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International History Seminar


Convenors: Christopher McKnight Nichols and Lydia Walker

The International History Seminar is a newly launched, year-long, continuing, in-person seminar, currently supported by the Mershon Center and the History Department, which provides it with an institutional disciplinary home. The IHS’s mission is three-fold, closely aligning with the areas of distinction and programming aims of the History Department:

  • First, to create a cohesive, highly engaged community at OSU dedicated to the study of international history, broadly defined. The core group includes history faculty and graduate students, primarily from the fields of diplomatic, military, and international history, but it also incorporates political science, geography, sociology, and comparative studies faculty and graduate students.
  • Second, to bring high-level, cutting-edge work to the IHS and campus community with a formal structure, including presentations, comments, and pre-circulated papers whenever possible.
  • Third, to explore new areas of research in international history, providing opportunities for OSU faculty and students to present alongside regional, national, and international scholars.

An additional dimension of IHS programming and the seminar moving forward is to solidify and advance both the community and reputation of international history at Ohio State.

The series, modeled on successful comparable series at other institutions (e.g., Harvard, Yale, UVa), is based on Nichols and Walker’s experience and expertise, as well as consultation with Ohio State faculty and students. The plan involves roughly three programs per semester, approximately monthly, carefully balancing OSU and regional faculty with national/international faculty and topics. The focus is on rising stars and emerging subject areas, as well as established figures and broader work. There is a measured approach to expectations for events and engagement, seeking primarily quality and building a solid foundation for a seminar series expected to continue, broaden, and deepen in the coming years. After the first year, there will be a survey of all participants to assess what is most beneficial and successful, followed by revisions to the IHS for the proposed second year in 2024-25.

Particular events, when relevant, will also be co-sponsored by area studies centers and initiatives. Speakers and commentators are drawn from the Ohio State community, as well as local/regional universities, and nationally and internationally acclaimed scholars.

Spring 2024

January 16, 2024
Adrian Young on Departures in the History of British Pacific Exploration
Event Description

March 7, 2024
Elisabeth Leake on Dissent and Opposition in the Aftermath of Independence
Event Description

April 9, 2024
Le'Trice Donaldson on Charles Young, the Liberian Frontier Force and the fight against European Colonialism
Event Description

April 24, 2024
Matthew Jones on The Origins of British Nuclear Retaliation Procedures and the Murphy-Dean Agreement of 1958
Event Registration TBA

Fall 2023

September 7, 2023
Alice Conklin on The First Universal Races Congress in 1911 London and the Global Problem of Race Relations
Event Description

November 6, 2023
Arne Westad on the Remaking of Empire
Event Description