Grand Strategy, Isolationism, and Mid-Century National Security
Join the Mershon Center in welcoming Christopher McKnight Nichols to present a lecture on grand strategy, isolationism, and mid-century national security as a candidate for the Wayne Woodrow Hayes Chair in National Security.
This event is part of a job talk series for the Wayne Woodrow Hayes Chair in National Security
If you require an accommodation such as live captioning or interpretation to participate in this event, please contact Kyle McCray, email@example.com. Requests made two weeks before the event will generally allow us to provide seamless access, but the university will make every effort to meet requests made after this date. This event will be recorded and distributed only to Mershon Center Fellows.
As of January 2017, Christopher Nichols is Director of the Oregon State University Center for the Humanities. He specializes in the history of the United States and its relationship to the rest of the world, particularly in the areas of isolationism, internationalism, and globalization. In addition to his work on the intellectual history of the U.S. role in the world, Nichols is an expert on modern U.S. intellectual, cultural, and political history, with an emphasis on the Gilded Age and Progressive Era (1880-1920) through the present. He founded Oregon State's Citizenship & Crisis Initiative. In 2016 Nichols was awarded an Andrew Carnegie Fellowship. In 2017 Nichols became an Organization of American Historians (OAH) Distinguished Lecturer. Nichols’ 2018 TED Talk is entitled “The Untold Story of American Isolationism” (aka “Why History Matters Today”).
Dr. Nichols is the author, co-author, or editor of six books, including two forthcoming in 2021, most notably Rethinking American Grand Strategy (New York: Oxford University Press, 2021). His most well known book is Promise and Peril: America at the Dawn of a Global Age (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2011, revised paperback in 2015), which explains the origins of modern American isolationism and the dynamic interplay of international engagement, isolationist thought, and domestic reform from the 1890s through the 1940s. He is currently at work on several book-length projects regarding national security thought at the intersection of foreign and domestic policy during the early Cold War and across the sweep of U.S. history.
Dr. Nichols is a frequent commentator on air, online, and in print on the historical dimensions of contemporary U.S. foreign policy and politics, and is a regular on NPR and OPB and in reporting for the AP. He has done more than one-hundred invited talks and conference presentations in the past decade and has published dozens of articles, book chapters, essays, and reviews, in scholarly as well as public venues. He is a founding editorial board member of the “Made by History” section of the Washington Post and serves as Online Editor of the Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era. Nichols has done on-stage and televised/remote interviews with Ta-Nehisi Coates, Kamau Bell, Madeleine Albright, Henry Louis Gates Jr., Nicholas Kristof, Erika Lee, and Michael Beschloss, among others. An active member of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, the Society for U.S. Intellectual History, the Organization of American Historians, and the Society for Historians of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, Nichols has served on a range of committees for all four societies. Nichols is a permanent member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a member of the Board of Trustees of the Oregon Historical Society. He studied at Harvard College, Wesleyan University, and the University of Virginia (where he received his PhD).
Dr. Nichols has received numerous research grants and awards and was honored as Oregon State University's Honors College Professor of the Year in 2014. He is the elected faculty president of the Oregon State University Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa (Epsilon of Oregon): PBK Faculty President, 2019-20, 2018-19, 2017-18; elected Vice President 2016-17; elected Historian 2015-16.