Workshop Abstract

Civil Defense History Workshop Part II, 13-16 November, 2018 in Lund, Sweden

Once again, civil defence is on the agenda. In a time of heightened political tensions, members of the public and policymakers alike are wondering: what about the protection of civilian lives? In order to sensibly address questions around fear, safety and civil defence in our own time, we as researchers need to deepen our understanding of this particular and complex phenomenon. We need to contextualise it – both spatially/geographically, applying transnational perspectives, and temporally/historically, anchoring our research in the Cold War nuclear universe. We need a transdisciplinary approach across the humanities and social sciences to include political, cultural, media, environmental and technological perspectives.

Although research on Cold War civil defence has to some extent been undertaken over the last twenty years, the transnational dimensions remain largely unexplored. The research team behind this new research endeavor, representing scholars from Sweden, Switzerland and the United States, seeks to change that. This workshop on Civil Defense History from the Cold War and beyond, which will now take place in Lund, Sweden, will focus primarily on identifying transnational research themes and initiate workgroups for strong future collaborations.

We also would like to announce that the workshop was made possible through financial support from the Swedish Foundation for Humanities and Social Sciences, and the Department of Communication and Media at the University of Lund.