June 29, 2010 Jason Parker to Discuss "The Empires Who Came in From the Cold: Decolonization and the Cold War" July 21

Press Contact: Donna Urschel (202) 707-1639
Public Contact: Robert Saladini (202) 707-2692

The overlapping timelines of post-World-War-II decolonization and the Cold War create a fascinating interrelationship, according to historian Jason Parker.

A professor at Texas A&M University, Parker will present “The Empires Who Came in From the Cold: Decolonization and the Cold War” at the Library of Congress at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, July 21, in Room 119 of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C. The lecture is free and open to the public; no tickets or reservations are needed.

According to Parker, decolonization entailed not just the transfer of political and juridical sovereignty but also an intellectual and cultural process that dethroned European assertions and affirmed nationalist self-rule. The ultimate dimensions of the decolonization process make it a larger and longer-running 20th-century story than that of the superpower conflict of the Cold War.

Parker’s research as a historian centers on the interplay of the Cold War and decolonization in U.S. relations with the Third World. He is the author of “Brother’s Keeper: The United States, Race, and Empire in the British Caribbean, 1937-1962” (2008), which received the 2009 Bernath Book Award from the Society of Historians for American Foreign Relations. He has published articles in the Journal of American History, Diplomatic History and the Journal of African American History, among others. His current projects are a history of U.S. Cold War public diplomacy in the Third World and a comparative study of postwar federations in the decolonizing European empires.

Sponsored by the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress, the lecture is presented in conjunction with the National History Center’s Decolonization Seminar. The four-week seminar, held at the Library, brings together international scholars to examine various dimensions of decolonization, primarily 20th-century transitions from colonies to nations in Asia, Africa and the Caribbean. The seminar, supported by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, is cosponsored by the American Historical Association and the Kluge Center.

The National History Center promotes research, teaching and learning in all fields of history. Created by the American Historical Association in 2002, the center is a public trust dedicated to the study and teaching of history, as well as to the advancement of historical knowledge in government, business and the public at large. For more information on the National History Center, visit its website External.

Through a generous endowment from John W. Kluge, the Library of Congress established the Kluge Center in 2000 to bring together the world’s best thinkers to stimulate and energize one another to distill wisdom from the Library’s rich resources and to interact with policymakers in Washington. For further information on the Kluge Center, visit its website.


PR 10-158
ISSN 0731-3527