EAUH Conference 2018


Session SS28. Global Trends in the Popular Culture and Nighttime Entertainment of European Cities, 1880s-1930s

Coordinators: Antje Dietze (, Alexander Vari (

The role that dance halls, cabarets and variety theatres, and cultural imports like the cakewalk, tango and jazz played in the rise of a pan-European and global commercial popular culture, has been addressed either from the perspective of a single city or a comparison between Western and North American metropolises. Thus while London, Berlin, and Paris and their connections especially to New York have attracted scholarly attention, less is known about how other European cities like Lisbon, Barcelona, Milan, Rome, Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade, Bucharest, Athens, Cracow, St. Petersburg, Copenhagen and Stockholm, to mention just a few, have included both original genres and sources, and have been connected through their emerging nighttime entertainment industry to global trends within the sphere of urban popular culture.

With this in mind, this session aims to explore several sets of questions: What was the local impact of turn-of-the-century and interwar global popular cultural trends? Why were some popular culture genres that circulated from one geographic locale to another, more successful than others? Who were the agents of these cultural transfers, how were specific nighttime entertainment institutions connected to these global networks, and how, in return, did these agents and institutions influence global trends in urban popular culture? In addition to considering Western and Central European cities, this session aims to include analyses of the emergence of such global connections in urban centers located in Europe’s southern, northern and eastern regions. With the intention to complicate the analysis of the various late nineteenth and early twentieth century waves of cultural globalization affecting nighttime entertainment networks in Europe, the session also pays attention to local and inter-regional interactions within Europe as well as, in addition to the much-researched cultural exchanges with North America, to Latin American, Middle Eastern and Asian influences.
Keywords: popular culture; urban studies; cultural transfers; nighttime entertainment