Category Archives: Washington History Seminar

Sponsored jointly by the National History Center and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, the Washington History Seminar meets each week, January to May and September to December, on Monday afternoons at 4 o’clock at the Wilson Center. It aims to facilitate understanding of contemporary affairs in light of historical knowledge of all times and all places and from a variety of perspectives. For the latest schedule, please click on Spring 2012 Schedule. For more information on past speakers, topics, and videos, please click on Washington History Seminar Schedule.

12/5: Jeremy Friedman on “Shadow Cold War: The Sino-Soviet Competition for the Third World”

The Cold War is often seen as a bilateral US-Soviet conflict, but Jeremy Friedman argues that the Sino-Soviet split was deeply consequential for the fate of Asia, Africa, and Latin America as well for the adherents of the left worldwide. While the Soviets prioritized the replacement of capitalism by socialism, the Chinese instead saw the defeat of imperialism as the primary revolutionary objective. Coming in the wake of decolonization, the Sino-Soviet clash became the geopolitical vehicle for the new nations of the Global South to alter the Second World’s revolutionary agenda.

Jeremy Friedman is an Assistant Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School. Previously he was the Associate Director of the Brady-Johnson Program in Grand Strategy at Yale, after receiving his Ph.D. from Princeton in 2011. In addition to Shadow Cold War: The Sino-Soviet Competition for the Third World (UNC Press, 2015), he has published articles in Cold War History and Modern China Studies. His current project, “Modelling Revolution: Constructing Third World Socialisms,” looks at the attempt to find a workable model of socialism for developing countries.

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

The Washington History 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.

11/28: Nicole Hemmer on “Messengers of the Right: Conservative Media and the Transformation of American Politics”

Most Americans trace the origins of conservative media to the rise of Rush Limbaugh and Fox News in the 1980s and 1990s. But Nicole Hemmer argues it started much earlier, in the 1940s and 1950s, when activists working in media emerged as leaders of the American conservative movement. She contends that these media activists not only started an array of enterprises, from publishing houses to radio programs to magazines, they also built the movement — with lasting consequences for American politics and media.

Nicole Hemmer is an assistant professor at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center. Her new book is Messengers of the Right, Conservative Media and the Transformation of American Politics. She is a contributing editor to U.S. News & World Report and a syndicated columnist for The Age in Melbourne, Australia. She has written for numerous national and international publications, including the New York Times, Atlantic, New Republic, Politico, and Vox, and co-hosts and produces the Past Present podcast.

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

The Washington History 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.

11/14: Manisha Sinha on “The Slave’s Cause: A History of Abolition”

Received historical wisdom casts abolitionists as bourgeois, mostly white reformers burdened by racial paternalism and economic conservatism. Manisha Sinha overturns this image, recasting abolition as a radical social movement in which men and women, black and white, free and enslaved found common ground in international causes ranging from utopian socialism, feminism, pacifism, and anti-imperialism to efforts to defend the rights of Native Americans, labor, and immigrants. The abolitionist vision linked the slave’s cause to the struggle to redefine American democracy and human rights across the globe.

Manisha Sinha is the Draper Chair in Early American History at the University of Connecticut, Storrs. She is the author of The Counterrevolution of Slavery: Politics and Ideology in Antebellum South Carolina, which was named one of the ten best books on slavery in Politico and The Slave’s Cause: A History of Abolition, which was featured as the Editor’s Choice in The New York Times Book Review. Sinha is the recipient of numerous fellowships and awards, including two year-long fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Chancellor’s Medal, the highest honor bestowed on faculty at the University of Massachusetts. She was elected a member of the American Antiquarian Society and is on the Council of Advisors for the Lapidus Center for the Historical Analysis of Transatlantic Slavery at the Schomburg Center of the New Public Library. Sinha has written for The New York Times and The Huffington Post, appeared on Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show in 2014, and was an adviser and on-screen expert for the Emmy nominated PBS documentary, The Abolitionists (2013).

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

The Washington History 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