Professor publishes book chapter and conference paper
Dr. Catherine Jolivette, associate professor of art and design, recently published two pieces about art in Cold War Britain. “Displays of Power: Telling the Story of British Nuclear Physics at the 1951 Festival of Britain” was accepted by the International Congress of History and Science, Technology and Medicine, and her book chapter, “Science, Art and Landscape in the Nuclear Age,” was included in “British Art in the Cultural Field, 1939-69.”
In her international conference paper, Jolivette discusses how artists and designers at the Festival of Britain influenced the public’s perception about scientific discoveries and how the concept of “the atom” had an impact on both the artistic output and popular imagination of the era.
“Taking the case study of one national exhibition, this paper focuses on how visual imagery communicates both the positive and negative aspects of nuclear power in all of its varied forms,” said Jolivette. She will present her paper at the International Conference of History and Science in Manchester in July.
For her book chapter, Jolivette sought to illustrate how a climate of nuclear anxiety affected British artists’ representations of their country and environment.
“What I discovered when writing my first book (“Landscape, Art and Identity in 1950s Britain” Ashgate, 2009) was that almost nothing had been written about how the Cold War affected how Britons in the 1950s and 1960s saw their homeland as under threat from nuclear attack, even though magazines, radio programs, films etc., discussed such fears extensively,” said Jolivette. “I was curious to explore how visual artists pictured the national terrain during a time of tense political negotiations, the establishment of the world’s first nuclear power stations and the secret development of the hydrogen bomb.”
Her current book project, forthcoming with Ashgate Publishing Company, is titled “British Art in the Nuclear Age.”
For more information, contact Jolivette at (417) 836-5152.
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