Presidents Day lecture at Rowan to address JFK’s diplomacy with post-colonial African nations

Presidents Day lecture at Rowan to address JFK’s diplomacy with post-colonial African nations


Historian Tim Borstelmann will discuss “John F. Kennedy and Africa: When Colonialism Met the Cold War” during a Presidents Day lecture at Rowan University on Monday, Feb. 19.

Tim BorstelmannThe Elwood N. and Katherine Thompson Distinguished Professor of Modern World History at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Borstelmann (at right) will discuss Kennedy’s diplomatic initiatives with several newly independent African nations in the early 1960s.

His lecture in the Welcome Center, 131 Rowan Blvd., Glassboro, begins at 6:30 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

The event is part of the University’s Celebrating Operation Uganda Lecture and Event Series and Rowan’s Centennial celebration. In 1962, Kennedy’s leadership, coupled with a meeting in New York City between students at then-Glassboro State College, inspired students and faculty to launch Operation Uganda.

One of the most ambitious humanitarian efforts ever attempted in South Jersey, Operation Uganda was a student-led initiative to support the education and independence of the people of Uganda…and to foster international goodwill and friendship.

Borstelmann’s research focuses on the intersection of United States domestic history and international history. Author or co-author of five books, Borstelmann received the Tonous and Warda Johns Family Book Award from the Pacific Coast Branch of the American Historical Association for his latest book, “Just Like Us: The American Struggle to Understand Foreigners (Columbia University Press, 2020).

Prior to the lecture, the annual History Department Student Research Poster Session will be held in the atrium of the Welcome Center.

Borstelmann’s talk is sponsored by the Department of History and the College of Humanities & Social Sciences.