Dr. Donna Alvah
My current projects are on children and youth in the Cold War. I'm writing articles on children's and youth's assistance to militaries in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia during the wars there between the 1940s and 1970s, and on adults' responses to children's fears of the prospects of nuclear war. Also in the works is a book manuscript on children and youth in the Cold War. My scholarship examines interconnections among cultural history, social history, military history, and foreign relations. I've published a book on U.S. military families abroad during the early Cold War, and essays on wives of U.S. servicemen in the Philippines before World War II and U.S. policy on military families abroad following the Cold War.
My scholarly interests influence the courses I teach on World War II (HIST 200), the Cold War (HIST 246 and 299), the Vietnam War (HIST 325), and the history of American foreign relations from the colonial era to 1900 (HIST 243). I've taught in the First-Year Program many times. My FYP seminar for Fall '20 is "Peace, Conflict, and Community." My most recent first-year spring seminars focused on peace studies in historical context, and on animal welfare and ethics. I also teach "A Historical Introduction to Peace Studies" (PEAC 102/HIST 107), a course that counts toward the Peace Studies minor.
Among the many things I love about St. Lawrence University are the opportunities for intellectual and personal growth, for going out into the world to teach and learn, and for making the world a better place through our courses and activities beyond the classroom. I enjoy seeing students progress over the years at SLU, and also love hearing about what and how they're doing after graduation.
- Social & cultural aspects of the Cold War, US foreign relations, & the US military; children & youth in the Cold War; children & nuclear weapons; children & youth in the Vietnam War; International Year of the Child; US military in Okinawa
Presentations, Exhibitions, Performances and Published Work:
- "U.S. Military Personnel & Families Abroad: Gender, Sexuality, Race, and Power in the US Military’s Relations with Foreign Nations & Local Inhabitants during Wartime," in Routledge Handbook of War, Gender, & the US Military, ed. K. Vuic. Routledge 2017.
- "American Military Families in West Germany: Social, Cultural, & Foreign Relations, 1946-65," in GIs in Germany: The Social, Economic, Cultural & Political History of the American Military Presence, ed. Thomas W. Maulucci, Jr. & Detlef Junker (Cambridge)
- “U.S. Military Wives in the Philippines, from the Philippine War to World War II.” In A Companion to Women's Military History, edited by Barton C. Hacker and Margaret Vining, 431-452. Leiden, the Netherlands: Brill, 2012.
- "'I am too young to die': Children and the Cold War." Organization of American Historians' Magazine of History for the special issue on the Cold War, October 2010, 25-28. Republished in the updated version of Bring History Alive! A Sourcebook for Teachin
- "Controversy in the Classroom: Teaching the Vietnam War." Perspectives on History: The News Magazine of the American Historical Association, May 2010.
- “U.S. Military Families Abroad in the Post-Cold War Era and the ‘New Global Posture.’” In Over There: Gender and Sexuality in the U.S. Military Empire, edited by Maria Höhn and Seungsook Moon, 149-175. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2010.
- Unofficial Ambassadors: American Military Families Overseas and the Cold War, 1946-1965, New York University Press, April 2007.
- Review of Two Short Films by Farshad Aminian-Tankei: Hiroshima, Auschwitz: We Must Not Forget and What Is War? (Forthcoming in Peace & Change).
- Review of Justin Hart, Empire of Ideas: The Origins of Public Diplomacy and the Transformation of U.S. Foreign Policy," for Roundtable Review, Passport: The Newsletter of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, 44 no. 2 (September 2013):
- Review of Andrew J. Falk, Upstaging the Cold War: American Dissent and Cultural Diplomacy, 1940-1960, for H-Diplo Roundtable Review, January 2013.
- "Advantages and Human Costs of Military Empire." Review of Michael Cullen Green, Black Yanks in the Pacific: Race in the Making of American Military Empire after World War II. Diplomatic History vol. 36, no. 4 (September 2012): 777-779.
- Review of Erika Kuhlman, Reconstructing Patriarchy after the Great War: Women, Gender, and Postwar Reconciliation between Nations, for Peace and Change: A Journal of Peace Research, vol. 36, no. 1 (January 2011): 140-143.
- Review of In the Valley of Elah (2006, DVD), for Peace & Change: A Journal of Peace Research, special issue on the U.S. War in Iraq, vol. 34, no. 3 (July 2009): 395-398.
- Review of Maria Höhn, GIs and Frauleins: The German-American Encounter in 1950s West Germany (The University of North Carolina Press, 2002), for Armed Forces and Society, Fall 2004.
- Review of Petra Goedde, GIs and Germans: Culture, Gender, and Foreign Relations, 1945-1949 (Yale University Press, 2003), for The Register of the Kentucky Historical Society, Fall 2003.
- Review of James Jay Carafano, Waltzing into the Cold War: The Struggle for Occupied Austria (Texas A & M University Press, 2002), for The Register of the Kentucky Historical Society, Fall 2003.
- Entry "Women and Children" for Weapons and Warfare, revised edition, Salem Press, February 2010.
- Entries “The United States [and the Cold War],” co-authored with Paul Pierpaoli; “United States—Federal Bureau of Investigation,” co-authored with John H. Barnhill; “Marcos, Ferdinand”; and “United States Armed Forces in Asia.” In Encyclopedia of the Col
- Entries “Military Families”; “Vietnam Veterans”; and “Women’s Rights and Feminism.” In Americans at War: Society, Culture, and the Homefront. Edited by John Phillips Resch. Detroit: MacMillan Reference USA, 2005.
- “Transatlantic Worries: Protecting Children from Fearing the Prospect of Nuclear War during the Cold War,” invited plenary lecture for the Transatlantic Studies Conference, University of Northumbria, Newcastle-on-Tyne, United Kingdom, July 2013.
- "American Responses to the International Year of the Child: Children's Issues in the Context of the Cold War," Society for Historians of Childhood and Youth Biennial Conference, New York City, June 2011
- “American Military Families in the Philippines, circa 1900 to 1945,” Organization of American Historians annual conference, New York City, March 2008
- Fellow in “Public Policy and Nuclear Threats” program, sponsored by the Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation, University of California, San Diego, July 2007.
- “Local Views of American Military Families in the Early Cold War Era,” for panel “In the Service of America: Foreign Service Officers, Diplomatic Wives, and Military Families,” annual meeting of the American Historical Association, Seattle, January 2005.
- “Affectionate Husbands and Generous Fathers: American Military Men Overseas in the 1950s-1960s,” for panel “Cold War Excursions,” annual meeting of the Organization of American Historians, Boston, March 2004.
- “U.S. Ladies, Internationalism, and Cold War Foreign Relations, 1945-1965,” for panel “Defining America Abroad: Promoters and Dissenters,” annual meeting of the American Historical Association Pacific Coast Branch, Honolulu, Hawaii, August 2003.
- Chair & Commenter for “Anglo-Americans Behaving Badly: Problematizing Identity Formation in Imperial Diasporas,” annual meeting of the American Historical Association Pacific Coast Branch, Honolulu, Hawaii, August 2003.
- “Young Ambassadors: American Military Children Overseas in the Cold War,” Interdisciplinary Children’s History Conference, Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, California, February 2002
- “Military Wives, American Power, and Foreign Relations, 1946-1961” Annual Meeting of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, Washington, D.C., June 2001
- “American Military Families in West Germany: Social, Cultural, & Foreign Relations, 1950-1965,” for “GIs in Germany” conference, University of Heidelberg, sponsored by the German Historical Institute, November 2000
- “American Military Families in Okinawa: A Social and Cultural History of Foreign Relations in the 1950s,” UC Santa Barbara Cold War History Group Conference, May 1999
- “Cold War American Military Families Overseas and Anti-Communism, 1945–1960,” American Historical Association Annual Meeting, Washington, D.C., January 1999
Regularly Taught Courses:
- HIST 200: World War II (Sophomore Seminar)
- HIST 226: US since World War II
- HIST 243: Origins of US Foreign Policy (to 1900)
- HIST 246: The Cold War
- HIST 299: Cold War Politics, Society, Culture
- HIST 325: The Vietnam War
- HIST 473: A History of Our Times: The United States since 1989
- FRPG 1006 (FYP, Fall semesters): Peace, Conflict, & Community
- PEAC 102/HIST 107: Introduction to Peace Studies (also taught as a First-Year Seminar , Spring semesters)
Sample Student Projects Supervised:
- Tanveer Kalo, East Indian soldiers from the United States in World War I (SYE F17)
- Holly Wark, Vietnamese women's and children's view of the Vietnam War
- Somphone Sonenarong, "Making Independence: Chinese and Japanese Influences on Vietnam’s 1945 August Revolution" (SYE for Asian Studies)
- Jordan Walker, SYE "Redefining Militancy in the 1950s and the 1960s: The Early Homophile Movement’s Path towards Equality," Spring 2011 (HIST 490)
- Elizabeth Carroll, SYE "The Indochina War and the Incompatible U.S.-French Alliance," Spring 2010 (HIST 490)
- Meggie Quackenbush, SYE "Remembering Vietnam: Memory as History," 2009-2010
- Claire Plagge, senior history honors thesis, “From Myth to Beast of Burden: The Transition of the Horse into Ancient Greek and Roman Society,” Fall 2008/Spring 2009 (HIST 498/499)
- James Passanisi, senior history honors thesis on the Hetch-Hetchy dam controversy, Fall 2005/Spring 2006 (HIST 498/499)
- Paula Bogart, SLU Fellowship project on families in Afghanistan, Summer 2006