Call for papers

This research symposium at Tate Modern is part of a two-day event exploring the many manifestations of ‘Global Pop’. Organised in collaboration with the Royal College of Art, London, it will offer a unique opportunity for scholars working in different fields and geographies to develop new interpretations of ‘Pop’..

By exploring contemporaneous engagements with Pop throughout the globe in the 1960s and 1970s, this symposium will examine not only the phenomenon in Western Europe and the US but also survey Pop developments in Eastern Europe, Latin America, Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

Of particular importance is the often critical nature of these global engagements with Pop. Reacting to the increasing dominance of the American post-war economy and media around the world, Pop art sometimes took the form of a destabilizing reversal of the normative messages associated with American culture and consumerism. This dialectic was effectively and memorably put to use by feminists, political groups and independence movements in order to simultaneously critique the hegemony of the West while drawing on its aesthetic mass appeal and graphic clarity.

To date, the history of Pop art has tended to affirm the hegemonic position of New York and London. In an attempt to challenge the simple linear trajectory of influence that has dominated most accounts, this symposium will explore Pop beyond the mainstream and open the definition of Pop to critical re-thinking.

We invite 20-minute presentations from academics, research students, curators, artists and other professionals in relevant fields – including art, design, architecture and social sciences– that focus on global engagements with Pop. We particularly welcome papers that propose ways to re-examine both the origins and socio-political underpinnings of Pop or question its existence and significance as a global ‘movement.’ This includes interrogations of how Pop might be understood afresh and what the relation between Pop and ‘the popular’ could be, and what the relationship is between the commodity culture of advanced capitalism and other forms of mass media.

Proposed themes include:

  • What constitutes Pop art and what is its relationship to the popular, propaganda and mass media?
  • How did national traditions and differing social and political contexts across the globe inform local manifestations of Pop art?
  • How did these manifestations cohere and/or differ from one another?
  • How does Pop art reinforce or undermine conceptions of gender in these different contexts?
  • How does the concept of Pop art stand up to scrutiny once we consider it in a global context?
  • How could Pop art aestheticise commodity culture and yet be a tool for political opposition?
  • How can these two conditions co-exist in different settings and to what extent do they influence or negate each other?
  • How did Pop art influence the language of architecture, design, advertising and marketing and what are its most significant manifestations?
  • How can we define the reciprocal influence between Pop art and manufacturing and technology, news media, and mass communication?

Call for Papers is now closed

Related events

Global Pop symposium
Friday 15 March 2013, 10.30–17.15

In collaboration with Royal College of Art, London