Race and International Relations

September 13th, 2005 by Adam

The Saul O Sidore Lecture Series will present Robert Vitalis speaking on “Race and International Relations” Tuesday, September 20 at 7 p.m. at the Silver Center. Vitalis is associate professor of political science and director of the Middle East Center at the University of Pennsylvania.

His first book, When Capitalists Collide: Business Conflict and the End of Empire in Egypt, was published in 1995. The Organization of American Historians awarded him the Bernath Prize in 1996 for his work on Egypt’s political economy.

Dr. Vitalis has continued to develop and expand the scope of his interests in historical comparative analysis in a second, just completed book, America’s Kingdom: Race, State, and the Business of Mythmaking on the Saudi Oil Frontier, which will be published in 2006 by Stanford University Press.

He says, “I propose to identify and begin to undermine two basic myths about international relations in the United States. The first is the idea that it is a field of knowledge exclusively concerned with spaces beyond the territorial boundaries of the republic. The second idea is that the story of IR (and its unrecognized twin, development studies) properly begins after 1945. These are claims that would make little sense to those who were teaching, writing, and building institutions at the turn-of-the-century dedicated to the new science of race development or international relations.”

Vitalis’ new work includes “Birth of a Discipline” in Imperialism and Internationalism in the Discipline of International Relations, edited by Brian Schmidt and David Long, from SUNY Press in 2005. It is a companion piece to “The Graceful and Liberal Gesture: Making Racism Invisible in American International Relations,” in Millennium, published in September 2000.

The theme for the 2005-2006 Sidore Lecture Series is Making Global Connections. Other series lecturers this semester will be Alan K. Betts, Monday, October 3, speaking on The Impact of Climate Change on New England; Richard Lindzen, Tuesday, October 3, speaking on What Does the Agreement over Global Warming Really Mean? and Robert Jensen, Tuesday, November 15, speaking on The Case against Patriotism.

All Sidore events begin at 7 p.m. and are free and open to the public. Advance reservations through the box office (603-535-ARTS) are recommended. Each talk is followed by a reception and refreshments. For information, call (603) 535-2501.