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Hennebach Lecture: Your GPS is Obsolete: Decolonization, American Grand Strategy, and the Map(s) of the World
October 23, 2017 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Brown Hall W250
Decolonization — the post-1945 retreat of Europe’s overseas empires and their conversion into independent nation-states in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and the Caribbean — was a world-historical event that ended the Columbian era. It unfolded at a time when the Cold War prompted the United States to think through a “grand strategy” — arguably for the first time — for its role in the wider world. Deploying a variety of tools, from military intervention to covert operations to public diplomacy to foreign aid, Washington sought to integrate a smooth, stable, and anticommunist decolonization process into its plans for world order even as the Cold War threatened its undoing in equal measure.
Jason Parker is Associate Professor of History at Texas A&M University, where he has taught for 10 years. He has also taught at West Virginia University and the Universidad de San Andres (Buenos Aires) since earning his PhD at the University of Florida in 2002. He is the author of Hearts, Minds, Voices: U.S. Cold War Public Diplomacy and the Formation of the Third World (2016); Brother’s Keeper: The United States, Race, and Empire in the British Caribbean, 1937-1962 (2008) which won the SHAFR Bernath Book Prize; and articles in the Journal of American History, Diplomatic History, and elsewhere. His next project is a comparative study of postwar federations.