The Eccles Centre for American Studies, The British Library, London

Monday 16 January 2017

Cold War Geographies

Keynote Speaker: Professor Klaus Dodds, Professor of Geopolitics, Royal Holloway

The British Library’s next major exhibition will focus on ‘Maps and the Twentieth Century.’ The Cold War had a seismic impact on global geographies during the second half of the twentieth century. Not only did it physically impact lands from the barren Nevada desert to the jungles of South East Asia, but the ideological conflict of the Cold War also had a significant impact on national borders, global cities and imagined geographies. The legacy of the Cold war on global geographies has had a profound effect upon the way in which nations now think about their place in the world and their relationships with each other. From an American point of view, this has had a particular influence on how the U.S. is viewed and engaged with on an international level.

This one-day symposium seeks to explore and assess how the Cold War changed boundaries, restructured terrain and redefined concepts of space and place. In doing so it seeks to prompt discussion and assessment of the geopolitical impact this had, particularly on the United States.

This is an interdisciplinary symposium, both panel and paper proposals are welcomed from across the disciplines, including, but not limited to, geography, politics, history, visual culture and American Studies. Papers which make use of the Library’s collections are particularly encouraged.

Possible topics could include:

    The politics of space and place

    Geographical imaginaries

    Legacies of Cold War conflict

    Dark geographies and covert spaces

    The evolution of Cold War cities

    Cold War cartographies

    Borders and borderlands

    Changing global narratives

    Aesthetic and cultural responses to contested geographies

    The impact and legacy of nuclear testing

    Issues of decolonisation and western-centrism

    Technologies of mapping and surveillance

Proposals of no more than 250 words should be sent to Mark Eastwood ( by the deadline of midnight on Sunday 27th November 2016. All submissions should include the name of the presenter, their institution, email address, a short profile, and the title of the proposed presentation. Proposals from PGs and ECRs are warmly welcomed.

Symposium registration will open in October 2016.