Save the Date: Conference, 2-3 July 2015, King’s College London

Stephen Brockmann (Carnegie Mellon University)
Jennifer Fay (Vanderbilt University)

Confirmed speakers include:
Richard Bessel (University of York)
Giles MacDonogh (author of After the Reich)
Helmut Peitsch (University of Potsdam)
Martin Schieder (University of Leipzig)
Werner Sollors (Harvard University)

The project team for Beyond Enemy Lines is excited to announce an upcoming conference to be hosted by King’s College London on 2 and 3 July 2015. For two days, we will bring together international scholars from a range of disciplines to offer new interpretations and hypotheses on culture in the British and American zones of occupied Germany, 1945-1949.
The conference is designed to generate two edited volumes, and papers will be divided into two main strands: 1) The belief in the transformative power of culture, and 2) Peddling fictions in occupied Germany. We will debate whether culture has the power to transform societies, what role culture played in the Allies’ transformation of postwar Germany, and how different initiatives were received by the German population. Furthermore, we will ask what kind of cultural traditions the Allies drew on, and what conceptions of Germany’s past, its culture, and its national identity informed these approaches. To what extent did Germany become a testing ground for competing social and political orders, and what effect did this have on cultural policy?
We are delighted to be able to showcase work by leading scholars in the field, ranging from considerations of literature, film, music, and fine art to the role of cultural organizations and congresses during the occupation era. Our keynote speakers, Stephen Brockmann and Jennifer Fay, will frame these debates by addressing overarching political and cultural concerns relevant to the Allied occupation of Germany. While Stephen will focus on the establishment of “cultural fronts” in postwar Germany (the Kulturbund in the East and the Congress for Cultural Freedom in the West), Jennifer will consider “occupation from above and below”, contrasting the military occupation of Germany with the recent international “Occupy” movement, and asking how we might bring the terms “occupation”, “democracy”, and “culture” into conversation.
We look forward to welcoming auditors for two days of fruitful discussions and debates. To register for the conference, please email Registration is free of charge.

In the meantime, watch this space for a full conference programme…