The Ph.D. Program in History

at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York

Non-GC Events

5/24 – Louis Menand on The Free World: Art and Thought in the Cold War (NHC event)

Please join us for a Washington History Seminar Panel with Louis Menand on The Free World: Art and Thought in the Cold Wa

The Free World is a cultural history of the early Cold War period, from the end the Second World War to American military intervention in Vietnam. It covers literature, cinema, music, and the arts, both commercial and avant-garde, in the context of geopolitical developments and intellectual history. It emphasizes the international dimension of cultural exchange and the role economic and technological factors in determining what gets produced and how if is received. .



Louis Menand, Harvard University

Kathy Peiss, University of Pennsylvania

Judith G. Coffin, University of Texas at Austin


Louis Menand is Lee Simpkins Family Professor of Arts and Sciences and Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor of English at Harvard and a staff writer for The New Yorker. His books include The Metaphysical Club, which won the Pulitzer Prize for History in 2002 and the Francis Parkman Prize from the Society of American Historians. In 2016, he was awarded the National Humanities Medal by President Barack Obama.


Kathy Peiss is the Roy F. and Jeannette P. Nichols Professor of American History at the University of Pennsylvania. She received her B.A. from Carleton College in 1975 and Ph.D. from Brown University in 1982. She is the author of Cheap Amusements: Working Women and Leisure in Turn-of-the-Century New York (1986); Hope in a Jar: The Making of America’s Beauty Culture (1998); Zoot Suit: The Enigmatic Career of an Extreme Style (2011), and Information Hunters: When Librarians, Soldiers, and Spies Banded Together in World War II Europe (2020).


Judith G. Coffin, Associate Professor of History, teaches modern France and Europe at the University of Texas at Austin. Her work includes The Politics of Women’s Work: The Paris Garment Trades, four editions of Western Civilizations (W.W. Norton) and Sex, Love and Letters: Writing Simone de Beauvoir (Cornell University Press, 2020). She has also written about the history of communication: “From Interiority to Intimacy: Radio and Psychoanalysis in Twentieth-Century France,” (Cultural Critique, 2015) she is beginning a new project, tentatively titled A Short Biography of Story of O. She got her PhD at Yale, taught at Harvard and the University of California Riverside; she been a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.


Monday, May 24 at 4:00 pm ET

Click here to register


Space in the Zoom webinar is available on a first-come first-serve basis and fills up very quickly, if you are unable to join the session or receive an error message you can still watch on the NHC’s Facebook Page  or the Wilson Center website


This seminar will be recorded and the video will be posted on the National History Center’s YouTube Channel.