Cold War as the Periphery: New Perspectives on Global Change in the 1960s and 1970s
18-19 April 2008, Columbus, Ohio
Location: The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio.
Sponsor: The Mershon Center for International Security Studies. In his 1972 essay, The Diffusion of Power, Walt Rostow noted the shift in power in the world community away from Washington and Moscow. Particularly concerned with the developing world, he asked a question that has yet to be fully
answered: "Are men capable of organizing this fragile global community of diffusing power in reasonably stable and peaceful ways, or will the diffusion of power lead to more violence and disorder than we already know?"
Topic: This conference will explore how this "diffusion of power" transformed global politics in the 1960s and beyond. Bringing together graduate students and junior faculty, it will examine the connections between three broad conceptual questions. First, how did the political and material
terrain of the pan-European world change during this period? Second, how
did actors inside and outside government bureaucracies interpret and value these changes? Third, how did geopolitical "flashpoints" in the global South rally, reflect, and reconstitute understandings of global power
after 1960? Taken together, these points aim to explore the assumptions
underlying Rostow's query, as well as investigate the paradoxes of change in the postcolonial era. Space no doubt emerged for the articulation of alternative visions of world order - visions often rooted in themes of racial justice, national sovereignty, and human rights - but questions remain over the depth, nature, and permanence of these transformations.
Precedence will be placed on papers that offer fresh insight into one or more of these issues, accommodate multiple perspectives, and utilize multi-archival sources. It is hoped that participants will engage some of the scholarly debates now reshaping foreign relations or "international" historiography. In particular, value will be given to papers that consider the ties between new work on empire, postcolonial thought, and Cold War history. The organizers welcome contributions from multiple disciplines, and hope to facilitate fruitful conversations between practitioners of political, social, economic, intellectual, and cultural history.
Proposals: Proposals should include a 250-word abstract of the paper and submitted to Ursula Gurney at gurney.13 (at) osu.edu. Electronic submissions are preferred, and attachments should be in MS Word format. Those who prefer a hard-copy submission should send abstract to Ursula Gurney at 106 Dulles Hall, 230 West 17th Ave, Columbus, Ohio, 43212. Proposals must be received by 7 January 2008. Participants will receive reimbursement for their transportation on the basis of economy fare, meals, as well as accommodation during their stay in Columbus for two nights.
Paul Chamberlin, PhD. Candidate
chamberlin.33 (at) osu.edu
Ursula Gurney, PhD. Candidate
gurney.13 (at) osu.edu
Ryan Irwin, PhD. Candidate
Irwin.126 (at) osu.edu
Robert McMahon, Ralph D. Mershon Professor of History
mcmahon.121 (at) osu.edu
The Ohio State University
106 Dulles Hall
230 West 17th Ave