CFP: Cold War Liberalism in the North Atlantic

Daniel Steinmetz-Jenkins's picture
May 25, 2020
Subject Fields: 
American History / Studies, Contemporary History, European History / Studies, Intellectual History, Political History / Studies

Workshop and Volume on Cold War Liberalism in the North Atlantic

"Cold War liberalism" is one of the most oft-used terms in the historical profession. A diversity of phenomena, from postwar housing policy to U.S. geostrategy to 1950s-era cinema, have been said to be instantiations of the Cold War liberal project. Despite the promiscuous use of "Cold War liberalism," however, the term remains ill-defined, and that which it signifies ill-understood. Indeed, there is presently no single volume that examines Cold War liberalism from a holistic perspective, attempting to elucidate the ideas and practices that made this phenomenon different from other instantiations of liberalism.

This workshop (which we intend to lead to an edited collection) will begin redressing this gap. We are seeking contributions of 6,000 words each (including footnotes) that examine how Cold War liberalism functioned in a variety of different spheres of life in the countries of the North Atlantic (especially the United States, United Kingdom, France, and Germany). Namely, we are asking for contributions that examine the impact of Cold War liberalism on:

a) Intellectuals and Ideas
b) Politics
c) Geopolitics and International Relations
d) Culture and Religion
e) Social Life
f) Economics

These issue areas will form the subsections of the edited volume we intend to submit.
We have chosen a length of 6,000 words for several reasons. First, given the realities of academic publishing, it is difficult to publish lengthy edited volumes, and having approximately 18 contributions at this length will enable us to cover several important issue areas in an appropriate word limit. Second, we intend for this volume to serve as a teaching tool, and shorter essays are easier for undergraduates to read.

This conference will be unique in that it will be run entirely on Zoom. The COVID-19 pandemic, of course, has forced us all to move our work online. But even more importantly, the negative effects of constant air travel indicate that, even after the pandemic, academics should consider ways in which we can reduce our carbon footprint, and going online is a good way to do so.

The due date for abstracts (100 words) for potential contributions is May 25, 2020. We will let people know by June 1 if they have been accepted.
The conference will run as follows. Accepted participants are expected to commit to meet every Friday for 2:30 hours for six weeks, beginning on Friday, August 14. In each workshop session, we will examine three papers for 45 minutes each, with a 15-minute break. Because

workshop sessions will be staggered, due dates will also be staggered. Thus, people who present on the first August 14 session will be expected to submit their papers by August 7; people presenting on August 21 will be expected to submit their papers by August 14, etc. In this way, we hope to accommodate people's fluctuating schedules.

Please submit your proposals by May 25 to and in the following format:


Thank you, and we look forward to your submissions!

Contact Info: 

Daniel Bessner