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R. Joseph Parrott

Assistant Professor of History, The Ohio State University

I am an historian of American foreign relations, global race issues, and activism. My work focuses on the ways that transnational social movements influence policy, especially through congressional lobbying. I am currently revising a manuscript that considers Portuguese decolonization in Africa as a noteworthy component in transforming western engagement with the global south. It argues that an anti-imperial activist movement collaborated with a reformist congressional minority to end the Angolan intervention of 1975-76 and establish new constraints on U.S. adventurism abroad.

My scholarly publications have been featured in Race & Class, Modern American History, and the Radical History Review. I have also contributed to websites such as the Washington Post's Made by History, Africa's a Country, OZY, historical podcasts, and edited volumes. My article with Race & Class, “A Luta Continua: Radical Filmmaking, Pan-African Liberation and Communal Empowerment” won the Farrar Award in Media and Civil Rights History from the University of South Carolina’s School of Journalism and Mass Communications.

A number of organizations have supported my research in diplomatic, official, and congressional archives including the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations (SHAFR), the Council for European Studies, the New York Public Library, WGBH, and the John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Gerald R. Ford Presidential Libraries. I also held fellowships with Yale’s International Security Studies, the Black Metropolis Research Consortium in Chicago, and the Miller Center at the University of Virginia.

Before coming to Ohio State, I taught at Yale University and the University of Texas, where I received my PhD in History and was involved with the Clements Center for National Security.


  • –present
    Assistant Professor of History, The Ohio State University


  • 2016 
    University of Texas at Austin, History