‘An “American Century” For Afghanistan’ Lecture
At last, I’m almost to the end of a hectic two-week period of giving talks and writing articles. It’s been a good exercise: the feedback I receive from friends and colleagues in the talks I’ve given at the Rothermere American Institute and SOAS in the last week or so have allowed me to refine my thoughts in two still-in-progress pieces on development in Afghanistan in the 1960s, as well as how the USSR thought about economic development. It’s almost time to submit versions of those piece to various fora – I’ll be presenting one of the papers at this conference in Amsterdam in late March – and while there’s still a long way to go on this dissertation, I’m glad to have this milestone almost out of the way. I’m eager to go to what looks to be an exciting dance show this evening in Oxford to rebound, relax, and think about something other than the social sciences in the Cold War – but tomorrow I’ll be back into the mines.
For the meantime, why not check out a more recent version of one of the papers, ‘An “American Century” For Afghanistan? American Advisers in Cold War Afghanistan and the Intellectual Origins of “Modernization” and “Development”‘? I had the opportunity to give the paper again at the MCR-SCR Seminar (a lunchtime event for graduate members of Corpus Christi College to present their research) this Friday in the company of several other Corpuscles and friends. It’s almost the same talk – probably a bit more eloquently delivered this time than during the first run as the one I gave at the RAI this past week – but still should give some hints of where the broader dissertation and project is headed for those interested. You can view the presentation here, and download the MP3 here.
With any luck – particularly after this gauntlet of presentations – I should be able to shift to less narcissistic topics on the blog soon enough. Keep your eyes peeled sometime this week for a stab at travel writing from Talas, Kyrgyzstan, where yours truly managed to spend a weekend this January. Until then …