In this lecture, Dr. Navid Farnia analyzes how U.S. officials developed a modernized security apparatus to contest movements for national liberation in the 1960s and 1970s. The movements which erupted across the globe during this period decimated the old regimes of racial and imperial power. In the U.S., the Black liberation struggle affected Jim Crow’s demise, while independence movements abroad broke the shackles of colonialism. This lecture highlights the United States’ counterrevolutionary responses to these struggles. Counterrevolution, which represents the relationship between soft power and mass repression, cohered U.S. domestic and foreign policy. U.S. officials exported strategies and tactics often used against domestic racialized populations to the country’s newer spheres of influence. Yet as the United States’ influence reached “foreign” terrains, U.S. forces adopted novel methods of racial domination based on their experiences. In effect, U.S. imperialism embodied the constant interplay between the “domestic” and the “foreign” and between the familiar and the new. Dr. Farnia thus shows how the United States waged counterrevolution in a transnational fashion and in doing so, developed a national security empire.
Navid Farnia is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of African American Studies. He received his PhD in African American and African Studies from Ohio State University in 2019. His research broadly explores the relationship between racial oppression in the United States and U.S. imperialism. Navid’s book manuscript, National Liberation in an Imperialist World: Race and the Modern U.S. National Security State, traces the national security state’s evolution by examining how U.S. officials responded to national liberation movements at home and abroad between 1959 and 1980. The book looks at several cases, including the Cuban Revolution, the 1960s Black urban rebellions, the Viet Nam War, the Black Panther Party, and Zimbabwe’s independence struggle. In doing so, it highlights the interrelated strategies the U.S. used to export racial oppression while simultaneously importing the violent machinations of its global empire. Ultimately, the project makes sense of the national security state’s historical evolution by illuminating how the strategies and tactics used against liberation movements triggered modern forms of policing and warfare. These strategies and tactics culminated in the national security state’s present configuration.
Due to current University COVID guidelines, the in-person portion of the program is open only to Princeton students, faculty, and staff currently in the testing protocol. However, the event will be livestreamed and audience members online will be able to ask questions of our speakers.