Chapter 13 The International Institute for Intellectual Co-operation at the World Fair 1937 in Paris: Profiling Internationalism in a “Hyper-nationalistic” Context?

In: World Fairs and the Global Moulding of National Identities
Jonathan Voges
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The 1930s were a bad time for internationalism. The League of Nations, which was greeted in the 1920s as a means of international conciliation and worldwide cooperation, experienced serious defeats in these years. In the midst of this decade the Paris World Fair took place – and in the planning process “international intellectual cooperation” was named to be one of its leading principles. This chapter explores how the International Institute for Intellectual Cooperation, situated in Paris but belonging to the League of Nations’ Committee on International Intellectual Cooperation, tried to profile internationalism in a ‘hyper-nationalistic’ context. How did the organisers react towards the threats of bolshevism, National Socialism and fascism? What did they think international cooperation could and should look like in this context? Why did France, which did not build a national pavilion for her own for this exhibition, place such a strong emphasis on this topic? Which other nations took part in this part of the world fair, how, and why?

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World Fairs and the Global Moulding of National Identities

International Exhibitions as Cultural Platforms, 1851–1958

Series:  National Cultivation of Culture, Volume: 27


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