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Queen's University
 

Department of History

Seminar Series - 2015 Winter Schedule:

[Thursdays at 11:30am, Watson 517, unless otherwise specified]

 

January 29

Graduate student works in progress colloquium.

 

February 5

Catherine Desbarats, McGill University

“Imperial Games: Towards a Historical Ethnography of Early Canada’s Card Money, 1685-1719.”

Whether as a “commonplace of monetary economics, second only to the stone money of the island of Yap, ” or as footnote to the often orientalist historiography of New France, the playing-card money of early Canada has figured mainly as an exotic, near-primitive moment in teleological accounts of monetary modernity. But just as rich ethnographies continue to de-colonize our understanding of so-called “primitive monies”, so attention to the practices and meanings surrounding the playing-card money of early Canada opens up new possibilities for exploring the political economy of early modern empires.

 

March 5

Fredrik Logevall, Cornell University
Stephen '59 and Madeline '60 Anbinder Professor of History

"The Mystery of the Vietnam War"

In 1964, U.S. President Lyndon Johnson expressed misgivings about his country's deepening involvement in the struggle for Vietnam. "I don't think it's worth fighting for and I don't think we can get out," he remarked to a top aide in May. "What in the hell is Vietnam worth to me?. . . . What is it worth to this country?" Yet the following year--precisely half a century ago--Johnson took the United States into a large-scale war, one that would ultimately claim the lives of more than 58,000 Americans and some three million Vietnamese, and end in defeat for the U.S. In this talk Fredrik Logevall of Cornell University examines this monumental decision anew and offers his explanation for why LBJ did what he did.

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