Conference Cold War Cultures on University of Texas, USA

Call for papers

Deadline: 15/04/2010
Open to: everyone
Cold War Cultures: Interdisciplinary and Transnational Perspectives is a three-day conference at the University of Texas at Austin planned as the culmination of a series of events held in Fall, 2010, on the campus.

These events will include the conference, several keynote speeches by international and local scholars, and a film series; more details to come. All events will be free of charge and open to the public.

The University of Texas at Austin invites proposals for individual 20-minute papers that explore any geographic area or disciplinary field of Cold War studies, as well as contributions that might engage the notion the of “Cold War” theoretically. Full panels of three papers may also be proposed.

If war is the continuation of politics by other means, then Cold War politics can be seen as a continuation of war by other means. This interdisciplinary conference seeks to explore these means in the context of global encounters between states and “Blocs” as well as engagements with “East” and “West.” Indeed, after the end of the Second World War, a new kind of “war” continued and expanded as governments and/or interest groups created and continually reshaped institutions, media, popular culture, and various elements of social and political life. Globally, these broad-based transformations took place in the shadow of Cold War politics, especially as expressed through rhetoric of threat and mutual annihilation. In particular, cultural phenomena shaped by Cold War power conflicts take on myriad forms in a host of geographic contexts, both in and outside the Bloc, from iconic public representations to distinctive media advertising, memorable political speeches, world expositions, spy novels and films, and a plethora of official and popular modes of expression. In some places, of course, military or paramilitary conflagrations translated Cold War politics into “hot” wars, which further fueled the fire of Cold War imaginations.

Possible paper and panel topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Material and consumer cultures
  • Popular culture and everyday life
  • Borders, walls, and the Iron Curtain
  • Surveillance, torture and show trials
  • Literature, music, art and architecture, film and other media
  • The space and arms races
  • Commodities, trade and the environment
  • Cold War client states, arms dealing and proxy wars
  • Spies and intelligence communities (in fact or fiction)
  • Dissidents and defections
  • “Neutral” sites, nonalignment, and the intersection of North-South and East-West dynamics
  • International institutions and Trans-national networks


  • No registration fee for the conference; open to the public.
  • Conference will open on Thursday, September 30, with a keynote address and sessions will continue until noon on Sunday, October 3.
  • Conference sessions will be held in classrooms with standard media podia allowing for playing of DVDs, CDs, and PowerPoints. Include a note in your email if you need any other form of media.
  • Attendees who are not giving papers are encouraged to register for the conference mailing list by sending an email to and putting “INFORMATION REQUEST: Cold War Conference” in the subject line of the email.
  • A block of rooms will be reserved at a local hotel for participants’ convenience.
  • For presenters with limited resources, it may be possible to arrange space with local hosts.


  • Deadline: April 15, 2010
  • Submit your abstract of 150-200 words in an email (no attachments) to
  • Put “ABSTRACT: Cold War Conference” in the subject line of the email.
  • Include a brief biographical statement (max. 150 words) in the email.

For more information, click here

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