You are here

Call for Abstracts -Remapping European Media Cultures during the Cold War

November 8, 2016

Call for Abstracts -Remapping European Media Cultures during the Cold War: Networks, Encounters, Exchanges

A symposium at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, March 30 - April 1, 2017

Keynote speakers

Aniko Imre (University of Southern California)

Katie Trumpener (Yale University)

Recent research on Cold War Europe has sketched the image of a deeply interconnected continent, with cultural exchanges, travel and tourism, scientific collaborations, and the like creating dense networks between countries on both sides of the “Iron Curtain,” and beyond. Media scholars, similarly, have begun to trace the active collaborations between Eastern and Western European broadcasting institutions; the networks formed by artists and technicians at and through film festivals; the movement of samizdat and tamizdat texts; and the relationships between professionals in specialized fields such as children’s entertainment, television, and industrial film.

This symposium aims to systematically examine European media during the Cold War in terms of such histoires croisées, tracing the transnational encounters between Eastern and Western European media industries and cultures between 1945 and 1990. The symposium will engage with a wide range of media forms and practices, from the moving image to sound to print, in order to ask the following questions:

  • How did media technologies, content, and forms travel during the Cold War, and what logics, institutions, and actors structured and governed these flows and interactions?
  • How can the study of such transnational encounters help us challenge established ideas and conceptualizations in Cold War history (among them, the monolithic image of the socialist state, and binary frameworks)?
  • What was the relevance of the geopolitical “in-between” (e.g., countries such as Finland, Sweden, Austria, and Yugoslavia, and spaces such as film festivals.) for media cultures during the Cold War?
  • If Eastern Europe is commonly considered to be peripheral to the field of media studies, what are the methodological ramifications of placing this “periphery” at the center of an examination of European media cultures during the Cold War? Similarly, what is revealed both by a comparative examination of media forms, and by a focus on practices typically considered “marginal” (e.g., sponsored media)?

We invite submissions from scholars across the humanities and interpretive social sciences pertaining, but not limited, to: connections, cooperations, and encounters on an institutional and individual level; coproductions between media institutions in socialist and non-socialist countries; study and other official visits to and from socialist media institutions; media spectatorship and reception; transnational exchange in media educational institutions; the circulation of socialist media productions outside the Eastern Bloc; and aesthetic and thematic connections between media in socialist and non-socialist countries. Submissions examining non-canonical, official, and “forgotten” media and texts are particularly welcome.

Submissions—including a 300-word abstract and short contributor bio—should be sent by November 15 to; queries may also be sent to this address. Notification of acceptance will be made before December 5. Limited contributions toward travel may be available.   

Organized by Mari Pajala (Communication Studies, University of Minnesota/Media Studies, University of Turku), Alice Lovejoy (Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature/Moving Image Studies, University of Minnesota), and Tom Wolfe (History/Institute for Global Studies, University of Minnesota), and hosted by the Institute for Global Studies and Center for Austrian Studies at the University of Minnesota, with support from the Government of Finland/David and Nancy Speer Visiting Professorship in Finnish Studies, the Center for German and European Studies, the departments of Communication Studies and Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature, and the Moving Image Studies Program.