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'that's malarkey, but it's very important malarkey': Unpacking the Nixon-Kissinger World View and Emotional Community During the Vietnam War Moment, 1969-1973

'that's malarkey, but it's very important malarkey': Unpacking the Nixon-Kissinger World View and Emotional Community During the Vietnam War Moment, 1969-1973
1 Devonshire Place, Room 208N
Time: Mar 26th, 4:00 pm End: Mar 26th, 6:00 pm
Interest Categories: United States Studies, South Asian, Political Science, History (FAS), Historical Studies (UTM), Historical and Cultural Studies (UTSC), French and Linguistics (UTSC), French (FAS), 1950-2000
Talk by Mathieu ValliŤres, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of History

The Centre for the Study of the United States and the Munk School of Global Affairs are pleased to present:

‚Äė...that‚Äôs malarkey, but it‚Äôs very important malarkey‚Äô:
Unpacking the Nixon-Kissinger Worldview and Emotional Community during the Vietnam War Moment, 1969-1973

Organized by the CSUS Graduate Student Workshop; and sponsored by the Centre for the Study of the United States, Munk School of Global Affairs.
Valli√®res‚Äô dissertation investigates how President Richard Nixon and National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger, and their French counterparts Presidents Charles de Gaulle and Georges Pompidou, responded to the defeat of American power in Vietnam, and the corresponding existential realization of American limits in the world. To this end, the Paris Peace Negotiations‚ÄĒwhich intended to bring the war to a close but also prompted, at once, great power competition, collision, and collusion‚ÄĒbecomes an ideal setting for a comparative analysis of the respective, but overlapping ‚Äúimperial imaginaries‚ÄĚ of the United States and France. The paper focuses on how Nixon and Kissinger imagined‚ÄĒor failed to imagine‚ÄĒa revision of America's role within the international order during this period of transition and transformation¬≠‚ÄĒor what I call the ‚ÄúVietnam War Moment.‚ÄĚ More specifically, it aims to show that because the period was fraught with challenges unfamiliar to America's global empire, Nixon and Kissinger viewed this moment‚ÄĒand therefore responded to it‚ÄĒby relying on a set of familiar ideas made up of notions of exceptionalism, conservatism, and Cold War orthodoxies. What is more, as they grieved what seemed to be the end of the American empire (at least in Southeast Asia), they created an emotional community that privileged denial, bargaining, depression, and most importantly, applauded anger, but rarely, if ever, acceptance. Typically understood by historians as realists par excellence outside the narrative of empire (thanks in part to their own voluminous writings), the unpacking of Nixon and Kissinger‚Äôs imperial worldviews, and of their emotional community reveals that they should not only be reintegrated into the trajectory that intertwines U.S. foreign relations and imperialism, but also distanced from their purported unadulterated, rational policy-making.
Mathieu Vallières is a PhD candidate in the Department of History at the University of Toronto. His current research is entitled The Paris Peace Negotiations 'Beyond Vietnam': Franco-American relations during America’s withdrawal from Vietnam, 1969-1973. It aims to set the American withdrawal from Vietnam within its layered historical, international, and imperial contexts while also accounting for its highly emotional character. Vallières completed his M.A. in History from the University of Toronto in 2008, and his B.A. (History) from the University of Ottawa in 2007.

This event is organized by the CSUS Graduate Student Workshop.
This event is free but registration is required. To register for this event, please go to: http://munkschool.utoronto.ca/events/

For more information, please contact the Centre for the Study of the United States at (416) 946-8972.

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