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Mershon Center Speaker Series
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Petra Goedde
Promise & Perils of a Politics of Peace: How the Report from Iron Mountain exposed the Absurdity of Cold War Militarism
Tuesday, April 04, 2017, 03:30pm - 05:00pm
The Mershon Center for International Security Studies
1501 Neil Avenue, Room 120
Columbus, Ohio 43210

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Petra Goedde

Petra Goedde is associate professor of history and director of the Center for the Humanities at Temple University. She began her academic studies in Germany before moving to Northwestern for her Ph.D. in history. Her research interests are in U.S. foreign relations, transnational, culture, and gender history. She is the author of GIs and Germans: Culture, Gender, and Foreign Relations, 1945-1949 (Yale, 2003); co-editor of The Human Rights Revolution: An International History (Oxford, 2012); and co-editor of Oxford Handbook of the Cold War (Oxford, 2013). She has also written articles on cultural globalization since 1945, and contributed a section to Global Interdependence, edited by Akira Iriye (Harvard University Press/C.H. Beck, Germany, 2013).

She has held numerous fellowships in support of her research, among them the German Academic Exchange Service, Charles Warren Center at Harvard University, Shelby Cullom Davis Center at Princeton University, and Center of Advanced Studies at the Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich, Germany. Currently she is completing a book manuscript on the global discourse on peace during the cold war.


The “Report from Iron Mountain,” was published in 1967 as an alleged leaked study by an unnamed U.S. government task force regarding the “possibility and desirability of peace” with the Soviet Union. Though a complete fabrication, the study as well as the public debate it generated marked a turning point in the public discourse on peace in the United States. This talk takes the report as a point of departure for an exploration of the interconnections between public peace advocacy and the politics of peace during the 1960s and early 1970s. It is part of a larger study of the national and transnational engagement with peace as an ideal as well as a practical political manifestation, from the level of grassroots activism to the highest echelons of power; and from the cultural-religious realm to the realm of international diplomacy.


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