The Annual Anglo-American Studies Roundtable: Britain goes POP! Reflections on the 1960s ‘British Invasion’

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Room 2.07, 2.08 & AAU Courtyard

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The annual Anglo-American Roundtable offers an eclectic and intimate platform for the sharing of academic research and ideas on Britain and the USA – in particular their varied global connections and international relations in contemporary and historical times. Each year an international cast of highly-esteemed experts with compelling presentations is drawn together to offer fresh insight and to invite discussion and debate with other academics and the general public. 

This year’s annual Anglo-American Roundtable takes place on the 9th of September 2022 between 2 – 4 PM CET. Join us in rooms 2.07 and 2.08 followed by complimentary drinks and light refreshments in the AAU Courtyard.

Topic:

Sixty years ago, British popular culture was on the verge of phenomenal global success. Spearheaded by pop and rock groups such as the Beatles, the mid-1960s saw British music, film, and design capture the hearts of young people around the world. For half a decade, British sounds and styles dominated the airwaves and wardrobes of American youth, in a movement described at the time as the ‘British Invasion’. And the ‘invaders’ found success in other unlikely territories: from Catholic Ireland to Communist Eastern Europe and across Asia-Pacific. It was a development that few would have predicted at the start of the 1960s: not only was the United States until then by far the most successful global exporter of popular culture, but Britain was in the midst of a general decline in military, diplomatic and economic power. 

Why did the British invasion happen? How profound was its impact on the wider world? To what extent can it be seen today as an example of so-called ‘soft power’? And is the British invasion relevant to contemporary, post-Brexit, Britain? These questions and more will be addressed at the roundtable discussion Britain Goes Pop! at Anglo-American University on 9 September 2022. A distinguished panel of academics, sixties witnesses, and exciting emerging scholars will discuss and debate the meaning and significance of this celebrated moment in British global history.

The Panel:

Moderator: Gerald Power, Ph.D.  

Gerald Power completed a Liberal Arts degree at the American College Dublin before undertaking doctoral studies at the National University of Ireland, Galway. His PhD thesis (2009) was published in 2012 as A European Frontier Elite: The Nobility of the English Pale in Tudor Ireland, 1496-1566. He jointly edited the collection of essays on Ireland and the Czech Lands: Connections and Comparisons in History and Culture (Bern, 2014). Dr. Power’s research interests have recently broadened to encompass problems in modern British foreign policy. He has published studies on the reception of Margaret Thatcher in the Czech lands, British cultural diplomacy in the Middle East, and is currently working on an AAU internal grant project focusing on British soft power in the Arab Gulf. Dr Power co-organizes the annual ‘Roundtable in Anglo-American Studies’ at AAU; he has been chair of the department of history and philosophy since 2022. 

Lead speaker: Dr. Richard Weight 

Dr. Richard Weightstudied modern history at Cambridge University and University College London, where he obtained his Ph.D. and commenced his teaching career. He is currently a Professor of British History at Boston University’s London Study Center.   

Among his published works are Patriots: National Identity in Britain 1940-2000 (Macmillan, 2005), which was runner-up for the Orwell Prize, and Mod: From Bebop to Britpop Britain’s Biggest Youth Culture (Random House, 2015), which the Daily Telegraph called ’Highly entertaining…as an analysis of Britain’s youth tribes, definitive.’   

As well as authoring several acclaimed books on British culture and society, Richard has presented documentaries and written online features for the BBC, the Daily Mirror and The Times among others, and he reviews for academic journals in Britain and the USA. He has also worked as a political consultant for a leading UK think tank and as a fashion brand consultant. He is currently completing the follow-up to Mod,his study of British fashion, music, and design: a global history of Britain and drug cultures from the 18th century to the present, called Pleasure Island, which will be published by Oxford University Press in late 2022. 

Discussants

  • Edward Rogers: Edward is a British-born, NYC-based singer/songwriter with eight solo albums as well as two releases with Rogers & Butler, two with Bedsit Poets, and his most recent as Spring ‘68. Edward has played in the US and the UK extensively. He has been invited to open for such artists as Colin Blunstone of The Zombies, Dave Davies of The Kinks, The Zombies, Ian Hunter and Terry Reid and has also performed many solo shows. He hosts a radio show, Atlantic Tunnel, weekly on WFMU’s Rock ‘n’ Soul Radio and monthly at UK’s Totally Wired Radio. His next release with Rogers & Butler is set for mid-2022.
  • Ciara Molloy: Ciara is a PhD candidate in the Institute of Criminology, Sutherland School of Law, University College Dublin. She is an Irish Research Council Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholar, and formerly a UCD School of Law Doctoral Scholar. Her research focuses on the intersection of crime and culture in twentieth-century Ireland. She is a member of the British Society of Criminology, the European Society of Criminology, and the Women’s History Association of Ireland. 
  • Dr. Pavla Jonssonová: Pavla specializes in contemporary culture and subcultures. Her publications include three monographs Women, Music, Creativity: from Hildegard to Cosey Fanni Tutti in English, Devět z české hudební alternativy osmdesátých let (Czech Music Alternative of the 1980s) (English version pending) and Růžové vrány. Muzikantky 21. Století (Interviews with twenty Czech women musicians), numerous articles, interviews, poetry, and translations. Since 1980 she has performed in various rock bands e.g. Plyn, Dybbuk, Zuby nehty, who produced numerous albums and a film for television. Currently, she plays the bass for Malé zuby. She is a member of a civic association Puppets in Hospitals who perform for sick children.  
  • Simone Stansbury: Simone is currently a Business Administration student at Anglo American University in the People Management and Leadership concentration. She is originally from San Luis Obispo, CA. After university, she hopes to apply her education in a career in the Human Resources field.

Organized by Gerald Power and George Hays II on behalf of the School of Humanities & Socials Science and the School of International Relations & Diplomacy 

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