Confronting Catastrophe: International Disaster Assistance and Twentieth Century U.S. Foreign Relations – A Talk by Prof. Julia Irwin (4 July)

We are delighted to welcome Professor Julia Irwin (University of South Florida), who will be at the University of Exeter on a Visiting International Academic Fellowship on July 4. During her visit, she has kindly offered to give a lecture entitled ‘Confronting Catastrophe: International Disaster Assistance and Twentieth Century U.S. Foreign Relations.’ Her talk is in association with Exeter’s Centre for Imperial and Global History, the Centre for the Study of War, State and Society, and the Centre for Medical History.

When: Thursday, 4 July, 3-4:30pm

Where: Laver LT3 (University of Exeter, Streatham Campus)

Abstract: Prof. Irwin’s talk examines the history and politics of U.S. foreign disaster assistance in the 20th century. More specifically, she considers the ways that the U.S. government, military, and private organizations have historically responded to major natural disasters abroad, and critically analyses the political implications and diplomatic significance of these humanitarian efforts.

Bio: Prof. Irwin is Associate Chair in the History Department at the University of South Florida. Her research focuses on the place of humanitarianism and foreign assistance in 20th century U.S. foreign relations and international history. Her first book, Making the World Safe: The American Red Cross and a Nation’s Humanitarian Awakening (Oxford University Press, 2013), is a history of U.S. relief efforts for foreign civilians in the era of the First World War, exploring both the diplomatic and the cultural significance of humanitarian aid in these years. Her work has appeared in The Journal of American History, The American Historian, Diplomatic History, First World War Studies, The Bulletin of the History of Medicine, The Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, Moving the Social, History of Education Quarterly, and Nursing History Review. She was also the senior editor of the Oxford Research Encyclopedia in American History (2014-16). She is now writing a second book, Catastrophic Diplomacy: A History of U.S. Responses to Global Natural Disasters, which analyzes how U.S. State Department agencies, branches of the U.S. military, American charities and relief organizations, and the American public have responded to foreign disasters caused by tropical storms, earthquakes, floods, and other natural hazards throughout the twentieth century.

Keynote Lecture by Paul Kennedy – The Second World War at Sea, from Top to Bottom: A Braudelian Look at the Allied Victory

Centre for Maritime Historical Studies Keynote Lecture

Professor Paul Kennedy, CBE (Yale University)

‘The Second World War at Sea, from Top to Bottom: A Braudelian Look at the Allied Victory’

When: Wednesday 20 March, 2019, 1700-1830

Where: Amory C417 (University of Exeter, Streatham Campus)

All Welcome

Paul Kennedy is one of Britain’s leading historians. Perhaps best known for his seminal publication The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers, his earlier work focused on the history of the Royal Navy and the wider contexts in which it operated. Paul’s book The Rise and Fall of British Naval Mastery, published in 1976, examined the diverse elements that contributed to a nation’s exercise of naval power, including geopolitics, economics and logistics. This was a landmark publication, and one of the first academic works dealing with naval history to intervene in and enlighten wider historiographical debates; it was recently re-issued with a new introduction to coincide with the 40th anniversary of its publication. Paul continues to write and publish on the intersections between naval history, international relations and grand strategy. Paul was made a CBE in 2001, elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 2003, and was awarded the Caird Medal in 2005 for his contributions to naval history.