History Events

Modern Times in North Korea: Scenes from its Founding Years, 1945-1950

December 15, 2014 // 4:00pm5:30pm
History and Public Policy Program
North Korea is often portrayed in mainstream media as a backward place, a Stalinist relic without a history worth knowing. But during its founding years (1945-1950), North Korea experienced a radical social revolution when everyday life became the primary site of political struggle, including quite deliberately a feminist agenda. With historical comparisons to revolutions in the early 20th century, Suzy Kim introduces her recent book through rarely seen archival photos, situating the North Korean revolution within the broader history of modernity.

Human Rights Before Carter

December 08, 2014 // 4:00pm5:30pm
History and Public Policy Program
Underlying much of the writing on United States foreign relations is the conviction that human rights were of limited consequence in policymaking during the 1960s and the early 1970s. Snyder's current research, however, shows that efforts to emphasize human rights began in the 1960s, driven by nonstate and lower-level actors and facilitating the issue’s later prominence due to the development of the networks and tactics critical to greater institutionalization of human rights in these years.

Waking from the Dream: the Struggle for Civil Rights in the Shadow of Martin Luther King

December 01, 2014 // 2:28pm5:30pm
History and Public Policy Program
Exaggerated accounts of urban violence after Martin Luther King’s assassination, David Chappell will argue, have long obscured national reactions of far greater significance. Most important was the Civil Rights Act of 1968, which had been hopelessly stalled in Congress since 1966.

The Men Who Lost America: British Leadership, the Revolutionary World, and the Fate of Empire

November 17, 2014 // 4:00pm5:30pm
History and Public Policy Program
Britain seemingly should have won the Revolutionary War. Its failure to do so is commonly assumed to be due to the incompetence of commanders and the politicians who are ridiculed in fiction and in movies. Although less crudely presented, such caricatures even permeate scholarly literature. The talk will challenge the stereotypes and offer a very different explanation of why Britain lost the American War of Independence.

Slovakia’s Road to Freedom and Democracy

November 14, 2014 // 12:00pm1:00pm
Global Europe Program
Pavol Demes will discuss Slovakia’s road to freedom and democracy

Chasing Shadows: The Nixon Tapes, the Chennault Affair, and the Origins of Watergate

November 03, 2014 // 4:00pm5:30pm
History and Public Policy Program
Forty years after Watergate forced Richard Nixon to resign, Americans still ask why he launched the cover-up that destroyed his presidency. Ken Hughes traces the origins of Watergate back to the final days of the 1968 presidential campaign, when the Nixon campaign sabotaged Vietnam peace talks for political gain, and argues that Nixon’s ultimate loss of the White House was rooted in an obsession with seizing the evidence of the crime by which he gained the presidency in the first place.

Sino-Soviet Relations and the Dilemmas of Socialist Bloc Cooperation: Czechoslovaks in Shanghai, 1956-57

October 27, 2014 // 4:00pm5:30pm
History and Public Policy Program
In contrast to traditional approaches to Sino-Soviet relations that focus on ideological conflict and the role of powerful personalities such as Chairman Mao and Nikita Khrushchev, Austin Jersild draws on the experiences of advisers in China in the 1950s to place the Sino-Soviet alliance and split within the broader history of socialist bloc cooperation and the Cold War competition with the United States.

Empowering Revolution: America, Poland, and the Moderates who Ended the Cold War

October 20, 2014 // 4:00pm5:30pm
History and Public Policy Program
Based on significant new international research, Domber reassesses the nature of Western influence on the end of the Cold War, highlighting where Soviet reforms created space for change in Eastern Europe and rejecting claims of any direct U.S. responsibility for the collapse of Communism.
Photo: Wenceslas Square, 17 November, 1989
Webcast

Promoting Free Media: Informing the 1989 Velvet Revolution and the Challenge Today

October 16, 2014 // 2:00pm6:00pm
History and Public Policy Program
Czechs and Slovaks regained their freedom in November 1989 through non-violent protests in Prague, Bratislava, and other towns of then Czechoslovakia. Their Velvet Revolution climaxed a decade of renewed civic challenges to a repressive Communist regime that began with Charter 77 dissidents including Vaclav Havel and accelerated after 1986. Twenty five years after the Velvet Revolution, Europe today is whole and free, but democracy and prerequisite independent media are on the decline in much of the former Soviet Union and elsewhere. RFE/RL, now operating from Prague, VOA, Radio Free Asia, Middle East Broadcasting Network, and Radio Marti, all publicly funded by the U.S. Congress, work to redress the information deficit.

From Sarajevo, 1914 to Southeastern Europe, 2014: Wars, Transitions and Controversies

October 15, 2014 // 11:30am1:00pm
Global Europe Program
Drawing on recent scholarship and addressing recent controversies, John Lampe, traces the saga of Southeastern Europe from the explosive mixture of Balkan states and imperial borderlands before the First World War, through the trials that their successors faced during two world wars, the Cold War, and finally the wars of Yugoslavia's dissolution.

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