Bradley R. Simpson

Associate Professor of History and Asian and Asian American Studies

Associate Professor Brad Simpson holds a joint appointment in the Department of History and Asian and Asian American Studies Institute in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. A national and international expert on U.S. foreign policy and Indonesia, Professor Simpson served as the Associate Director of AAASI through Spring 2016.

Author of Economists with Guns: Authoritarian Development and U.S.-Indonesian Relations, 1960-1968 (Stanford, 2010), he is founder and director of the Indonesia and East Timor Documentation Project at the nonprofit National Security Archive.

He is currently co-editing (with Jean Quataert) The Routledge History of Human Rights (under contract); he has published one peer-reviewed article (“Self-Determination, Human Rights, and the End of Empire in the 1970s,” in Humanity: An International Journal of Human Rights, Humanitarianism, and Development). There are a number of articles and book chapters forthcoming (including works in Journal of Genocide StudiesThe Oxford Handbook of the Ends of EmpireThe History of Humanitarian InterventionAmerica in the World: the Historiography of American Foreign Relations since 1945, and The Turn:  The Global History of Human Rights in the 1970s). He has also completed a number of book reviews (published and forthcoming) in the following venues:  H-Net, Diplomatic HistoryHumanity, and Film Quarterly. Professor Simpson has enhanced his public intellectual reputation via commentaries that have appeared in Foreign Policy and The Nation.

His next monograph innovatively links human rights to the vexed issue of self-determination; this project productively shifts the focus of human rights history from charters and protocols to accommodate regional, national, and economic formations. Legible within his primary discipline (History) as well as critical Asian studies, his work is thus at the cutting edge of multiple fields that are relevant and essential to the Institute’s efforts to expand – intellectually and pedagogically – its purview and scope.

He has also secured two high profile grants:  one through the Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars (as a Public Policy Scholar) and another  via the Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Grant.

Professor Simpson has developed two new courses (a senior research seminar focused on the Cold War and an advanced lecture course concentrated on War and Revolution in Asia).  In addition to a wholesale revision of a course on the American War in Vietnam, Professor Simpson is in the process of designing two new courses:  “The U.S. and Human Rights” and “The Pacific in World History.”  This second course – which takes seriously the need to engage multiple Pacific histories and imaginaries – is of incredible importance to the university’s ongoing global initiatives and the Institute’s own development into a blended Asian and Asian American Studies unit.  Indeed, this course – once established – will serve as a curricular bedrock.

Brad Simpson
Contact Information
Phone(860) 486 – 0644
Office LocationWood Hall – Room 213