POSTPONED – “American ‘Undesirables’ and the Rise of Travel Control in the Era of Global Activism” – Moshik Temkin (Harvard) – History Seminar

Posted on April 4, 2022

04 April 2022 - 17 h 30 min - 19 h 00 min

This session is postponed to a later date. 

Moshik Temkin ( Belfer Center for Science International Affairs at Harvard University) _ “American ‘Undesirables’ and the Rise of Travel Control in the Era of Global Activism


This talk is drawn from my research on the rise and development over the course of the twentieth century of law, policy, politics, and practice that allowed the United States (along with other Western countries), to monitor, control, or stop the global political activism of private citizens and groups. Drawing mostly on state archives in the United States and France, the project addresses several key themes that have concerned American and international historians in recent years, including the impact of decolonization, the rise of human rights, the internationalization of political and social movements, and the global dimensions of the Cold War. Through this frame of analysis, focusing on one key aspect of the American political impact on the wider world, the project aims to rethink the evolution of global politics. It suggests that the goals of travel control and surveillancewere not merely to prevent the spread of radicalism; they were also part of the imperative to keep the “national” and the “global” separate–to maintain a “public order” (as the authorities termed it) based on a strict state-based control of the movement of people and their politics.

Professor Moshik Temkin is a Fellow at the Belfer Center for Science International Affairs at Harvard University and the author of The Sacco-Vanzetti Affair: America on Trial, published with Yale University Press. He has taught American and international history at Harvard University, Columbia University, Tsinghua University, and (many years ago) the EHESS. He is currently working on a book entitled Undesirables: Americans, Travel Control, and Surveillance in the Age of Global Politics, which is under contract with Harvard University Press.

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