Cultural Affairs in (Post)Colonial Contexts 1945-1975 European Cultural Policy Between Relationship Building, Civilizing Mission, and Peacekeeping

23-25 September 2024

European expansion has fundamentally changed the world. Above all, the colonialism of the 19th century had a structural impact on the European relation to the non-Western world, and vice versa. Currently, we are witnessing intensified debates on the global role of Europe and the “West”, not only in relation to the 19th century, but also regarding post-1945 developments. One of the great achievements of global history, postcolonial studies and the history of development policy is the insight, that European history cannot be separated from the history of the colonialized world. Rather, one always deals with entanglements and interrelations, constantly changing according to context and time. This is also the case for the he cultural-political activities of the European states after World War II. European cultural policies intensified and at the same time reoriented in this period. They represent a rich and yet hardly systematically explored research field.
Where, how, and why did which European states pursue a global cultural policy after World War II? The conference aims to examine Europe's foreign cultural affairs during the era of global decolonization by questioning political motivations, cultural concepts, and colonial histories. It seeks to gain new insights into global cultural activities in the post-war period, with a strong emphasis on the actual contexts on the ground.

Scientific Organizers:

Sarah Christine Bernhardt


©Ken Yamamoto


Jahn Lukas Hermann