Jessica Chapman

Jessica Chapman

Professor of History

Hollander Hall Rm 331

On Leave Spring 2020


B.A. Valparaiso University (1999)
M.A. University of California, Santa Barbara, History (2001)
Ph.D. University of California, Santa Barbara, History (2006)


HIST 262

The United States and the World, 1776 to 1914 (not offered 2020/21)

HIST 464 / LEAD 464

The United States and the Vietnam War (not offered 2020/21)

HIST 465 / ASST 465

War and Remembrance in Vietnam (not offered 2020/21)


Jessica Chapman’s specialization is the United States and the World, with research emphases on Vietnam, decolonization, and the Cold War. Her teaching interests include U.S. foreign relations, the Vietnam Wars, the Cold War and decolonization, sport and diplomacy, and the relationship between foreign policy and domestic affairs. Her first book, Cauldron of Resistance: Ngo Dinh Diem, The United States, and 1950s Southern Vietnam was published by Cornell University Press in 2013. She is currently at work on two book projects. The first, Decolonization and the Cold War, is under contract with the University Press of Kentucky. The second, currently supported by a Mellon New Directions Fellowship, is an international history of Kenyan runners. That project unpacks the layered significance of Kenya’s running industry at the local, national, and international levels in order to shed light on the new international system that began to take shape in the late-1960s. It illuminates new modes of economic, cultural, and political exchange between decolonized peoples and the industrialized West and explores the effects of those exchanges on postcolonial participants and societies, particularly in Kenya’s running hotbeds of Eldoret and Iten.

Selected Publications

Decolonization and the Cold War (University Press of Kentucky, under contract)

“The United States, the Vietnam War, and Its Consequences” in The SHAFR Guide: An Annotated Bibliography of U.S. Foreign Relations Since 1600 (2017)

“Origins of the Vietnam War” in Oxford Research Encyclopedia of American History (2016)

“Vietnam and the Global Cold War” in The Routledge International Handbook of the Cold War, Artemy Kalinovski and Craig Daigle, eds. (2014)

Cauldron of Resistance: Ngo Dinh Diem, The United States, and 1950s Southern Vietnam (Cornell University Press, Spring 2013)

“Religion, Power, and Legitimacy in Ngô Đình Diệm’s Republic of Vietnam,” in Race, Ethnicity, Religion and the Cold War: A Global Perspective, Philip E. Muehlenbeck, ed. (Vanderbilt University Press, 2012)

“The Sect Crisis of 1955 and the American Commitment to Ngô Đình Diệm,” Journal of Vietnamese Studies 5:1:37-85 (February 2010)

“Staging Democracy: South Vietnam’s 1955 Referendum to Depose Bao Dai,” Diplomatic History 30:4: 671-703 (September 2006)

Theses Advised

Alexandra Gudaitis ’19“An Act of Honor”: Revisiting the GI and Vietnam Veterans Against the War Movements

Reed Jenkins ’19An American Surgeon, The Spanish Civil War, and the Faultlines of American Politics
(with Soledad Fox)

Tyler Holden ’13 – One Country, Watching Television: How Kennedy Became the First Television President

Madeleine Jacobs ’11The 1956 Presidential Election and the Battle for Public Opinion During the 1956 Duez Cana Crisis

Zach Miller ’10‘Take Communism Away from the Communists’: The Early Intellectual Crucible of Walt Whitman Rostow and the States of Economic Growth

Charlie Dougherty ’09The Elusive Peace: Washington, Saigon, and the Search for Peace in Vietnam, 1966-1969