Mark Phillip BradleyArchives
tags: Top Young Historians
Mark Phillip Bradley, 45
Teaching Position: Associate Professor, Department of History, Northwestern University, 2004-present.
Area of Research: Twentieth century U.S. international history and postcolonial Southeast Asian history
Education: Ph.D. History, Harvard University,1995
Major Publications: Bradley is the author of Imagining Vietnam and America: The Making of Postcolonial Vietnam (2000), which won the Harry J. Benda Prize from the Association for Asian Studies, and is co-editor of Truth Claims: Representation and Human Rights (2001). Bradley's current book projec include The United States and the Twentieth Century Global Human Rights Revolution, a book that explores the history of the contested and contingent meanings of the global human rights revolution in the twentieth century for Cambridge University Press; The Vietnam Wars, an international history of the wars in Vietnam, and Making Sense of the Vietnam Wars: Transnational and International Perspectives, co-editor with Marilyn B. Young, and edited book of several essays that explore the intersection of the transnational and the local in postcolonial Vietnam social and cultural history, both for Oxford University Press.
Awards: Bradley is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships including:
Jean Gimbel Lane Professorship in the Humanities, Northwestern University, 2007-08;
Frederick Burkhardt Residential Fellowship for Recently Tenured Scholars, American Council of Learned Societies, 2005-06;
National Endowment for the Humanities University Faculty Fellowship, 2002-03;
Fellow, Center for Twenty-First Century Studies, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Fall 2003, 2001-02;
American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship (alternative), 2002;
Faculty Research Grant, The University of Chicago, 1997-98;
Fellow, Center for Twentieth Century Studies, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 1997-98 (declined);
Undergraduate Teaching Improvement Grant, The University of Wisconsin System, 1996-97;
National Endowment for the Humanities Dissertation Fellowship, 1993-94;
Bernadotte E. Schmidt Grant for Research in the History of Europe, Africa and Asia, American Historical Assocation, 1993;
Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Fellowship, 1991-92;
Fellowship, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 1991-1992;
Henry Luce Research Fellowship, Association for Asian Studies, 1991;
Kenneth T. Young Vietnam Research Fellowship, John King Fairbank Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Harvard University, 1991;
Sidney J. Weinberg Research Fellowship, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute, 1990;
Research Grant, Harry S. Truman Library Institute, 1990;
Abilene Travel Fellowship, The Eisenhower World Affairs Institute, 1990;
Research Grants, Charles Warren Center, Harvard University, Summer 1990 and 1991;
John Anson Kittridge Educational Fund Trust, 1989;
CBS Bicentennial Scholarship, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Harvard University, 1987-1990;
Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship (Vietnamese), 1990, 1987.
Formerly Associate Professor, Department of History, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 2001-2003, Assistant Professor, Department of History, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 1995-1997, 1999-2001, and Assistant Professor, Department of History, The University of Chicago, 1997-1999.
Regularly review scholarly monographs and films for American Historical Review, Journal of American History, International History Review, Journal of Asian Studies, H-Net, Pacific Historical Review and Reviews in American History.
Co-Editor, America in the World Series, Cornell University Press. 2006- .
Bradley was the Panel Chair and Discussant, Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations Annual Meeting, June 2005, and the Organization of American Historians Annual Meeting, 2005.
I have come to find the terrain of the global to be a wonderfully open and liberating scholarly space in which to work. If the boundaries of the historical actors with whom I am most concerned are fluid, so too are the boundaries for the international historian as she or he navigates and often crosses geographic, disciplinary and conceptual borders. The insights that can emerge from these transgressive moves have had a profound impact on my research and teaching. This has been especially the case in my current research on the contested meanings of what I term the global human rights revolution of the twentieth century. There are many conceptual challenges in undertaking such a work but one is that the very real emergence of global human rights norms and their protections can sometimes seem abstract and remote. Among the things I want to do with this project is to illuminate the ways in which these larger processes are very much rooted in the everyday actions of local actors. The importance of doing so first emerged for me several years ago when I met the Spanish magistrate Baltasar Garzon and he told me this story.
Late in the day on a Friday in October 1998, Garzon was driving out of Madrid with a friend to meet their families at a country house for the weekend. His friend, as people often do after a long week at work, turned to Garzon at one point in the drive and asked, “So…how was your week?” Garzon pulled off to the side of the road and said, in almost disbelieving tones, “You know, I just faxed an extradition order to the British government against Augusto Pinochet to stand trial in Spain for crimes against humanity.” Until that moment, Garzon said, he hadn't really absorbed the enormity of the action he had taken. Preoccupied with the mechanics and timing of drafting the arrest warrant -it had to be faxed to London by 5:00 p.m. that Friday- Garzon said he had temporarily lost sight of the larger forces his action could potentially set in motion.
Garzon's actions were in many ways extraordinary. General Pincohet had come to London earlier in October of 1998 with few worries. While a 1991 report of the Chilean Truth and Reconciliation Commission had carefully documented the gross violations of human rights -literally thousands of cases of torture, assassination, execution and disappearances- that had taken place under the Pinochet regime, Pinochet himself had been given a title of “Senator for Life” that essentially protected him from any moves toward prosecution in Chile. At the international level, prevailing notions of sovereign immunity for heads of state appeared to offer him protection outside of Chile as well. Indeed, Pinochet was so little concerned with the implications of his visit to Great Britain that he hadn't bothered to obtain a diplomatic passport to enter the county.
But the British government responded to Garzon's request in ways that Pinochet and few others anticipated. After a series of legal battles, during which Pinochet was placed under house arrest, Britain's highest court, the Law Lords, ruled that Pinochet did not enjoy immunity from prosecution for human rights abuses and could be extradited to Spain for some, though not all, of the charges made by Garzon. Universal jurisdiction, in the eyes of the Law Lords, trumped notions of sovereign immunity in cases of gross violations of human rights.
What has become known as the Pinochet case speaks to a variety of transformative changes in global apprehensions of human rights. But for me it was the personal dimensions of Garzon's actions that were most striking and unexpected. The quotidian dimension of Garzon's efforts to bring Pinochet to justice and his own surprised reaction to them were an invaluable reminder to me that what are often seen as norms and forces operating in a distant transnational space are in fact very much rooted in the acts of individuals who simultaneously share a local and global identity. As we craft new narratives of twentieth century international history, invariably structural forces are a critical part of the story. But so too, although sometimes harder to capture, is the contingency and agency of individual actors that are both shaped by and themselves shape the contours of that narrative.
By Mark Philip Bradley
About Mark Philip Bradley
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