Hosting regular meetings at the Nelson A. Rockefeller Center, the International History Group provides faculty from Dartmouth’s History, Government, and Economics departments the opportunity to share their interdisciplinary perspectives on global events.
“It’s an opportunity for faculty, students, and post-docs to exchange ideas with some of the globe’s most interesting and distinguished international historians,” says one of the group’s conveners, William C. Wohlforth, Daniel Webster Professor of Government. “This is important not just because of the intrinsically fascinating nature of the research these visitors present, but because it helps build bridges between history and other international fields, including political science, public policy and economics. Every policy problem has a historical dimension and most of the data we use to test conjectures are historical in nature.”
The group not only features distinguished Dartmouth faculty, but also invites leading scholars from other universities to share their knowledge of the political, economic, intellectual, and cultural histories of global issues.
Together, these scholars from and outside of Dartmouth discuss worldwide challenges such as human rights, regional conflict, and globalization.
“For me, the International History Group illustrates what you might call the crossover appeal of History within the academy,” says Edward Miller, Associate Professor of History. “While most of the visiting scholars whom the group has brought to campus are historians, the Dartmouth faculty who participate in the group are a genuinely interdisciplinary bunch that includes economists and political scientists as well as historians. I think that this shows that History and historical methodologies are relevant and interesting in many fields of scholarly inquiry, and that we historians can do more to think about how to connect and collaborate with non-historian colleagues.”
To many, this group demonstrates the shared purpose of Dartmouth College and the Nelson A. Rockefeller Center of acting as a forum for students and faculty to hold interdisciplinary discussions about important issues.
“Over the past several years, we've held seminars on topics that have included the political economy of the American Revolution, the reunification of Germany after the Cold War, and the foreign policy of the NAACP,” says Jeffrey Friedman, Assistant Professor of Government. “The most interesting part of these discussions, from my point of view, is seeing how students and faculty from different departments engage with the same questions from different perspectives. This provides an opportunity to ask not just how history unfolded, but what makes these issues interesting and important, and how different academic perspectives can complement each other's understanding of global events.”
Written by Niki Bakhru ’17, Student Program Assistant for Communications