Posts tagged Modern

Modernity on Display: International Exhibitions seminar

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Modernity on Display: Technology, Science and the Culture Wars at International Expositions circa World War II

Thursday 4th April 2013, 4 – 7 p.m.
Boardroom, University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street, London W1B 2UW.

Professor Robert Kargon, Willis K. Shepard Professor of the History of Science, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore.
Dr Arthur Molella, Director, The Lemelson Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC.

International expositions are receiving significant attention from historians of science and technology, and of culture more generally. These complex events mirror ideological and national rivalries as well as domestic social, economic and political struggles. In short, they are remarkable indices of important historical tensions. Especially interesting are the international expositions planned and/or mounted just before the outbreak of the Second World War. These expositions reflected the political regimes of the host countries, and in some cases serious divisions within them. They also highlight increasingly tense ideological divisions between nations representing liberal or social democratic republics (France and the US), communist (Soviet Union) and reactionary modernist or fascist regimes such as Germany, Italy and Japan.

The book in progress on which this seminar will be based includes chapters about World’s Fairs and expositions from 1937 to 1942, drawing upon three actually built, Paris, 1937, Dusseldorf 1937 and New York 1939, and two planned in detail but, owing to the coming of war, never executed, Tokyo 1940 and Rome 1942. The presentations will use two examples – New York 1939 and Rome 1942 – to illuminate the representation of science and technology at these fairs as indicators of modernity as part of the on-going culture and propaganda wars preceding actual hostilities.

Organised by the Graduate School, University of Westminster

R.S.V.P. Sharon Sinclair,

Modernism, a Sentimental Myth

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This Saturday 10th December, our Visiting Fellow, Victoria Walsh, will be taking part in a panel discussion for Modernism, a Sentimental Myth, part of the Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2011 at the ICA. Other panellists include our former colleague, and member of the IMCC Advisory Board, Murray Fraser.

The panel is at 5pm, preceded by a walking tour around the back streets of the ICA, and followed by a Club Night. For more details visit

Apocalypse and its Discontents conference: update

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Westminster English Colloquium #16: Apocalypse and its Discontents
Saturday 11th – Sundary 12th December 2010
The Boardroom, University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street, London

Keynote Speakers:
John R. Hall (University of California, Davis)
Adam Roberts (Royal Holloway)
Pat Wheeler (Hertfordshire)

While visions of destruction and fantasies of the end have always haunted humankind, the modern period has been characterised by a particularly intense sense of concern and fascination with the apocalypse, especially during the twentieth century.  Today we are surrounded by scenarios of imminent destruction and annihilation from politicians, scientists, religious groups, and writers, among others.  This conference aims to explore and question the widespread appeal of the apocalypse, as well as to consider narratives that either challenge or offer alternative responses.

Admission is free, but please send your name, email and affiliation to Monica Germana so as to give her an idea of numbers:

Outside the Material World, Tate Modern

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Thomson and Craighead will be talking about recent work at Tate Modern on December 12th as part of this event – do come along if you are able:

+ Outside the Material World. Saturday 12 December 2009,
11.00–17.00 Starr Auditorium, Level 2, Tate Modern

To coincide with the exhibition Pop Life: Art in the Material World, this symposium explores artists’ relationships to the market from the 1970s to the present by focusing on mail and ephemeral art outside the market, and in collections and exhibitions today. Given the present financial crisis, strategies of insertion and the circulation of art are reassessed by artists, curators, archivists and academics.

Speakers: Felipe Ehrenberg, Professor Dawn Ades, Thomson and Craighead, Michael Asbury, Adrian Glew, Cristina Freire and, co-curators of Pop Life: Art in a Material World, Alison Gingeras & Catherine Wood.

See: for booking information and details of the full programme