March 22, 2021 at 3:29 pm

CHI Director’s Message: Publishing New Books, Postponing Baker Peace Conference

Ingo Trauschweizer, portrait

Dr. Ingo Trauschweizer

Spring 2020

Dear Alumni and Friends,

The past 12 months have posed great challenges for us. Our seminars, lunchtime conversations, and talks as well as the Elizabeth Evans Baker Lecture moved online, and our students have been industrious and found ways to pursue their research in digital and published source collections or continued to hone their language skills. Some of this has allowed us to connect or reconnect with new audiences and alumni, especially because physical distance is currently no barrier to participating in Contemporary History Institute programs. While we will eventually move much of that back into the proper venues on campus, we will keep some of the conversations online and invite you to follow our program on Facebook.

Just weeks before the pandemic hit, we were able to host the 2020 Baker Peace Conference, which yielded engaging and enlightening conversations on “Religion and Peace.” A book based on this conference, co-edited by Nukhet Sandal and Ingo Trauschweizer, is now under review for publication by Ohio University Press. Speaking of Baker Conference books, Temple of Peace: International Cooperation and Stability, derived from the 2019 conference, has just been released. Unfortunately, in 2021 the Baker Peace Conference, a signature event on the university’s spring calendar for several decades running, had to be postponed, and the program (on “Technology and Freedom”) is now tentatively scheduled for February 2022.

We also canceled a conference planned jointly with Florida State University’s Institute on World War II and the Human Experience that we had in place at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York for April 2020—thankfully, the book we hoped to derive from this conference is in the works and under contract with Fordham University Press. It will feature about a dozen strong contributions, including one from our own recent Ph.D. Alexander Lovelace. CHI also had plans to host a symposium and book workshop on “Berlin and the Cold War” with an international cast of Cold War era historians in October 2020; that is now planned for fall 2021 and it seems we will conduct it online—you’ll find updates about this and other programs on our website.

Our students continue to thrive, even under challenging circumstances and our alumni are doing us proud. We recently featured the accomplishments of two that stand representative for many more: Sebastian Hurtado-Torres has won great acclaim for his book The Gathering Storm: Eduardo Frei’s Revolution in Liberty and Chile’s Cold War, and Mike Rattansengchanh started a tenure-track teaching position at Midwestern State University in fall 2020.

By my count, CHI alumni are closing in on 100 books published—please let us know when you publish—and hold impactful position in higher education, think tanks, government, and private businesses all around the U.S. and the world.

To nourish the new cohort of CHI students we’ve found ways to expand our fellowship offerings and currently offer four-to-five dissertation fellowships each year, and with the help and generosity of our friends and alumni we have launched our first crowdfunding campaign in the hope of enhancing our research and travel grant offerings.

Ingo Trauschweizer
Professor of History and Chair of the Contemporary History Institute


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