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HemisFair '68. The Conquest of the Americas Performed in the Cold War

Referent: Prof. Charlotte Canning, Ph.D. | Moderation: Prof. Dr. Christopher Balme (LMU)

22.01.2020 um 12:15 Uhr

HemisFair was held in San Antonio, Texas, from April to October 1968. "The Confluence of the Civilizations", as the fair was titled, also coincided with the 250th anniversary of the city’s founding. The six month event celebrated the hemisphere as the place where the Americas and Europe met and forged an equitable new world. Every supporter of the fair had their own reasons for allocating resources to it. For the federal government it advanced the goals of the Alliance for Progress which intended to eliminate poverty in Latin America while reinforcing US regional hegemony. For state officials, the fair, its organizers argued, was to position Texas as the "gateway to Latin America" for trade and tourism. For the local business community it was to remind everyone that San Antonio was "the capital of North Mexico. We've been here since forever." What underlay these motivations, and made the fair a productive way to realize them, was the idea of development.

Charlotte Canning ist Oscar G. Brockett Professor for Theatre History and Criticism an der University of Texas at Austin.

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