How Has the Pandemic Reshaped U.S. Foreign Relations Histories?

Anne L. Foster (Indiana State University) and Petra Goedde (Temple University)
Editors, Diplomatic History

Covid-19 has laid bare the tension between globalism and nationalism, the promise and limits of modern medicine, the persistence of inequality, legacies of imperialism and racism.  We have witnessed human beings adapt with remarkable resilience, but also the toll the took on families and individuals beyond the threat of death and disease: isolation, job loss, financial insecurity, uncertainty.

As university teachers and mothers, we scrambled in the spring of 2020 to adjust our living and teaching.  As foreign relations scholars and journal editors we were thinking about what all this meant for our work.  And so we invited a group of scholars to reflect on this question: What has living through this pandemic revealed or changed about your conception of your scholarship? 

We are happy to announce that the twenty-three short essays they wrote have just been published in the June 2021 issue of Diplomatic History, all of which are currently free to read and download online.

Continue reading “How Has the Pandemic Reshaped U.S. Foreign Relations Histories?”

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.

This Week’s Top Picks in Imperial & Global History

LawBooksNeed some distractions for the new year? Here are some of the most noteworthy recommended reads of the week from the Imperial & Global Forum. Continue reading “This Week’s Top Picks in Imperial & Global History”