Submissions are currently being solicited for an edited collection of articles about print culture and the Cold War. The editors of this anthology seek work by historians of the book and print culture, as well as scholars from disciplines across the academy who are pursuing work in the history of the book and/or the history of the Cold War.
The subject of culture in the Cold War has received significant scholarly attention over the last twenty years. Many excellent cultural histories connect popular and high culture with the larger political currents and military conflicts of the time, and recent work has also taken as its subject the use of culture as a weapon in the Cold War. But the importance of the medium of print, which did much to convey and shape these ideologies and events of the period, has received little attention. Although television, film, radio, and other forms of media certainly were crucial reflectors and carriers of Cold War politics and ideology, and have received much attention, printed materials remained a critical means of shaping political and popular discourse during the Cold War.
Printed materials underwent a number of revolutions during the Cold War, including the development of mass-market and "quality" paperbacks and the explosion in inexpensive reproduction (such as photocopying and mimeographing). The growth of higher education around the world created new markets for print, new opportunities for publishers, and a new set of consumers for printed material, while governments of the East and West attempted to control what got into print and how it circulated, to encourage reading as a way to increase learning in fields such as science and math, and to spread their own ideologies. Access to and distribution of easily reproduced printed materials posed challenges and possibilities for both sides in the Cold War.
The central questions that this anthology seeks to explore are:
What was the role of the printed word in shaping the events of the historical period known as the Cold War? And to what extent did the historical pressures of the Cold War shape the material factors, economic contexts, production, distribution, and reception of printed materials?
Some specific issues that submissions might examine could include:
How did the pro-Western alliance use print culture to disseminate its ideas in an effort to win over public opinion in their own nations and in nonaligned nations?
What role did print culture play in the establishment of Soviet control over public discourse in its satellite nations?
How did changing formats for literature respond to and shape cultural politics?
What role did politics play in definitions of quality and debates over high- and lowbrow?
Why did divisions over high and low take on increased importance during this period?
How did non-literary works (cookbooks, advice manuals, and textbooks) reflect and shape cultural politics?
How did publishers take advantage of changing market realities? How did these changing realities shape the publishing industry?
How did cultural politics influence critical discourse about print? How did this discourse in turn shape school curricula?
How did print culture provide a location for the intersection of anticommunist ideology and the nascent civil-rights movement in the U.S.?
How did print culture undermine Soviet communist ideology in the Soviet Union? How did this process differ in nations such as Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, and East Germany?
How did citizens of the Eastern Bloc produce and disseminate dissident works of literature or journalism?
How did radical or dissident groups in the U.S., both on the left and on the right, use print to alter the public discussion about the Cold War?
What role did print culture play in the Cold War-era discourse about terms like cultural diplomacy, human rights, totalitarianism, feminism, and liberalism?
How did underground bookstores and publishers (both of the radical left and the radical right) disseminate ideology in the U.S.?
What was the publication history of Maos Little Red Book in China, in Southeast Asia, in Europe, and in the U.S.?
How did revolutionary leaders of the developing world come into contact with and use radical literature?
What was the role of the Union of Soviet Writers in the publishing industry in the Soviet Union?
Please submit an abstract of a previously unpublished paper to Greg Barnhisel, Department of English, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh PA 15282. Direct inquiries only (no electronic submissions) to Greg Barnhisel [email@example.com] or Cathy Turner [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Greg Barnhisel, c/o Department of English, 600 Forbes Ave., Pittsburgh PA 15282 Email: email@example.com
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