Culture as a Cold War Weapon: A Student Conference

Tuesday, December 10, 2019
9:30am - 5:00pm
Marshall D. Shulman Seminar Room, 1219 International Affairs Building (420 W 118th St)

Please join the European Institute, the Department of History, and the Harriman Institute for a student conference organized as part of Professor Victoria Phillips's courses "Cold War Power" and "Women as Cold War Weapons."

Please click here to register.


9:30-9:45am | Welcome Remarks

Victoria Phillips, Lecturer, European Institute and Department of History & Associated Faculty Member, Harriman Institute

9:45-10:30am | Keynote: "Food as a Weapon"

Elizabeth Aldrich, Curator, Library of Congress, Retired and Independent Scholar

10:30-11:55am | Panel 1: Gathering Power in the Cold War: Women Across Borders and Transnational Conferences

Host: Luisa Zhu

Commentator: Lien-Hang T. Nguyen, Dorothy Borg Associate Professor in the History of the United States and East Asia


  • Donata von der Leyen, Bridging Two Worlds: The 1978 Women’s Conference in Belgrade
  • Shruti Sinha, Re-Aligning to Non-Alignment: Indira Gandhi’s Visit to the United States of America in 1982 as a Product of the Soviet Occupation of Afghanistan
  • Judith Proch, From the After-War to the Cold War: The Union des Femmes Françaises Congresses of 1945 and 1947
  • Maya Shenoy, A Black and White Affair: Race Amongst Communist American Women
11:55-12:45pm | Panel 2: Music as a Weapon

Host: Luisa Zhu

Commentator: Line Lillevik, MA/MSc Program Director, Adjunct Assistant Professor


  • Alec Mauro, Far from Covert: The Domestic Response to the Use of Jazz as a Cold War Weapon
  • Jade Quintero, “Radio Silence” Echoes in America and the Soviet Union
1:00-1:50pm | Panel 3: Books and Magazines Go to War I: US v USSR

Host: Gabriela Jatene

Commentator: François Carrel-Billiard, Associate Director of the European Institute


  • Daria Franklin, Spread and Consumption of Samizdat Texts in and from Khruchshevkas
  • Hunter Heberg, Global Sport Supremacy in the Cold War: Henry Luce and Sports Illustrated Magazine
2:00- 3:15pm | Panel 4: Books and Magazines Go to War II: The Global Cold Battles

Host: Victoria Velez

Commentators: Elizabeth Aldrich with Marina Rogers & Michaela Flum


  • Zoe Panas, ONE?: Communism and Radical Lesbianism in 1950s America
  • Michele Pajero, The Cultural Cold War: The Ford Foundation and Italo Calvino’s Travel in the United States (1959-60)
  • Azeem Khan, “‘J’ Is for Jihad,” and Learning to Count by Weapons: University of Nebraska Afghan Studies Textbooks for Afghanistan Children in the Battle Against Russia
3:30-4:50pm | Panel 5: Building Internationalism on the Homefront

Host: Victoria Velez

Commentators: Elizabeth Aldrich with Violet Michel


  • Phoebe Newton, “Wife in a Box”: Betty Crocker and Selling Womanhood in the Cold War
  • Carla Singson, Revisiting Cold War Research: Columbia University’s Study of Culture at a Distance (1947-1951)
  • Sreya Pinnamaneni, Building Lincoln Center and the “United States in the World”
  • Jeremiah Lema, Turning Science Fiction into “Science Fact” with Disney: Man in Space, Man and the Moon, and Mars and Beyond
4:50-5:00pm | Closing Remarks
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