Call for Papers

The conference Culture and International History V will take place from April 28 through April 30, 2014, at the John F. Kennedy Institute at Freie Universität Berlin. The conference is part of a symposium cycle that began in 1999 and has since taken place in Wittenberg, Frankfurt and Cologne; key themes and contributions have been published in Berghahn Books’ series Explorations in Culture and International History (Oxford, New York, since 2003).

International history is full of people and organizations looking for opportunities to exploit the international stage in order to make themselves more relevant and, perhaps, achieve more power. Actors in the international arena aimed to present their profiles, habits, actions, and interests in advantageous ways. Political leaders, transnational networks, non-governmental organizations, privateers and others sought to perform specific roles suiting their own desires and self-perceptions in the context of international relations. Next to diplomatic performance, state interest, and hegemonic behavior, cultural output and self-representation was – and continues to remain -an important facet of a state’s quest for recognition and influence.

The symposium will focus on the nexus between state self-representation and the quest for recognition from the early modern period to the present. Specifically, it seeks to compare 20th-century approaches in North American and transatlantic history to other regions and earlier periods.

The range of possible topics includes but is not limited to:

-Place and Nation Branding in the Americas, Australia, Europe, Africa and Asia

-The concept of stage and performance in international relations

-The role of NGOs in the making of state imagery

-The use of cultural diplomacy in comparative and transtemporal perspective

We invite students and scholars of American and International History, Modern History, Area Studies, Theater Studies, Cultural Studies, Musicology, Art History, Psychology, Social Science and related fields to submit proposals before June 15, 2013.

Proposals should include 1. a brief cover letter, 2. the title of the paper and an abstract of max. 500 words, 3. a one-page CV (all as pdf-files). Proposals for panels will also be considered (chair/commentator, three panelists). Pending approval, speakers may apply for funds covering the cost of travel and accommodation and should mention this in their application. Participants who have an interest in the topic and would like to attend the conference without delivering a paper are welcome and should contact the organizers.

Jessica Gienow-Hecht