Tag Archives: 2010

The African Airlift in the Era of Decolonization

Historian Daniel Branch will give a lecture at the Library of Congress on Wednesday, July 28th on “The Airlift: African Students Overseas in the Era of Decolonization.” The lecture is in the Jefferson Building, LJ 119, of the Library of Congress at 4:00 pm. It is in conjunction with the Center’s Fifth International Seminar on Decolonization. The seminar, supported by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, is also cosponsored by the American Historical Association and the John W. Kluge Center of the Library of Congress.

This event

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is free and open to the public.

Although now best known for bringing the father of the current president to the United States, the attendance of African students at universities in North America, Europe and Asia in the 1960s is a greatly significant part of the interlinked histories of decolonization and the Cold War. Intended to provide much needed specialist expertise in the public and private sectors of newly independent countries, scholarships were provided to thousands of students from across the continent. But the provision of scholarships and the experiences of the students became matters of political debate in both host and home countries. Using Kenyan students in the U.S., U.S.S.R. and China as a case study, this lecture explores the ways in which the students brought into focus debates about race, sovereignty and development in a decolonizing and Cold War world.

Daniel Branch is assistant professor of history at the University of Warwick. After gaining his PhD from the University of Oxford in 2005, he was a visiting fellow at the Program on Order, Conflict and Violence at Yale University and a lecturer at the University of Warwick. He is the author of Defeating Mau Mau, Creating Kenya (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge: 2009) and numerous articles on Kenyan history and politics. He is currently completing a book on the political history of Kenya since independence. He is also an alumni of the National History Center’s First International Seminar on Decolonization, held in 2006.

The International Seminar on Decolonization is a 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.

This lecture is the final public lecture in this seminar; the first two featured Wm. Roger Louis on European Empires in Asia and Africa and Jason Parker on the Cold War and Decolonization. All three lectures have been web-casted.

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.

Fall 2010 Washington Seminar Speakers

The Washington History Seminar’s Fall 2010 speakers have been scheduled.  The seminar is sponsored jointly by the National History Center (an initiative of the American Historical Association) and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. It aims to facilitate the understanding of contemporary affairs in light of historical knowledge of all times and places, and from multiple perspectives. It meets weekly on Monday afternoons at 4 p.m., January—May and September—December.

Wm. Roger Louis, of the National History Center, and Christian Ostermann, of the Wilson Center, are the co-directors of the seminar.

Please check back for titles and topics.

  • September 13 Donald A. Ritiche, Historian of the United States Senate
  • September 20 Chen Jian, Cornell  University
  • September 27 Caroline Elkins, Harvard University
  • October 4 Joan Wallach Scott, Institute of Advanced Studies
  • October 11 No meeting: Columbus Day
  • October 18 Gabrielle Spiegel, Johns Hopkins University
  • October 25 Timothy Breen, Northwestern University
  • November 1 Erin Mahan, United States Department of Defense
  • November 8 Sir Brian Harrison, University of Oxford
  • November 15 David Hollinger, University of California at Berkeley
  • November 22 Philip Zelikow, University of Virginia
  • November 29 Barbara Metcalf, University of California at Davis
  • December 6 John Pocock, Johns Hopkins

To see the Spring 2010 Speakers and video presentations of their seminars, click here.