62 Events

GIs take time out to read newspapers and magazines above and below their sandbagged bunker in a base camp set up in a jungle clearing in South Vietnam near the Cambodian border, Nov. 28, 1966.

AP/Horst Faas

Seminar - Harvard Faculty, Fellows, Staff, and Students

Grunt Free Press: Countercultural Movements and Contested Masculinities during the Vietnam War

Thu., May 16, 2024 | 12:15pm - 1:45pm

One Brattle Square - Room 350

Speaker: Addison Jensen, Ernest May Fellow in History & Policy, International Security Program

Throughout the 1960s and into the early 1970s, a wave of social and racial justice movements swept the United States, capturing the attention of American citizens both at home and abroad, including men and women serving in the Vietnam War. Two of these countercultural campaigns—the antiwar and women's liberation movements—issued a direct challenge to martial masculinity, a central pillar in the United States' battle against communism in Vietnam. In its place, the movements offered up their own alternative notions of masculinity. This presentation explores American servicemen's responses to this "crisis of masculinity" through the lens of Grunt Free Press—a GI-centered, underground-styled magazine that circulated among the troops in Vietnam between 1968 and 1972. Within the pages of Grunt Free Press, the GIs wrestled with evolving conceptions of masculinity, formulated their responses to the challenge, and found themselves increasingly open to countercultural ideas.

Open to Harvard ID Holders Only: Admittance will be on a first come–first served basis. Coffee & Tea Provided.

A view of ground zero at the French nuclear tests' site in In-Ekker near Ain Maguel, 170 km from the southern Algerian town of Tamanrasset, Feb. 16, 2007.

Public Domain/VOA

Seminar - Harvard Faculty, Fellows, Staff, and Students

Nuclear Politics in the Age of Decolonization: France's Sahara Tests and the Advent of the Global Nuclear Order

Thu., Nov. 16, 2023 | 12:15pm - 1:45pm

One Brattle Square - Room 350

Speaker:  Leyla Tiglay, Ernest May Fellow in History & Policy, International Security Program

Rumors of an impending atomic experiment in Africa circulated in newspapers as early as 1956, four years before France conducted its first atomic test at the Reggane Testing Center in the Sahara in 1960. The late 1950s saw France's technological preparations, strained transatlantic relations due to complex nuclear alignments in Europe, and an unprecedented wave of anti-nuclear mobilization in decolonizing Africa. Using the French tests as a case study, this research aims to refine scholars and policymakers' understanding of how decolonization intrinsically influenced the formation of the current global nuclear landscape during this pivotal era in nuclear politics. 

Open to Harvard ID Holders Only: Admittance will be on a first come–first served basis. Coffee &Tea Provided.

"Repatriation is Fixed" by W R M Haxworth

National Library Board, Singapore

Seminar - Harvard Faculty, Fellows, Staff, and Students

Home is Where Heritage is: Banishment and Repatriation in British Malaya, 1920–1960

Thu., Nov. 9, 2023 | 12:15pm - 1:45pm

One Brattle Square - Room 350

Speaker:  Sudarshana Chanda, Ernest May Fellow in History & Policy, International Security Program

This seminar explores how, in post-WWII British Malaya, banishment became conflated with another category of movement, repatriation. It further examines the new ways postwar "repatriation" schemes inflected categorizations of belonging for people with plural ethnic identities. In the aftermath of WWII, hundreds of thousands of prisoners of war, surrendered personnel, and "foreign" civilian occupants were voluntarily repatriated from Malaya to their home countries. At the same time, the forced movement of many people — which derived from multidecadal colonial banishment policies — was also rebranded as "repatriation." Both types of movement out of Malaya involved encounters with the colonial state and an implicit redefinition of citizenship or belonging based on ethnic categories.

Open to Harvard ID Holders Only: Admittance will be on a first come–first served basis. Coffee &Tea Provided.

1955:  Zhou Enlai With PM Jawaharlal Nehru at the Bandung Conference

Public Domain

Seminar - Harvard Faculty, Fellows, Staff, and Students

China Marching with India: India's Cold War Advocacy for the People's Republic of China at the United Nations, 1949–1971

Thu., Sep. 28, 2023 | 12:15pm - 1:45pm

One Brattle Square - Room 350

Speaker: Anatol Klass, Ernest May Fellow in History & Policy, International Security Program

Throughout the period when the People's Republic of China (PRC) was formally excluded from the United Nations (1949-1971), the India was a constant advocate for unrecognized Chinese government at the international organization, even as relations between the two countries deteriorated in the run-up to and aftermath of the 1962 border war. Based on sources from the PRC's Ministry of Foreign Affairs archives, this presentation explores the nature of PRC-India cooperation over United Nations affairs during the Cold War including the tensions caused by the two nations' competing conceptions of how the decolonizing world should fit into the international system and who should be at the helm. Despite these disagreements, the Cold War UN provided a setting where geopolitical tensions and divergent post-colonial visions could be sublimated into meaningful international cooperation.

Open to Harvard ID Holders Only: Admittance will be on a first come–first served basis. Coffee & Tea Provided.

Centaur 2, a mobile base for Robonaut 2, is put through its paces in the Arizona desert during the September 2010 Desert RATS, or Research and Technology Studies, field test. The Robonaut 2 torso could be attached to Centaur to allow the dexterous humanoid robot to explore the surfaces of distant planets in the future.

Public Domain/NASA

Seminar - Open to the Public

When Knowledge Became Power: Technology, the United States, and Hegemony in the Twentieth Century

Thu., May 11, 2023 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

Online

Speaker: Michael Falcone, Ernest May Fellow in History & Policy, International Security Program

This presentation will examine how today's model of superpowers as science-powers stemmed from highly contingent historical processes — a whole paradigm of global competition that emerged from a specific set of transatlantic personal networks and rivalries in the 1940s. It will also explore how the United States built its high-tech identity by siphoning other countries' intellectual property and state-science models, much as it charges China with doing today. Finally, it will deconstruct what scholars and policymakers alike really refer to when use the fuzzy concepts of nations being "ahead" or "behind" their technological rivals.

Everyone is welcome to join us online via Zoom! Please register in advance for this seminar:
https://harvard.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJMpdOisqT4iGNB1X9jxHKY-xh-B5Vc-QmgP

The Meanderings of a Weapon Oriented Mind When Applied in a Vacuum Such as the Moon, U.S. Army Weapons Command, Directorate of R&D, Future Weapons Office, June 1965

Public Domain/DOD

Seminar - Open to the Public

"Lunartics!"; Or, How We Avoided a Space War

Thu., Apr. 20, 2023 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

Online

Speaker: Stephen Buono, Ernest May Fellow in History & Policy, International Security Program

After the Soviet Union launched the world's first satellite—Sputnik I—in 1957, U.S. military officials began thinking about the cosmos as a vast new theater of war. Convinced that a techno-saturated space war was just around the bend, far-flung laboratories and offices under the Department of Defense began planning for it.

Everyone is welcome to join us online via Zoom! Please register in advance for this seminar: https://harvard.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJIldO-vpzwtE9Lu85mJOOJfpNtFVHhSAPiS

A reverse-glass painting of the international trade concession in Canton circa 1805.

Public Domain

Seminar - Open to the Public

Virtuous Emulations of Liberty: American Diplomatic Culture After the American Revolution

Thu., Mar. 30, 2023 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

Online

Note New Date

Speaker: Katrina Ponti, Ernest May Fellow in History & Policy, International Security Program

As the United States emerged as an independent state after the Revolution, it faced the world with a State Department staffed by five clerks and initially led by an absentee Thomas Jefferson. How did the nation secure its place in global affairs with such a small bureaucracy? What was the diplomacy of a democracy supposed to look like?

Everyone is welcome to join us online via Zoom! Please register in advance for this seminar:
https://harvard.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJErdeyrqzsuHd0PyAHYv3lQQoGGLh7Lm4P-

French commandos enter Japanese-occupied Indochina, 1945

Public Domain

Seminar - Open to the Public

Free France, Colonial Reform, and the Genesis of Cold War Counterinsurgency, 1941–1954

Mon., Mar. 13, 2023 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

Online

Speaker: Nate Grau, Ernest May Fellow in History & Policy, International Security Program

This seminar traces the evolution of France's Cold War counterinsurgency (COIN) doctrine from the Second World War to France's 1954 defeat in Indochina. Grau reveals the underappreciated roles of civilian colonial reformers in this process, tracing a network of "Free French" policymakers circulating from Algeria to the French wars in Madagascar (1947–1948) and Indochina (1945–1954). In each of these revolutionary independence struggles, reformist plans to encourage economic growth and develop local state capacity became tools of counterinsurgent repression that only escalated inter-communal cycles of violence.

Everyone is welcome to join us online via Zoom! Please register in advance for this seminar: https://harvard.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJAud-qurjkpE9LULcdi7fEzEUmflmTOWvYC

Sign along a road in Argentina, October 6, 2006.

Flickr CC/Tjeerd Wiersma

Seminar - Open to the Public

Inherited Sovereignty: 'Uti Possidetis Juris' and the Falklands/Malvinas Dispute

Thu., Feb. 16, 2023 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

Online

Speaker:  Paula O'Donnell, Ernest May Fellow in History & Policy, International Security Program

This seminar traces the origins of Argentine juridical thought concerning the perennial dispute with Great Britain over the Falklands/Malvinas Islands. Looking at legal scholarship of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, O'Donnell shows that the war of 1982 can be partially attributed to local understandings of "territorial integrity" which hinge upon the legal principle known as "uti possidetis juris of 1810." This international law doctrine provides the basis for the enduring maxim that still resonates with many Argentines today: that Argentina "inherited" the archipelago from Spain.

Everyone is welcome to join us online via Zoom! Please register in advance for this seminar: https://harvard.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJwsfuivqzIiH93snkXsZZCknA2eD5aVcSIM

Former Gate of National Chengchi University in Nanjing, 28 December 2011.

Wikimedia CC/猫猫的日记本

Seminar - Open to the Public

The Party School: The Kuomintang's Central Political Institute and the Transformation of Chinese Foreign Policy

Thu., Feb. 9, 2023 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

Online

Speaker: Anatol Klass, Ernest May Fellow in History & Policy, International Security Program

This presentation follows the careers of a group of Chinese foreign policy experts who were chosen as college students in the 1930s to receive specialized training at the ruling Nationalist Party's civil service school. The speaker traces this cohort from the shared experience of an experimental educational program meant to instill the expertise necessary for modern diplomacy, through its bifurcation after the 1949 revolution. Almost half of the Kuomintang-trained experts stayed in Mainland China to work for the foreign policy apparatus of the new communist state while the other half followed Chiang Kai-shek to Taiwan and continued to work for the Republic of China. 

Everyone is welcome to join us online via Zoom! Please register in advance for this seminar:
https://harvard.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJAqfuCtqDIjE92P1HubU-5jia7a5zl1QVWj