Lecture Series

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 Ali Ahmida, Alejandro Bendaña, Daniel Immerwahr, Barbara Keys, Stephen Kinzer, Adrienne Lentz-Smith, Margaret MacMillan, Jennifer Mittelstadt, Tim Naftali, Andrew Preston, Thomas Schwartz, 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 normally schedules colloquia once or twice a month during the semester in the Russell F. Weigley Room, Gladfelter 914. However, due to Covid-19 the speaker series will be held on Zoom for Fall 2020. To suggest a speaker, contact CENFAD’s Thomas Davis Fellow, Joshua Stern.

Spring 2021

“Whistleblowing Nation: The History of National Security Disclosures and the Cult of State Secrecy”
Roundtable with Editors:

  • Kaeten Mistry, Senior Lecturer in American Studies, University of East Anglia
  • Hannah Gurman, Clinical Associate Professor of American Studies, NYU Gallatin
  • Comment from Richard Immerman, Emeritus Professor of History at Temple University
    Monday, January 25, 4:30pm

Kaeten Mistry is a historian of the U.S. and the world and teaches at the University of East Anglia. He has authored Waging Political Warfare: The United States, Italy, and the Origins of Cold War (Cambridge, 2014) and edited Reforms, Reflection and Reappraisals: The CIA and U.S. Foreign Policy since 1947 (2011). He recently led a large AHRC-funded project with Hannah Gurman. Among the publications from this collaboration is Whistleblowing Nation: The History of National Security Disclosures and the Cult of State Secrecy (Columbia, 2020).

Hannah Gurman teaches U.S. history and American Studies at NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study. She is the author of The Dissent Papers: The Voices of Diplomats in the Cold War and Beyond (2012, Columbia UP) and editor of A People’s History of Counterinsurgency (2013, The New Press). Along with Kaeten Mistry, she recently co-led a large collaborative research project on the history of U.S. national security whistleblowing, which was funded by the AHRC. As part of this project, she and Mistry co-edited Whistleblowing Nation: The History of National Security Disclosures and the Cult of State Secrecy (2020, Columbia UP).

Richard Immerman directed CENFAD for 25 years and chaired Temple’s History Department for 8. The recipient of Temple’s Paul Eberman Prize for distinguished research, he has received numerous awards for his scholarship and professional service. He was elected President of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations (SHAFR), served as an Assistant Deputy Director of National Intelligence, and held the Frances DeSerio W. Chair in Strategic and Theater Intelligence at the U.S. Army War College. Retired since 2017, Immerman still publishes, primarily on the Intelligence Community, and currently chairs the State Department Historical Advisory Committee, the American Historical Association’s Committee on Relations with the National Archives, and SHAFR’s Historical Documentation Committee.

Video of Video of Roundtable Lecture

“Power to the People: How Open Technological Innovation is Arming Tomorrow’s Terrorists”
Audrey Kurth Cronin, Professor of International Security, American University
Thursday, February 4, 4:30pm

Audrey Kurth Cronin is Founding Director of the Center for Security, Innovation and New Technology at American University in Washington, DC, and Professor at the School of International Service. Cronin’s career has combined academic positions and government service. She was a faculty member and director of the core course on War and Statecraft at the U.S. National War College, and Academic Director of Studies for the Changing Character of War at Oxford University. Before that, she was Specialist in Terrorism at the Congressional Research Service, responsible for advising Members of Congress in the aftermath of 9/11. She has also served in the U.S. executive branch, including in the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Policy, and frequently advises at senior levels. Cronin is also an award-winning author. Her latest book, Power to the People:  How Open Technological Innovation is Arming Tomorrow’s Terrorists (Oxford University Press, 2020), analyzes the risks and opportunities of new and emerging technologies, including mobilizing via social media and web platforms. It won the 2020 Airey Neave international prize for “the most significant, original, relevant, and practically valuable contribution to the understanding of terrorism.”

Video of Dr. Cronin’s Talk

“Challenging Beijing’s Mandate of Heaven: Taiwan’s Sunflower Movement and Hong Kong’s Umbrella Movement”
Ming-sho Ho, Professor of Sociology, National Taiwan University
Wednesday, February 17, 5:00pm

Ming-sho Ho is a professor in the Department of Sociology, National Taiwan University. He researches social movements, labor, and environmental issues. He published Working Class Formation in Taiwan: Fractured Solidarity in State-Owned Enterprises (2014) and Challenging Beijing’s Mandate of Heaven: Taiwan’s Sunflower Movement and Hong Kong’s Umbrella Movement (2019). His current research focuses on citizen’s involvement in energy transition in Taiwan and other East Asian nations.

In this lecture, I will present and summarize the major findings of my 2019 book, Challenging Beijing’s Mandate of Heaven. I will use the perspective of social movement studies to make sense of the two student-led occupy movements in Taiwan and Hong Kong. In the latter part of my presentation, I will utilize this analytical framework to understand Hong Kong’s anti-extradition protest that erupted in 2019 and conclude with an updated reflection about potential future courses.

Video of Dr. Ming-sho Ho’s Talk

“I’ll Go: War, Religion, and Coming Home, from Cairo to Kansas City”
Alexs Thompson, PhD in Divinity and Veteran of the War on Terror
Wednesday,March 10, 4:30pm

Alexs Thompson is an internationally recognized scholar of Islam who spent over a decade living and working in the Middle East with self-described fundamentalists in Egypt, Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Afghanistan, and numerous countries in Central and East Africa. Much of that time was spent in support of U.S. forces and international policy. Alexs received a Ph.D. from the Divinity School at the University of Chicago where he wrote his dissertation on medieval Islamic history. He also received a Master’s degree in geochemistry from the University of Illinois (Chicago) where he wrote about the age and sustainability of groundwater in Egypt. Dr. Thompson has been published in Joint Force Quarterly–the leading military journal directed by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Small Wars Journal, and been a guest speaker at the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy as well as the Association of the United States Army. In his travels, he worked with Generals David Petraeus and Stanley McChrystal and participated in numerous pivotal combat zones in the War on Terror. 

Video of Dr. Alexs Thompson’s Talk

“War: How Conflict Shaped Us”
Margaret MacMillan, Professor of History at the University of Toronto
Wednesday,March 24, 4:30pm

War raises fundamental questions about what it is to be human and about the essence of human society. Does war bring out the bestial side of human nature or the best?… Is it an indelible part of human society, somehow woven in like an original sin from the time our ancestors first started organizing themselves into social groups? Our mark of Cain, a curse put on us which condemns groups? Or is such a view a dangerous self-fulfilling prophecy? Do changes in society bring new types of war or does war drive change in society? Or should we even try to say what comes first, but rather see war and society as partners, locked into a dangerous but also productive relationship? Can war—destructive, cruel and wasteful—also bring benefits?”

Margaret MacMillan (Toronto and Oxford) is professor of History at the University of Toronto and an emeritus professor of International History at Oxford University. She was Provost of Trinity College, Toronto from 2002-7 and Warden of St Antony’s College, Oxford from 2007-2017. She is currently a trustee of the Central European University and the Imperial War Museum. Her research specializes in British imperial history and the international history of the 19th and 20th centuries. Publications include War: How Conflict Shaped Us, Paris, 1919, and The War that Ended Peace. She gave the CBC’s Massey lectures in 2015 and the BBC’s Reith Lectures in 2018. Awards include the Samuel Johnson prize for non-fiction and the Governor-General’s literary award. She has honorary degrees from several universities and is an honorary Fellow of the British Academy. She is also a Companion of the Order of Canada and a Companion of Honour (UK).

Video of Dr. Margaret MacMillan’s Talk

“Empire of Democracy: The Remaking of the West since the Cold War, 1971-2017”
Simon Reid-Henry, Professor of History and Geography Studies at Queen Mary University
Thursday, April 8, 4:30pm

Dr. Simon Reid-Henry is an historical and political geographer with interests in political philosophy and the history of ideas, political economy, and the international politics of the postwar era. At QMUL he helped establish and was the founding director (2009-2012) of the Centre for the study of Global Security and Development. More recently he theme lead, as part of the Institute for Humanities and Social Science, for research on democracy. His work has been funded by the ESRC, the Smuts Memorial Fund, the Norwegian Research Council, the Yale MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies, and the Leverhulme Trust. He has reviewed and commented on current affairs for The Times, The Guardian, the New StatesmanThe Times Literary SupplementThe Times Higher and for national and international television and radio.

Dr. Reid-Henry’s research has examined the making of particular forms of power/knowledge as these have shaped the modern world: development, global health, science, humanitarianism, welfare, security, and war.

Center for the Study of Force and Diplomacy
Temple University, Department of History
918 Gladfelter Hall
(215) 204-7466
Fax: (215) 204-5891

Alan McPherson
918 Gladfelter Hall

Thomas J. Davis Fellow
Joshua Stern