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Cold War symposium Dec. 3 views mid-century from many angles
Monday, November 22, 2010

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The Department of American Studies will present a multidisciplinary symposium on the early Cold War era, titled, “Mid-Century.” It will be held Friday, Dec. 3 in the Horizon Room of the Williams Center, beginning at 12 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

The symposium will feature a dozen SUNY Fredonia faculty speakers from various disciplines. Topics will include real-life experiences during the Cold War; how the sciences were impacted by the arms and space race; how television and advertising shaped and reflected American culture; and how the Cold War impacted consumer behavior, art censorship, civil rights and the image of soldiers.

The first set of speakers will discuss media during the Cold War and present the following talks:

  • Mark Serrianne of the School of Business: “The Explosion of Consumerism”
  • Mark Kiyak of the Department of Communication: “Arts & Minds: A Look at Television during the Cold War”
  • Christina Jarvis of the Department of English: “Mr. Jones Comes Home: Representations of Wounded Veterans in the Postwar Imagination”


The second set of speakers will discuss lives during the Cold War:

  • Beez Schell of the Department of Sports Management and Exercise Science: “Cold Bodies During the Cold War: Women and Sport”
  • Jacqueline Swansinger of the Department of History: “Three Women: Unmet Expectations”
  • Jennifer Hildebrand of the Department of History and African-American Studies: “Civil Rights Movement: Segregation, Democracy, and American Values”


Then there will be a question-and-answer session and short intermission.

To begin the second half, the following speakers will discuss arts during the Cold War:

  • Leesa Rittelmann of the Department of Visual Arts and New Media: “Robert Frank, The Americans”
  • Tom Loughlin of the Department of Theater and Dance: “Cracks in the Sidewalk: Miller, Stickball, and the Golden Age of American Drama”
  • Harry Jacobson of the School of Music: “Cool Jazz vs. Hard Bop”

The last section of speakers will discuss science in the Cold War:

  • David Conroe of the Department of Computer and Information Sciences: “Cold War Computing”
  • John Berkley of the Department of Geosciences: “Baiting the Bear: NASA and Cold War Intrigue”
  • Michael Grady of the Department of Physics: “Physicists and Nuclear Weapons”

The symposium will conclude with a second question-and-answer session, followed by an open discussion and refreshments. 

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