UC College of Arts & SciencesUniversity of Cincinnati

UC College of Arts & Sciences

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Stephen Porter

Title: Assoc Professor
Office: 301C McMicken Hall
Tel: 513-556-2463
Email: stephen.porter@uc.edu

Steve Porter explores the intersection of humanitarianism and extensions of U.S. power over the long twentieth century. He has considered these issues in his book, Benevolent Empire? U.S. Power, Humanitarianism, and the World’s Dispossessed (University of Pennsylvania Press, Oct. 2016), as well as through shorter publications and professional presentations. Central to his research interests are changing conceptions of ethical responsibilities and rights as well as the ways in which a panoply of state and non-state actors have collaborated – productively and otherwise – in innovative strategies to managing refugee crises and other humanitarian dilemmas wrought by war, persecution, upheaval, and other disruptive phenomena so emblematic of the modern world order. These efforts include both international aid initiatives on behalf of vulnerable populations abroad and domestic programs to systematically resettle select groups of political refugees admitted to the U.S.
 
His current research agenda includes pursuing these themes through the past several decades. He is additionally examining how Cold-War era U.S.-Americans, operating outside of government, engaged with counterparts in communist countries in efforts at nongovernmental diplomacy when their respective states largely maintained adversarial postures toward one another.
 
At the University of Cincinnati, he has served as director of the International Human Rights Certificate, chair of the Tolley Scholarship in International Human Rights, and chair of the Taft Center’s Human Rights Research Group. He is a former fellow of the Institute for Historical Studies. He has a PhD in History from the University of Chicago.
 
Professor Porter’s research interests inform his teaching, and vice versa. The courses he has taught include:
Undergraduate

  • U.S. Foreign Relations II (long 20th century)
  • Human Rights and U.S. Foreign Relations I & II (18th through 21st centuries)
  • U.S.-Middle East Refugees, Immigration & Human Rights
  • Immigration, Race, Citizenship: Across the Disciplines (honors course with travel component)
  • Refugees and Immigration (freshman seminar)
  • War on the U.S. Home Front
  • War & U.S. Society
  • America & the Long Second World War (Capstone research seminar)
  • U.S. & the World, 20th Century (Junior research seminar)
  • Introduction to Historical Thinking
  • Introduction to U.S.-American History (15th through 21st centuries)
  • American Policies of International Humanitarianism (University of Chicago)
Graduate
  • Yearlong Graduate Research (Thesis) Seminar
  • Ethics and U.S. Power in the World
  • U.S. in the World
  • Teaching Practicum

Publications

Books

  • Benevolent Empire: U.S. Power, Humanitarianism, and the World's Dispossessed (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, Oct. 2016)

Book Chapter

  • “Humanitarian Diplomacy after World War II: The United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration,” in Foreign Policy Breakthroughs: Cases in Successful Diplomacy (New York: Oxford University Press, 2015)
  • “Humanitarian Politics and Governance: International Responses to World War II’s Civilian Toll,” in The Cambridge History of the Second World War, Volume Three, Total War: Economy, Society and Culture, Michael Geyer and Adam Tooze, eds., (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2015)

Encyclopedia Article

  • “Algerians,” “Brazilians,” “Jordanians,” “Moroccans,” “Panamanians,” “Paraguayans,” all in Encyclopedia of Chicago, ed. James R. Grossman, Ann Durkin Keating, and Janice L. Reiff (University of Chicago Press, 2004).  Histories of Chicago-area immigrant and refugee communities in multiple award-winning book.

Review

Experience & Service

Service

  • Committee Member, Department of History Graduate Affairs, BAD DATE to BAD DATE
  • Committee Member, Taft Research Center Executive Board, BAD DATE to BAD DATE
  • Committee Member, Certificate: International Human Rights Steering, BAD DATE to BAD DATE
  • Committee Member, Tolley Scholarship in International Human Rights Scholarship Committee, BAD DATE to BAD DATE
  • Committee Chair, Taft Research Center Human Rights Research Group, BAD DATE to BAD DATE
  • Committee Member, Department of History Graduate Research Awards, BAD DATE to BAD DATE
  • Mentor, College Credit Plus BAD DATE to BAD DATE

Courses Taught

  • 15-HIST-723 LIT OF AMER HISTORY
    SEE ABOVE FOR LIST OF COURSES TAUGHT
    Level: Both
    Term: 15SS

  • SEE ABOVE FOR LIST OF COURSES TAUGHT
    Level: Undergraduate

  • SEE ABOVE FOR LIST OF COURSES TAUGHT
    Level: Graduate
    Term: 15SS