1997 – The Year that made the Future: A symposium

deadline for submissions: 
June 8, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
Matthew Pateman Edge Hill University

October 26 - 28, Edhe Hill Univeristy, UK


1997 was a hugely significant year in terms of shaping the modern world. There are iconic popular culture game-changers such as Harry Potter and Buffy the Vampire Slayer; Teletubbies and Titanic. Bollywood continued to make global inroads with films such as Dil To Pagal Hai,and video games became massive with the release of Grand Theft Auto. Fashion saw the murder of Vesrace, the rise of Alexander McQueen and Stella McCartney. The British Empire was being re-defined through appropriation in the Cool Britannia music scene (with McQueen’s complex union flag frock coat and Geri Helliwell’s nationalistic mini-dress), while the UK transferred Hong Kong back to mainland china. Tony Blair spoke of Princess Diana’s death and ushered in the centrist consensus, while a ceasefire in Northern Ireland suggested the chance of peace. The Deep Blue computer beat Grand Master Gary Kasparov at chess, and the domain names Google, Facebook and Netflix were registered; DVD players went on sale in the US for the first time. Stephen Lawrence was murdered in London and there was an overwhelming vote in the UK to ban handguns after the Dunblane massacre to mention nothing of global shifts in politics and trade, EU expansion, climate change agreements and so much else.


This symposium will seek to address, celebrate, critique and understand 1997; to situate it at the birth of the 21st century in terms of the economic, political, cultural and technological events that it witnessed and produced. Wildly multi- and inter-disciplinary in nature, we welcome papers, panels, posters and presentations from any and all subject area as long as the key theme of the importance of 1997 in future developments related to the paper’s subject is addressed. Given the hoped for wide mix of subjects, we ask that you avoid overly-technical papers and

assume an informed but non-specialist audience. Papers should be 20 minutes in length, and panel proposals should aim to last for one hour.


It is hoped that there will be screenings / soundings of some of the most memorable visual and audio culture from the year, as well as fashion and other memorabilia. Please feel free to bring your own.


Proposals should be sent to Professor Matthew Pateman by 8th June 2018. I hope to confirm acceptance or otherwise by July 12 with a final programme to be circulated by early September.

Proposals should be sent to matthew.pateman@edgehill.ac.uk.