Associate Professor, Department of History, Northwestern University, 2004-present.
Area of Research: Twentieth century U.S. international history and postcolonial Southeast Asian history
Education: Ph.D. History, Harvard University,1995
Major Publications: Bradley is the author of Imagining Vietnam and America: The Making of Postcolonial Vietnam (2000), which won the Harry J. Benda Prize from the Association for Asian Studies, and is co-editor of Truth Claims: Representation and Human Rights(2001). Bradley's current book projec include The United States and the Twentieth Century Global Human Rights Revolution, a book that explores the history of the contested and contingent meanings of the global human rights revolution in the twentieth century for Cambridge University Press; The Vietnam Wars, an international history of the wars in Vietnam, and Making Sense of the Vietnam Wars: Transnational and International Perspectives, co-editor with Marilyn B. Young, and edited book of several essays that explore the intersection of the transnational and the local in postcolonial Vietnam social and cultural history, both for Oxford University Press.
Awards: Bradley is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships including:
Jean Gimbel Lane Professorship in the Humanities, Northwestern University, 2007-08;
Frederick Burkhardt Residential Fellowship for Recently Tenured Scholars, American Council of Learned Societies, 2005-06;
National Endowment for the Humanities University Faculty Fellowship, 2002-03;
Fellow, Center for Twenty-First Century Studies, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Fall 2003, 2001-02;
American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship (alternative), 2002;
Faculty Research Grant, The University of Chicago, 1997-98;
Fellow, Center for Twentieth Century Studies, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 1997-98 (declined);
Undergraduate Teaching Improvement Grant, The University of Wisconsin System, 1996-97;
National Endowment for the Humanities Dissertation Fellowship, 1993-94;
Bernadotte E. Schmidt Grant for Research in the History of Europe, Africa and Asia, American Historical Assocation, 1993;
Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Fellowship, 1991-92;
Fellowship, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 1991-1992;
Henry Luce Research Fellowship, Association for Asian Studies, 1991;
Kenneth T. Young Vietnam Research Fellowship, John King Fairbank Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Harvard University, 1991;
Sidney J. Weinberg Research Fellowship, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute, 1990;
Research Grant, Harry S. Truman Library Institute, 1990;
Abilene Travel Fellowship, The Eisenhower World Affairs Institute, 1990;
Research Grants, Charles Warren Center, Harvard University, Summer 1990 and 1991;
John Anson Kittridge Educational Fund Trust, 1989;
CBS Bicentennial Scholarship, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Harvard University, 1987-1990;
Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship (Vietnamese), 1990, 1987.
Formerly Associate Professor, Department of History, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 2001-2003, Assistant Professor, Department of History, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 1995-1997, 1999-2001, and Assistant Professor, Department of History, The University of Chicago, 1997-1999.
Regularly review scholarly monographs and films for American Historical Review, Journal of American History, International History Review, Journal of Asian Studies, H-Net, Pacific Historical Review and Reviews in American History.
Co-Editor, America in the World Series, Cornell University Press. 2006- .
Bradley was the Panel Chair and Discussant, Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations Annual Meeting, June 2005, and the Organization of American Historians Annual Meeting, 2005.
I have come to find the terrain of the global to be a wonderfully open and liberating scholarly space in which to work. If the boundaries of the historical actors with whom I am most concerned are fluid, so too are the boundaries for the international historian as she or he navigates and often crosses geographic, disciplinary and conceptual borders. The insights that can emerge from these transgressive moves have had a profound impact on my research and teaching. This has been especially the case in my current research on the contested meanings of what I term the global human rights revolution of the twentieth century. There are many conceptual challenges in undertaking such a work but one is that the very real emergence of global human rights norms and their protections can sometimes seem abstract and remote. Among the things I want to do with this project is to illuminate the ways in which these larger processes are very much rooted in the everyday actions of local actors. The importance of doing so first emerged for me several years ago when I met the Spanish magistrate Baltasar Garzon and he told me this story.
Late in the day on a Friday in October 1998, Garzon was driving out of Madrid with a friend to meet their families at a country house for the weekend. His friend, as people often do after a long week at work, turned to Garzon at one point in the drive and asked, “So…how was your week?” Garzon pulled off to the side of the road and said, in almost disbelieving tones, “You know, I just faxed an extradition order to the British government against Augusto Pinochet to stand trial in Spain for crimes against humanity.” Until that moment, Garzon said, he hadn't really absorbed the enormity of the action he had taken. Preoccupied with the mechanics and timing of drafting the arrest warrant -it had to be faxed to London by 5:00 p.m. that Friday- Garzon said he had temporarily lost sight of the larger forces his action could potentially set in motion.
Garzon's actions were in many ways extraordinary. General Pincohet had come to London earlier in October of 1998 with few worries. While a 1991 report of the Chilean Truth and Reconciliation Commission had carefully documented the gross violations of human rights -literally thousands of cases of torture, assassination, execution and disappearances- that had taken place under the Pinochet regime, Pinochet himself had been given a title of “Senator for Life” that essentially protected him from any moves toward prosecution in Chile. At the international level, prevailing notions of sovereign immunity for heads of state appeared to offer him protection outside of Chile as well. Indeed, Pinochet was so little concerned with the implications of his visit to Great Britain that he hadn't bothered to obtain a diplomatic passport to enter the county.
But the British government responded to Garzon's request in ways that Pinochet and few others anticipated. After a series of legal battles, during which Pinochet was placed under house arrest, Britain's highest court, the Law Lords, ruled that Pinochet did not enjoy immunity from prosecution for human rights abuses and could be extradited to Spain for some, though not all, of the charges made by Garzon. Universal jurisdiction, in the eyes of the Law Lords, trumped notions of sovereign immunity in cases of gross violations of human rights.
What has become known as the Pinochet case speaks to a variety of transformative changes in global apprehensions of human rights. But for me it was the personal dimensions of Garzon's actions that were most striking and unexpected. The quotidian dimension of Garzon's efforts to bring Pinochet to justice and his own surprised reaction to them were an invaluable reminder to me that what are often seen as norms and forces operating in a distant transnational space are in fact very much rooted in the acts of individuals who simultaneously share a local and global identity. As we craft new narratives of twentieth century international history, invariably structural forces are a critical part of the story. But so too, although sometimes harder to capture, is the contingency and agency of individual actors that are both shaped by and themselves shape the contours of that narrative.
By Mark Philip Bradley
About Mark Philip Bradley
Assistant Professor of History, Princeton University (since Sept. 2004)
Area of Research: Modern and contemporary history of the Middle East and North Africa, with broader interests in the French colonial empire, the history of Islam since 1700, and colonial and nationalist historiography.
Education: D.Phil., Oriental Studies, University of Oxford, 2002.
Major Publications: McDougall is the author of History and the Culture of Nationalism in Algeria, (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge Middle East Studies 24, July 2006).
He is also the editor of Nation, Society and Culture in North Africa (London and Portland, Frank Cass, History and Society in the Islamic World 6, May 2003, which was first published as Journal of North African Studies 8,1 (Spring 2003)).
McDougall is currently working on a number of book projects including: Fragments of empire. Everyday forms of colonialism in France and Africa;
(Book-length research project in progress) with Julia A. Clancy-Smith, Susan Gilson Miller, Kenneth J. Perkins, Ali Abdullatif Ahmida, and Mohamed el-Mansour A History of the Maghrib, (Cambridge University Press (under contract));
A History of Algeria, (Cambridge University Press (under contract)).
Awards: McDougall is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships including:
Malcolm H. Kerr Dissertation Award (Middle East Studies Association of North America), 2003, Honourable mention.
Leigh Douglas Memorial Prize (British Society for Middle Eastern Studies), 2003, Honourable mention.
Leverhulme Trust Special Research Fellowship, 2002-2004.
EU SOCRATES/ERASMUS research grant, Maison méditerranéenne des Sciences de l'Homme, (CNRS/Université de Provence), Aix-en-Provence, 2000.
British Academy / UK Arts and Humanities Research Board postgraduate studentships, 1998-2002.
Honeyman Prize (Best Finalist in Arabic, University of St Andrews), 1998.
Dudley-Morgan Prize (Best Finalist in French, University of St Andrews), 1998.
McDougall is a member of the editorial committee of Middle East Report and of the editorial board of the MIT Electronic Journal of Middle East Studies He is a board member, American Institute of Maghrib Studies
He was Junior Research Fellow, the Middle East Centre, St Antony's College, Oxford, Nov. 2002 - Aug. 2004
He is also proficient in French, German, Arabic.
The woman behind the post office counter at the shop around the corner, who had known my family for a while, was not impressed that I was doing a doctorate in history. I'd just graduated with my first degree and was back at my mum's house for part of the summer, so it was reasonable for her to ask where I was going to be working now. I said I was going to Oxford to work on the modern history of the Middle East. `So, not going into the real world yet, then', she said. Or something like that. `Not… the real world' was what stuck.
In an important sense, of course, she was right. The professional study of history wasn't high on the list of useful occupations for most people in the de-industrialized, not yet post-industrial, north-east of England where I grew up. Only a couple of generations previously, the suburb of semi-detached houses where my family lived had been the pithead of a colliery. Most of the town's coal and other industry (especially, unusually, confectionary) had gone well before the crisis of British heavy industry and it was also saved by being a market town and commuter centre between bigger cities, so the near civil war of the early 1980s when the Thatcher government put down the miners' strike, and the subsequent social and urban decay, didn't affect us nearly so badly as they did other parts of the region. Nonetheless, there was a definite residual consensus locally about what counted as real work, what the useful upper limits of education were, and where the boundaries of reality lay, and with the sort of lower middle-class, individualistic aspirations that Thatcher's children were meant to have (but also, fortunately for me, a romantic fascination for the life of a university that they weren't), as an adolescent I had a different idea to the locally received one of what the real world might be. But it wasn't so much my inability to grasp the significance of the persisting norms of an unraveling working class community within which I might, in a different decade, have been able to see myself that made me remember the comment. The point is rather that the real world was precisely what interested me. It was just that the bits of it I most wanted to know were elsewhere.
As an undergraduate studying languages and literature, textual criticism and hermeneutics seemed like obvious ways of understanding what made worlds real to people, and their application to history seemed to me (despite the fuss this was causing in empiricist Britain) equally obvious as well as fascinating. This didn't mean disappearing from tangible reality into an immaterial jargonzone. It meant a serious effort to understand modern world, especially colonial, histories and their enduring consequences, the supposed incommensurability of African and Asian (and particularly Islamic) life-worlds and identities with those of 'the West', how narratives of the past function publicly to hold people together and drive them apart, how they reinvent for particular purposes things that happened quite differently, how they give new meanings to things people think they already know. It definitely meant figuring out how, in radically different but intensely interconnected places and languages, real people understand their realities.
One way of starting to do this was teaching second and third generation immigrant children in a Marseille secondary school (teaching was the official excuse; obviously I learned a lot more than I ever taught anyone, including about crowd control and tear gas—don't get the wrong idea, it was the kids using the tear gas…). So was volunteering for a summer in a Palestinian refugee camp in the West Bank, and getting to know the cities and countryside of France, Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco by foot, taxi, train and bus. But it's the same thing that I look for in the reading rooms of libraries and archives, and the same thing that has made moving to America, in an otherwise unpropitious time (was that put delicately enough?) a genuinely fascinating experience. The world, especially the one of relations between the two great mythical entities 'Islam' and `the West' in which I'm (among other things) professionally most interested, has become very much more sharply real, and far more grotesquely absurd, in more people's everyday lives over recent years than I certainly ever wished to see. And many other people, of course, are also more engaged in that real world (in one sense) than I would ever wish to be. I think, now more than ever, that what good historians do gives an infinitely better grasp of it—of the meaning and the falsity, the constructedness and avoidability, of the realities that are being created for us—than do most of the alternatives. What historians do serves other aims, of course, than the public imperatives of action in the world or the community norms of loyalty and acquiescence, and that's also why it's important; someone, and not only eventually but urgently, has to explain how any of this could have happened.
There was a poster common in Oxford windows just before I left for the US (distributed, I think, by the Quakers), that read `I am not at war.' A refusal to face reality, a determination to avoid `the real world'? Or a courageous and principled insistence on an alternative one? The day after I received the email inviting me to submit my information for a feature on this website, I got a very angry and surprisingly graphic email from someone who'd managed to read an article I'd written as being Islamophobic and racist. (This, to put it mildly, surprised me.) I've had hatemail before (also surprisingly—I can't for the life of me see what makes me worth it), but this was unusually virulent and twisted. It's one thing to see texts as harboring multiple meanings their authors didn't (know they) put there, but quite another to make someone's meanings do a 180-degree backflip through your own set of overriding, obsessive fantasies and suppositions. But his too, unfortunately, is a real enough world. Piecing together the ways that people and communities shape and narrate their reality, with a careful and critical eye to how what really happened ends up meaning a dozen different and contradictory things, seems to me the great challenge to historians in our very bewildering time. And even if I do live in what can only be called the surreal suburban fantasy land of Princeton NJ, the work we do seems to me, at least, quite tangibly, satisfyingly, real.
By James McDougall
About James McDougall
Associate Professor of History, and Director of Graduate Studies, Department of
History, University of Michigan, 2006-
Area of Research: 20th century United States, urban/suburban, political, social, Southern, popular culture
Education: Ph.D., Department of History, University of Virginia, Charlottesville VA, May 1999.
Major Publications: Lassiter is the author of The Silent Majority: Suburban Politics in the Sunbelt South (Princeton University Press, 2006). Listed in the Politics and Society in Twentieth-Century America series, ed. William Chafe, Gary Gerstle, Linda Gordon, Julian Zelizer.
He is the co-editor of The Moderates' Dilemma: Massive Resistance to School Desegregation in Virginia (University Press of Virginia, 1998), with Andrew B. Lewis.
He is currently working on the following projects: The Suburban Crisis: The Pursuit and Defense of the American Dream;
The End of Southern History, coedited with Joseph Crespino;
"De Jure/De Facto: The Strange Career of a National Myth," chapter in The End of Southern History;
Inventing Family Values: The Crisis of the American Dream in the Seventies," in Bruce Schulman and Julian Zelizer, eds., in Rightward Bound: Making America Conservative in the 1970s (under contract to Harvard University Press).
Awards: Lassiter is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships including:
William T. Ludolph, Jr., Junior Faculty Development Award, History Department, University of Michigan, 2003, 2005, 2006;
Patricia Jane Barrett Faculty Research Award, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, University of Michigan, 2004;
National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow, 2001-02;
Faculty Fellowship Enhancement Award, Rackham School of Graduate Studies and Office of the Vice President for Research, University of Michigan, 2001;
Southern History Dissertation Fellowship, University of Virginia, 1995-98;
Class of 1923 Memorial Teaching Award, University of Michigan, 2006. Given annually to recipients among those promoted from assistant professor to associate professor with tenure;
University Undergraduate Teaching Award, Rackham School of Graduate Studies, University of Michigan, 2004-2005. Given annually to two tenure-track faculty for"excellence in teaching at the undergraduate level";
Golden Apple Award, University of Michigan, 2004 recipient. Given annually to one faculty member by SHOUT (Students Honoring Outstanding University Teaching). Public lecture in acceptance of award: "Alienation, Apathy, and Activism: American Culture and the Depoliticization of Youth," Jan. 28, 2004.
Lassiter is the Category Editor, Suburbia Resources, American Political Development—Electronic Classroom, sponsored by the Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia, (2003-present).
He is a referee of book manuscripts for Oxford University Press (6), Duke University Press, University of Virginia Press, Longman Publishers, Arnold Publishers.
He is a referee of article manuscripts: Journal of American History, American Quarterly, Comparative Studies in Society and History, Virginia Magazine of History and Biography.
He has made numerous radio appearances on a number of stations including: WFAE (Charlotte, NC), WUNC (Chapel Hill, NC), KUOW (Seattle), WEMU 89.1 (NPR), Michigan Radio (NPR), and Virginia Public Radio.
Lassiter was also the moderator for the Ann Arbor mayoral candidates debate sponsored by the University's Urban Planning Department (Nov. 2004).
During my second foray onto the job market, I found myself being interviewed for a position in southern history at a certain institution located in a Deep South state. At the time, I was employed as a visiting assistant professor at Bowdoin College in Maine, teaching courses on southern history, the 1960s, and urban/suburban history. Many of my undergraduate students at Bowdoin were from the affluent and overwhelmingly white suburbs outside of Boston, and their stories reminded me a lot of my own upbringing in an affluent and overwhelmingly white suburb located just north of the Atlanta city limits. My recently completed dissertation about civil rights and political transformation in the metropolitan South presented a strong argument against the framework of southern exceptionalism, and it was this thesis that had me in hot water in the interview for a southern history job that I was not even sure I wanted. About three minutes in, I was laying out the claim that political realignment in the South could not be reduced to white backlash against the civil rights movement alone, that the economic rise of the Sunbelt combined with national trends of suburbanization also had played a central role, when a member of the hiring committee cut me off."You're wrong," he said."I lived through all that, and I know how it happened, and you're wrong."
I had never planned to become a southern historian. I came of age during the 1980s, a child of the late Cold War period and a product of the residentially segregated suburbs, living in a booming section of metropolitan Atlanta where everyone seemed to have arrived from somewhere else. If someone had asked me back then about my impression of the civil rights movement, I would have responded the same way as many of the students whom I have taught at Bowdoin College and the University of Michigan: Alabama, Mississippi, Bull Connor, George Wallace, Klan bombings,"I Have a Dream," from Deep South racism to national triumph. I took several courses in civil rights and southern history when I was an undergraduate, but it wasn't until I read about the links between residential segregation and public policy in Kenneth Jackson's book Crabgrass Frontier that I really began to understand the political culture of my suburban youth. When I started graduate school at the University of Virginia, a couple of years after the Berlin Wall came down, my goal was to specialize in diplomatic history, perhaps combined with political history. A combination of superb graduate school mentors and field-specific funding resources sent me down the path of southern history, however, and I decided to write a dissertation about school desegregation that would excavate the roles of the silent moderates singled out for blame by Martin Luther King Jr. in the"Letter from Birmingham Jail."
I began to research the period of massive resistance to the Brown decision, and I initially wrote ten chapters—more than four hundred pages—about events that ultimately took up fewer than one hundred pages in my recently published book. Even before finishing the dissertation, I completely discarded several chapters about the segregated private school movement in the rural and small-town South, including one that cost me several months in South Carolina archives. In my office here in Ann Arbor, I still have a full box of documents about private schools in Mississippi for a chapter never written at all. If I had a genuine epiphany, it happened one evening when I was looking up the New York Times coverage of the end of massive resistance in Jackson, Mississippi. On p. 29, I saw what I was looking for: “School Day Calm in Jackson: 39 Negro Pupils Enter White Classes—Boycott Fails.” On the front page, I found another headline that I did not expect, “275,638 Pupils Stay Home in Integration Boycott,” about a massive white protest against a minimal busing plan in New York City. Now it occurs to me that the excitement of such a discovery is becoming much less likely as microfilmed newspapers become keyword searchable. But at the time, I wrote in my notes:"Why haven't I heard about this before? What are we supposed to make of this? How should this change the way we think about southern history?"
I soon recast my dissertation as a study of the grassroots politics produced by residential segregation and suburban sprawl, with close attention to the mobilization of white middle-class homeowners and schoolparents who embraced Richard Nixon's label of the Silent Majority. I came to believe that cities such as Atlanta and Charlotte should be understood through a national model of suburban politics and metropolitan development, which meant rethinking some of the obsessions of southern history and the blind spots of American history. The two books that I flipped through constantly in writing my own were Kenneth Jackson's Crabgrass Frontier and Thomas Sugrue's Origins of the Urban Crisis, each of which has had a much more significant impact on the reintegration of southern and American history than either author probably imagined. The new scholarship on the"long civil rights movement" in the North and West also encouraged my defection from the school of southern exceptionalism, which I believe is central to the" color-blind" mythology of white racial innocence across the nation. And my suburban focus also reflected a personal odyssey, a desire to turn the historical spotlight toward places such as the one in which I grew up in Atlanta, a sense that the popular narrative of racial backlash and political realignment has placed too much blame on working-class whites (South and North) and not enough on the business leaders and white-collar families and government policies that profoundly reshaped the postwar American metropolis.
By Matthew D. Lassiter
About Matthew D. Lassiter
The nominations for Lassiter say he is dedicated, inspirational and thought-provoking."Professor Lassiter has inspired me as no person ever has," one nomination says. Lassiter received the award while giving instructions to students about evaluating his performance in the class."Don't let this skew your evaluations," he told the students." -- Article from"The University Record Online" in honor of Lassiter being awarded the Golden Apple Award
"This class was AMAZING. He was an excellent professor, the class was interesting and brought up new perspectives from which to view this country. This was a fantastic course."...
"Lassiter is engaging and excited about what he is teaching. The lectures are amazing- the information is so clear and he infuses them with humor."...
"American suburbia was my absolute favorite class at U of M. Do not miss out on this class; it opens your eyes to *so* many things."...
"History of Suburbia is an AWESOME class and Lassiter is the one of the best lecturer's that I've had at U-M. He's younger and his class is really up to date with current trends. Lassiter is way cool."...
"He's one of the best professors at Michigan. American Suburbia was one of the most intense, eye-opening, amazingly rich classes I've taken at U of M. I'm proud to be an alum of that course."...
"*awesome* professor, *wonderful* class - really makes you think about your environment and get excited about things. He is very interesting to talk to during office hours, and the lectures are fun." -- Anonymous Students