Cfp: The Second World War, Popular Culture and Cultural Memory

Call For Papers
The Second World War, Popular Culture and Cultural Memory
University of Brighton, UK: 13-15 July 2011

Few historical events have resonated as fully in modern British popular culture as the Second World War. It has left a rich legacy in a range of media that continue to attract a wide audience: film, TV and radio, photography and the visual arts, journalism & propaganda, architecture, music and literature. The war’s institutionalised commemoration and remembrance fuels a museum and heritage industry whose work often benefits from the latest internet technology for maximum dissemination to educational institutions and the general public. In fact, the popular culture of the war is a cornerstone of its afterlife. The Second World War remains an easy point of reference for exhortations about public behaviour, from terrorist attacks (‘London can take it!’) to coping with credit crunch austerity (‘Makedo and mend’).

This interdisciplinary conference will examine popular culture of the Second World War on the home front and in British theatres of war abroad. Defining popular culture in its widest sense – as both a ‘way of life’ and as ‘cultural texts’ – the conference will explore both wartime popular culture and its post-war legacy. We invite established scholars, museum curators, media practitioners and postgraduate researchers from a wide range of disciplines to contribute to a lively debate about the role and meaning of popular culture both during the war and in the cultural memory of the Second World War in Britain and elsewhere.

Keynote Speakers:
Professor Jim Aulich (Manchester Metropolitan University, UK),
Professor Susan R. Grayzel (University of Mississippi, USA), Professor
Gill Plain (University of St Andrews, UK)

We welcome proposals for individual 20 minute papers as well as submissions for panels of three speakers and a Chair. Possible topics and panels may include but are not limited to:

* Popular culture in commemorative and museal practices
* Popular culture in/of combatant, Prisoner of War and internee life
* Posters, propaganda, broadcasting
* Entertainment in WW2
* WW2 in children’s literature and media
* Contemporary merchandising of WW2 culture and memorabilia
* Total war, war culture and popular culture
* The ‘people’s war’ in lived experience and in cultural texts
* Representations of national identity and ‘the enemy’
* Death, grief and bereavement in wartime and post-war popular culture
* Material culture of the war and its afterlife
* Representations of the British popular culture of the war abroad
* Fashion, Food and retro-merchandising
* Neo historical novels, war films, ‘militainment’
* Forgotten aspects of wartime popular culture

There may be bursaries for postgraduates and independent scholars.

Please send abstracts of no more than 300 words to:
Deadline:  31 January 2011

Conference organisers: Dr Lucy Noakes (University of Brighton, UK), Dr
Juliette Pattinson (Strathclyde University, UK), Dr Petra Rau
(University of Portsmouth, UK)

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