HIS 392 • New Appros to US Foreign Rels
2:00 PM-5:00 PM
Diplomatic history is a rich and thriving field. Many innovative scholars, taking their cue from cultural and social history, are bringing to bear interests in gender, race, and ideology in trying to explain U.S. decision-making. Others, taking advantage of new archival openings around the world, are revolutionizing the study of the U.S. foreign relations by setting American policymaking within a global context. At the same time, the field continues to be characterized by supercharged interpretive debates. This course aims to acquaint graduate students in a range of fields with the historiography of U.S. foreign relations, with heavy emphasis on the post-1898 period. The course will be divided into two parts: one chronological in organization, the other topical. In the first half, we will explore how the field has developed since the 1950s. Through a series of readings, we will explore the field's jingoistic origins, the revisionist departure of the 1960s and early 1970s, and the emergence of a supposed "post-revisionist synthesis."
In the second half of the course, we will shift our attention to current trends in the field. In part, this task will mean exploring how the old debates continue to resonate. But, more importantly, it will involve consideration of how new archives and new analytical approaches are changing the field and our understanding of the U.S. role in the world.
Likely readings include William Appleman Williams, THE TRAGEDY OF AMERICAN DIPLOMACY; Douglas Little, AMERICAN ORIENTALISM; Mary Renda, TAKING HAITI; Lloyd Gardner, SAFE FOR DEMOCRACY; Maria Hoehn, GIS AND FRAULEINS; Graham Allison, Essence of Decision; V. Mastny, SOVIET INSECURITY AND THE COLD WAR; Piero Gleijeses, CONFLICTING MISSIONS; Kristen Hoganson, FIGHTING FOR AMERICAN MANHOOD; and Emily Rosenberg, FINANCIAL MISSIONARIES TO THE WORLD.