Emily J. Gibbs
University of Liverpool – Cultural History MA – Distinction
University of Liverpool – History BA – 1st Class
‘Nuclear Anxiety in British Life, 1952-1989′
Dr Jon Hogg
Dr Laura Balderstone
Local communities, and the individuals living within them, experienced the Cold War in their own distinctive way, informed by international, national, and local identities and relationships, forming unique local nuclear cultures and anxieties. This project seeks to explore the ways that urban communities experienced life in the British nuclear nation-state. By analysing, comparing and mapping the emotional and cultural histories of British nuclear anxiety, this project will build on comparative histories of everyday life in the Cold War era, and contribute to emerging scholarship on nuclear cities, history of emotions and the British nuclear experience.
Whilst recognising the importance of transnationalism in nuclear studies, the project will take a localised approach in order to seek out the affective regimes created by the nuclear arms race. It shall achieve this using a micro-historical approach, applying Kearney’s “four nation” theory to oral testimony and the local press in Liverpool, London, Belfast, Glasgow and Cardiff in two periods of nuclear tension in the Cold War: 1952-1963 and 1979-1989. This project shall thus attempt to problematize the popular notions of ‘British nuclear culture’ and ‘British nuclear anxiety’ by researching and analysing the different ways in which people responded to, experienced, created, and participated in British nuclear culture.
Nuclear Culture, History of Emotions, Nuclear Consciousness, Modernity, Oral History, Cultural History, Modern British History.