18,365 Conference: Narrating Cold Wars

Narrating Cold Wars

An international, interdisciplinary conference at Hong Kong Baptist University, 11–13 November 2021
Draft programme and registration details: https://www.hkbu.online/narratingcoldwars/
The year 2021 marks the 30th anniversary of the end of the “Cold War”, a half-century of superpower rivalry that left few societies untouched. Now, there are concerns about a new great power contest between the United States and China. Our conference will interrogate “Cold War thinking” — from the primacy it gave to relations between nation-states, to assumptions about zero-sum competition. It will critically examine how these frames are constructed, circulated, mobilised and contested through media and culture.

Five keynote speakers, seven roundtable participants, a filmmaker, and more than sixty paper presenters will explore the ways in which cold wars have been narrated, what these  narratives have left out, and how alternative possibilities may be imagined. “We put together interdisciplinary panels that address a range of issues including transnational cultural production, soft power, humanitarian and ecological trauma, migration and exile, and twitter diplomacy,” says Kenneth Paul Tan, who curated the programme. 

The conference is organised by the Hong Kong Baptist University School of Communication and Film in collaboration with the Academy of Visual Arts and the Department of Government and International Studies.

Daya Thussu, a member of the organising committee, notes: “As we enter the third decade of the twenty-first century, Cold War 2.0 has become arguably one of the most contested and controversial geopolitical discourses. Does its adoption as the dominant narrative by the global media indicate insight or a failure of imagination in a multipolar world?”

Adds Ying Zhu of the Academy of Film, “Time is more than ripe for a reappraisal of the Cold War and its historical legacy. Particularly amidst the jostling for global influence of competing ideologies between established and emerging superpowers, which confines smaller nations and alliances in the global pecking order. We are clearly nowhere near the end of history.”

Please visit our website for the draft programme and registration details: https://www.hkbu.online/narratingcoldwars/ —

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