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I am a professor of history at Harvard University, where I teach the history of the United States in the world and modern international history. I also serve as Director of Graduate Programs at Harvard's Weatherhead Center for International Affairs and as co-chair of the Harvard International and Global History Seminar (HIGHS). In addition, I co-edit a book series on Global and International History at Cambridge University Press.
About my research:
My most recent book, Empires at War, 1911-1923 (2014), co-edited with Robert Gerwarth and published on the centennial of the outbreak of the First World War, opens up exciting new directions in the history of that war. First, it considers the conflict as a global war of empires rather than a clash of European nation-states. Second, its expanded time frame locates the war as part of a cycle of mass violence that began with the Italian invasion of Libya in 1911 and did not abate until the Lausanne Treaty of 1923. Empires at War has been translated into seven languages: Arabic, Chinese, Greek, Persian, Portuguese, Spanish, and Turkish.
My ongoing research into the history of the World Health Organization's smallpox eradication program (1965-1980) seeks to place it within its broad historical contexts and use it to cast new light on important aspects of post-WWII international history, including superpower relations, the evolution of international development, and the role of international organizations. A recent article, "A Pox on Your Narrative: Writing Disease Control into Cold War History," addresses some of these themes. As part of my interest in this period I also co-edited The Shock of the Global: The 1970s in Perspective (2010), to which I contributed a chapter on smallpox eradication and the rise of global governance.
Another recent line of research seeks to take a fresh look at US visions for international order during World War II, particularly with regard to Asia. Some preliminary findings from this work appeared as “The Fourth Policeman: Franklin Roosevelt’s Vision for China’s Global Role,” in Wu Sihua et al., eds., 開羅宣言的影響與意義 (The Significance and Impact of the Cairo Declaration) (2014).
My first book, The Wilsonian Moment: Self-Determination and the International Origins of Anticolonial Nationalism (2007), showed how U.S. attempts to transform international order in the wake of World War I helped to spark and shape upheavals across the colonial world in 1919, focusing particularly on Egypt, India, China, and Korea. The Wilsonian Moment won a several awards and was widely reviewed, including in the London Review of Books and in major venues in India, Egypt, and South Korea.
In addition, I continue to pursue longstanding interests in the conceptual, methodological, and historiographical questions related to international history. My state-of-the-field essay on the history of the United States in the world, which is included in the volume American History Now (2011), can be read here.
The tabs to the left will lead you to my "official" bio, selected publications (some with links to full text), and teaching, advising, and contact information. You may also be interested in the program on international and global history at Harvard.