Centre for Research in Communication and Culture


9 May 2018

Simon Potter (University of Bristol) - "Broadcasting in the name of Peace": radio and internationalism in the 1920's and 30's

Presented By Simon Potter, University of Bristol
  • 1:00-2:00 pm CRCC Seminar Series
  • U1.22 Brockington Building

About this event

From the earliest days of broadcasting, radio crossed borders and created connections across international boundaries. How did contemporaries understand radio’s potential to influence international relations? This presentation will examine utopian and dystopian thinking about international broadcasting in the 1920s and 1930s. It considers contemporary claims that radio could be used to promote peace and international understanding, and contrasts them with more pessimistic ideas about the impact of unfettered propaganda. Based on new archival evidence, the paper will relate radio history to the recent growth of historical research on internationalism in this period. It will consider three key case studies: the International Broadcasting Union; Radio Nations; and the ‘Broadcasting in the Cause of Peace’ initiative of the League of Nations.

Biography: Simon Potter is Professor of Modern History at the University of Bristol. His research focuses on British imperial history and on media history, including the history of newspapers and the periodical press, radio broadcasting, and television. He seeks to bring research in these different fields together, to reveal the connections between empire and the mass media during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. He currently leads a Leverhulme Trust International Research Network 'Connecting the Wireless World: Writing Global Radio History' (running 2016-2019) bringing together a group of scholars from around the world to think about global perspectives on the history of international broadcasting. In addition to dozens of articles and essays on broadcasting and newspaper histories, he is author of Broadcasting Empire: the BBC and the British World (Oxford U.P., 2012). Inventing Global Radio is in press with OUP.