Category Archives: Seminars

International Seminar on Decolonization is a summer program generously sponsored by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to bring together young historians from the U.S. and aboard to Washington, DC to study to discuss the history of decolonization in the 20th-century. The seminar will run in July in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010.

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

March 3 (Rescheduled to April 28): James Graham Wilson: “The Triumph of Improvisation: Gorbachev’s Adaptation, Reagan’s Engagement, and the End of the Cold War”

In this presentation to the Washington History Seminar based on his book, The Triumph of Improvisation, James Graham Wilson takes a long view of the end of the Cold War, from the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan to Operation Desert Storm. Wilson argues that adaptation, improvisation, and engagement by individuals in positions of power ended the specter of a nuclear holocaust. Eschewing the notion of a coherent grand strategy to end the Cold War, Wilson illuminates how leaders made choices and reacted to events they did not foresee.

James Graham Wilson received his Ph.D. in diplomatic history from the University of Virginia in 2011 and his B.A. from Vassar College in 2003. He currently works on Soviet and National Security Policy volumes for the Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS) series in the Office of the Historian at the Department of State.

Report from the Field: To be announced

The Washington History Seminar, a joint venture of the National History Center of the American Historical Association and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, meets at 4 p.m. in the 6th Floor Moynihan Boardroom at the Wilson Center in the Ronald Reagan Building, 13th and Pennsylvania, NW, Federal Triangle Metro Stop. Reservations are requested because of limited seating: WHS@wilsoncenter.org

The seminar thanks the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations for its support.

A webcast and podcast of the talk will be available here later.

February 24: Marilyn Lake: “Australia’s Historic Minimum Wage: A World History Approach”

Histories of the minimum wage are usually written within national analytic frameworks. Research in the New York Public Library on the first minimum wage, legislated in Victoria, Australia, in 1896, convinced historian Marilyn Lake that a world history approach was necessary, one that located this experiment in “state socialism” in the context of both the longue duree of imperial labor relations and encounters between the subjects of the British and Chinese empires in the new world of urban Melbourne. This presentation to the Washington History Seminar will take that approach.

Marilyn Lake is Professor in History and Australian Research Council Professorial Fellow at the University of Melbourne. Her recent publications include Drawing the Global Colour Line: White Men’s Countries and the International Campaign for Racial Equality (2008), co-authored with Henry Reynolds; and the articles “Chinese colonists assert their ‘common human rights'” in the Journal of World History (2010) and “Colonial Australia in its Regional Context” in The Cambridge History of Australia, vol. 1 (2013).

Report from the Field: To be announced

The Washington History Seminar, a joint venture of the National History Center of the American Historical Association and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, will convene at 4:00 p.m. in the Wilson Center’s 6th Floor Moynihan Boardroom in the Ronald Reagan Building at 13th and Pennsylvania, NW, in Washington, DC, above the Federal Triangle Metro Stop (Blue & Orange Lines). Reservations are requested because of limited seating: mbarber@historians.org.