Distinguished Lecturers
Penny M. Von Eschen

Penny M. Von Eschen

Penny M. Von Eschen is William R. Kennan Jr. Professor of American Studies and Professor of History and at the University of Virginia.  Her scholarship is situated at the intersections of African American history, cultural history, the global cold war, and the study of the United States in global and transnational dimensions. 
She is author of Paradoxes of Nostalgia: Cold War Triumphalism and Global Disorder Since 1989 (2022), Satchmo Blows Up the World: Jazz Ambassadors Play the Cold War (2004) and Race against Empire: Black Americans and Anticolonialism, 1937-1957 (1997), winner of the Stuart L. Bernath Prize of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, among others. She is coeditor of Contested Democracy: Freedom, Race, and Power in American History (2007) and American Studies: An Anthology (2008). She co-curated “Jam Sessions: American’s Jazz Ambassadors Embrace the World,” a photography exhibition on the jazz ambassador tours, with Meridian International Center, Washington D.C., that opened in April 2008, and toured globally as well as in the United States.  She is currently working on a book project exploring crises of authority in anticolonial counterpublics in the years following WWII.

OAH Lectures by Penny M. Von Eschen


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