Tag Archives: 2011

Kinzer Kicks Off Fall Washington History Seminar

Journalist-historian Stephen Kinzer will inaugurate the 2011-2012 Washington History Seminar Monday, September 12, with a presentation entitled “Iran 1953 and the Uses of Middle Eastern History.”

A professor at Boston University, Kinzer covered more than 50 countries on four continents in over 20 years as a correspondent for the New York Times. His books include Crescent and Star: Turkey Between Two Worlds (2001) and All the Shah’s Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror (2003).  He will explore the lasting consequences of the 1953 British-American coup against Iranian prime minister Mohammad Mossadegh and their role in the upheaval now spreading throughout the Arab world.

Co-sponsored by the National History Center and the Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars, the weekly Washington History Seminar provides historical perspectives on current international and national affairs.  It meets every Monday during the academic year at 4 p.m. at the Wilson Center in Washington, DC.  It is supported by a grant from the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations.  Future sessions are scheduled to include Foreign Affairs editor Gideon Rose on how wars end, historian Rashid Khalidi on Arab nationalism, and historian Hope M. Harrison on the contested legacy of the Berlin Wall.

To be added to the seminar’s e-mail announcement list, please contact National History Center Associate Director Marian J. Barber at mbarber@historians.org.




Sixth Decolonization Seminar Begins

The National History Center’s Sixth International Seminar on Decolonization has begun, with an opening reception to welcome everyone to Washington, D.C. for the month.  During the next four weeks, fifteen historians at the beginning of their careers will pursue new research in the various research centers and archives in and around Washington.  The focus is the dissolution of empires in the twentieth century in Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean.

The seminar is co-sponsored by the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress and the American Historical Association.  It is  supported by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

In conjunction with the seminar, two public lectures will be held at the Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress.  The first is on Wednesday, July 13th and features University of Oxford historian John Darwin discussing the history of decolonization as a history of failure.  The second lecture is Wednesday, July 20, with Eric Van Young of the University of California at San Diego.  He will focus on the history of decolonization in Mexico between 1750-1850.  Both lectures are free and open to the public.  Each begin at 4:00 pm and are in the Jefferson Room, LJ 119, of the Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress.  Following each lecture there will be a short  Q&A and light reception.

For the seminar this year, the directors are Wm. Roger Louis (University of Texas at Austin), John Darwin (Nuffield College, University of Oxford), Philippa Levine (University of Texas at Austin), Jason Parker (Texas A & M University), and Pillarisetti Sudhir (American Historical Association).

The 2011 participants and topics are:

Amanda Behm, Ph.D. candidate, British and imperial history, Yale University (degree expected 2012).
“The Third British Empire: history, theory and reality”

Eveline Buchheim (Ph.D., Social Sciences, University of Amsterdam, 2009), Researcher, NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies, The Netherlands.
“Passion and Purpose: Intimacies of Decolonization”

Paul Chamberlin (Ph.D., Diplomatic / International History, the Ohio State University, 2009), Assistant Professor of History, University of Kentucky.
“New Imperial Frontiers: The End of the Cold War and the Struggle for the Middle East, 1972-1982″

Jessica Chapman (Ph.D., History, University of California–Santa Barbara, 2006), Assistant Professor of History, Williams College, Massachusetts.
“From Disorder to Dictatorship: The Domestic and International History of Ngo Dinh Diem’s Construction of South Vietnam, 1953-1956”

Mads Clausen (Ph.D., English, U. of Copenhagen, 2010), Assistant Professor of British and American Politics and History, Aarhus University, Denmark.
“Out of the Ashcan of History: Decolonisation, Regional Engagement and Australian Post-Imperial Nationhood, 1956-1972”

Chris Dietrich, Ph.D. candidate, History, University of Texas–Austin (expected 2011).
“In the Wake of Withdrawal: British Decolonization and the International Energy Politics, 1967-1971”

Matthew Heaton (Ph.D., History, University of Texas–Austin, 2008), Assistant Professor of History, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.
“The Decolonization of Psychiatry in the British Empire, 1945-1979”

Jon Howlett, Ph.D. candidate, History, Bristol University, UK (expected 2011).
“‘Decolonising Shanghai:’ the American experience of the takeover of Shanghai and the purge of foreign influence in the city”

Su Lin Lewis (Ph.D., History, University of Cambridge, 2010), Past and Present Post-doctoral Fellow, Institute of Historical Research, UK.
“Cultural International and Civil Society Networks in 1950s Southeast Asia”

Moritz Mihatsch, D.Phil. candidate, History, Nuffield College, University of Oxford (expected 2012).
“Colonialism, Neocolonialism and the United States: How the Sudanese Political Parties dealt with Aid and Technical Assistance”

Lata Parwani, Ph.D. candidate, Modern South Asia History, Tufts University (expected 2012).
“From Homeland to Motherland: Reflecting on the Sindhi Hindu Exodus, 1947-49”

Justin Pearce, D.Phil candidate, Politics, St. Antony’s College, University of Oxford (expected 2011),
“Decolonisation in Angola and the roots of civil war”

Muhammad Ali Raza, D.Phil candidate, Modern South Asian History, St. Antony’s College, University of Oxford (expected 2011).
“Yearning for Freedom and Revolution: Indian Radicals in Moscow during the Interwar Period”

Anne-Isabelle Richard (Ph.D., History, Gonville and Caius College, Univeristy of Cambridge, 2010), Max Weber Fellow, European University Institute.
“How Europe needed Africa: The influence of decolonization in Asia on Eurafrican projects in France, 1945-1954”

Matthew Stanard (Ph.D., Modern European History, Indiana University, 2006), Assistant Professor of History, Berry College, Georgia.
“Belgium’s pro-empire propaganda and official U.S. views of decolonization in the Belgian Congo, 1955-1961″


John Darwin speaks on Decolonization as a History of Failure

On Wednesday, July 13 at 4:00 pm, distinguished British historian, John Darwin of Nuffield College at the University of Oxford, will lecture at the National History Center’s Sixth International Seminar on Decolonization. The lecture, entitled, “Decolonization– a History of Failure?”  is free and open to the public and is being held at the Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress, in the Jefferson Room, LJ-119.  There will be a light reception following the lecture and Q&A session.

Decolonization is widely thought of as one of the foundational processes of the modern world. An old imperial order was swept away: a new ‘world of nations’ emerged to replace it. The inviolable nature of national sovereignty, the right to self-determination and a portfolio of human rights acquired normative status as the basis of international law and practice. With all the wisdom of hindsight, statesmen, politicians and policymakers assured us in their memoirs that such was the vision that guided their actions through the ‘end of empire’. But how much of all this should we really believe? Were the statesmen really so wise and far-seeing or merely dab hands in self-interest and expediency? Is the modern world really a world of nations or (largely) the detritus of broken-down empires? Can the imprint of empire be erased from our culture(s): is it wise to try? Is a world of nations an attainable or even a desirable object? What alternative is there? There’s some room for debate.

John Darwin teaches Imperial and Global history at Oxford where he is a Fellow of Nuffield College and is the Beit University Lecturer in the History of the British Commonwealth. His recent publications include After Tamerlane: the Global History of Empire (Penguin, 2007) which won the Wolfson Prize in History in 2008 (Chinese and German translations have been published, Russian and Japanese are scheduled); and The Empire Project: the Rise and Fall of the British World System 1830-1970 (Cambridge University Press, 2010) which won the triennial Trevor Reese prize for Commonwealth and Imperial history.

The lecture is sponsored by the John W. Kluge Center, in conjunction with the National History Center’s Sixth International Seminar on Decolonization, a four-week seminar, held at the Library of Congress.  It 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 is supported by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, is cosponsored also by the American Historical Association and the Kluge Center.