Nuclear War in Mass Media, w/guest Ian Abrams

“Duck and Cover” has been replaced by “Shock and Awe” in the public lexicon where military matters are concerned, but the prospect of nuclear war has loomed for decades, even as the tensions of the Cold War have faded*. How have the worlds of literature, cinema, and television portrayed the experience of nuclear armageddon and its aftermath? My guest is Ian Abrams, former screenwriter and current associate professor at the Westphal College of Media Arts and Design at Drexel University, and we’ll be examining everything from survivalist literary classics like Pat Frank’s Alas Babylon to Peter Watkins’ faux-documentary The War Game and the Stanley Kubrick dark-comedy classic Dr. Strangelove. [Originally broadcast on WLUW’s Under Surveillance in January 2009.]

* Check out this recent NY Times article concerning the worries over the security of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal.

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Kevin Fullam is a writer and researcher, with extensive experience in fields ranging from sports analytics to politics and cinema.
In addition, he has hosted two long-running radio series on film and culture, and taught mass media at Loyola University.
Episodes of his two shows, Split Reel and Under Surveillance, are archived on the Radio page.