On January 18th the History department were delighted and priviliged to welcome Dr. Sandra Scanlon from U.C.D. to Ardscoil na Tríonóide to give the senior History students a lecture. The Leaving Certificate History class got an insight in to the work of various historians on the role played by President Lyndon Johnson in the escalation of the Vietnam war. The lecture gave students a glimpse in to the world of a third level History student, a career which some of the sixth years will hopefully pursue at U.C.D. next year. Dr Scanlon spoke about the doors that a degree in History can open for you: “History can bring you anywhere”.

Dr Sandra Scanlon is a lecturer in American history in the UCD School of History and Archives. Dr Scanlon’s research focuses on American political culture and its relationship with US foreign policy during the Cold War. She explores the intersection between political movements, most notably conservative activism, and developments in foreign policy ideologies. In particular, her research considers the extent to which conservative activists succeeded in utilizing American national identity and popular understanding of American exceptionalism to promote support for the Vietnam War and to challenge detente and Realpolitik in US foreign policy. Furthermore, she examines how domestic political cultures can shape policymakers efforts to sell international initiatives to the American people.

She is currently completing a monograph titled ‘The Pro-War Movement: Vietnam and the Making of Modern American Conservatism.’ Her article on this subject, ‘The Conservative Lobby and Nixon’s ‘Peace with Honor’ in Vietnam, was published by the Journal of American Studies in August 2009. She is also interested in transatlantic relations during the Cold War and recently co-edited a collection of essays, Reform and Renewal: Transatlantic Relations during the 1960s and 1970s (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009).

Dr Scanlon completed bachelor’s and master’s degrees at University College Dublin, and received her doctorate from Cambridge University, where she was the recipient of a Gates Cambridge Scholarship. She has since lectured and held fellowships at Oxford University, the University of Sheffield, University College Dublin and, most recently, at the London School of Economics. In 2009, she became the Events Secretary of HOTCUS (Historians of the Twentieth Century United States).