Alumni Research

April 23, 2019 at 11:50 am

History Scholars, Alumni Participate in Britain and the World Conference

Britain and the World organization logo

Three Contemporary History Institute and Ohio University History Department-affiliated scholars recently attended Britain and the World’s 2019 conference, an annual meeting that attracts experts from around the world who research British interactions with the wider world, held this year in Kansas City.

Cameron Dunbar delivers a paper at the 2019 Britain and the World Conference at Kansas City

Cameron Dunbar delivers a paper at the 2019 Britain and the World Conference at Kansas City

As part of a roundtable discussion inspired by Brexit, Cameron Dunbar, Ph.D. student in the History Department and Contemporary History Institute, presented “’Not for All the Tea in China’: Attlee’s First Ministry, the Commonwealth, and European Integration.” The panel examined the historical context of Britain’s relations with Europe. Dunbar analyzed Britain’s strained relationship with both the theoretical idea and practical realities of European integration following the Second World War in a new postwar order. Dunbar contended that Britain’s close political, economic, and sentimental links with the Commonwealth became the major stumbling block in its attempts to reconcile its position with the Western European community and its Anglo-American and imperial commitments. Dunbar earned a B.A. in journalism and an M.A. in history, both from Ohio University. He is completing his Ph.D. work at OHIO under the direction of Dr. John Brobst.

Dr. Laura Seddelmeyer, portrait

Dr. Laura Seddelmeyer

Dr. Laura Seddelmeyer, Assistant Professor of History at Lycoming College, presented the paper “South Pacific Security in the Unsettled Seventies” on a panel titled “Australia and collective Security in the Asia-Pacific.” The paper examined Australia’s response to changing global, regional, and domestic environments during the 1970s. In particular, these changes centered upon the reduction of British and U.S. presence in the Asia-Pacific region, British decolonization in the South Pacific, and the instability of Australia’s domestic politics. Seddelmeyer argued that Canberra worked to develop an independent approach to becoming a neighborhood power, which involved the assertion of Australia’s distinct national interests and the strengthening of Australia as a regional ally within a broad Western alliance during the Cold War. As a whole, the panel reinforced the consistency with which Australia approached an independent foreign policy after the Second World War.

Seddelmeyer earned an M.A. and Ph.D. in history from Ohio University in 2014, as well as a Contemporary History certificate from the College of Arts & Sciences. Her current research examines Australia’s place within a changing global environment by questioning how British withdrawal from east of the Suez Canal, and changes in American policy toward Asia, affected the close relationship between English-speaking allies in the 1960s and 1970s.

Dr. John Brobst, portrait

Dr. John Brobst

Dr. John Brobst, Associate Professor of History at Ohio University and CHI-affiliate faculty, chaired three separate panels: “Australia and Collective Security in the Asia-Pacific,” “Propaganda and Patriotism in the era of the First World War,” and “Cultures of militarism in Africa and India 1900-1941.” Due to his experience as former graduate director in the OHIO History Department, conference organizers asked Brobst to take part in a workshop on the academic job market, one of three professionals to represent the United States, alongside UK and Australia market representatives.

Brobst teaches courses on the British Empire, geopolitics, and naval history at OHIO, as well as CHI seminars as part of the Contemporary History certificate sequence. He received his B.A. from the University of Kansas and his Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin. He is the author of The Future of the Great Game:  Sir Olaf Caroe, India’s Independence, and the Defense of Asia. Brobst is currently working on a book about maritime strategy in the Indian Ocean during the Cold War.

Britain and the World is a professional organization that brings together experts from around the world who share a common interest in British history and Britain’s interactions with the wider world from the seventeenth-century to present day. Along with its annual conference, it creates forums for scholarship through a journal and book series.

  • For more information on the Contemporary History Institute, including 2019 Spring Semester talks, events, and other CHI-related matters, visit the official Facebook and Twitter.

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