Bruce Cumings Explores America’s Pacific Acendancy

Bruce Cumings of the University of Chicago gives the next weekly history seminar in the series that is co-sponsored by the National History Center and Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars on March 22, 2010 at 4:00 pm.  Speaking on the topic of “American Ascendancy in the Pacific”, Professor Cumings will be explore how, for at least a century and a half, a chronological straight line can be drawn from the development of California and the American West to Japan and the heartland of China.

That line “faced West” and had its back turned to Europe.  American interactions–domestic as well as international–with East Asia began with China, the Philippines, Hawaii, and Japan. Since Pearl Harbor, the United States has fought three major wars in Asia (one win, one draw, and one loss).  These episodes reveal larger patterns of America’s place in the world, which diverge from the dominant Atlanticist narrative.

Bruce Cumings is Distinguished Service Professor in History at the University of Chicago. He was a member of the Peace Corps in South Korea before going to Columbia University in 1968.  Among his honors is the John K. Fairbank Prize of the American Historical Association.  His books include The Origins of the Korean War (1981), Korea’s Place in the Sun: A Modern History (1997), and Dominion from Sea to Sea: Pacific Ascendancy and American Power (2009).

Video is available for this seminar.

The seminar took place on Monday, March 22, 2010 and is a part of a series that promotes a discussion of ongoing and significant historical research and its relation to national and international affairs.
Click here to see a complete listing of the schedule of speakers and topics, as well as videos of the presentations.