2018 SHAFR Awards Luncheon at the American Historical Association

Monday, January 15, 2018 - 7:45pm

2018 SHAFR Awards Luncheon at the American Historical Association

From a crowded field of remarkable nominees, the Stuart L. Bernath Memorial Lecture Prize committee (Brian DeLay, Carol Chin, and Ara Keys) has chosen Professor Jay Sexton to deliver the 2019 Lecture.  He earned his Ph.D. at Oxford and then served on the faculty before becoming the Kinder Institute Chair at the University of Missouri in 2016.  One of the profession’s most prolific and distinguished young historians of 19th-century American foreign relations, Sexton has authored twenty articles and book chapters, edited two collections (with two more in the works), and is about to publish his third monograph.  His important books on the foreign financing of the Civil War and on the Monroe Doctrine both powerfully reinterpret venerable topics, and his broader body of scholarship exemplifies the range, ambition, and quality of work that the Bernath Lecture Prize was meant to honor.  The Stuart L. Bernath Lecture Prize was established through the generosity of Dr. Gerald J. and Myrna F. Bernath, in memory of their late son to recognize and encourage excellence in teaching and research in the field 

The William Appleman Williams Junior Faculty Grants were established by SHAFR’s Council to promote scholarly research by untenured college and university faculty and others who are within six years of the Ph.D., who are working as professional historians, and who are working on the first research monograph.  This year’s committee (Sarah Snyder, Keisha Blain, and Scott Laderman) recognizes two outstanding projects for 2018:

Aaron Moulton receives his award from SHAFR President Peter Hahn(left- Aaron Moulton receives his award from SHAFR President Peter Hahn)

Uzma Quraishi's book manuscript, “Race to the Top: The Cold War, South Asia, and the Reshaping of American Immigration,” focuses on Indian-Pakistani immigration to Houston in the 1960s.  Her rich, creative, and multifaceted project wonderfully ties the history of U.S. public diplomacy together with histories of immigration and racial and class formation in the Cold War United States, up-ending not just traditional interpretations of South Asian immigration but also locating its origins in U.S. foreign policy.

Aaron Coy Moulton's book manuscript, “Caribbean Blood Pact: Dictators, Exiles, and the CIA in the Caribbean Basin, 1944-1955,” is deeply researched and wonderfully international and transnational.  His work will shed new light on the authoritarian networks that developed to counter threats to the military order in the Caribbean basin. The committee applauds his efforts to decenter (but not erase) the United States from the Central American story; his research will help to broaden our understanding of U.S.-Central American relations in the early Cold War period.

SHAFR's Michael J. Hogan Foreign Language Fellowship honors the long-time editor of Diplomatic History and is intended to promote research in foreign-language sources by graduate students.  Chaired by Joy Schulz, this year’s award committee (Arissa Oh and Karine Walther) was pleased to make this award to Kate Tietzen, a Ph.D. candidate at Kansas State University.  Tietzen’s dissertation, entitled “Iraq in the Cold War and Beyond the Fall of the Soviet Union, 1968-2003,” examines the complex Cold War relationships existing between the United States and Iraq, Iraq and the Soviet Union, and Iraq and Syria.  In Tietzen’s terms, “there were multiple ‘cold wars’ within the Cold War...competing interests, rivalries, and claims to reckon with for both superpowers and non-superpowers.” 

The focus of Tietzen’s research is the Ba’ath Arab Socialist Party of Iraq collection housed at Stanford University.  Amassed by Americans following the 2003 invasion and brought to Stanford in 2009, the archive houses eleven million documents, most of which are written in Arabic and remain largely unprocessed.  Under the direction of her advisor Dr. Donald Mrozek, Tietzen will use the fellowship to continue her Arabic language courses in Oman during the summer of 2018.

The Graduate Student Grants & Fellowships Committee—consisting of Jessica Chapman, Geoffrey Stewart, Sarah Miller-Davenport, Gregg Brazinsky, and Sam Lebovic—made a number of awards:

Jonathan Ng has been awarded the W. Stull Holt Fellowship to defray the costs of travel necessary to conduct research on his dissertation, “An Empire of Arms: The United States and the International Arms Trade, 1960-1985.”  He argues that during these years the arms trade was a major catalyst of globalization that was championed by political and corporate leaders as a means to address acute economic and energy crises.  It helped spur and at times undermine the global human rights movement and was a major contributor to a debt crisis and militarization in the Third World.  Ng is a doctoral student at Northwestern University.

Thomas Jamison has been awarded the Lawrence Gelfand-Armin Rappaport-Walter LaFeber Fellowship, established to honor Lawrence Gelfand, founding member and former SHAFR president; Armin Rappaport, founding editor of Diplomatic History; and Walter LaFeber, former president of SHAFR.  Jamison’s dissertation, “Gunboat Insurgency: Naval War in the Peripheral World and the Global Origins of Military Modernity, 1861-1895,” contends that because semi-peripheral powers in the 19th century were unable to compete with the economic capacity of the United States and Great Britain, naval strategists across the Global South shifted emphasis, focusing instead on the acquisition of paradigm-shifting industrial weapons and their adaptation for asymmetric war.  Jamison is a doctoral candidate at Harvard University.

(left- Amna Qayyum receives her award from Gregg Brazinsky of the prize committee.)

Amna Qayyum has been awarded the Stuart L. Bernath Dissertation Research Grant for her dissertation, “Standing Room Only: Population Control, Development, and Islamic Thought in Pakistan, c. 1951-1971.”  She explores the motivations of a variety of family planning groups in Pakistan during these years as a window into debates over modernization, foreign aid, the role of Islam, and state formation in a decolonizing society.  Qayyum is a doctoral candidate at Princeton University.

Ten doctoral students received Samuel Flagg Bemis Dissertation Research Grants to further their doctoral research projects:

Kyle Shybunko’s dissertation, “Varieties of Liberalization: Western Political and Economic Foundations in Hungary since the 1970s,” examines how German and American non-governmental organizations (NGOs) sought to shape Hungary’s transition to capitalism both before and after 1989. It explores why Hungary became an object of liberal imagining in both Germany and the U.S., how their two visions differed, and why Hungary failed to develop strong democratic institutions after the fall of communism.  This transnational, multi-archival project promises to expand our understanding of late-20th century capitalism, globalization, and the rise of populist nationalism.  Shybunko is a Ph.D. candidate at New York University.

In her dissertation, “Modernization’s Architects: United States International Development in Colombia, 1948-1971,” Amanda Waterhouse deploys the lenses of spatial analysis and urban history to explore U.S. development and modernization in Cold War Latin America.  Using Colombia as a case study, she looks at how U.S. ideas of security were embedded in the built environment of the urban centers of Bogotá and Cali, where American foreign policy would eventually clash with bottom-up demands for sovereignty.  This is an exciting project that aims to make a number of interventions in the histories of development, cities, and U.S.-Latin American relations.  Waterhouse is a Ph.D. student at Indiana University.

Sejoo Kim's project "American Soil, Asian Wage: The Struggle for ‘Made-in-USA’ in the American Pacific" examines the global history of American capitalism through the lens of the garment industry in the Northern Mariana Islands from the 1960s to the 2000s.  Kim is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Notre Dame.

Brandon Kirk Williams' dissertation, "Globalizing Productivity, Globalizing Inequality: The ILO’s Mission to Build Postcolonial Political Economy in India, Indonesia, and the World," explores the International Labor Organization’s effort to spread an American-based vision of industrial productivity to postcolonial India and Indonesia.  Williams is completing his Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley.

John Perry's research project, "Threads of Empire: The United States, the Muslim Brotherhood, the Palestinians, and the Syrian Kurds, 1945-1960," argues that these three non-state groups played a central role in shaping American strategies toward the Middle East and the global Cold War.  Perry is a doctoral candidate at the University of Kentucky.

Koji Ito's dissertation, “Tug-of-War over Ocean Migratory Resources: America’s Construction of New Maritime Legal Structures in the North Pacific, 1888-1952,” explores the ways that the U.S., Canada, and Japan made competing jurisdictional claims over biological resources in the ocean and innovatively combines a study of inter-imperial relations with environmental history as well as the histories of law, diplomacy, and military power.  Ito is a Ph.D. candidate in History at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Miles Culpepper’s dissertation is a transnational history of Guatemalan exiles and refugees in the four decades after the 1954 overthrow of Jacobo Arbenz. Emphasizing the political agency of this community, as well as their impact on the refugee and asylum policies of both Mexico and the U.S., the study offers new perspectives on the geopolitics of exile and migration in the Cold War.  Culpepper is a doctoral candidate in History at the University of California, Berkeley.

Through new research in Britain, France, Germany, and the U.S., Ruth Lawlor’s dissertation, “Rape and American Soldiers: Europe, 1942-1946,” places women’s voices and experiences at the center of the history of American sexual violence in Europe during World War II and provides a new account of the ways that rape became politicized and racialized in different national contexts. Lawlor is a Ph.D. student at Trinity College, University of Cambridge.

Ruodi Duan, in her dissertation, “Resilient Dreams: Building an Afro-Asian Front after Bandung, 1964-1974,” argues that socialist Tanzania, communist China, and the African-American left constituted three key nodes of the Afro-American imaginary as the Cold War developed into an increasingly multipolar conflict.  For this project she is conducting research in China, Tanzania, and the United States. Duan is a Ph.D. Candidate at Harvard University.

Susmita Das examines twentieth-century foreign policy through the lenses of the soap-manufacturing and advertising industries in her dissertation, “Clean Body, Clean Home, Clean Nation: Consumer Culture and the Significance of Cleanliness in Neoliberal India.”  Her research sheds light on American cultural influences and postcolonial consumer culture in the Third World.  Das is a doctoral student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne.