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Belfast Senior College

Rethinking American Grand Strategy 

with Bob Rackmales


This course is based on the eponymous book edited by Andrew Preston, Elizabeth Borgwardt, and Christopher Nichols (OUP, 2021).  In its pages, leading scholars from twenty US and three foreign universities expand the scope of American diplomatic and military history by placing grand strategies involving public health, race, gender, culture, and the law into a framework usually dominated by experts in weaponry and geopolitics.  Among the many articles providing ample food for thought are: “The Blob and the Mob” by Beverly Gage, whose recent resignation as Director of the grand strategy program at Yale received national attention, “The Unbearable Whiteness of Grand Strategy” by Adriane Lentz-Smith of Duke University, and “Reproductive Politics and Grand Strategy” by Laura Briggs of UMass, Amherst.  Because of the wide range of subjects covered, class members will be encouraged to indicate particular areas of interest in advance to facilitate course planning.  They will be expected to have read at least those sections of the book most relevant to their particular interests.

Bob Rackmales is a native of Baltimore, and has degrees in history from Johns Hopkins and Indiana University. After entering the Foreign Service he served overseas in Nigeria (twice), Croatia, Somalia, Italy (twice) and Serbia. His Washington assignments included tours in State's European, Intelligence and Research, Human Rights and Personnel Bureaus and the Office of the Inspector General. He lives in Belfast with his wife, Mary, and has taught at Senior College since 2006.

This course is cross-listed with Coastal Senior College.

  • Feb 10 - Mar 3rd, 2022
    Thu for 4 weeks from 9:30 am - 12:00 pm


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