Meet Professor Williams:
I enjoy learning and teaching history. In fact, I am passionate about both. For me, teaching is a theatrical performance; it should engage and enrich the intellect, capture the students attention with movement around the room, vocal inflections, emotional cues, as well as intellectual interactions (questions) to drive a point home. I also believe that classroom instruction should accommodate all learning styles. I have gone to great lengths to supplement my lectures with historical images, music, and films; that not only enhance instruction, but also provide multi-faceted connections to the material and the student's life experiences. All told, I am committed to helping my students become scholars of the highest order, and I hope in some way to inspire them to become life-long learners.
Professor Williams / [email protected]
Journal (Global Studies Association): “Exodus Out of Europe: German, Polish and Russian Immigration to the United States (1840-1900)”; Crossing Borders: People, Capital, Culture, University of Texas, Austin, June 9 - June 11, 2016. Publication: May, 2016.
Book Chapter (Palgrave MacMillan): “The Flames of Louvain: A Tale of Total War and Destruction of European High Culture in Belgium by German Occupying Forces in August 1914; Beyond Flanders Field, Queen Mary College, University of London, June 4-5, 2016; Publication: Fall, 2017.
Journal (Global Studies Association): “Rage Against the Machine: The Birth of the Free Speech Movement, Berkeley, 1964”; Social Movements: Left and Right, UC - Berkeley, Berkeley, California June 9 - 11, 2017. Publication: May, 2018.
Book Chapter (InOpenTech Publishers): Journey To America: South Asian Diaspora Migration to the United States (1965-2015), Book Title: Indigenous, Aborigines, Fugitive and Ethnic Groups Around the Globe, Publication: Oct, 2019.
Journal Williams, J.P. (2020) "Tommy With Book: The Search for Literacy Among the British Expeditionary Forces on the Western Front during the First World War." International Journal of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (IJHAS), Vol. 1, No. 3. April 2020. DOI: 10.5121/ijhas.2020.02301.
Journal Williams, J.P. (2020) “Seeds of Hatred and Destruction: A Critical Analysis of Adolf Hitler’s Anti-Semitic Worldview.” International Journal of Humanities & Social Sciences (IJHSS), ISSN: 2321-9203, Vol. 8, Issue #5, May, 2020.
Book Chapter (IntechOpen Publishers): Equality Before the Law: The Legacy of American Jews and the Founding of the NAACP and the Civil Rights Movement (ISBN: 978-1-8368-874-4), May 2021.
This website explores the Vietnam War through book, film and song.
This website organizes historical genres by topic and displays it in video/audio form.
This website promotes the study of the HUMANITIES as a way to combat the ill effects of PTSD suffered by military veterans. This effort includes the study of history, literature, philosophy, and fine arts.
Texas A & M - College Station (2013)
Cal State Fullerton University (2013)
Queen Mary College, University of London (2014)
King's College, University of London (2015)
Duke University (2016)
University of Texas at Austin (2016)
Massey University (2017)
University of California at Berkeley (2017)
Arizona State University (2018)
National Maritime Museum/London (2018)
Renmin University of China/Beijing (2019)
Oxford University (England) (2020)
University of Michigan (2020)
CFP - 4th Annual Texas A & M History Conference, People, Places, and Cultures, February 22-23, 2012
Beyond the Water’s Edge: The Origins of American Exceptionalism through Literature of Foreign-Born Writers
This paper details the earliest manifestations of American exceptionalism as embodied in Puritan, colonial, and post-Revolutionary literature. To accomplish this goal, I examine three historic and prolific pieces of American literature by foreign-born writers: English Puritan lawyer John Winthrop’s metaphorical expression “City upon a Hill” (1630), English philosopher Edmund Burke’s Resolutions for Conciliation with the Colonies (1775), and French-American writer Hector St. John de Crevecoeur’s Letters from an American Farmer (1782). Although this effort primarily focuses on foreign-born writers, I incorporate one additional work to this study – an analysis of American historian Frederick Jackson Turner’s claims of American exceptionalism within his influential 1893 “Frontier Thesis.” Specific themes related to emergence of American exceptionalism that I explore include ideas of liberty, equalitarianism, individualism, populism, and laissez-faire capitalism.
CFP – 2nd Annual Research Conference: Richard Nixon and His Era, California State University, Fullerton, May 3-4, 2013
The Nixon Paradox: The Search for the Other Richard Nixon through Words and Circumstance
This paper provides a brief account of Nixon’s political career by reviewing several of his key speeches delivered between 1952 and 1974. These selected addresses transcend his reputation as a toxic president, which remains invariably linked to the Watergate scandal and his subsequent resignation. The speeches I will review help to frame, define, and explain this much-maligned figure: “Checkers” (1952), “Dick Nixon” (1962), and his “White House Farewell” (1974). I will answer several questions during this analysis: What were the circumstances which compelled Nixon to give each speech? What determined his choice of words and the strategy behind them? What was the aftermath of each address? And, how did each speech contribute to a better understanding of Richard Nixon himself? I will also underscore some of Nixon’s strongest traits: intelligence, perseverance, and his will to succeed, emphasizing examples of his wit, grace under pressure, and depth of knowledge in statecraft. However, within this examination I will also show the darker side of Nixon -- one laced with self-defeating weaknesses such as narcissism, paranoia, and ruthlessness that undermined his more redeeming qualities.
CFP - World War One International Conference: Perspectives on the 'Great' War - Queen Mary, University of London August 1-4, 2014
Tommy with Book: The Search for Literacy Among the British Expeditionary Forces on the Western Front During the First World War
This study explores the use of literature in assisting soldiers of the British Expeditionary Forces to cope with the ravages of war while serving in the trenches of the Western Front. This endeavor will serve three purposes: first, to examine the source of high literacy rates among the BEF and distinguish these rates by military rank; second, to identify various forms of literature found in the trenches and discuss its impact on morale; and third, to discuss the contribution of family and friends toward sustained literacy on the Western Front. Ultimately, this analysis underscores the ability of the human spirit to endure the mental and physical hardships by using one of the most important vestiges of civilized culture – literature in all its forms.
CFP - AFTERMATH: Cultural Legacies of World War I, King’s College, and London, England May 21—23, 2015
The Spoils of the Great War: A Tale of Middle Eastern Oil, the Anglo-German Naval Arms Race, and the San Remo Mandate
This paper examines the economic and cultural legacy that the Anglo-German naval arms race and the First World War played in reshaping the geopolitical map of the Middle East between 1902 and 1932. This paper will serve four purposes: first, to examine the role petroleum aided in escalating the arms race between Great Britain and Germany prior to the start of the First World War; second, to analyze the role the Sykes-Picot Agreement played both directly and indirectly in promoting sectarian divisions between Sunni and Shia in the Kingdom of Iraq; third, to discuss the San Remo Mandate and its contribution to furthering Muslim animosities towards Western powers that ultimately contributed to the Arab Revolt of 1920; finally, to explain how these events and circumstances impaired the relationship between the British establishment and the Iraqi Royal Family, leading to further instability in the Arab world.
CFP - Beyond Flanders Field, University of London, Queen Mary College, London, England, June 4-5, 2016
The Flames of Louvain: A Tale of Total War and Destruction of European High Culture in Belgium by German Occupying Forces in August 1914
The destruction of the Belgium university town Louvain (Leuven in Flemish, population 40,000) over a period of five days in August 1914 by German occupying forces heralded the onset of a particular type of war—“total war”—a war in which the conventions of war were disregarded. This savage event, also known as the “sack of Louvain,” set a precedent for identifying enemy civilians, regardless of age or gender, as legitimate targets of cultural destruction. The measures taken against the Belgian civil populations in Aarschot, Andenne, Tamines, Dinant, and Louvain in August 1914 for alleged franc-tireur (free-shooter) activity represent Germany’s policy of swift and thorough retribution for civilian resistance, which serves as the first instance of German wartime terror. In addition to over two hundred civilian casualties, the sacking of Louvain also saw its ancient library destroyed.This paper serves two purposes: first, to discuss the invasion by German troops of neutral Belgium during the month of August 1914 and the destruction of Louvain in the last days of that month; second, to identify the motives of German occupying forces for destroying such a culturally rich university town; and second, to discuss the world’s reaction to the German actions in Louvain as well as the response of the intellectual community in Germany. Ultimately, this study will illustrate how the destruction of Louvain galvanized the resolve of the combatants of the First World War to endure the cost of defeating the Germans.
CFP - The Myriad Faces of War Symposium – Massey University and Museum of New Zealand, Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington, New Zealand, 25-28 April 2017
A Line in the Sand: The Birth of Modern Iraq in Post-War World I Middle East and the Advent of a Century Long Geopolitical Quagmire
This research examines the direct and devastating impact the First World War had on the nations, states and societies of the Middle East. More specifically, it examines a series of key events that took place in the Middle East in 1917 that would not only lead to the creation of the nation of Iraq, but also alter relations between the Western Powers and those countries of the former Ottoman Empire in the immediate aftermath, as well as its legacies that continue to be felt today in political, economic, social, cultural, scientific, and technological spheres. This paper will serve four purposes: first, to examine the role petroleum played during the First World War in altering geopolitical relations between European powers and emerging nationalities in the Middle East; second, to analyze the role the Sykes-Picot Agreement of 1917 played both directly and indirectly in promoting sectarian divisions between Sunni and Shia in the Kingdom of Iraq; finally, to discuss the San Remo Mandate and its contribution to furthering Muslim animosities towards Western powers that ultimately contributed to the Arab Revolt of 1920.
CFP – Social Movements: Left and Right, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, California, June 14 - June 16, 2017
Rage Against the Machine: Berkeley 1964 and the Birth of the Free Speech Movement
The study of social turmoil of the 1960s centers on issues related to the battle over power. Those most impacted by this decade long struggle were college students, young blacks, members of the New Left, and hippies who believed that power should flow from the bottom up and not from the top down. To better understand this of this struggle over power one must return to the University of California at Berkeley during the fall term of 1964. In no short order, Berkeley serves as the epicenter of the political, social, and cultural upheaval that made the 1960s a unique and colorful period of American history. This paper examines the origins and contributions of the Freedom of Speech Movement (FSM) at the University of California, Berkeley (September-December 1964) that led to widespread social activism on other college and university campuses throughout the United States. This effort also highlights the role of Mario Savio and other participants in the Free Speech Movement while linking these efforts to the civil rights movements of the late 1950s and early 1960s.
CFP - Diverse Perspectives and Transdisciplinary in English and the Humanities, The 23rd Southwest English Symposium at Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, April 6-7, 2018
Journey Beyond the Thousand Yard Stare: The Search for Solace through Pen and Paper by Veterans of the First and Second War Worlds (1919-1960)
This paper examines how returning veterans from the Great War (1914-1918) and World War II (1939-1945), and later American conflicts used literature to overcome physical and psychological wounds related to combat. More specifically, this effort critically looks at how soldiers turned authors and avid readers of literature used non-traditional methods in order to reconcile and mourn their wartime experiences as well as repatriate into society. This repatriation includes not only publishing their war experiences, but also their efforts in becoming leading advocates of improved care for veterans as well as organizers of pacifist political organizations. While this research exclusively looks at literature as a means of recovery, other subjects related to the humanities will also be discussed. These efforts include philosophy, art, drama, dance, and photography.
CFP - The First World War at Sea: Conflict, Culture and Commemoration, National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, England 8-10 November 2018
The Fisher Paradigm: Converting the British Royal Navy from Coal to Oil and Its Impact on Eurasian Geopolitics and Naval Warfare, 1911-1918
This paper explores Admiral Jackie Fischer’s (with support from Winston Churchill) resolution to modernize the British navy and secure Middle Eastern oil reserves between 1911 and 1918. It will serve four purposes: first, to examine the role that political, social, and economic factors played in this decree; second, to identify the technical merits the petroleum industry offered in shaping Fisher’s/Churchill’s resolve to update Britain’s navy; third, to analyze the impact this conversion had on escalating the Anglo-German naval arms race, which contributed greatly to the start of the First World War; fourth, to discuss how Fisher’s dictum not only changed the future of naval warfare for decades to come, but also invariable linked the First World War with the race to secure future supplies of Middle Eastern oil as a matter of national security.