By Kendrick Oliver
Following the launch of the Centre for Postcolonial Studies in January 2016, we have invited heads of other Postcolonial Studies research institutes, centres and networks to share information about their current research activities and to enter into the debate about the future of the field. Responding to our questions, Professor Kendrick Oliver (University of Southampton) showcases the activities of the Centre for Imperial and Post-Colonial Studies and the importance of historical research in understanding the contemporary world.
What is your research background?
I primarily self-identify as a historian of the post-war United States, having written books on US nuclear diplomacy, the Vietnam War and the American space programme. To study US history in the post-war period is inevitably to confront the ambiguities and over-lapping time-frames of imperial power, decolonization processes and post-colonial consciousness. This was a time when Americans were, simultaneously, post-colonial, colonial, anti-colonial, and neo-imperial. American power in the post-war world took many different forms; the responses to it were similarly multivarious.