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Cold War Confidential


PAST - Friday, February 4, 2011, 10 am - 3 pm

Belkin Art Gallery, 1825 Main Mall, UBC

“Cold War Confidential” is presented in conjunction with the Brenda and David McLean Lectures in Canadian Studies. This symposium expands on John O’Brian’s focus on photography during the Cold War in Canada to include a comparison with America. Symposium speakers will explore links between culture (art, photography, literature), the environment, and nuclear propaganda and protest in the Cold War era.

10:00 Shelly Rosenblum (UBC) and Laura Moss (UBC), Opening Remarks

Daniel Grausam (Washington University)

"Nuclear Times" concerns how we might begin to represent and engage the long future of Cold-War-era nuclear waste.


Finis Dunaway (Trent University)

“Dr. Spock is Worried: Visual Culture, the Bomb, and the Struggle for Ecological Citizenship in Cold War America” concerns how the antinuclear movement, especially SANE (the Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy), used visual images to challenge the dominant way of seeing the bomb and contest the Cold War environmental optic.

12:30-1:30 Lunch (Lobby, Frederic Wood Theatre)

Martha Langford (Concordia University) and John Langford (University of Victoria)

“A Cold War Tourist and His Camera” is a photographic tour of hot spots in Europe, America, Canada, and Africa during the height of the Cold War. Looking at the ways that the historical and the private are represented and remembered, the Langfords stage the family slide-show as you’ve never seen it before.

2:30-3:00 John O’Brian (UBC), Closing Words 

rsvp to by January 28, 2011 to reserve a lunch spot.  


Daniel Grausam, Assistant Professor of English at Washington University in St Louis, teaches modern and contemporary American literature and culture. He is the author of On Endings:  American Postmodern Fiction and the Cold War and co-editor of American Literature and Culture in an Age of Cold War (both forthcoming).

Finis Dunaway, Associate Professor of History at Trent University, teaches courses in modern United States history, visual culture, and environmental studies. He is the author of Natural Visions: The Power of Images in American Environmental Reform (2005) and many articles.

Martha Langford, holds a Concordia University Research Chair in Art History and is the author of Suspended Conversations: The Afterlife of Memory in Photographic Albums (2001) and Scissors, Paper, Stone: Expressions of Memory in Contemporary Photographic Art (2007).

John Langford is a professor in the School of Public Administration at the University of Victoria and is the author or co-author of numerous books and articles on administrative reform and public sector ethics.

For further information please contact: Jana Tyner at,
tel: (604) 822-1389, or fax: (604) 822-6689