Events and Video
Over the years, CENFAD has invited guest speakers to give talks on issues that relate to the study of force and diplomacy. Past speakers have included Pulitzer- and Bancroft-winning scholars such as John Lewis Gaddis, Ari Kelman, Melvyn Leffler, and Fredrik Logevall, current and former government officials including Gov. Tom Ridge, Gen. Wesley Clark, Anthony Lake, and Aaron O’Connell, and scholars working on the cutting edge of military and diplomatic history like Stephen Biddle, Frank Costigliola, Greg Daddis, Brian DeLay, Thomas Fingar, Maria Höhn, Barbara Keys, Brian Linn, Jennifer Mittelstadt, Tim Naftali, Andrew Preston, Andrew Rotter, Dennis Showalter, and Mark Stoler. Many of these speakers have appeared under the auspices of the CENFAD colloquium series, which is an annual highlight at Temple. CENFAD colloquia typically are scheduled once or twice a month during the semester in the Russell F. Weigley Room, Gladfelter 914. To suggest a speaker, contact CENFAD’s Thomas Davis Fellow, Mike Fischer.
“American Interventions in Revolutionary Russia: Methods, Motives, Memories”
David Foglesong, Professor of History at Rutgers University
Wednesday, September 5, 2018 3:30 pm
Bio: David Foglesong is a historian of the foreign relations of the United States whose research has focused primarily on relations between the United States and Russia. He is the author of many articles in scholarly journals and two books: The American Mission and the “Evil Empire”: The Crusade for a “Free Russia” Since 1881 (Cambridge University Press, 2007); and America’s Secret War Against Bolshevism: U.S. Intervention in the Russian Civil War, 1917-1920 (The University of North Carolina Press, 1995).
Foglesong earned a B.A. in European Studies, magna cum laude, from Amherst College in 1980. He received his Ph.D. in History from the University of California at Berkeley in 1991. Since 1991 Foglesong has been a professor of History at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey. He regularly teaches courses on U.S. foreign policy, the Cold War, U.S. experiences with “nation building,” and modern Russian history.
Foglesong has received fellowships and grants from the Gerald R. Ford Foundation, the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace, the International Research and Exchanges Board, the Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies, and the MacArthur International Security Studies program.
Foglesong is currently working on two book-length projects. Together with two Russian historians, he is writing a comprehensive history of American-Russian relations since 1776. In addition, he is conducting research for a history of American debates over “nation building” efforts in military occupations of foreign countries since 1898.
“The Nicaraguan Civic Insurrection: A Historical Perspective”
Monday, September 17, 2018, 3:30 pm
Professor Bendaña is a Nicaraguan historian and former Ambassador to the United Nations. He will discuss the recent Nicaraguan Civic Insurrection in the context of the history of Nicaragua and its political and social unrest.
“”Losing Hearts and Minds: American-Iranian Relations and International Education during the Cold War.”
Matthew Shannon, Assistant Professor of History at Emory & Henry College_
**Thursay, September 20, 2018 3:30 pm
Bio: Matthew Shannon is an Assistant Professor of History at Emory & Henry College where he is a historian of U.S. foreign relations. His book, which began as a dissertation at Temple, is titled Losing Hearts and Minds: American-Iranian Relations and International Education during the Cold War, and it was published with Cornell University Press in 2017. He has articles in journals such as Diplomatic History, International History Review, Iranian Studies, and The Sixties,and is the co-editor of a forthcoming volume with Palgrave Macmillan titled 9/11 and the Academy: the Liberal Arts and the Twenty-First Century World. He remains focused in his current work on the transnational and cultural ties between the United States in Iran, particularly the mid-century missionary presence and its impact on the broader American “mission” in Iran at the height of the developmentalist moment from the 1940s to the 1960s.
“The Control War: The Struggle for South Vietnam, 1968-1975”
Assistant Professor of History and Government at Valley Forge Military College and Assistant Director of Research at the H.R. McMaster Center for Security Studies
Wednesday, October 3, 2018 3:30 pm
Bio: Martin G. Clemis earned a PhD in history from Temple University in 2015 under the direction of Gregory J.W. Urwin. He is Assistant Professor of History and Government at Valley Forge Military College and Assistant Director of Research at the H.R. McMaster Center for Security Studies. He is also a part-time lecturer at Rutgers University, Camden. Martin is the author of The Control War: The Struggle for South Vietnam, 1968-1975 (University of Oklahoma Press, 2018). He is also a contributing author in Drawdowns: The American Way of Postwar (New York University Press, 2017), War and Geography: The Spatiality of Organized Mass Violence (Ferdinand Schoningh, 2017), and Beyond the Quagmire: New Interpretations of the Vietnam Conflict (University of North Texas Press, 2019). Martin has had articles published in Army History and Small Wars and Insurgencies. His current research explores the intersection of war and agriculture during the Second Indochina War. Martin is presently working on a book project that examines the military and political significance of rice during the conflict.
“U.S. Foreign Policy and Muslim Women’s Human Rights”
Associate Professor of History at Florida Atlantic University
Wednesday, October 17, 2018 3:30 pm
Bio: Kelly J. Shannon is an Associate Professor of History at Florida Atlantic University (FAU). She specializes in the 20th century history of U.S. foreign relations, with particular attention to the Islamic world, transnational history, and human rights. She is the author of U.S. Foreign Policy and Muslim Women’s Human Rights (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2018). Her other publications include book chapters and journal articles on American foreign policy, women’s human rights, and the Islamic world. Dr. Shannon was an inaugural faculty fellow with FAU’s Peace, Justice, and Human Rights (PJHR) Initiative. She is the recipient of several grants and honors, including a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Summer Stipend, the Samuel Flagg Bemis Research Grant from the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations (SHAFR), and CENFAD’s Thomas Davis Fellowship and Marvin Wachman Fellowship in Force and Diplomacy. She was also nominated for the 2018 Andrew Carnegie Fellows Program. Prior to joining the faculty at FAU, Dr. Shannon was a Visiting Assistant Professor of History at La Salle University in Philadelphia and an Assistant Professor of History and International Studies at the University of Alaska Anchorage. She earned her Ph.D. in History at Temple University, her M.A. in History at the University of Connecticut, and her B.A. in History from Vassar College. Dr. Shannon is currently working on a book-length study of U.S. relations with Iran during the first half of the twentieth century, tentatively entitled The Ties of Good Harmony: U.S.-Iran Relations, 1905-1953.
“To Master the Boundless Sea: The U.S. Navy, the Marine Environment, and the Cartography of Empire”
Assistant Professor of History at southern Connecticut State University
Thursday, November 15, 2018 3:30 pm
Bio: Jason W. Smith is assistant professor of history at Southern Connecticut State University. He is the author of numerous articles published in the Journal of Military History, Environmental History, the International Journal of Maritime History, and the New England Quarterly. He is the author of To Master the Boundless Sea: The U.S. Navy, the Marine Environment, and the Cartography of Empire (UNC Press, 2018). His new project will be a social and cultural history of American navalism at the turn of the twentieth century.
“Consuming Japan: Popular Culture and the Globalizing of America”
Professor of History at Louisiana Tech University
“The Trump Era or Interregnum? The Changing View of Europe in the United States.”
Stephen Szabo, Senior Resident Fellow at the Johns Hopkins University’s American Institute for Contemporary German Studies and Adjunct Lecturer at the School of Advanced International Studies
Thursday, January 25, 2018 3:30pm
Bio: Dr. Stephen F. Szabo is currently a Senior Fellow at the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies and a Professorial Lecturer in European Studies at SAIS. He served as the Executive Director of the Transatlantic Academy, a Washington D.C. based forum for research and dialogue between scholars, policy experts, and authors from both sides of the Atlantic. Prior to joining the German Marshall Fund in 2007, Dr. Szabo was Interim Dean and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and taught European Studies at SAIS, Johns Hopkins University. He served as Professor of National Security Affairs at the National War College, National Defense University (1982-1990). He served as a line officer in the U.S. Navy from 1968 to 1972. He received his PhD in Political Science from Georgetown University and has been a fellow with the Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and the American Academy in Berlin, as well as serving as Research Director at AICGS. In addition to SAIS, he has taught at the Hertie School of Governance, Georgetown University, George Washington University and the University of Virginia. He has published widely on European and German politics and foreign policies, including: The Successor Generation: International Perspectives of Postwar Europeans, The Diplomacy of German Unification, Parting Ways: The Crisis in the German-American Relationship, and Germany, Russia and the Rise of Geo-Economics.
“African Americans and the War for Democracy.”
Adriane Lentz-Smith, Associate Professor of History at Duke University
Wednesday, February 14, 2018 3:30pm
Bio: Adriane Lentz-Smith is an Associate Professor of History at Duke University, where she holds secondary appointments in Women’s Studies and African and African American Studies. Her book Freedom Struggles: African Americans and World War I explores how black soldiers’ and civilians’ wrestling with notions of manhood, citizenship, nationalism, and black internationalism shaped the twentieth-century struggle for civil rights. Her current project, “Three Beatings: African Americans, State Violence, and Civil Rights,” traces how violence and white supremacy remade themselves in the wake of the landmark legislation of the 1960s. She has previously won the 2010 Honor Book Award from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association.
“The Other Clausewitz: Marie and Carl von Clausewitz and the Creation of On War.”
Vanya Bellinger, Professor of History at the U.S. Army War College
Wednesday, February 21, 2018 3:30pm
Bio: Vanya Bellinger is 2016-2017 National Security and Strategy Visiting Professor, United States Army War College. She is a graduate of Norwich University’s Master in Arts Program in Military History (Cum Laude, 2011). Bellinger received her B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communications from the Sofia University, Bulgaria. She completed a journalism fellowship at the Free University of Berlin (2003-2004) and has worked as international correspondent for more than fifteen years for major Bulgarian and German media. Currently she is a contributor for War on the Rocks and The Strategy Bridge. She is the winner of the 2016 Society for Military History Moncado Prize for her article “The Other Clausewitz: Findings from the Newly Discovered Correspondence between Marie and Carl von Clausewitz.”
“Free(ing) France in Colonial Brazzaville: Propaganda and Resistance in Afrique Française Libre.”
Danielle Sanchez, Assistant Professor of African History at Muhlenberg College
Thursday, March 15, 2018 3:30pm
Bio: Danielle Sanchez is a cultural and urban historian of modern Africa, with particular interests in race, expressive culture, and resistance in Francophone Central Africa. Her current research project explores daily life, urban development, and race relations in colonial Brazzaville during the Second World War. Sheis the co-editor of African Culture and Global Politics (Routledge, 2014) and Slavery, Migrations, and Transformations: Connecting Old and New Diasporas to the Homeland (Cambria, 2015).
“From the Carpathians to the Bay of Bengal: Cartography and the Eighteenth Century Habsburg Empire.”
Madalina Veres, Postdoctoral Fellow in Digital History at the American Philosophical Society and Visiting Fellow at CENFAD
Wednesday, April 4, 2018 3:30pm
Bio: Madalina Veres is the Postdoctoral Fellow in Digital History at the APS and an historian of the Habsburg Monarchy in a global context, particularly the history of science and cartography in the early-modern period. She is currently working on her book manuscript entitled “Foot Soldiers of Empire. Habsburg Cartographers in the Age of Enlightened Reform” based on her PhD dissertation defended at the University of Pittsburgh in 2015. Madalina’s work has appeared in journals, such as the Austrian History Yearbook and Itinerario, International Journal on the History of European Expansion and Global Interaction, and in collective volumes dedicated to the history of cartography.
“International Human Rights and Forced Migration in National Politics: India since 2002.”
Sanjeevini Lokhande, Adjunct Professor of Political Science at Temple University.
Thursday, April 19, 2018 3:30pm
Bio: Sanjeevini Badigar Lokhande has taught Comparative Politics and Research Methods as Adjunct Faculty at Temple since 2016. She received her PhD in 2012 from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India. Her first book, Communal Violence, Forced Migration and the State: Gujarat Since 2002, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2015. She previouslytaught as Assistant Professor at the University of Mumbai and has been invited to deliver lectures and present papers at JNU, New Delhi, Oxford University, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen and Science Po, Paris.
She has also contributed a chapter to Governance and the Governed: a collaborative book project between the London School of Economics and Tata Institute of Social Science called . She is currently a non-resident Visitng Fellow at the Center for the Advanced Study of India (CASI) at the University of Pennsylvania. While much of her research has a strong empirical focus, she also centrally engages with larger theoretical questions. Her current areas of interest are governance and the state.
“The Greatest Question that Has Ever Been Presented to the American People.”
Stephen Kinzer, Senior Fellow at Brown University Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
Thursday, September 14, 2017 6:oopm
Bio: Stephen Kinzer is an award-winning foreign correspondent who has covered more than 50 countries on five continents. His articles and books have led the Washington Post to place him “among the best in popular foreign policy storytelling.” Kinzer spent more than 20 years working for the New York Times, most of it as a foreign correspondent. His foreign postings placed him at the center of historic events and, at times, in the line of fire. He is the author of: “Overthrow: America’s Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq.” “A Thousand Hills: Rwanda’s Rebirth and the Man Who Dreamed It,” “Reset: Iran, Turkey, and America’s Future,” “The Brothers: John Foster Dulles, Allen Dulles, and Their Secret World War,” “The True Flag: Theodore Roosevelt, Mark Twain, and the Birth of American Empire.”
“Neoliberalism and the Narco-State: The Political Economy of U.S.-Mexican Relations Today.”
Christy Thornton, Assistant Professor of Sociology and Latin American Studies at Johns Hopkins University
Thursday, September 28, 2017 3:30pm
Bio: Professor Thornton joined the Hopkins faculty in 2017 as Assistant Research Professor of Sociology and Latin American studies. She is currently on research leave as the WIGH Fellow in the Research Cluster on Global Transformations at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University. A specialist in the political economy of Latin America, she received her PhD in 2015 from New York University and taught at Rowan University prior to joining the faculty at Johns Hopkins. She holds a BA from Barnard College and Master’s in International Affairs from Columbia University. Prior to graduate school, she served for five years as the Executive Director of the North American Congress on Latin America (NACLA)). Her research interests include comparative-historical sociology, global inequality and development, labor and social movements, Latin American political economy, and Mexican state formation.
“The Impossible Presidency: Why Presidents Fail to Pursue Effective Foreign Policies”
Jeremi Suri, Professor of History, Public Affairs, and Mack Brown Distinguished Chair for Leadership in Global Affairs at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at UT-Austin
Thursday, October 19, 2017 3:30pm
Bio: Jeremi Suri holds the Mack Brown Distinguished Chair for Leadership in Global Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin. He is a professor in the Department of History and the LBJ School of Public Affairs. Professor Suri is the author and editor of nine books on contemporary politics and foreign policy. His most recent book is “The Impossible Presidency: The Rise and Fall of America’s Highest Office.” His other books include “Henry Kissinger and the American Century,” “Liberty’s Surest Guardian: American Nation-Building from the Founders to Obama,” and “Foreign Policy Breakthroughs: Cases in Successful Diplomacy” (with Robert Hutchings). Professor Suri writes for major newspapers and magazines including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New York Daily News, The Dallas Morning News, The Houston Chronicle, The Boston Globe, Foreign Affairs, Fortune, The American Prospect, and Wired. He also writes for various online sites and blogs. He is a popular public lecturer, and he appears frequently on radio and television programs.
“Standing in their Own Light: African-American Patriots in the American Revolution.”
Judith Van Buskirk, Professor of History at SUNY-Cortland.
Wednesday, October 25, 2017 3:30pm
Bio: Judith Van Buskirk is a Professor of History at SUNY-Cortland. Her interests include, African-American Revolutionary War veterans and Memory, 1930s Silver Screen Actresses and their Image. She is the author of “Generous Enemies Patriots and Loyalists in Revolutionary New York.”
“When the World Seemed New: George H. W. Bush and the End of the Cold War.”
Jeffrey Engel, Director of the Center for Presidential History at Southern Methodist University
Thursday, November 9, 2017 3:30pm
Bio: Jeffrey A. Engel, Ph.D., is an award-winning American history scholar and director of the Center for Presidential History at SMU. He is an expert on the U.S. presidency and American diplomatic history. Hel has authored or edited six books, including Into the Desert: Reflections on the Gulf War; The Fall of the Berlin Wall: The Revolutionary Legacy of 1989; The China Diary of George H.W. Bush: The Making of a Global President ; Local Consequences of the Global Cold War; Cold War at 30,000 Feet: The Anglo-American Fight for Aviation Supremacy ; and Rethinking Leadership and “Whole of Government” National Security Reform: Problems, Progress, and Prospect.
“Everybody Comes to Casablanca: The Americans, Operation TORCH, and the Battle for North Africa.”
Meredith Hindley, Historian and Writer for Humanities, the magazine of the National Endowment for the Humanities
Wednesday, November 29, 2017 3:30pm
Bio: Meredith Hindley is the senior writer for Humanities, the quarterly review of the National Endowment for the Humanities.. Her work has appeared in Humanities, New York Times, Salon, Christian Science Monitor, Longreads, and Barnes and Noble Review. She received her MA and PhD in history from American University, and her BA from the University of Wyoming.
“National Security in the 21st Century.”
Lieutenant Colonel Keith Benedict, Visiting Professor at Temple University ROTC
Wednesday, December 6, 2017 3:30pm
Bio: A Rhodes Scholar Lieutenant Colonel Keith Benedict is currently serving as the Professor of Military Science for Army ROTC at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Lieutenant Colonel Benedict received a B.S in Economics from the United States Military Academy at West Point, a Masters of Philosophy in International Development from Oxford University, and a Masters of Military Art and Science from the U.S. Army’s Command and General Staff College.
He received his commission into the infantry upon his graduation from West Point in 2003 and, after completing his graduate studies at Oxford University, served as a tactical leader in the 82nd Airborne Division, deploying to Iraq during the Surge in 2007 and to Haiti following the earthquake in 2010. He then served as a Strategic Advisor and Strategic Analyst on the personal staffs of General David Petraeus in Afghanistan in 2010 and then General James Mattis at United States Central Command. He returned to West Point to serve as an Instructor and Assistant Professor of International Relations and Comparative Politics in the Department of Social Sciences. Upon completion of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, he then served as a Battalion Executive Officer before assuming duties as a Brigade Operations Officer, culminating in his orchestration of Exercise Yudh Abhyas with the Indian Army near the India-Nepal border.
“The Texas Gun Frontier and the Travails of Mexican History.”
Brian DeLay, University of California-Berkeley
Wednesday, January 25, 2017 3:30pm
Bio: Brian DeLay teaches history at UC Berkeley. He is author of War of a Thousand Deserts: Indian Raids and the U.S.-Mexican War (Yale University Press). He’s published articles on a variety of topics, including a comparison of instability in the 19th and 21st century borderlands; Lincoln’s policy toward the French Intervention; violence and belonging on the Navajo-New Mexican frontier; the international context for John Singleton Copley’s iconic painting Watson and the Shark; and Indians, U.S. Empire, and narratives of American foreign relations. He is the editor of North American Borderlands (Routledge, 2012), and the coauthor of the U.S. history textbook Experience History. “Shoot the State,” his current book project for W.W. Norton, uses the arms trade to explore struggles over freedom and domination in the Americas from the age of revolutions through World War II.
Abstract: During the height of Mexico’s drug war-related violence a few years ago, Americans learned that an “Iron River of Guns” channeled arms and ammunition from U.S. dealers to Mexican cartels. What few in the U.S. realize is that the Iron River of Guns has a long and consequential backstory. This talk will explain the transformative role that U.S. arms exports played throughout the first century of Mexico’s independent history, from the war for independence from Spain in the 1810s through the Mexican Revolution in the 1910s.
_“Contested Practices, Women’s Rights, and Colonial Bodies in Pain: the UN’s Gender Politics in Africa, 1940s-1960s.” _
Giusi Russo, Montgomery County Community College
Wednesday, February 8, 2017 3:30pm
Bio: Giusi Russo is a historian of gender, empires, and internationalism. She received her PhD in History from the State University of New York at Binghamton in 2014. She is currently working on a book manuscript on the UN-led decolonization in Africa and the politics of the body. Her project explores how the UN imagined the post-colonial state from a gender and sexuality’s point of view. An essay on her research experience at the UNESCO has been published in the UN History Project. Today’s talk is part of her article currently invited to resubmit by the journal Gender & History. She will present her work on the United Nations at Oxford in March; she presented a version of today’s paper at the SHAFR Conference and the Institute of Historical Research in London. She is currently full time History faculty at Montgomery County Community College where she teaches classes on Modern Europe and the History of Gender and Sexuality.
Abstract: This paper discusses the collaborative work of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women and the Trusteeship Council to define pain, rituals, and rights for African women in the transitional moment from colonialism to self-rule, (1948-1965). Polygamy and rituals that modify the female body, specifically, demonstrated the contradictions of the UN’s politics of the body. The paper argues that the UN, under the form of its multiple actors involved in women’s rights in the colonies, claimed to advance women’s rights while simultaneously undermining them. The components of the UN world not always acted in agreement but they assumed different positions towards contested issues regarding the status of women. This work presents an original use of UN sources and draws on the main debates in the histories of gender and colonialism, and gender and diplomacy keeping in mind the recent paradigms of imperial histories.
“Local People’s Global Politics: The Hands Off Ethiopia Movement of 1935 as Transnational History.”
Joseph Fronczak, Princeton University
Wednesday, February 22, 2017 3:30pm
Bio: Joseph Fronczak is a historian of the United States and the modern world, specializing in transnational and global history, the history of ideas, and the history of labor and capitalism. He was educated at the University of Wisconsin and he received his Ph.D. from Yale University, in 2014. The following year, he was a Mahindra Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard University as part of the interdisciplinary Andrew H. Mellon Foundation Seminar on Violence and Non-violence. At Princeton, he has taught courses in global history and the history of U.S. foreign relations. He has also taught international history at Corpus Christi College, Oxford University. In the spring of 2016, he was a Visiting Fellow at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University. He is currently writing Everything Is Possible: Antifascism and the Makings of a Global Left during the Great Depression, which traces the political struggle between fascism and antifascism as it played out in the streets, factories, marketplaces, and plantations of the Depression-era world.
Abstract: During 1935, a transnational social movement coalesced to protest the Italian Fascist régime’s escalating threats to invade Ethiopia. Although the global antiwar movement failed to prevent war, it did, day by day through diffuse acts, transform the dynamics of global politics. Using a repertoire of informal political practices, including mass meetings, street fights, riots, and strikes, the movement enabled common people to directly assert themselves on a question of international affairs. This talk suggests a methodology for a rigorously transnational history capable of reshaping certain contours of international history.
“Free Speech and Unfree News: The Paradox of Press Freedom in America.”
Sam Lebovic, George Mason University
Wednesday, March 8, 2017 3:30pm
Bio: Sam Lebovic is Assistant Professor of History at George Mason University, and author of Free Speech and Unfree News: The Paradox of Press Freedom in America, which was published by Harvard University Press in March 2016. He has published academic articles on the role of the media in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, on the history of the Fulbright program, on the Beatles and cultural globalization, and on the politics of popular culture during World War II. He has also written historical articles for the Boston Globe, the Columbia Journalism Review, and Politico Magazine.
Sam’s work on the history of press freedom was awarded the American Society for Legal History’s Paul Murphy Prize in the History of Civil Liberties in 2012, and was supported by fellowships from the Center for Cultural Analysis at Rutgers University, The Center for the Cold War and the U.S. at New York University, and the Truman Library Institute. He is currently working on the intellectual and policy history of media globalization in the twentieth century, for which he was recently awarded a Nancy Weiss Malkiel Junior Faculty Fellowship by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation. Lebovic currently serves as Associate Editor of the Journal of Social History.
Abstract: Does America have a free press? Many who answer yes appeal to First Amendment protections that shield the press from government censorship. But Sam Lebovic’s history of modern press freedom shows that the right to free speech has been insufficient to guarantee a free press in an age of rising state secrecy and corporate newspaper consolidation. The origins of our contemporary newspaper crises, he suggests, can be traced to failed twentieth-century efforts to guarantee a public right to the news.
“Fighting With Faith: The Military Chaplaincy and the American State.”
Ronit Stahl, University of Pennsylvania
Wednesday, April 5, 2017 3:30pm
Bio: Ronit Y. Stahl is a historian of American religion, law, and politics. She is currently a fellow in the Department of Medical Ethics at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine. Previously, she was a postdoctoral research associate at the John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics at Washington University in St. Louis. She received her Ph.D. in history from the University of Michigan in 2014, and her writing has appeared in The Huffington Post, the Immanent Frame, and Nursing Clio. Her book, Enlisting Faith: The Military Chaplaincy and the American State (Harvard University Press) will be published in 2017.
Abstract: The American state has long harnessed religion to great effect, and the military chaplaincy exemplifies how faith could fortify military aspirations and personnel. But what religious views did the military express and how did its religious commitments change over time? This talk examines how the military has used and managed religion over the twentieth century, demonstrating the complex processes and consequences of state investment in religion. It shows how, over time, active oversight of religion in the armed forces built a public (and publicly lauded) commitment to pluralism but also spurred a renewed interest in sectarianism.
“Stalin’s Terror and Kennan’s Struggle for Reason.”
Frank Costigliola, University of Connecticut
Thursday, May 4, 2017 3:30pm
Bio: Frank Costigliola is Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor at the University of Connecticut. He has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the Norwegian Nobel Institute. His most recent books include Roosevelt’s Lost Alliances: How Personal Politics Helped Start the Cold War (Princeton, 2012); The Kennan Diaries (W.W. Norton, 2014); and [with Michael J. Hogan] Explaining American Foreign Relations History (Cambridge, 2016). He is a former president of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations (SHAFR).
Abstract: George F. Kennan, America’s foremost strategist in the Cold War, harbored a love for the Russian people so strong that at times he felt that his “Russian self” was “more genuine” than his American identity. Working at the U.S. embassy in Moscow in the late 1930s, Kennan experienced Stalin’s purges of Soviet leaders as “hammer blows” to himself because so many of his Russian friends and acquaintances were arrested and executed. For his own mental balance and for his reporting to Washington, the young diplomat struggled to reach a coolly rational understanding of the terror. The irony is that while Kennan amidst such strain did achieve a nuanced, sophisticated analysis of the purges, Kennan in later years would succumb to an emotion-driven, simplistic view.
This lecture examines why Kennan felt the purges in such an intensely personal way and the nature of his struggle for reason. The talk will also consider the dilemma of trying to parse the elements of integrated cognitive thought and the question of how closely scholars can approach the thinking of historical figures.
Richard Immerman Retirement Symposium
Friday, May 5, 2017 9:00am
Gather with current and former Temple faculty members, graduate students, and friends of CENFAD to celebrate the career of our director, Dr. Richard Immerman. After many terrific years spent at Temple and directing CENFAD, Dr. Immerman is retiring. To see him off, a number of his former graduate students will return to Temple to give presentations on their current research – a true testament to his impact on the field.
“A Mongrel-American Social Science: International Relations.”
Robert Vitalis, University of Pennsylvania
Wednesday, September 14, 2016 3:30pm
Bio: Robert Vitalis is a professor of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania. He received the 1916 Sussex International theory prize for his book White World Order, Black Power Politics: The Birth of International Relations.
Abstract: Robert Vitalis will discuss his recent book, White World Order, Black Power Politics: The Birth of American International Relations. It is a study of the foundations of the discipline in the US, focused on white racial hegemony and American imperial expansion, as well as the forgotten scholars of the “Howard School of International Relations” who challenged the racism that propelled the academy and the US state into the twentieth century.
Copies of Dr. Vitalis’ book will be available for purchase and signing.
“‘We’re Not Mercenaries’:American Conservatives and Paramilitary Violence in the Late Cold War.”
Kyle Burke, Temple University
Wedenesday, October 5, 2016 3:30pm
Bio: Kyle Burke is a historian of US politics, culture, and foreign relations who specializes in the Cold War. He received his PhD in history from Northwestern University in 2015. Before coming to Temple, he held fellowships at New York University’s Center for the United States and the Cold War, the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, and the Buffet Institute for Global Studies. He is currently completing a book entitled Revolutionaries for the Right: American Conservatives, Anticommunist Internationalism, and Covert Warfare in the Cold War (UNC Press, forthcoming), which examines the rise and fall of an international network of right-wing paramilitaries from the 1950s through the 1980s.
Abstract: In the late Cold War, right-leaning Americans launched a series of private paramilitary schemes in Latin America, Asia, and Africa. By doing so, they hoped to realize the global ambitions of the Reagan Doctrine, a global anticommunist offensive to be carried out by guerrilla movements in nearly a dozen countries. However, as Congress, the American public, and a transnational human rights movement offered stiff resistance to the Reagan administration’s covert wars, many on the right concluded that the private sector was better suited to channel money, weapons, supplies, and advisers to embattled anticommunist guerrillas. And so, using millions of dollars in donations from wealthy individuals and businesses, international organizations, and grassroots conservative groups, they purchased weapons and supplies and sponsored training programs, propaganda campaigns, and recruitment drives. Their efforts tapped into a strain of revanchist masculinity, and helped catalyze and legitimize a growing paramilitary subculture at home which, in turn, supplied hundreds of American mercenaries for conflicts in overseas.
“Negotiating Borderlines in the Eighteenth-Century: Habsburg Cartography and Diplomacy during the Reigns of Maria Theresa and Joseph II.”
Madalina Veres, Temple University
Monday, October 24, 2016 3:30pm
Bio: Madalina Veres is an historian of the Habsburg Monarchy in a global context and is interested in the history of science in the early-modern period with a focus on cartography. She is currently working on her book manuscript entitled “Foot Soldiers of Empire. Habsburg Cartographers in the Age of Enlightened Reform” based on her PhD dissertation defended at the University of Pittsburgh in 2015. Madalina’s work has appeared in journals, such as the Austrian History Yearbook and Itinerario, International Journal on the History of European Expansion and Global Interaction, and in collective volumes dedicated to the history of cartography.
Abstract: Examining the historical creation of international borders reveals that in the eighteenth century Eurasian polities signed treaties that implemented linear, clearly demarcated borderlines, enforced by state agents. This new desire to regulate the situation of frontiers partially emerged as a result of changes in the technology of mapmaking. At the time, cartography became an ally of enlightened governments and military engineers surveyed territories and their borders. In this talk I explore how, from 1750 until 1790, Habsburg rulers Maria Theresa (r. 1740-1780) and Joseph II (r. 1765-1790) pursued a consistent policy of signing border treaties with their neighbors. I discuss for the cases of Austrian Netherlands, Lombardy and Transylvania, how in the eighteenth century, maps transformed from mere optional appendixes to international treaties into a key documentary base used in the negotiation and the border demarcation process. I argue that cartographic products of the second half of the eighteenth century were not only mirroring political developments but were even conditioning diplomatic negotiations regarding the trajectory of state borders.
“Trade Deals: Why Politicians Love To Hate Them.”
Amitendu Palit, National University of Singapore
Monday, October 31, 2016 3:30pm
Co-Sponsored by the Center for the Humanities at Temple
Bio: Dr Amitendu Palit is Senior Research Fellow and Research Lead (Trade and Economic Policy) at the Institute of South Asian Studies (ISAS) in the National University of Singapore (NUS). He is an economist specializing in international trade policies, regional economic developments, comparative economic studies and political economy of public policies. He worked with the Government of India for several years with his longest span being in the Department of Economic Affairs in the Ministry of Finance, India. Prior to joining ISAS in April 2008, he was with the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER), a leading economic policy research institute and think-tank in Delhi. His current research focuses on economic and political implications of India’s integration with the Asia-Pacific region, impact of mega-regional trade agreements, and various determinants of external trade and integration policies of China and India. His books include The Trans Pacific Partnership, China and India: Economic and Political Implications (2014; Routledge UK), China India Economics: Challenges, Competition and Collaboration (2011; Routledge) and Special Economic Zones in India: Myths and Realities (2008; Anthem Press; Co-authored). He has also edited several books and published in peer-reviewed academic journals. He is a columnist for India’s well known financial daily, Financial Express and a regular contributor for the China Daily. He appears regularly as an expert on the BBC, Bloomberg, Channel News Asia, CNBC, Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), Doordarshan (India) and All-India Radio.
Abstract: Trade agreements have been the favourite whipping boys in elections taking place across the world. Be it in the US, Europe or Asia, politicians have attacked trade deals, particularly humongous agreements like the TPP and TTIP, for their adverse impacts on livelihoods, jobs and access to medicines. Ironically, political establishments themselves have been among the biggest backers of trade deals otherwise, not only on economic grounds, but also geo-strategic factors. The TPP exemplifies these contrasts as a trade deal being torn to shreds during the US Presidential elections across the political spectrum; as a deal vociferously championed by the Obama Administration for supporting higher-paying American jobs; and finally as a deal that enables the US, not ‘other countries’ write the rules of trade and contribute positively to the US national security agenda. Why do cross-country trade deals, and national trade policies, evoke such contrasting postures among political actors in different situations? The talk will examine the question at a time when mega-regional trade agreements desperately search greater political legitimacy and popular acceptance.
“Our Latest Longest War: Afghanistan, American Exceptionalism, and the Future of Military History.”
Aaron O’Connell, National Security Council
Friday, November 11, 2016 1:00pm
Co-Sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts
Bio: Dr. Aaron B. O’Connell is a historian, a musician, an author and a Marine. He holds a PhD in history and a master’s degree in American Studies from Yale University as well as a master’s degree in American literature from Indiana University. As a Marine reservist, he has served as a strategic analyst for the Commandant of the Marine Corps, a Special Assistant to General David H. Petraeus in Afghanistan, a Special Advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and as the Senior Defense Official and Defense Attache’ to the U.S. Embassy in South Sudan. He is the author of Underdogs: The Making of the Modern Marine Corps (Harvard University Press, 2012), and the lead author and editor of Our Latest Longest War: Losing Hearts and Minds in Afghanistan (Chicago University Press, 2017). His writings on military culture have also appeared in the New York Times, the Chronicle of Higher Education, The Daily Beast, and numerous other journals and publications. From 2008-2016 he was associate professor of history at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, and he now serves as the Director of Defense Policy and Strategy on the National Security Council.
Abstract: Dr. O’Connell will discuss his forthcoming collection of essays, Our Latest Longest War: Losing Hearts and Minds in Afghanistan. In it, he argues that the single most important factor affecting the Afghanistan War was pervasive cultural friction: incompatible assumptions and habits of mind both within the NATO coalition and between the westerners and the Afghans. Problems of culture derailed nearly every field of endeavor in the war: decision-making in Washington, conventional operations, training the Afghan army and police, reconstruction and development work, rule-of-law development, and Special Forces operations. Because of the ideas Americans took to war with them, the results were goals unmoored from reality, massive over-spending, thousands of lives lost, and very little else. Dr. O’Connell’s talk will also draw troubling parallels to the Vietnam War to argue that deep-running currents in American culture explain why the U.S. has repeatedly used armed nation-building to try to transform failing states into modern, liberal democracies. He will conclude with a critique of the field of military history and offer directions for future research.
“‘A Cursed Country to Make War in:’ The German Auxiliary Troops in the War for American Independence.”
Friederike Baer, Penn State Abington
Wednesday, November 16, 2016 3:30pm
Bio: Friederike Baer is Associate Professor of History at Penn State Abington College. Her research focuses on the experiences of German-speaking people in late eighteenth and nineteenth century North America. She is the author of The Trial of Frederick Eberle: Language, Patriotism and Citizenship in Philadelphia’s German Community, 1790-1830 (NYU Press, 2008). Her other publications include essays in Early American Studies, The Journal of the Civil War Era, and the Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies. She is currently completing a book on the German auxiliary troops in the War for American Independence.
Abstract: In the 1770s and 1780s, Britain employed at least 30,000 German soldiers in its quest to put down the American rebellion. The rulers of several German territories within the Holy Roman Empire hired out these troops in exchange for subsidy payments. By 1781, more than one third of the British army’s strength in North America consisted of soldiers that soon became known as the “Hessians,” regardless of place of origin. These troops, which were accompanied by hundreds of civilians, including women and children, produced a wealth of private and public records that offer unique perspectives on American society during the revolutionary period. An examination of these German-authored accounts sheds light on often neglected aspects of the war, ranging from the theater of war in the Gulf Coast region to the decision of at least one hundred African Americans to return with German regiments to Europe in 1783.
“Foreign Intervention in Africa: From The Cold War to the War on Terror.”
Elizabeth Schmidt, Loyola University Maryland
Wednesday, December 7, 2016 3:30pm
Bio: Elizabeth Schmidt is professor of history at Loyola University Maryland. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her books include: Foreign Intervention in Africa: From the Cold War to the War on Terror (2013); Cold War and Decolonization in Guinea, 1946-1958 (2007); Mobilizing the Masses: Gender, Ethnicity, and Class in the Nationalist Movement in Guinea, 1939-1958 (2005); Peasants, Traders, and Wives: Shona Women in the History of Zimbabwe, 1870-1939 (1992); and Decoding Corporate Camouflage: U.S. Business Support for Apartheid (1980). Her next book, Foreign Intervention in Africa after the Cold War: Sovereignty, Responsibility, and the War on Terror, will be published by Ohio University Press.
Abstract: Colonialism in Africa collapsed after World War II, opening the door to political and military intervention by Cold War powers that competed with the former imperial powers to control the decolonization process. African nationalists courted, accommodated, and opposed external powers and limited their ability to impose solutions. However, external support for African regimes that served outside interests led to decades of corruption and misrule that laid the foundations for many post-Cold War conflicts, which in turn attracted new waves of foreign intervention. After the Cold War, the rationale for political and military intervention was no longer the “communist threat” or African liberation, but rather the “responsibility to protect” or the “war on terror.” During both periods, humanitarian justifications frequently masked parochial interests, external remedies often failed to address underlying grievances, and African civil society was generally excluded from negotiations for a new order. As a result, foreign political and military intervention often harmed the people they were officially intended to help.
Copies of Dr. Schmidt’s book will be available for purchase and signing.
“Self-Determination, Economic Sovereignty and International History.”
Bradley Simpson, University of Connecticut
Wednesday, January 20, 2016 3:30pm
Bio: Brad Simpson is associate professor of history and Asian Studies at the University of Connecticut. He is the author of Economists with Guns: Authoritarian Development and U.S.-Indonesian Relations, 1960-1968(Stanford 2008). During his time at the Humanities Institute Brad is writing a global history of the idea of self-determination, exploring its political, cultural and legal descent through post-1945 U.S. foreign relations and international politics, to be published by Oxford University Press.
Abstract: Self-determination is one of the most important – and contested – ideas in modern international politics. Yet scholars largely take its meaning and history for granted. This talk will explore the emergence and dispersal of claims to the ‘right of economic self-determination’ after 1941, claims which were bitterly opposed by the great powers, and the ways in which its proponents sought to enlarge the scope of sovereignty and rights during the Cold War.
“Vikings in Vietnam: Norwegian Captains and CIA Clandestine Operations in North Vietnam.”
Wednesday, February 10, 2016 3:30pm
Bio: Alessandro Giorgi is an Italian military historian and author. His focus is centered on World War 2, Vietnam, and clandestine operations. After military service in the 11th Infantry Battalion “Casale”, Italian Army, he graduated at the Università Luigi Bocconi in Milan with a thesis on the Italian defense industry. He is the author of: Cronaca della Seconda Guerra Mondiale 1939-1945 (“Chronology of WWII 1939-1945”, Editoriale Lupo publisher, Vicchio, Florence, 2013), Cronaca della Guerra del Vietnam 1961-1975 (“Chronology of the Vietnam War 1961-1975”, Editoriale Lupo, Vicchio, Florence, 2015) and other works.
Abstract: In a little-known episode of the Vietnam War, the CIA hired Norwegian skippers to command fast patrol boats to land South Vietnamese commandos and combat swimmers on the coasts of North Vietnam. This talk explores the causes and consequences of this Norwegian connection, an intriguing episode of the early stages of the Vietnam War.
Copies of Alessandro Giorgi’s books will be available for purchase and signing.
“The Rise of the Military Welfare State.”
Jennifer Mittelstadt, Rutgers University
Tuesday, February 23, 2016 3:30pm
Bio: Jennifer Mittelstadt is Associate Professor of History at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. She has written and edited two books on social welfare, From Welfare to Workfare: The Unintended Consequences of Liberal Reform, 1945-1965 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2005) and (with Premilla Nadasen and Marisa Chappell) Welfare in the United States: A History with Documents (New York: Routledge, 2009). A former fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars, her writing has appeared in such publications as Jacobin, the New York Times, and the LA Times. Her most recent book is The Rise of the Military Welfare State (Harvard, 2015).
Abstract: Since the end of the draft, the U.S. Army has prided itself on its patriotic volunteers who heed the call to “Be All That You Can Be.” But beneath the recruitment slogans, the army promised volunteers something more tangible: a social safety net including medical and dental care, education, child care, financial counseling, housing assistance, legal services, and other privileges that had long been reserved for career soldiers. The Rise of the Military Welfare State examines how the U.S. Army’s extension of benefits to enlisted men and women created a military welfare system of unprecedented size and scope.
America’s all-volunteer army took shape in the 1970s, in the wake of widespread opposition to the draft. Abandoning compulsory conscription, it wrestled with how to attract and retain soldiers—a task made more difficult by the military’s plummeting prestige after Vietnam. The army solved the problem, Mittelstadt shows, by promising to take care of its own—the more than ten million Americans who volunteered for active duty after 1973 and their families. While the United States dismantled its civilian welfare system in the 1980s and 1990s, army benefits continued to expand.
Yet not everyone was pleased by programs that, in their view, encouraged dependency, infantilized soldiers, and feminized the institution. Fighting to outsource and privatize the army’s “socialist” system and to reinforce “self-reliance” among American soldiers, opponents rolled back some of the military welfare state’s signature achievements, even as a new era of war began.
Copies of Dr. Mittelstadt’s book will be available for purchase and signing.
“Arsenal of Liberty: The Development of American Military Manufacturing in the Early Republic.”
Andrew J.B. Fagal, Princeton University, Assistant Editor, The Papers of Thomas Jefferson
Wednesday, March 16, 2016 3:30pm
Bio: Andrew J. B. Fagal is an assistant editor for the Papers of Thomas Jefferson at Princeton University. He received his Ph.D. from Binghamton University, the State University of New York, in 2013 and has had his work on the War of 1812 published in The New England Quarterly and New York History. He is currently completing his book manuscript on the political economy of war in the early republic.
Abstract: Between the American Revolution and the War of 1812 there was a fundamental transformation in American manufacturing capacity. During the War of Independence the Continental Congress and state governments were forced to turn to the international market for arms and munitions as domestic suppliers could not hope to meet the army’s material demands. The situation some thirty years later was vastly different as domestic suppliers such as DuPont, Eli Whitney, and the Springfield Armory were able to keep the armed forces well-supplied with the instruments of battle. This talk will explore why this broad economic change occurred, the domestic politics and policies behind it, and its significance for understanding the nature of governance in the early American republic.
“The Elusive President: Why is JFK so hard to understand?”
Tim Naftali, New York University
Thursday, April 14, 2016 3:30pm
Bio: An associate clinical professor of history and public service at NYU and co-director of NYU’s Center for the United States and the Cold War, Tim Naftali is a native of Montreal and a graduate of Yale with a doctorate in history from Harvard. Using Soviet-era documents, he and Russian academic Aleksandr Fursenko wrote the prize-winning One Hell of a Gamble: Khrushchev, Castro and Kennedy, 1958-1964 and Khrushchev’s Cold War, the latter winning the Duke of Westminster’s Medal for Military Literature in 2007 and inclusion on Foreign Affairs’ 2014 list of the ten best books on the Cold War. As a consultant to the 9/11 Commission, Naftali wrote a history of US counterterrorism, published as Blind Spot: The Secret History of American Counterterrorism, which included an account of the US response to the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre. Naftali came to NYU after serving as the founding director of the federal Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda, California. Naftali, whose work has appeared in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Slate and Foreign Affairs, is also seen regularly on television as a commentator on contemporary history. Most recently, he was featured in CNN’s The Sixties and The Seventies and in the PBS documentaries, Dick Cavett’s Watergate, Dick Cavett’s Vietnam and The Bomb.