Call for Papers--Landscapes of Secrecy: The CIA in History, Fiction and Memory

Sep 15, 2010

The University of Nottingham's School of American and Canadian Studies has issued a call for papers for the 29-30 April 2011 international conference Landscapes of Secrecy: The CIA in History, Fiction and Memory.

Paper proposals of 250 words and a 1 page CV including the author's name, address, email address and institutional affiliation should be sent to Landscapes-of-secrecy@nottingham.ac.uk.

April 2011 marks the 50th anniversary of the Bay of Pigs episode, when the CIA's failed attempt to overthrow the Castro regime in Cuba placed the Agency under the public spotlight and triggered debates over its role in US foreign policy that have never really subsided. This conference brings together many of the world's leading scholars in the field to debate the history of the Central Intelligence Agency and its place within the wider realms of post-war American politics and culture.

Focusing on the place of the CIA in post-war of American diplomacy and foreign policy, and also the more general public reception of the subject, the conference seeks to integrate international and cultural perspectives to provide a comprehensive approach to CIA history.

How, for example, have official strategies and forward history programs sought to manage the representation of intelligence within the documentary record of American foreign policy? How have academics and journalists contested official efforts to shape the CIA narrative and sought access to primary source documentation? What has been the role of retirees and their memoirs, either in their authorized form, or as 'renegade' accounts? To what extent have fiction, 'faction' and film accounts of the CIA been subject to ‘politicization' and official control? To what extent is this 'factional' material often considered 'reliable' or 'real', and accordingly, what has been the role of this material in shaping the public understanding of the CIA within American foreign policy?

The intention of this conference is to consider these questions, examine the manner in which the history of the Central Intelligence Agency has evolved between 1947 and 2001, and moreover, to interrogate the way in which academics, journalists and other non-state actors have reacted to and negotiated their relationship with the CIA. We therefore welcome proposals for papers on any aspect of this topic - whether they are thematic or more focused on specific case studies.

For more information, visit the conference website: www.nottingham.ac.uk/American/Landscapes/intro.aspx.

Experts & Staff

  • Christian F. Ostermann // Director, History and Public Policy Program; Global Europe; Cold War International History Project; North Korea Documentation Project; Nuclear Proliferation International History Project
  • Laura Deal // Catalog Specialist
  • Pieter Biersteker // Editorial Assistant
  • Charles Kraus // Program Assistant
  • Evan Pikulski // Program Assistant
  • Roy O. Kim // Program Assistant
  • James Person // Deputy Director, History and Public Policy Program; Cold War International History Project; North Korea Documentation Project; Nuclear Proliferation International History Project