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.

Response to COVID-19

In accordance with federal recommendations, the NHC is suspending the WHS lecture series for the foreseeable future. Currently, all events until May 26, 2020 have been postponed. We hope to reschedule all postponed sessions to Fall 2020. Our congressional briefing series will also be postponed.

If you have any questions about upcoming talks or rescheduled events, please contact Rachel Wheatley at We appreciate your understanding and patience during this time.

5/15: Hearts, Minds, Voices: U.S. Cold War Public Diplomacy and the Formation of the Third World with Jason Parker

The postwar emergence of the “Third World” as an intellectual concept and geopolitical community is conventionally seen either as a category imposed on the Global South by the Cold War superpowers, or as an “organic” entity generated by peoples undergoing decolonization.  Jason Parker argues that the Third World instead arose from an interactive process:  as the superpowers sought to win “hearts and minds” through public diplomacy there, their efforts led anticolonial nationalists instead to reject the Cold War in favor of forging an imagined community grounded in nonalignment, economic development, and racialized solidarity.

Jason Parker is Associate Professor of History at Texas A&M University, where he has taught since 2006.  He completed his PhD in 2002 at the University of Florida under Bob McMahon and taught for four years at West Virginia University. He is the author of Brother’s Keeper: The United States, Race, and Empire in the British Caribbean, 1937-1962 which won the SHAFR Bernath Book Prize, and of articles in the Journal of American History, Diplomatic History, the Journal of African American History, International History Review, and elsewhere. He has received research fellowships from the Smith Richardson Foundation, the Truman Library Institute, the Fulbright Foundation, and the Mershon Center in support of his new book Hearts, Minds, Voices: U.S. Cold War Public Diplomacy and the Formation of the Third World and of his next project, a comparative study of postwar federations in the Third World.

Monday, May 15, 2017
4:00pm – 5:30pm
6th floor Moynihan Boardroom
Woodrow Wilson Center

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.