CORVALLIS, Ore. – Christopher McKnight Nichols, an assistant professor of history at Oregon State University, has been chosen as a 2016 Andrew Carnegie Fellow, a prestigious academic fellowship for social sciences and humanities scholars.
The Carnegie fellowship, supported by the Carnegie Corp. of New York, assists scholars, journalists and authors whose work in the social sciences and humanities distills knowledge, enriches culture, and equips leaders in fields of science, law, technology, business and public policy.
In all, 33 distinguished scholars from across the nation were selected from more than 200 nominees. Each will receive up to $200,000 to fund one to two years of scholarly research and writing aimed at addressing some of the world’s most urgent challenges to U.S. democracy and international order.
“I am thrilled and honored to have been named an Andrew Carnegie Fellow,” Nichols said. “The package of support this fellowship offers is unique for an historian or humanities scholar. Carnegie assistance is going to allow me to pursue an ambitious research and writing agenda as well as a plan for outreach and engagement on a set of historical issues with clear contemporary relevance, which I otherwise could not do.”
Nichols plans to research and write a book entitled “American Isolationism,” about isolation and internationalism in foreign affairs, from the founding of the United States to the present. It also will examine how American foreign relations affect domestic policies. In addition, he plans to host a summer institute on ideas and foreign policy and a conference on isolationism, democracy and international order.
“Though Professor Nichols is early in a very promising career, he has already become a national leader in the intellectual and political history of United States foreign relations,” said OSU President Edward J. Ray. “Beyond the originality and scope of his project, Professor Nichols’ work promises to richly inform our present debates about the proper role of United States intervention abroad.”
Nichols teaches in the School of History, Philosophy, and Religion in OSU’s College of Liberal Arts. He is an expert on the history of the United States and its relationship to the rest of the world, particularly in the areas of isolationism, internationalism and globalization, and is the author numerous works, including the book “Promise and Peril: America at the Dawn of a Global Age,” which traces the origins of modern American isolationism and internationalism.
He also launched the “Citizenship and Crisis” initiative at OSU in 2014. The initiative began as an effort to mark the 100th anniversary of World War I and has expanded to now include a wide array of programming focused on domestic and global aspects of citizenship as well as engaged democracy. The goal of the initiative, which includes a series of lectures, town halls and other events, is to examine how the concept of citizenship has changed over time and in moments of crisis.
Nichols, who joined OSU in 2012, earned his doctorate at the University of Virginia. He was recently elected as a permanent member of the Council on Foreign Relations, an independent, non-partisan organization that serves as a think tank and educational resource on foreign policy and international issues.