AAU Update

Invitation and call for papers to conference on 'If the War Comes'

Invitation to conference on 'If the War Comes'


05.05.2021 - 07.05.2021


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Due to the Coronavirus/Covid-19 outbreak the conference has been postponed to the spring 2021. 
The new dates are 5 - 7 May 2021

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International Conference
5 - 7 May 2021

‘If the War Comes’

We welcome colleagues who share an interest in civil defense and the cultural history of the atomic age to contribute to and participate in the conference.

Conference Themes

We welcome papers that explore:

  • Public interaction with the state regarding civil defense and the threat of nuclear war. Public interaction spans uniformed service as well as peace activism and other civil society activities, and may have a national/transnational and/or international perspective. 
  • Government and civil shelters as Cold War cultural history, including the material history of civil defense as well as the psychological preparedness and public campaigns to prepare for and act during a possible nuclear attack. 
  • Nuclear Cold War technology from a science and technology (STS) perspective. 
  • Theoretical aspects of writing the history of past futures (imagined futures) in a Cold War setting. 
  • How to exhibit and narrate Cold War civil defense and civil society history.

Keynote Speakers

Matthew Grant, Reader, Dept. of History, University of Essex (GB), Marie Cronqvist, Associate Professor, Lund University (S), and Heike Hollunder, Museumsleiterin, Dokumentationsstätte Regierungsbunker Bonn (D).

Important dates (with updates)

27 January 2020             Abstract submission deadline (300 words)

10 February 2020           Notification of acceptance  

5 October 2021               People with already accepted abstracts must re-confirm their participation to the conference secretary or delete their submission in EasyChair

19 April 2021                   Submission of final papers

How to submit your abstract

Please upload abstracts via EasyChair.


‘If the war comes’ (‘Hvis krigen kommer’) was the title of a pamphlet distributed by the Danish prime minister’s office to every single household in Denmark in January 1962, instructing the citizens of Denmark about how to prepare for and act during a possible nuclear attack.  

It is also the title of a joint research project between Aalborg University, the Historical Museum of Northern Jutland, Cold War Museum Langeland and Stevnsfort Cold War Museum. The  project is funded by the VELUX FOUNDATION, the Danish Ministry of Culture, Denmark (The Danish Agency for Culture and Palaces) as well as Aalborg University and the involved museums. 

‘If the war comes’ researches the history of Danish nuclear culture, including civil defense in Denmark, and not least the history behind the building of REGAN Vest. The construction of the government bunker REGAN Vest was completed in 1968 and until the end of the Cold War REGAN Vest served as the main shelter for the Danish government and Queen Margrethe II of Denmark in case of a nuclear war.


Department of Politics and Society, Aalborg University

Mere information


Kontakt AAU

Har du spørgsmål vedr. arrangementskalenderen på AAU, kan du kontakte AAU Kommunikation

E-mail: aaukommunikation@adm.aau.dk