Indiana University Bloomington

Transcending the Narrative

Transformation and Transition in History

This year’s conference, Transcending the Narrative: Transformation and Transition in History, underscores our goal of reaching out to broader audiences, both within and outside of academia. Most importantly, we would like to consider how historians of specific places and time periods can put their work in dialogue with scholars in other fields, with other professionals such as the policy community, and with a general audience through public history. Ultimately, what does interdisciplinary work look like from a historian’s point of view?

Keynote speaker Dr. Amanda McVety of Miami University of Ohio will discuss the broader and interdisciplinary implications of her recent book Enlightened Aid: U.S. Development as Foreign Policy in Ethiopia (March 2012, Oxford University Press) and her current research.

Keynote Address:

In the aftermath of World War II, key figures at the new United Nations struggled to find ways of replacing nationalism with internationalism. Leadership there argued that humans could find unity in the struggle to make the world more amenable to Homo sapiens. This talk will examine a UN effort to eradicate a dreaded plague of cattle to demonstrate how postwar internationalism based a critical part of its identity and its credibility on expanding human control over the nonhuman. In the process, it will also engage concerns and questions about the benefits and the challenges of research that crosses fields and disciplines.

Amanda Kay McVety is Assistant Professor of History at Miami University. Her book, Enlightened Aid: U.S. Development as Foreign Policy in Ethiopia, came out with Oxford University Press in 2012. She has also published in Diplomatic History and The Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era. She is currently an Altman Fellow with the Miami University Humanities Center and will be a Truman-Kauffman Fellow with the Harry S. Truman Library during the 2013-2014 academic year.

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