Foreign Policy Seminar Series

The University of Connecticut Foreign Policy Seminar (FPS) began in the fall of 1985 when then History Department Head Bruce Stave established a lecture series to honor Thomas G. Paterson, a highly respected historian of U.S. foreign relations and a member of the department since 1967. In November 1985, Arnold Offner of Boston University gave the inaugural lecture, based on his research on the foreign policy of Harry Truman. The Foreign Policy Seminar quickly gained a reputation as a venue for scholars from New England and beyond to discuss their scholarship in an informal, friendly setting.

Typically the Foreign Policy Seminar meets in the basement lounge of Wood Hall. A reception starts at 4:30, with the lecture at 5:00 and Q&A, and a buffet dinner that follows.  For further information about the FPS, contact Frank Costigliola at

Upcoming Lectures:

Previous Lectures:

March 29, 2024
Matthew Jones
Professor of International History, The London School of Economics and Political Science
‘The United States, Race, and Nuclear Weapons in Asia, 1945-1965’

February 16, 2024
Elisabeth Leake
Associate Professor of History, Tufts University
“From Colonial to ‘Anti-National’? Afghanistan, South Asia, and Decolonization”

November 10, 2023
Kate Epstein
Associate Professor of History, Rutgers University
“America’s Frontier of Debt”

October 13, 2023
Melvyn Leffler
Edward Stettinius Professor of History Emeritus, University of Virginia
“Confronting Saddam Hussein”

September 29, 2023
Michele Louro
Professor of History, Salem State University
“Intimacy, Gender, and Anticolonial Internationalism: The Case of Agnes Smedley”

March 31, 2023
Kristin Hoganson
Professor of History, University of Illinois
“Expanding the U.S. Footprint: Carboniferous Capitalism in the Circum-Caribbean Prior to the Good Neighbor Era”

February 17, 2023
Penny Von Eschen
Chair of American Studies, Professor of History and William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of American Studies, University of Virginia
“ ‘God I Miss The Cold War’: The Perils of Nostalgia”

November 4, 2022
Eric Alterman
CUNY Distinguished Professor of English and Journalism, Brooklyn College
“America’s Fight Over Israel”

September 30, 2022
Emily Conroy Krutz
Associate Professor of History,  Michigan State University
“Missionary Diplomacy”

March 25, 2022
Kristin Oberiano
Assistant Professor of History,  Wesleyan University
“Rethinking Where America’s Day Begins: Guam and the United States Pacific Empire”

February 25, 2022
Zachary Sell
Assistant Professor of History,  Brown University
“Trouble of the World: Slavery and Empire in the Age of Capital”

November 5, 2021
Christopher Capozzola
Professor of History,  Massachusetts Institute of Technology
“Merchants of Death: The Nye Committee and the Business of War, 1934-1936”

September 24, 2021
Martin J. Sherman
Professor of History, George Mason University
“A Discussion of Gambling with Armageddon, Nuclear Roulette from Hiroshima to the Cuban Missile Crisis”

April 16, 2021
Christy Thornton
Assistant Professor of Sociology, Johns Hopkins University
“Revolution in Development: Mexico and the Governance of the Global Economy”

March 26, 2021
Amy Offner
Associate Professor of History, University of Pennsylvania
“Sorting Out the Mixed Economy: The Rise and Fall of Welfare and Developmental States in the Americas”

February 19, 2021
Megan Black
Associate Professor of History, MIT
“Metallic Multinationalism: Financial Deregulation and Electronics Revolution in the Global 1970s”

November 13, 2020
Vanessa Walker
Morgan Assistant Professor in Diplomatic History, Amherst College
“The Politics of Complicity: Human Rights in U.S.-Latin American Relations”

October 16, 2020
Jonathan M. Katz
Journalist and Author
“Who was Smedley Butler?”

September 25, 2020
Stephen Wertheim
Deputy Director of Research and Policy at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft and Research Scholar at the Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies at Columbia University
“The Decision For Dominance: How America Made Itself The World Orderer”

February 28, 2020
Kelly Shannon
Associate Professor of History, Florida Atlantic University
“Muslim Women’s Rights and U.S. Foreign Policy Since 1979”

November 1, 2019
Aaron O’Connell
Associate Professor of History, The University of Texas at Austin
“The Global Wars on Terror: An Initial History”

September 27, 2019
Lien-Hang T. Nguyen and Paul Thomas Chamberlain
Associate Professors of History, Columbia University
“Navigating the Dual-Career Track: Our Experience”

April 2, 2019
Manfred Berg
Curt Engelhorn Chair in American History, University of Heidelberg
“’For the Liberation of All Peoples, the German People Included’: Woodrow Wilson and the German Revolution of 1918-19”

March 29, 2019
Matthew Karp
Associate Professor of History, Princeton University
“Millions of Abolitionists: The Republican Party and the Radical Democratic Struggle against American Slavery”

February 8, 2019
Gretchen Heefner
Associate Professor of History, Northeastern University
“Hiding Tanks in the Desert: U.S. Military Engineers and Extreme Environments”

November 2018
Melvyn P. Leffler
Edward Stettinius Professor of History, University of Virginia
Roundtable: Safeguarding Democratic Capitalism

September 2018
Jeffrey Engel
Associate Professor of History and Director of Center for Presidential History, Southern Methodist University
“How We (Surprisingly) Survived the Cold War’s Collapse”

April 2018
Julia Irwin
Associate Professor of History, University of South Florida
“Confronting Conflict and Catastrophe: International Disaster Assistance and Twentieth Century US Foreign Relations”

March 2018
Erez Manela
Professor of History, Harvard University
“One World: The American Discovery of the Global South in World War II”

October 2017
Douglas Little
Professor of History, Clark University
“Us vs Them: The United States and Radical Islam”

September 2017
Daniel Immerwahr
Associate Professor of History, Northwestern University
“Nobody Knows in America, Puerto Rico’s in America: Colonial Medicine, Militant Nationalism, and the U.S. Empire”

April 2017
David Mayers
Professor of Political Science and History, Boston University
“After Armageddon: International Society and the United States, 1945-1956”

February 2017
Michael Neagle
Assistant Professor of History, Nichols College
“Becoming Good Neighbors: Americans on Cuba’s Isle of Pines”

November 2016
Greg Grandin
Professor of History, New York University
“Kissinger’s Shadow from Richard Nixon to Hillary Clinton”

October 2016
Brian DeLay
Associate Professor of History, University of California at Berkeley
“The Texas Gun Frontier and the Travails of Mexican History”

April 2016
Ernesto Semán
Assistant Professor of Leadership Studies, University of Richmond
“Against the Populist Tide: US Responses to Argentine Labor Diplomacy in the Americas, 1946-1960”

February 2016
Robert Vitalis
Professor of Political Science, University of Pennsylvania
“A Mongrel-American Social Science: International Relations”

November 2015: 30th Anniversary Lecture
Arnold Offner
Cornelia F. Hugel Professor of History, Lafayette College
“The Great Betrayal: Humphrey, Johnson, & the 1968 Election”

September 2015
Ryan Irwin
Assistant Professor of History, State University of New York at Albany
“Creating a Liberal World: Rethinking the Cold War’s Origins”

April 2015
David Ekbladh
Associate Professor of History, Tufts University
“’Strategic Histories’”: The Preemptive Strike in the Battle over the Memory of World War II and the Global Role of the United States“

February 2015
Tom Robertson
Associate Professor of History, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
“America’s Global Footprint: Resources, Environmental Management, and American Empire since 1945”

October 2014
Kate Epstein
Assistant Professor of History, Rutgers University at Camden
“The Hidden History of National-Security Information”

September 2014
Michael Donoghue
Assistant Professor of History, Marquette University
“The Panama Canal Zone as US Imperial Borderland”

April 2014
Mark Lawrence
Assistant Professor of History, University of Texas at Austin
“Myth, Memory, and the Mundane: Rethinking JFK and the Developing World”

February 2014
Jennifer Van Vleck
Assistant Professor of History, Yale University
“Empire of the Air: Aviation and the American Ascendancy”

October 2013
Kristin Ahlberg
State Department Historical Office
“Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs During the Carter Administration”

September 2013
Brad Simpson
Associate Professor of History, University of Connecticut
“Between East and West: Contested Human Rights Discourses in Suharto’s Indonesia, 1960-1968”

February 2013
Richard Immerman
Edward J. Buthusiem Family Distinguished Faculty Fellow in History, Temple University
“How Did the Central Intelligence Agency Lose Its Way?”

September 2012
Patrick Iber
Visiting Assistant Professor of History, Stanford University
“Making the World Unsafe for Social Democracy: Intellectual Anti-communism and U.S. Diplomacy in Early Cold War Latin America”

March 2012
Fernando Purcell
Director, Instituto de Historia, Universidad Católica (Chile)
“The History of the Peace Corps in South America”

October 2011
Brooke Blower
Associate Professor of History, Boston University
“Devil’s Bargain: New York City’s Premier Spanish Shipping Agent and Allied Strategy during World War II”

April 2011
George Herring
Alumni Professor of History Emeritus, University of Kentucky
“History of US Foreign Relations”

February 2011
Sheyda Jahanbani
Assistant Professor of History, University of Kansas
“The Poverty of the World: Rediscovering the Poor at Home and Abroad”

November 2010
Waldo Heinrichs
Professor of History Emeritus, San Diego State University
“The Ending of the Pacific War: Battlefront and Home Front Fatigue”

October 2010
Jonathan Winkler
Associate Professor of History, Wright State University
“Exploring the Historical Roots of Cyberwarfare: National Security and Communications Policy in World War II”

April 2010
Shane Maddock
Professor of History, Stonehill College
“The Ideal Number of Nuclear Weapons States is One: Ideology and the Quest for U.S. Nuclear Dominance”

December 2009
Gilbert Joseph
Farnam Professor of History, Yale University
“In from the Cold: Latin America’s New Encounter with the Cold War”

October 2009
Allyson Brysk
Mellichamp Professor of Global Governance, Global and International Studies, University of California at Santa Barbara
“Global Good Samaritans: Human Rights as Foreign Policy”

January 2009
Barbara Keyes
Associate Professor of History, University of Melbourne
“Making Torture as Unthinkable as Slavery: Successes and Failures of the International Campaign to Abolish Torture, 1967-1984”