Current Institutional Affiliation
Postdoctoral Instructor, World History, Samford University

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 2016
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
History, University of North Carolina / Chapel Hill
Lost Horizons: Anticolonial Internationalism, 1930-1970

This project explores the complex relationships between anticolonialism and imaginaries of the international community across the tumultuous 20th century by tracing the converging and diverging careers of four political figures from disparate regions and ideological backgrounds: Shukri al-Quwatli (1892-1967), the first president of Syria; V.K. Krishna Menon (1896-1974), the Indian activist, diplomat, and Minister of Defense; Carlos Romulo (1898-1985), the journalist and diplomat from the Philippines; and Nnamdi Azikiwe (1902-96), the activist organizer and first president of Nigeria. By following their parallel and intertwined careers from the mid-1930s to the mid-1960s, I seek to understand how Asian and African anticolonial leaders envisioned the international community, the place of the nation within that community, and how larger international forces limited their hopes and visions. To approach their ideas and visions of possible political communities, I use the new concept of "anticolonial internationalism," which refers to the ways anticolonial politicians and diplomats established transnational solidarities with other anticolonial movements both before and after Independence, and how they envisioned future world orders without colonialism. By looking at actors from different regions (the Middle East, South and Southeast Asia, and West Africa), different empires (France, Britain, and the United States), and various regional and ideological identifications (pan-Arab, pan-African, pan-Asian, socialist, and anti-communist, among others), this project takes a comprehensive, comparative, and global approach to the intersection of anticolonialism and internationalism. If we can understand how anticolonial movements understood world order and uncover their different ideas about how the world could operate, we can understand how the past has shaped present contests over world order and offer alternative visions to be included in models of international relations.