Events

Foreign Policy by Analogy: U.S. Decision-Making and the Uses of the Vietnam War

March 10, 2014 // 4:00pm5:30pm
Over the four decades since U.S. forces came home from Vietnam, Americans have fiercely debated the lessons that the nation should draw from its longest and most controversial war. Mark Atwood Lawrence will suggest a scheme for making sense of how historians, polemicists, politicians, and other commentators have used – and will likely continue to use – the Vietnam analogy in thinking about policy decisions.

Australia's Historic Minimum Wage: A World History Approach

February 24, 2014 // 4:00pm5:30pm
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.

Racing Against Time: Roosevelt, Lindbergh, and America's Fight Over Saving Britain and Going to War

February 10, 2014 // 4:00pm5:30pm
Today, we think of World War II as the "good war" – a necessary conflict to save Western civilization from the evil of Nazi Germany. But in the years leading up to Pearl Harbor, millions of Americans were swept up in a passionate, bitterly fought debate over what America's role should be in the war. At stake was the very shape and future of America.

'We are the true revolutionaries’: The Democratic Republic of Vietnam in the 1960s

February 03, 2014 // 4:00pm5:30pm
The history of relations between the Democratic Republic of Vietnam and the Soviet Union and other Socialist states during the Vietnam War is usually told as a story of solidarity and “proletarian internationalism.” But there was another side: while the North Vietnamese celebrated “friendly relations” with Moscow and East Berlin and happily accepted aid provided by the Soviet bloc, they were deeply distrustful of Moscow’s policy of “peaceful co-existence” and the influence of “revisionist culture.”

The Past and Future of the Foreign Relations Series

January 27, 2014 // 4:00pm5:30pm
In more than 450 volumes produced since its inception in 1861, the U.S. Department of State’s Foreign Relations of the United States series presents the official documentary historical record of major U.S. foreign policy decisions and significant diplomatic activity. State Department Historian Stephen P. Randolph will discuss the series’ past as well as the many challenges facing it today, not least technological developments that threaten the future of the bound volumes familiar to generations of diplomats and historians.

People Out of Place: A Constitutional History of the Long 1960s

January 13, 2014 // 4:00pm5:30pm
Vagrancy laws made it a crime to be idle and poor, or dissolute, or to wander about without any purpose. African Americans and other civil rights activists, communists, labor union activists, poor people, Beats and hippies, gay men and lesbians, women, Vietnam War protestors and student activists, and young, urban minority men all contested their constitutionality. In 1971 and 1972, the Supreme Court struck them down. Risa Goluboff shows how this changing constitutional status of vagrancy laws was part and parcel of the larger social transformations of the long 1960s.

The Myth of Race and Its Many Political Uses, from the Colonial Era to Obama’s America

December 09, 2013 // 4:00pm5:30pm
In this presentation, Jacqueline Jones will focus upon the different uses of the myth of race in specific times and places. The life-stories of a Maryland slave murdered by his master; a fugitive in Revolutionary South Carolina; a savvy businesswoman in antebellum Providence; a principled Republican in post-Civil War Savannah; a school principal in segregationist Mississippi; and a Marxist autoworker in industrial Detroit all suggest the shifting, contradictory nature of racial mythologies from the seventeenth century to the present.

Yellow and Gold: Chinese Gold Miners and the ‘Chinese Question’ in Pacific-World Settler Colonies, 1848-1910

December 02, 2013 // 4:00pm5:30pm
Mae Ngai will address two transpacific circulations in the late-19th century — the movement of Chinese to the gold rushes of the Pacific world, including the forms of work and social organization that they brought with them from southern China and southeast Asia and their local adaptions; and the circulation and evolution of anti-Chinese racial politics from North America to Australia to South Africa, which led to restrictive and exclusionary measures.

Italy, the Cold War, and the Nuclear Dilemma: The Struggle over the NPT

November 25, 2013 // 4:00pm5:30pm
Why do nuclear weapons matter? Italy's military nuclear policy throughout the Cold War was an attempt to achieve a position of parity with the major European powers. The Non-Proliferation Treaty, however, challenged this basic goal, and both the signature and the ratification of the treaty became two of the most controversial choices that postwar Italy had to face.

Access to Capital after the Poor People’s Campaign

November 21, 2013 // 2:30pm4:30pm
As we mark the 45th Anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s Poor People’s Campaign, we must consider the mixed legacy of one element of their platform, the demand that access to capital be expanded.

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