event in the political, military and economic history of modern times, it had an enormous impact upon culture, both domestically and internationally. In the past decade, historical attention has turned to the cultural dimensions of the Cold War, with most research being confined to the United States in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. With potential American comparisons in mind, this conference aims to bring together contemporary historians and researchers in fields such as media studies, literary criticism and political science to look at how the ‘cultural turn’ in Cold War studies relates to Britain. The conference hopefully will incorporate papers that explore the myriad aspects of British Cold War culture – of a ‘low’, ‘high’ and ‘middlebrow’ nature – and which examine how culture shaped and was shaped by the Cold War.
Although we are happy to consider papers on any related aspect of this theme, there are several areas that we are especially concerned to explore. These include:
television, radio, and the press
cinema and theatre
literature and the fine arts
sport and recreation
religion and ideology
education and intellectuals
Britain’s ‘silent McCarthyism’
consumerism, fashion and music
politics, propaganda and censorship
public ritual and civic culture
images of East and West
overseas influences e.g. US ‘cultural imperialism’
Britain as a point for East-West cultural exchange
British cultural exports
The conference will include a mixture of plenary speakers, panels and parallel seminars.
Please send short proposals (no more than 300 words) for individual papers or panels to Dr Tony Shaw or Dr James Chapman at one address below.
The closing date for offers of papers is 31 December 2002.
It is planned to publish some or all contributions as an edited volume.
University of Hertfordshire
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