Call for Papers: The World’s Fair Since 1964

call for papers [150-2]October 24-25, 2014

Location: Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation of the
Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.

This workshop proposes to examine world’s fairs since (and including) 1964, a period marked by tremendous variability in the location and impact of the genre.  Participants may wish to cover any of the fairs from 1964 to the present, as well as fairs planned for future dates.  The themes below are of interest.  Asian themes, and comparative Asian/western themes are particularly encouraged.

+Formal International Expositions since 1964

+National-level world’s fairs since 1964

+World’s fairs proposed but never realized

+Urban planning/development and the world’s fair

+Cold War and Post-Cold War international relations and the world’s fair

+New technologies and science, new design aesthetics and the world’s fair

+Comparative analysis of fairs pre and post-1964

+World’s fairs and historical memory

+World’s fairs and identity (race, class, gender, ethnicity and nationality)

+The emergence of Asian world’s fairs

+Key historical figures in recent world’s fairs

+Comparative analysis of world’s fairs and Olympics, (and other international events)

+Other themes welcome!

Though the core analytical focus will be historical, scholars from across the humanities, social sciences, and art/design fields are welcome to participate.  Participants will prepare an essay (2500-5000 words) to
circulate one month in advance of the workshop.  The workshop will consist of brief presentations, followed by in-depth discussion of each paper, as well as thematic sessions looking at cross-cutting aspects of the works presented.

Accepted participants may receive a subsidy to defray expenses.

This workshop is supported by the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation of the Smithsonian Institution, the College of Arts and Sciences of Drexel University, and the Department of the History of Science and Technology, Johns Hopkins University. Please send abstracts of 250 words to Scott Gabriel Knowles ( and Robert H. Kargon ( by April 21, 2014.

About Paula

Paula lives in the vortex of graduate life. She studies medieval Japanese history.
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