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Christopher McKnight Nichols has done over sixty major media appearances along with well over one hundred conference presentations and invited talks at varied venues. He has been honored to do public introductions, moderation, and interviews with such figures as Ta-Nehisi Coates, Nicholas Kristof, and Michael Beschloss. He has interviewed and moderated events for university presidents, nonprofit leaders, scholars, and major public intellectuals. He is giving a TED Talk in April 2018. He is available for public speaking engagements and moderating, as well as writing and interviews. Please contact him directly or contact his representatives at Harvard University Press about possible speaking events.

In 2017 Nichols became an Organization of American Historians (OAH) Distinguished Lecturer, if you are interested in inviting him for an OAH Distinguished Lecturer talk please contact the Annette Windhorn at the OAH.


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Selected appearances and upcoming major talks:

  • The Presidency and the American Constitution,” a panel event and community conversation for Constitution Day, 4pm, September 18, 2017, Memorial Union, Journey Room, Oregon State University (Corvallis, OR)
  • Politics and Surveillance: Past, Present, and Future,” talks by experts and a panel discussion, 4pm, October 11, 2017, Memorial Union, Journey Room, Oregon State University (Corvallis, OR)
  • Roundtable Panelist, “Liberal Intellectuals and the Politics of Intervention in World Wars I and II,” Society for U.S. Intellectual History Annual Meeting, 3:30pm, October 27, 2017, Dallas/Plano Legacy Marriott, Dallas, TX
  • Fall voting rights, citizenship, and WWI presentations
  • Brookings Institution, Workshop on Policy Implications of New Scholarship in Politics and International History, January 5, 2018 (Washington, D.C.)
  • The Waning of Pax Americana?” Portland State University, Great Decisions Series, co-sponsored by the World Affairs Council, WorldOregon, and PSU, Noon, January 26, 2018 (Academic and Student Recreation Center, Room 001 1800 SW 6th Ave, Portland, OR 97201)
  • America First? Isolationism and US Global Engagement in Historical Perspective,” University of Oregon, Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics, Part of the “Democracy Under Stress” Series, 6:30pm, February 6, 2018 (175 Knight Law Center, 1515 Agate St, Eugene, OR)
  • OAH Annual Conference, Sacramento, CA, one panels and one “OAH chat” on new directions in the historical interpretation of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, April 14, 2018, 10-11:30am, 11:30am-12:15pm
  • “Understanding Citizenship in historical perspective,” The Citizen Project, Senior Advocates for Generational Equity (SAGE) and OSU Citizenship & Crisis Initiative, Springfield, OR, April 18, 2018
  • TED Talk Speaker/Performer, TEDx Portland, Portland, OR April 21, 2018
  • “America First” International Conference, University of Virginia, Miller Center for Public Affairs, April 26, 2018
  • “America First? Why it matters. A Brief History of Isolationism and US Global Engagement,” Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT, an OAH Distinguished Lecture, May 2, 2018
  • “Understanding Citizenship in historical perspective,” The Citizen Project, Senior Advocates for Generational Equity (SAGE) and OSU Citizenship & Crisis Initiative, Oceanside, OR, May 22, 2018
  • “Citizenship Town Hall,” The Citizen Project, Senior Advocates for Generational Equity (SAGE) and OSU Citizenship & Crisis Initiative, Portland, OR, June 12, 2018
  • National Meeting of the Council on Foreign Relations, New York, NY June 2018
  • Two panels at the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations (SHAFR) Annual Conference, Philadelphia, PA, June 22-23, 2018
  • OAH Distinguished Lecture Series – I would be delighted to join you and visit your institution for a talk, please contact Annette Windhorn at the OAH to book!
  • Various panels and presentations on the centenary of WWI, 2018 and beyond
Speaking at the Mechanics's Institute (San Francisco, CA) in June 2011

Speaking at the Mechanics’s Institute (San Francisco, CA) in June 2011

Nichols Speaking at a graduation event, University of Pennsylvania, May 2011.

Nichols Speaking at a graduation event, University of Pennsylvania, May 2011.


Professor Nichols has given talks to public audiences at book stores, graduations, and other gatherings. He also has appeared on radio and public panel discussions, such as on NPR, for the Scholars’ Circle and Insighters, Philosophy Talk, Central Times, the Daily Circuit, and on C-SPAN’s American History TV. In addition to his academic and public work lecturing, Nichols also has given formal scholarly presentations, commentaries, and invited talks at the annual meetings of the American Historical Association, the American Studies Association, the Organization of American Historians, the Society for Historians of Foreign Relations, the Southern Historical Association, and the Society for U.S. Intellectual History, as well as to the Council on Foreign Relations, Foreign Policy Research Institute, the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, Oregon Historical Society, the Virginia Festival of the Book, the University of Pennsylvania Humanities Forum, the Penn Race and Empire Faculty Working Group, the UVa Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture, Yale University’s International Security Studies Program and Brady-Johnson Colloquium in Grand Strategy and International History, and at numerous other venues.


Nichols speaking as part of an event on the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Limited Test Ban Treaty, October 2013

Nichols speaking as part of an event on the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Limited Test Ban Treaty, October 2013

Selected recent talks (2013-present):

  • Chair, panelist: “Human Rights and Foreign Relations, Methods and Interpretations.” Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations Annual Conference, 11:45am, June 22, 2017
  • “The Importance of the Humanities Today,” OSU Golden Jubilee Weekend, Oregon State University (Corvallis, OR), 10am-10:50am, 11am-11:50am, two sessions, June 9, 2017
  • Leadership Roundtable, on “Citizenship and Crisis,” SAGE, Portland, OR, May 4, 2017.
  • “The 100th Anniversary of U.S. Entry into WWI, What Happened and Why it Matters Today,” WWI Series, Oregon Historical Society (Portland, OR), Sunday Talk Series, April 16, 2017 2pm-3:30pm
  • Chair, commentator: “Fighting on Two Fronts: Women’s Suffrage, World War I, and Jack Pershing’s “Hello Girls” (late addition), Organization of American Historians Annual Conference, April 6-8, 2017
  • “Isolationism, Internationalism, and US Participation into WWI,” Yale University, Brady-Johnson Program in Grand Strategy, “Grand Strategy and the American Century: Enduring Trends and Emerging Challenges Conference,” New Haven, CT, March 30, 2017
  • Why a Cold War? The U.S., the World, and the Rise of the Cold War,”  Benton County Museum, a part of the annual Benton County Lecture Series, timed to the “Around the World from 80 Countries” exhibition, Benton County Historical Museum, Philomath, OR, registration at the door, Monday, February 27, 2017, 10am-11:00am
  • Rethinking Grand Strategies in U.S. Foreign Relations” a presentation to the Association for Lifelong Learners (ALL), Corvallis, OR, First Congregational Church, registration required, Thursday, February 23, 2017, 1:30-3:30pm
  • Walls, Bans, and Borders: Contextualizing Trump’s Immigration Agenda,” Oregon State University, Centro Cultural César Chávez, Corvallis, OR, February 9, 3:30pm-5pm
  • Moderator, Interview and Conversation with Ta-Nehisi Coates lecture, Oregon State University, LaSells Stewart Center, 6pm-7:30pm, February 2, 2017
  • Panelist, “New Directions in American Religion and Internationalism,” American Historical Association Annual Meeting (Denver, CO), 8:30am-10:00am, Friday January 6, 2017
  • OSU Freedom of Speech Panel and Community Town Hall, timed to launch of OSU Institutional Statement on Freedom of Expression Values, November 17, 4pm-6pm, OSU Memorial Union Lounge (*all welcome, free and open to the public)
  • ASOSU Panel on “Accessibility and Voting in 2016 – Then and Now,” OSU Valley Library, Nov. 1 4pm-5:30pm
  • Varied early November election related events (Corvallis, Portland, elsewhere)
  • “Can’t make sense of this year’s presidential election?” OSU Alumni Association Join distinguished OSU College of Liberal Arts faculty members for a moderated panel conversation analyzing how foreign policy challenges, rising populism, race, ethnicity and economic changes have combined to upend the political norms of the last half century. Panelists: Christopher McKnight Nichols (panelist and moderator), Andrew Valls, Rorie Solberg and Kara Ritzheimer  Food and drink served Thursday, October 27 –– 6pm-8 p.m. Crowne Plaza Portland Lake Oswego 
  • Free Speech Week Events – October 17-23, 2016, along with a Portland events on the historical dimensions of the current presidential campaign evenings of October 20 and October 27, in partnership with OSUAA, OSUF, the OSU Citizenship and Crisis Initiative, the OSU School of History, Philosophy, and Religion.
  • Citizenship in Times of Crisis,” Portland, OR, Center for Philanthropy, a brunch program of the Senior Advocates for Generational Equity, 11am-1pm, Thursday October 20, 2016. *Registration required.
  • “Is the U.S. becoming more isolationist? Historical and contemporary trends, policies, and the 2016 presidential election,” Portland, OR, Arlington Club, October 19, 2016. *by invitation only
  • Chair and Commentator on “American and European Internationalisms,” 10am-12:15pm, Saturday October 15, 2016; panelist on “Traditions vs. Experiences in the U.S.’s Foreign Affairs,” 8:30am-10:15am, Friday October 14, 2016; both at the Society for U.S. Intellectual History Annual Conference, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA, October 13-15, 2016
  • Grand Strategy, Foreign Policy, and Historical Insights on the 2016 National Election,” Science Pub, 6-8pm, October 10, 2016, at the Old World Deli (341 2nd St., Corvallis, OR). co-sponsored by the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, the Downtown Corvallis Association, Terra magazine, Oregon State University, Citizenship & Crisis Initiative. *Free and open to the public.
  • Film viewing and discussion: “American Umpire” — U.S. foreign policy, history of U.S. relations with the world, and major themes and foreign policy issues at stake in the presidential election, with Texas A&M Professor Elizabeth Cobbs. Oregon Historical Society, co-sponsored by OSU Citizenship & Crisis Initiative and the World Affairs Council, (1200 SW Park Ave, Portland, OR), 7pm-9pm, October 3, 2016. *Free and open to the public.
  • Constitution Day Panel, “What is Free Speech? The First Amendment and the University,” Memorial Union, Room: 213, Oregon State University (Corvallis, OR) September 16, 2016, 10am-11:30am. 
  • Democracy’s Blueprints” remarks, Oregon Historical Society, July 28, 2016
  • Presenter, “Ideas and the U.S.’s Role in the World,” participant, New Directions/Intellectual History Symposium (Indianapolis, IN), “Dangerous Ideas,” July 19-22, 2016.
  • Panelist, “Turning Point? Rethinking World War II as a Watershed in U.S. Foreign Relations,” Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations Annual Conference (San Diego, CA), 11:45am-1:30pm, Thursday June 23, 2016
  • Presenter, “Immigration and American Politics: Three Perspectives on Past Policies and Practices” Oregon Historical Society (Portland, OR), May 16, 2016, 7pm Co-sponsored by the Oregon Historical Society, the World Affairs Council, and the OSU Citizenship and Crisis Initiative as well as the Rethinking Grand Strategy Conference
  • Organizer, Presenter, Moderator: Oregon State University Rethinking Grand Strategy International Conference, May 13-15, 2016
  • Presenter, Panelist, “How, when, and why to think about graduate school,” OSU History Students’s Association “Graduate School” panel, Monday February 8, 4pm, Milam Hall Room 319, Oregon State University
  • Chair and panelist for panel on “Turning Point 1916? U.S. Foreign Relations before and after the ‘Kept Us out of War’ Election,” American Historical Association Annual Conference (Atlanta, GA) January 8, 2016, 2:30-4:30pm
  • Panelist and Co-organizer, Veteran’s Day:  “Past, Present, and Future of Coming Home in America and America’s Wars,” collaboration with OPB’s “Think Out Loud” Program, in Bend, OR, Veteran’s Day, Wednesday November 11, 2015.
  • Panelist, “Legacies of WWII: Science, Society, and Global Connections,” Oregon Historical Society (Portland, OR), Second Sundays Series, Sunday November 8, 2015, 2pm.
  • Panelist, “Iran Nuclear Accord,” Special Collections and Archives Research Center, Valley Library, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, Thursday November 5, 2015, 4pm
  • Moderator, “Why so many prisons? The Carceral State and Social Politics” Memorial Union, Journey Room (104), Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, Thursday October 29, 2015, at 4pm
  • Panelist, book Promise and Peril as jumping off point for roundtable panel discussion of “Framing the History of the U.S. in World Affairs: Imperialism, Isolationism, and Internationalism,” covered by C-SPAN, U.S. Intellectual History Conference (Washington, D.C.) October 16, 2015, 10:45am-12:30pm
  • Speaker and Moderator for Constitution Day, Oregon State University (Corvallis, OR), OSU Memorial Union, La Raza Room (208), 3pm-4:30pm, September 17, 2015 *this year’s focus is on the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments
  • Featured speaker “WWII: A World at War, A State Transformed” special reception and exhibition, Oregon Historical Society (Portland, OR) Miller Pavilion, 5:30pm, August 5, 2015
  • Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations Conference (Washington, D.C.), Roundtable Panel: Many Internationalisms, One World: A Roundtable on the History of the U.S. in the World, 1900-1960, 3:30-5:15pm Saturday June 27, 2015
  • Master of Ceremonies, Annual School of History, Philosophy, and Religion Awards Ceremony, June 5, 2015, 4pm-6:15pm, OSU Memorial Union Journey Room
  • Citizenship and Crisis Conference, Center for the Humanities (Oregon State, Corvallis, OR) May 9-11, 2015
  • Film Screening of Sergeant York (1941), discussant regarding the film and WWI era context with OSU Profs. Courtney Campbell and Joseph Orosco, April 27, 2015 7pm (Corvallis, OR)
  • Organization of American Historians Annual Conference (St. Louis, MO) Chair and Commentator, Panel “Private Parties and Public Servants: Hybrid Ventures in U.S. Cold War Diplomacy” on Friday April 17, 9am-10:30am
  • Panelist and co-organizer, “Perspectives on WWI at 100” Miller Pavilion, Oregon Historical Society (Portland, OR), Monday March 9, 2015 at 7pm
  • Invited Talk, “Republican Revival and the early Cold War”, Center for the Humanities (Corvallis, OR), Monday February 23, 2015, 4pm
  • Participant and co-organizer, “Is the U.S. at War? A Town Hall on the Past and Present of U.S. International Involvement” (Corvallis, OR), Monday February 16, 2015, 6-9pm (at the Old World Deli, Corvallis, OR) *Covered by Oregon Public Broadcasting’s Think Out Loud
  • Participant and co-organizer, Film Screening and Discussion of Stanley Kubrick’s Paths of Glory (1957) with renowned OSU Film Studies Professor Jon Lewis at the NW FilmCenter (Whitsell Auditorium, Portland Art Museum), Saturday January 24 @2pm
  • Introduction, “Martial Masculinities” at the OSU Valley Library Special Collections & Archives Research Center (5th floor, Valley Library), Weds. December 3, 2014, 6pm
  • Invited Speaker at “A New Look at the New Era: Ninety Years of Historiographic Debate” Conference, November 14-15, 2014 at Williams College
  • Moderator and panelist for the panel “Perspectives on WWI” at the OSU Valley Library Special Collections & Archives Research Center (5th floor, Valley Library), Weds. November 5, 2014, 4pm
  • Faculty Team Leader for “Arts and Sciences” in the OSU Trivia Contest, Campaign for OSU Event, LaSells Stewart Hall, Friday October 31, 2014, 4pm
  • Introduction and Moderator for event with Nicholas Kristof, Oregon State University (Corvallis, OR) Memorial Union, Friday October 31, 2014, afternoon
  • Commentary to kick off the “Citizenship and Crisis” Series and to discuss All Quiet on the Western Front, Dark Side Theater, Oct. 22, 2014, 7pm-9pm
  • Chair and commentator for panel “U.S. Intellectual Histories in Global Contexts” at the Society for U.S. Intellectual History Annual Conference (Indianapolis, IN) on October 12 2014, 8:30am-10:30am
  • Constitution Day Event, “Guns and the Constitution,” September 17, 2014, 2pm, Oregon State University Memorial Union, La Raza Room (Corvallis, OR)
  • Chair and Commentator for “International Perceptions of U.S. Foreign Policy in the 20th Century” at the American Historical Association Pacific Coast Branch Annual Conference (Portland, OR) on Friday August 15, 2014, 8:30am-10:00am
  • Live online “chat” with Philosophy Talk listeners on Friday August 8, noon PST
  • On “Philosophy Talk” on NPR airing on Sunday July 27, 10am PST (and all week on various NPR stations nationally)
  • SHAFR Summer Institute on “Wilsonianism and the Legacies of WWI” at Williams College. Invited presenter and seminar leader on the interwar years and early Cold War: June 24 to 26, 2014
  • Commentator for “Ideas in Transit: Intellectual Exchanges as Foreign Relations at the Turn to the Twentieth Century” and Roundtable Panelist for “New Perspectives on American Nationalism and Internationalism” at the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations (SHAFR) Annual Meeting (Lexington, KY): Friday June 20, 2014, 3:30pm-5:30pm and Saturday June 21, 2014: 9:00am-11:00am
  • Master of Ceremonies, School of History, Philosophy, and Religion Awards Ceremony,Thursday June 5,  4-6:15pn, Memorial Union Journey Room
  • Speaker, College of Liberal Arts Research and Creativity Fair, Thursday May 29, 5-8pm, Club Level, Reser Stadium
  • Presented a paper at the Organization of American Historians Annual Meeting (Atlanta, GA) on Sunday April 13, 2014
  • Guest on Philosophy Talk, “The New Surveillance Society: Big Brother Grows Up,” Wednesday April 2 at 7pm, (Corvallis, OR, Oregon State University, LaSells Center, Austin Auditorium) live taping of the radio program with audience participation
  • Presented on “Beyond Isolationists vs. Internationalists” at the American Historical Association Annual Meeting (Washington, DC) on Sunday January 5, 2014
  • Co-moderator and panelist, plenary session on the “The United States and the World: Intellectual Histories of American Foreign Relations” at the Society for U.S. Intellectual History Annual Meeting (Irvine, CA, UC-Irvine), Saturday November 2, 2013; also chaired a panel on transnational intellectual exchanges and chaired a panel on ideas and foreign relations (Friday Nov. 1, 2013)
  • Presented as part of a roundtable on “The Limited Test Ban Treaty at 50: Perspectives on the Impact,” October 11, 2013, Oregon State Valley Library, Special Collections and Archives Research Center, 5th floor
  • Gave a talk on “Open Diplomacy” as part of a roundtable for Constitution Day (Oregon State University, Memorial Union, LaRaza Room) on September 17, 2013
  • Presented a paper at the American Historical Association-Pacific Coast Branch Annual Meeting (Denver, CO) on August 10, 2013
  • Presented a paper at the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations Annual Meeting (Arlington, VA) on June 22, 2013
  • Oregon State University College of Liberal Arts Scholarship and Creativity Fair. Presented recent and current research, along with Professor Stacey Smith, as part of the School of History Philosophy and Religion section on the “U.S. in Global Context,” on May 30, 2013
  • Presentations at the Oregon State University American Military and Diplomatic History Conference, 2pm and 7pm on May 7, 2013
  • Invited Lecture, Promise and Peril: America at the Dawn of a Global Age, Academy for Lifelong Learning (Corvallis, OR) on April  18, 2013
  • Presented two papers: “Making the Monroe Doctrine Global” and ”Robert Taft: Global Commitments and Conservative Isolationism” at the Organization of American Historians Annual Meeting (San Francisco, CA), April 13-14, 2013

Recent Conference Organizing

Nichols speaking at the Oregon State University American Military and Diplomatic History Conference, May 7, 2013

Nichols speaking at the Oregon State University American Military and Diplomatic History Conference, May 7, 2013Recent Conference Organizing:

Rethinking Grand Strategy International Conference at Oregon State University (2016)

The conference brought over twenty of the world’s top scholars of U.S. foreign relations to Oregon State University for several days of presentations and intense discussions (Nichols served as main conference organizer as well as in the roles of speaker, panelist, and moderator) May 12-15, 2016. Covered by C-SPAN’s American History TV, the History News Network, and various media outlets.

grand_strategy_graphic_blue_chess_0-4.jpg American Military and Diplomatic History Conference at Oregon State University (2013)
(Nichols serve as the main conference organizer as well as in the roles of speaker, panelist, and moderator) Tuesday May 7, 2013: 2-5pm, threepanels, Memorial Union Journey Room, and 7pm Keynote Roundtable on “American Power in Historical Perspective,” LaSells Center

Selected Press Coverage Included:

  • C-SPAN’s “American History TV” covered the keynote panel, first airing on August 3-5, 2013, see the panel on “American Power in Historical Perspective” here
  • The Corvallis Gazette Times, The Daily BarometerAlbany Democrat-Herald, Albany TribuneSalem Weekly
  • Various online venues including the History News Network, Oxford University Blog, H-NET, and the Society for U.S. Intellectual History

For more on the conference, see:

On the Limited Test Ban Treaty “at Fifty”:

  • OSU Valley Library, Special Collections, Pauling Blog, “Talking About the Limited Test Ban Treaty,” October 11, 2013, presentations and roundtable discussion with Profs. Jacob Hamblin, Timothy Naftali, and Joseph Orosco

Past talks:

  • Over 100 conference presentations, invited talks, and commentaries since 2002.

Professor Nichols (Downloadable hi-resolution image for speaking engagements):

Photo by Spencer Lum

Christopher McKnight Nichols          Photo by Spencer Lum

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