R. Joseph Parrott

Assistant Professor
Faculty

Joe Parrott is an historian of international, transnational, and American diplomatic history, with an emphasis on the intersection of foreign policy, race, and domestic politics. He is currently revising a manuscript that considers Portuguese decolonization in Africa as a noteworthy component in transforming western engagement with the global south. It cuts across diplomatic, activist, and socio-political history to illuminate how questions of race and empire drove the policy choices of U.S. leaders, African nationalists, and Portuguese officials, as well as the agenda of a wider western Left. Joe is also working on an edited volume that examines the radical Third World ideology of Tricontinentalism and a second book-length project on transnational solidarity with the minority governments of southern Africa.

Joe has contributed to websites such as OZY, historical podcasts, and edited volumes. His work on Pan-African solidarity organizing in the 1970s informed a digital history project with Boston’s WGBH and his article with Race & Class, “A Luta Continua: Radical Filmmaking, Pan-African Liberation and Communal Empowerment,” the latter of which won the Farrar Award in Media and Civil Rights History from the University of South Carolina’s School of Journalism and Mass Communications. His WGBH project can be found at the OpenVault website, and a presentation on the related article is available on the Farrar Award page. A number of organizations have supported this research including the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations (SHAFR), the Council for European Studies, the New York Public Library, WGBH, and the John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Gerald R. Ford Presidential Libraries. He has also held fellowships with Yale’s International Security Studies, the Black Metropolis Research Consortium in Chicago, and the Miller Center at the University of Virginia.

Before coming to Ohio State, Joe taught at Yale University and the University of Texas, where he received his PhD in History and was involved with the Clements Center for National Security. He previously earned a Master in Public Policy and Bachelor of Arts from the University of Virginia. Outside work, Joe enjoys traveling, wandering towns in search of unique architecture, engaging with local history, and watching classic films.

For a sampling of Joe’s other public history efforts, see his discussion of the United States and Decolonization on the 15 Minute History podcast and commentary on depictions of the Cold War and Angola in the video game Black Ops II with History Respawned.            

Areas of Expertise
  • Diplomatic History
  • International History
  • Transnational History
Education
  • BA, University of Virginia, 2008
  • MPP, International Public Policy, University of Virginia, 2009
  • PhD, University of Texas at Austin, 2016
  • PostDoctorate, International Security Studies, Yale University, 2017

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