The State's Three Bodies

Closing Keynote Lecture at the Center for Historical Research, Department of History at The Ohio State University by Quentin Skinner, Queen Mary University of London on April 17, 2015.

The State-Society Paradigm in Russian and Soviet History: How the Modern State Taxed Its Population and in the Process Co-opted It

Presented by Yannis Kotsonis, New York University, at the Center for Historical Research, Department of History at The Ohio State University on September 19, 2014. Associate Professor Kotsonis explores the theoretical problem of modern state formations and the duality of the state in one classic situation: late imperial and Soviet Russia. Nicholas Poulantzas called attention to this "Janus-faced" quality of the state: it is both narrow and integral, coercive and inclusive, a separate power and a locus of mass inclusion. Here I suggest how this duality played out in the late Empire and the early Soviet period, using fiscal policy and practice in particular. States could insist that they existed in relation to their societies, and at the same time were coterminous with society. How this ambiguity played out relates to historical settings, and in Russia and the USSR it allowed for states with seemingly unlimited capacities to create and coerce.

The Three Revolutions of Syngman Rhee

Presented by David P. Fields, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison. In the pantheon of authoritarian strongmen of the Cold War, it is tempting to think of Syngman Rhee as the one we know the best. Prior to his return to Korea in 1945—courtesy of a War Department transport plane—Rhee spent nearly forty years in the United States. He earned degrees from Harvard and Princeton, spoke English fluently, and was a dedicated Christian to boot. He seemed tailor-made for the task of assisting the U.S. Army to occupy a country that did not want to be occupied.

The Travel of Anxieties: Rethinking the impact of western medicine on Japanese conceptions of the body

Samuel C. Chu Memorial Lecture in East Asian Studies with Professor Shigehisa Kuriyama, Harvard presented by The Ohio State University Department of History. Historians of early modern Japan have long cited the appearance of the Kaitai shinsho (1774), a translation of a European anatomical text, as a critical turning point in Japanese studies of Western languages and science. But the importance of this text in the broad history of cultural transfer has long distorted interpretations of Japanese medical history. It has greatly exaggerated, on the one hand, the impact of Western anatomy, and has completely hidden, on the other, a far deeper transformation. For Japanese medicine before the end of the nineteenth century, the most significant change inspired by the encounter with Europe lay not, in fact, in altered notions of bodily structure, but rather in new fears of vulnerability.

The War on Terror (a History Talk podcast)

John Mueller, Andrew Bacevich, and Peter Mansoor discuss the War on Terror (a.k.a. the war formerly known as the War on Terror), the US response to terrorism following 9/11. In separate interviews, our guests address the origins of the war on terror and how it has developed over time; how the campaign against terror fits into broader historical patterns of US statecraft; and how public perceptions of terrorism have changed (or haven't changed) since the events of Sept. 11, 2001.

This is the Enemy

Created and developed by Gretchen Jahn Bertram

This is the Enemy investigates the internment of Japanese-Americans in the United States following the attack on Pearl Harbor and America's entry into the second World War.

Top Ten Origins: Climate Change

This video is based on a written article by Professor Sam White at The Ohio State University for the online history magazine, Origins: Current Events in Historical Perspective. The original text is available at