Department of Anthropology

John Kelly - Cold War Cultures

Fri, October 1, 2010 | WCH 3.422

1:00 PM - 2:15 PM

"When in the Course of Human Events? Situating the Cold War"

Keynote presented by Dr. John D. Kelly, Professor of Anthropology at the University of Chicago.

Part of the Cold War Cultures: Trans-National and Interdisciplinary Perspectives conference. This conference is free and open to the public.

"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.

This conference will offer the chance to reconsider the Cold War of the post-World-II era in its global configuration, and as a theoretical paradigm like Hardt and Negri's Empire -- as not just characteristic of one historical moment, but perhaps also as a paradigm for particular configurations of forces joining national and trans-national or global sites of contention."




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