"Selling Democracy" event featured symposium on Public Diplomacy in the U.S.

The Project for Global Communication Studies at the Annenberg School held a symposium and film festival entitled "Selling Democracy - Films of the Marshall Plan: 1948-1953."

The symposium, held on Friday January 27, was constructed to examine public diplomacy efforts during the immediate aftermath of WWII and start of the Cold War, and contrasts them with a discussion of today's public diplomacy strategies. Panelists discussing Cold War Era Diplomacy included Nicholas Cull, Director, Master's in Public Diplomacy Program, USC Center on Public Diplomacy; Victoria de Grazia, Professor of History, Columbia University; David Eisenhower, Director of the Institute for Public Service, University of Pennsylvania; and Sandra Schulberg, Project Director and co-curator of Selling Democracy. Panelists discussing the current landscape of diplomacy included Monroe Price, Director, Project for Global Communication Studies; Martin Rose, Director of Counterpoint, British Council; Robert Vitalis, Director of the Middle East Center, University of Pennsylvania; and Alexander Feldman, Coordinator of the Bureau of International Information Programs, State Department.

The symposium complemented the first Philadelphia screening of 25 films by Marshall Plan and OMGUS (Office of Military Government) filmmakers -- films that were banned in the U.S. until very recently. The series is timely in its handling of issues related to public diplomacy, international relations, nation-building, and the role that media and communication play in politics at home and abroad.