The National History Center of the American Historical Association provides a venue in the nation's capital for all who care about the human past to make history an essential part of public conversations about current events and the shared futures of the United States and the wider world.

5/9: Jennifer Mittelstadt on “The Rise of the Military Welfare State”

After the end of the draft, the U.S. Army recruited volunteers who heeded the call to “Be All That You Can Be.” But beneath the recruitment slogans, the army promised soldiers something more tangible: a social safety net of unprecedented size and scope. The military’s social welfare programs thrived for decades, even as the U.S. dismantled its civilian welfare system. Yet the programs came under fire in the late 1990s, as opponents of military social welfare fought to outsource and privatize the system and to reinforce “self-reliance” among American soldiers.

Jennifer Mittelstadt is Associate Professor of History at Rutgers University. Her books include From Welfare to Workfare, Welfare in the United States (Co-authored with Premilla Nadasen and Marisa Chappell) and most recently The Rise of the Military Welfare State. She has published widely in both scholarly journals and popular publications, including the Journal of Policy History, the Journal of Women’s History, Social Politics, the New York Times, Jacobin, and the Los Angeles Times. She was a scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars from 2008-2009.

4:00pm – 5:30pm
Woodrow Wilson Center, 6th Floor Moynihan Boardroom

The seminar is co-chaired by Eric Arnesen (George Washington University) and Christian Ostermann (Woodrow Wilson Center) and is sponsored jointly by the National History Center of the American Historical Association and the Wilson Center’s History and Public Policy Program. It meets weekly during the academic year. The seminar thanks the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations and the George Washington University History Department for their support.

5/2: Jeffrey Herf on “Undeclared Wars with Israel: East Germany and the West German Far Left, 1967-1989”

Author Jeffrey Herf draws upon his recently published work Undeclared Wars with Israel:  East Germany and the West German Far Left, 1967-1989. The book examines the spectrum of antagonism to Israel coming from the East German and West German organizations of the far left during these years – including hostile propaganda, political warfare at the United Nations in New York, military training, cooperation of secret services, and delivery of weapons to Arab states and Palestinian organizations then engaged in wars and terrorist campaigns against Israel. The book and lecture offer considerable details based on work in the archives of the former East German regime, those of the West German government, West German leftist organizations, Jewish organizations in West Germany, the U.S. State Department and the United Nations.

Jeffrey Herf is Distinguished University Professor in the Department of History at the University of Maryland in College Park. He received his BA from the University of Wisconsin in 1969 and PhD from Brandeis University in 1981. He taught at Harvard, and at Ohio University in Athens before coming to Maryland in 2000. His publications include Divided Memory: The Nazi Past in the Two Germanys (Harvard U. Press, 1997); The Jewish Enemy:  Nazi Propaganda during World War II and the Holocaust (Harvard U. Press, 2006); and Nazi Propaganda for the Arab World (Yale University Press, 2009). His bookUndeclared Wars with Israel: East Germany and the West German Far Left, 1967-1989 was published in April 2016.

4:00pm – 5:30pm
Woodrow Wilson Center, 6th Floor Moynihan Boardroom

The seminar is co-chaired by Eric Arnesen (George Washington University) and Christian Ostermann (Woodrow Wilson Center) and is sponsored jointly by the National History Center of the American Historical Association and the Wilson Center’s History and Public Policy Program. It meets weekly during the academic year. The seminar thanks the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations and the George Washington University History Department for their support.

4/30: DC-Area African American Studies Works-in-Progress Seminar

The next meeting of the DC-Area African American Studies Works-In-Progress Seminar is this Saturday, April 30, 2016.  The Seminar will meet from 2-5 pm at the Teamsters’ Archive in George Washington University’s Gellman Library, 7th floor.

The papers under discussion will be:

  • Adam Ewing (Virginia Commonwealth University) – “Popular Pan-Africanism: Rumor, Identity, and Intellectual Production in the Age of Garvey.”
  • Tikia Hamilton (George Washington University) – “‘A Blessing in Disguise’: The Marian Anderson Concert and the Campaign for The Equitable Use of School Facilities.”

For copies of the papers or more information, please contact Jay Driskell at driskell@hood.edu.