Emotions and U.S. Foreign Policy: An Exploratory Seminar Series

Matthieu Vallières Announcement
Ontario, Canada
Subject Fields
American History / Studies, Diplomacy and International Relations, Psychology, Social History / Studies, Cultural History / Studies

Emotions and U.S. Foreign Policy: An Exploratory Seminar Series

An invitation to participate in three virtual sessions:

Frank Costigliola: March 24, 2023, 12-2pm

Andrew Rotter: April 21, 2023, 12-2pm

Nicole Eustace: May 12, 2023, 12-2pm

Why this series?

A number of historians in Canada have been developing a collaborative project exploring the relevance of emotions to U.S. foreign policy. We believe strongly that recent scholarship on emotions significantly enriches analysis of policymaking and public perceptions – by moving, for example, beyond the strictly cognitive processes that animate Realpolitik perspectives. We also believe that this so-called “emotional turn” has the potential to be even more powerfully transformative to understandings of both past and present developments.

We would like now to expand our conversations to include others – on one hand, to tap the insights of three historians who have done striking work in the terrain we are anxious to explore; on the other hand, to draw in others who are open to being informed and even inspired. Our hope is that these Zoom conversations will allow us to create a group (a network?) of scholars whose individual and collaborative efforts might move in exciting directions.

Each two-hour seminar will begin with a presentation by the guest speaker, moving from comments about a brief reading “assignment” (distributed in advance) to reflections on the speaker’s experiences and insights regarding emotions history. The bulk of the session will then involve Q&A and discussion of both the speaker’s work and wider-ranging issues related to the relevance of emotions to U.S. foreign policy-making.

Although the focus of the series will be on the past and potential contributions of historians, the organizers want to emphasize in advance that their own preceding explorations have been richly informed by the work of political scientists, sociologists, anthropologists, psychologists, and feminist scholars. Students and scholars from a range of fields would be very welcome in what will likely remain a multi-disciplinary endeavor.

Participation in the seminar series is free, though registration is required. (This will allow distribution of readings and communication regarding ongoing seminar activities – including additional sessions in the future.) Spaces will be limited to facilitate conversation. Please send your questions to matthieu.vallieres@utoronto.ca. Register by visiting: https://forms.gle/daamEaUb83Mus1dk6

This series is organized in cooperation with the Centre for the Study of the United States at the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy/University of Toronto. Members of the organizing group include: Will McFadden, Will Riddell, Ron Pruessen, Candace Sobers, Matt Vallieres (Chair).

Contact Information

Matthieu Vallières

Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of History, University of Toronto

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