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Kenneth Paul Tan curates 3-day conference on Narrating Cold Wars


11–13 November 2021, Hong Kong Baptist University

The year 2021 marks the 30th anniversary of the end of the “Cold War”, a half-century of superpower rivalry that left few societies untouched. Now, there are concerns about a new great power contest between the United States and China. The conference interrogated “Cold War thinking” — from the primacy it gave to relations between nation-states, to assumptions about zero-sum competition. It critically examined how these frames are constructed, circulated, mobilised and contested through media and culture.

Five keynote speakers, seven roundtable participants, a filmmaker, and more than sixty paper presenters explored the ways in which cold wars have been narrated, what these narratives have left out, and how alternative possibilities may be imagined. “We put together interdisciplinary panels that address a range of issues including transnational cultural production, soft power, humanitarian and ecological trauma, migration and exile, and twitter diplomacy,” said Kenneth Paul Tan, who curated the programme.

Full recordings of the conference events are available at:

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