Center for the United States and the Cold War (New York University)

Center for the United States and the Cold War
Tamiment Library Bobst Library, 10th Floor
70 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012
(West 4th between LaGuardia and Greene Streets)
New York, NY 10012

Timothy V Johnson
Director, Tamiment Library
Tel. +1 212 998-2436


The Cold War was the defining ideological, cultural, economic and geopolitical struggle of the second half of the twentieth century. It dominated political life beyond superpower principals to include countries throughout the world whose choices – domestic and foreign – were progressively narrowed by its terms, as indeed were those of the U.S. and the Soviet Union themselves. The Center for the United States and the Cold War at New York University seeks to create an international community of scholars who wish to re-examine the Cold War, its dominant paradigms, and its ongoing impact. The urgency of the task is clear, since even though the Cold War officially ended in 1991, it has continued to serve as the template for mobilization against foreign enemies, domestic repression, and a renewed national security state.

As a major research university that is a repository for League of Nations and United Nations records, New York University is an ideal site for scholars to study the construction of the Cold War and post-Cold War order in their global dimensions and to analyze the multiple connections between the Cold War and the globalized present. Based at the Tamiment Library, one of the most important special collections in the documenting the history of progressive politics, the Center is well situated to support scholarship that focuses on the relationship between the Cold War abroad and the struggle for progressive social change at home.

The Center is particularly interested in projects that connect foreign policy to domestic policies as they relate to the U.S. response to revolutionary nationalism, repression, resistance, internal security, labor relations, civil rights, civil liberties, race, class, and gender.

Cold War Interests: 

The Center for the United States and the Cold War awards a small number of dissertation fellowships, post-doctoral fellowships for projects using the Tamiment Library's collections, and travel grants. It sponsors a regular seminar series at which Fellows and invited guests can present their work in progress, as well lectures, symposia, book talks and film screenings. In addition, the Center expects to organize an annual conference on subjects relevant to our work.

Furthermore, the Tamiment Library holds numerous collections relating to the Cold War, with an emphasis on social and political movements. These collections include the archives of the Communist party (USA), the Center for Constitutional Rights, the National Lawyers Guild, and the personal archives of hundreds of U.S. activists and organizations in the peace, civil rights, anti-repression, and social justice movements.