David C. Atkinson

Assistant Professor of History
Purdue University
Short Bio: 

Atkinson's recently published book, The Burdens of White Supremacy: Containing Asian Labor Migration in the British Empire and the United States draws upon archival research in Australia, Canada, Great Britain, New Zealand, and the United States. It explores efforts to restrict Japanese and South Asian immigration during the first decades of the twentieth century. Arguing that the so-called white man's burden was often white supremacy itself, Atkinson demonstrates how the tenets of absolute exclusion--meant to foster white racial, political, and economic supremacy--only inflamed dangerous tensions that threatened to undermine the British Empire, American foreign relations, and the new framework of international cooperation that followed the First World War. He is working on a new book that explores how Americans interacted with their growing commercial empire in the 19th century, and he is also the author of a book entitled In Theory and in Practice: Harvard's Center for International Affairs, 1958-1983.