Jason Parker to Discuss the Cold War and Decolonization

Professor Jason C. Parker will present “The Empires Who Came In From The Cold: Decolonization and the Cold War” at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, July 21, at the Library of Congress, Room 119 of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C.

This lecture is a part of the Center’s Fifth International Seminar on Decolonization, which began on July 12th. It is free and open to the public; no tickets or reservations are needed. A light reception will follow the lecture and question and answer session.

According to Professor Parker, the overlapping timelines of postwar decolonization and the Cold War, with the former starting earlier and culminating as the latter entered its final phase, create a fascinating interrelationship. Decolonization entailed not just the transfer of political and juridical sovereignty but also an intellectual and cultural process that dethroned European assertions and affirmed nationalist self-rule. The ultimate dimensions of the decolonization process make it a larger and longer-running twentieth-century story than that of the superpower conflict.

Jason Parker is associate professor of history at Texas A&M University. His research centers on the interplay of the Cold War and decolonization in U.S. relations with the “Third World.” He is the author of Brother’s Keeper: The United States, Race, and Empire in the British Caribbean, 1937-1962 (Oxford, 2008), which received the 2009 Bernath Book Award from the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations. He has published articles in the Journal of American History, Diplomatic History, and the Journal of African American History, among others. His current projects are a history of U.S. Cold War public diplomacy in the Third World, and a comparative study of postwar federations in the decolonizing European empires. He also has received a post-doc fellowship at the Mershon Center for International Studies at the Ohio State University and has been named a Fulbright Scholar for 2009-2010. Professor Parker received his B.A. and M.A. from Vanderbilt University and his Ph.D. from the University of Florida.

The lecture is presented in conjunction with the National History Center’s Decolonization Seminar. The four-week seminar held at the Library brings together international scholars to examine various dimensions of decolonization, primarily 20th-century transitions from colonies to nations in Asia, Africa and the Caribbean. The seminar, supported by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, is cosponsored by the American Historical Association and the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress.

Wm. Roger Louis gave a previous lecture in conjunction with the seminar and on Wednesday, July 28, Professor Daniel Branch of the University of Warwick in England will give a third lecture focusing on the African Airlift.