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Photo courtesy Yale University

Elihu Professor of History, Yale University

American Academy Distinguished Visitor - Class of Fall 2022

Odd Arne Westad is the Elihu Professor of History at Yale University, where he also teaches in the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs and directs the program of International Security Studies. A specialist in eighteenth-century eastern Asia, Westad has taught at the London School of Economics, where he was School Professor of International History, and at Harvard University, where he was the inaugural S.T. Lee Professor of US-Asia Relations and a Senior Scholar at the Harvard Academy of International and Area Studies. He previously taught at Johns Hopkins University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he received his PhD in history in 1990. Westad received his undergraduate degree in history, philosophy, and modern languages from the University of Oslo, in Norway.


Westad has published 16 books, primarily on twentieth-century Asian and global history, including Cold War and Revolution (Columbia, 1993), about US and Soviet intervention in the Chinese Civil War in 1944-46; Decisive Encounters (Stanford, 2003), a general history of the Chinese civil war and the Communist victory in the period from 1946-50; The Global Cold War (Cambridge, 2006), which received the Bancroft Prize, about the Soviet-American conflict and post-colonialism change in Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean; Restless Empire (Basic Books, 2012), about broad trends in China’s international history since 1750; and The Cold War: A World History (Basic Books, 2017), a summary of the origins, conduct, and results of the conflict on a global scale.


Westad is a fellow of the British Academy and the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, a visiting professor at Peking University, and a research associate of the Harvard Fairbank Center.

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