Nuclear nightmares: representations of nuclear anxiety in American Cold War visual culture

BURGESS, Robert J. (2016). Nuclear nightmares: representations of nuclear anxiety in American Cold War visual culture. Masters, Sheffield Hallam University.

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Abstract

This dissertation is a discussion of representations and misrepresentations of US public nuclear anxiety in nuclear apocalyptic popular culture and civil defence initiatives, respectively. Focusing on particular peaks in nuclear anxiety during the 1950s, early 1960s and 1980s, this thesis analyses the ways in which visual nuclear apocalyptic popular culture, in film and video games, consistently reflected contextual American nuclear anxieties and can be seen to represent shifting anxieties across the Cold War. In turn, by comparing such representations with civil defence initiatives this study will investigate the means by which the popular, post-Cold War nuclear apocalyptic video game series Fallout can be seen to create a caricature of government propaganda seen during the Cold War and eventually move away from the contextually representative norms of previous nuclear apocalyptic culture. This work's contribution to knowledge in the subject of history is the study of nuclear anxieties as reflected and represented by nuclear apocalyptic culture over the course of Cold War. Furthermore, the comparative analysis of nuclear apocalyptic culture and civil defence initiatives is intended to bring to light the proliferation of the misrepresentation of nuclear anxieties and civil defence initiatives that now exist primarily in contemporary nuclear apocalyptic video game culture, as epitomised by the Fallout franchise.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Additional Information: Master of History by Research
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
Depositing User: Helen Garner
Date Deposited: 12 Jun 2017 12:57
Last Modified: 12 Jun 2017 20:22
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/15874

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