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Durham University

Department of English Studies

Event Archive

This is an archive of past events within the Department of English Studies. Please see our current events for forthcoming activities.

Some of our public events are recorded and are available as podcasts via our Research English At Durham blog.

"In between propaganda and escapism": William Faulkner as Cold War Cultural Ambassador

19th May 2016, 17:30 to 19:00, Elvet Riverside 141, Professor Deborah Cohn (Indiana University, Bloomington)

A free public lecture hosted by Durham's Centre for Modern Conflicts and Cultures.

Between 1954 and 1961, the U.S. Department of State sent Nobel Prize-winning author William Faulkner on several goodwill missions to Latin America, Asia, and Europe. This lecture examines how the nationalist priorities and racial politics of U.S. foreign relations during the cold war permeated these trips. It further analyses how the writer, who generally shied from public engagements, became a pro-active and ardent spokesperson for democracy while abroad, and how he exercised an unusual amount of freedom to criticize the colour line in the U.S. The story that emerges from studying Faulkner’s travels ultimately reveals the complexity of the writer’s execution of his role as cultural ambassador, as well as his own doubts about the democratic system.

Contact for more information about this event.

Related Links


Research in English At Durham (READ) blog showcasing the the literary research emerging from the Department of English Studies


We host a large number of conferences, lectures and seminars each year, many of them open to the public. Find out more on our Events page.


Many of our public lectures, seminars and conferences are recorded, and can be listened to as podcasts.

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Next Event

  • 29th January 2021
  • Title TBC
  • Online (Zoom)
  • Dr Hannah-Rose Murray (University of Edinburgh)