Organization: Tallinn University
Call for Papers - The Bondian Cold War: The Transnational Legacies of a Cold War Icon
James Bond (007) is a global brand: since his ‘birth’ in 1953 he’s evolved into a popular cultural icon. Irrespective of the occasional reports of his demise since the end of the Cold War the Bond franchise surges on with new films and continuation novels. While Bond appears to be a quintessentially British creation, his Cold War adventures unfolded across a global stage and the associated books, comics, films and subsequent videogames have established a genuinely transnational legacy.
Bond’s influence was not, and is not merely confined to the ‘West’. The rise of ‘Bondmania’ in the 1960s produced a Bondian narrative which exerted an influence across both the Iron and Bamboo Curtains, triggering an explosion of enthusiasm for espionage as a subject in popular culture. The Cold War has increasingly been projected into popular memory through the prism of spy fiction. But since 1989 the Bondian vision of the Cold War has crossed old ideological boundaries, blurring trans-Bloc perspectives and establishing new legacies.
While spies’ contribution to the course and conclusion of the Cold War remains disputed by historians, and memories of the Cold War may be receding, the cultural memory of fictional Cold War spies remains a hugely dynamic and influential arena. The European Communist narrative has largely been replaced by Western interpretations of history, but the past conflict remains a great reservoir of inspiration for writers, filmmakers and others. Like Bond, other Cold War spies don’t seem to be dying off either, they are being endlessly reimagined and re-booted.
We are especially interested in examining how the Bond’s Cold War legacy continues to shape popular narratives of the conflict after 1989.
The Conference organizers solicit papers focused on James Bond before, during, and after the Cold War, with a view to submitting these for possible publication in an edited volume of the Routledge Studies in Espionage and Culture series.
Martin D Brown