Category Archives: Center News

Wilson Center Seminar Application Open

Apply for the 2020 Summer Institute on Conducting Archival Research
The Wilson Center’s History and Public Policy Programand the Project on History and Strategy at CSIS seek applications for the 2020 Summer Institute on Conducting Archival Research (SICAR). Ph.D. candidates in various disciplines from the US and around the world are welcome to apply, with particular consideration for those who can demonstrate a policy-relevant historical research agenda. The deadline for applications is Sunday, March 8, 2020.

SICAR is a four-day seminar-style program co-hosted by the Wilson Center and CSIS in cooperation with George Washington’s Cold War Group. The objective is to provide Ph.D. students training from world-class faculty, researchers, archivists, policy practitioners, and publishers on conducting archival research and designing research agendas on topics broadly related to international history, national security, diplomacy and the military. Although archival research is an integral part of many academic disciplines, it is virtually never taught at the graduate level. To address this deficiency and provide PhD candidates with the tools they need to make the most of their access to historical archives, SICAR offers in-depth training, access to expert historians and practitioners, and familiarization with the intersection of history and policy in the heart of Washington, D.C.

Competitive candidates for the 2020 SICAR cohort are pursuing a Ph.D. topic in a variety of disciplines, including history, international relations, government, sociology, and public policy, as well as area and regional studies. Candidates should demonstrate an open mind about applying their research to contemporary policy and strategy questions. Preference will be given to students who have defended their dissertation proposal and who are about to embark on archival research.

The 2020 Seminar will be held during the week of May 26-May 29. Seminar sessions will take place at the Wilson Center and CSIS in downtown Washington, DC, followed by optional networking and sightseeing event programming. Student participants are required to attend all seminar sessions. (Exact schedule TBA).

The deadline for applications for the 2020 program is March 8, 2020. All materials must be received by 11:59 p.m. EST.

Applications should include the application cover sheet, curriculum vitae, and a one to two page (12 pt. font, double spaced, 1” margins) proposal outlining how your dissertation research would benefit from participation in SICAR. One letter of recommendation should also be submitted directly by the recommender. All application materials should be submitted via e-mail to sicar@wilsoncenter.org. The Wilson Center will make an effort to confirm receipt of all application materials.

The Wilson Center and CSIS will provide meals and hotel accommodations in Washington for non-local participants. Applicants are strongly encouraged to request additional funding for travel and ground expenses from their home institution or elsewhere.

For further information, please contact sicar@wilsoncenter.org, or read about past seminars at https://www.wilsoncenter.org/article/2016-summer-institute-for-conducting-archival-research-glimpse-years-institute

June 9: Congressional Briefing on Legislative Branch Oversight of Intelligence Activities

The National History Center of the American Historical Association will be presenting a Congressional briefing on the history of Congress’s relationship with the intelligence community.  The briefing will be held on June 9, 2014, at 10:00 a a.m. in Room 121 of the Cannon House Office Building.  Professors Laura Donohue of Georgetown Law School and Mark Lowenthal of The Intelligence & Security Academy and Johns Hopkins University will discuss the origins and consequences of the Church Committee and more.  James Grossman, the Chairman of the National History Center’s Board and Executive Director of the American Historical Association, will moderate the discussion.

Congressional oversight of intelligence is a recurring flashpoint in Executive-Congressional relations. Dr. Mark Lowenthal, who has served as the staff director of the House Intelligence Committee and as a senior intelligence officer (State, CIA), will discuss the origins of the current intelligence oversight system and touch on some of the key developments that have helped shape the current system and serve as a prelude to today’s intelligence oversight issues.

In the early 1970s, as Dr. Laura Donohue will explain, public allegations related to intelligence agencies’ impropriety, illegal activities, and abuses of authority prompted both Houses of Congress to create temporary committees to investigate the accusations: the House Select Committee on Intelligence, and the Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities.   The allegations centered on activities undertaken by three organizations: the NSA, the FBI, and the CIA.  The Senate Select Committee, Chaired by Senator Frank F. Church (D-ID), with the assistance of Senator John G. Tower (R-TX) as Vice Chairman, was a bipartisan initiative.

The Committee found that broad domestic surveillance programs, conducted under the guise of foreign intelligence collection, had undermined U.S. citizens’ privacy rights.   The illegal activities, abuse of authority, and violations of privacy uncovered by the Church Committee (as well as the Rockefeller Commission, the Pike Committee, and the Murphy commission) spurred a number of reforms, including (1) creation of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Senate Resolution 400 (passed within a month of the Church Committee’s final report); (2) Creation of the House Permanent Select committee on Intelligence; (3) Executive Order 11905 (banning political assassination/creating a new command structure, requiring the CIA IG to be involved in internal oversight, followed by Carter’s Executive Order 12036 in 1978); (4) the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act; and (5) various administrative initiatives, such as a reduction in the size of the intelligence community and development of a new mechanism for intelligence estimates.

Part of the National History Center’s series of sessions aimed at providing Congressional staff members with the historical context necessary to understand issues of current legislative concern, the briefing is open to the public.

Questions and answers will follow the presentation.  A light breakfast will be served.

To R.S.V.P. or for further information, please contact the Center’s assistant director, Amanda Moniz, at amoniz@historians.org or 202-450-3209.