"Who Can Speak at the World’s Table?: International Debate and the Exclusion of Dissent in the United States from the Great War to the Early Cold War"
The twentieth century is often heralded as having the most inclusive global debates and discussions in history, open to all communities recognizable as a nation-state. This novel form of worldwide political inclusion was most noticeable in the creation of intergovernmental organizations such as the United Nations, which was (and still is) grounded in the notion of a world populated by theoretically equal national actors; those with less geo-political power are allowed to enter an ostensibly even playing field of peaceful political debate, discussion, and even disagreement. Yet at the same time, from the creation of a League of Nations after WWI, through the post-WWII formation of the UN and the ensuing start of the Cold War, this American-led liberal-democratic international system necessitated the exclusion of dissenting perspectives, particularly anti-colonial movements “abroad” and ethnic and racialized communities at “home”.
Possible paper themes:
• How rival global/imperial powers, such as France, Germany, or Great Britain for instance, informed U.S. approaches to international discussions.
• How anti-radical discourses and repressive anti-communist policies both in the U.S. and abroad formed international debate and discussion.
• The role of the civil rights movement and the black freedom struggle in shaping America’s discussion and discourse in international forums.
• How racialized and exclusionary immigration policies, for example Japanese concentration camps or anti-Mexican immigration (i.e. the Bracero program), structured American global rhetoric.
• How movements based around gender and sexuality contested the American status quo, troubling the United States’ global public image.
• How radical and militant anti-colonial movements influenced and challenged global discussions.
• How nationalist calls for “peaceful” decolonization found a forum in international debates.
• How competing visions of global solidarity (i.e. human rights or a “people’s century,”) were either embraced or suppressed by American-led liberal internationalists.
If interested in presenting please submit a 300-word abstract, a brief bio, and contact info by Feb. 3 to Allan Lumba: firstname.lastname@example.org
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