Conference Objects

Cold War Modernist Missionary: Martha Graham Takes Joan of Arc and Catherine of Siena “Behind the Iron Curtain,” 1962

Phillips, Victoria

During the Cold War the United States government used religion and its rhetoric to fight Soviet influence with propaganda. Thus cultural exports often used religiosity and Christian religious references, particularly in Eastern Europe as a bid for "hearts and minds." In propaganda campaigns, religious freedom was attached to democracy and the West. Thus when Martha Graham traveled to Eastern bloc countries during the Cold War, her works inspired by religious figures and the Old Testament were often foregrounded in programs. This article uses the example of the company tour to Poland in 1962 under the John F. Kennedy Administration to make this argument.


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Also Published In

Dancing the Cold War: An International Symposium

More About This Work

Academic Units
European Institute
Published Here
November 1, 2022