The Cold War and American Life: Call for Papers/Publications

Mark Boulton's picture
Call for Papers
March 1, 2019
Missouri, United States
Subject Fields: 
Popular Culture Studies, Political History / Studies, American History / Studies, Race Studies, Women's & Gender History / Studies


November 9, 2019 marks the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. To mark the event, we are soliciting papers for a collection of essays that examines the transformative impact of the Cold War on American life. Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri is the location of Sir Winston Churchill’s 1946 Sinews of Peace, or “Iron Curtain,” speech. It is also home to both the largest contiguous section of the Berlin Wall in North America and the National Churchill Museum. Ronald Reagan, Mikhail Gorbachev, Margaret Thatcher, and Lech Walesa all gave speeches at Westminster to mark the end of the Cold War highlighting the centrality of this small liberal arts college to the story of the conflict. The military and geopolitical dimensions of the Cold War are well known, but this collection of essays aims to bring together original research on the myriad ways that the ideological struggle forced Americans to consider almost every aspect of their society and identity.

Submissions may include survey essays or more narrowly-focused research on an event which elucidates broader themes of the Cold War. The following is a list of possible areas of inquiry; however, this list is by no means exhaustive—we are eager to hear of any innovative and interdisciplinary research that will stretch and challenge our definition of American life:         

Film / Television / Media / Journalism / Militarism / Gun culture / Survivalism / Sports / Art / Religion / Tourism / Race relations / Family life / Sexuality / Gender / Consumerism / Music / Literature / Comic books / Fashion / Public monuments / Education / Domestic infrastructure spending and building / Citizenship / Immigration / Environmentalism / Domestic politics / Social welfare programs

We hope to select 13-15 essays that highlight the broad impact this era had on American life and ideals. Our hope is to invite authors of the selected papers to attend a workshop at Westminster College where they can present and discuss their work in November 2019 to coincide with the commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

The ultimate goal is to then publish the collected essays by 2021, the 30th anniversary of the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Attendance at the workshop is not required to be considered for publication.

If you are interested, please send a 250-word abstract and a short (2-page) resume to We can also be contacted on this email if you have any questions.

Deadline for submissions is March 1, 2019.

Thank you for your interest – we look forward to hearing from you!

Contact Info: 

Co-editor: Mark Boulton, Harry S. Truman Professor of History and Department Chair, Westminster College, Fulton, Missouri   

Co-editor: Tobias T. Gibson, John Langton Professor of Legal Studies and Political Science and Security Studies Program Director, Westminster College, Fulton, Missouri