Robert K. Brigham
Shirley Ecker Boskey Professor of History and International Relations
Robert. K. Brigham, Shirley Ecker Boskey Professor of History and International Relations, has taught at Vassar since 1994. He teaches courses on the history of American foreign relations, modern America, and international history.
Along with several teaching awards, Brigham has also earned fellowships from the Rockefeller Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for Humanities, the Smith Richardson Foundation, the Eisenhower World Affairs Institute, the Cooper Foundation, the Gilman Foundation, and the Social Sciences Committee in Hanoi, Vietnam. In addition, Brigham has been Albert Shaw Endowed Lecturer at Johns Hopkins University, Mellon Senior Visiting Scholar at Cambridge University (Clare College), visiting professor of international relations at the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University, and Mary Ball Washington Professor of American History (Fulbright) at University College Dublin.
Brigham is author of numerous books and essays on American foreign relations and politics, including Guerrilla Diplomacy: The NLF's Foreign Relations and the Vietnam War (Cornell, 1998); Argument Without End: In Search of Answers to the Vietnam Tragedy (PublicAffairs, 1999) written with Robert S. McNamara and James G. Blight; ARVN: Life and Death in the South Vietnamese Army (Kansas, 2006); Is Iraq Another Vietnam? (PublicAffairs, 2006); Iraq, Vietnam, and the Limits of American Power (PublicAffairs, 2008); The Global Ho Chi Minh (Potomac, 2009); and The Wars for Vietnam, written with Mark P. Bradley and Lien-Hang Nguyen (Wiley-Blackwell, forthcoming). Brigham is currently working on a history of nation building in South Vietnam (Cambridge), a textbook on America's wars in Iraq, and a book about the future of U.S. foreign policy.
A regular public lecturer, Brigham has also provided interviews and written some two hundred articles, reviews, and op-ed pieces for publications such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, The International Herald Tribune, The Boston Globe, The San Francisco Chronicle, USA Today, The Bangkok Post, Vietnam News, The Standard (Hong Kong), South China Morning Post, Asia Times, and The Independent (London). He has also appeared on National Public Radio, The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, the British Broadcasting Company, CBS Radio, the Australian Broadcasting Company, Talk Radio (Dublin); RTE (Ireland); NHK (Japan), and CNN.
Many of the photographs on this site were taken by E. Kenneth Hoffman who went to Viet Nam in June, 1969, as a first lieutenant in the 221st Signal Company in charge of a photo detachment. Initially stationed at a sprawling military base in Long Binh and later in Pleiku and Saigon, Hoffman took over 1500 photographs in addition to the pictures he took for the government. He traveled freely and extensively throughout the country and was able to record much of civilian culture--markets, farms, homes, shrines, and people. The bulk of his work--especially photos documenting the conflict--is archived in the Library of Congress. A more extensive selection of Hoffman's photos are on view at his Vietnam Interactive Portfolio.
Today, Hoffman is an associate professor of communication at Seton Hall University where he supervises the curriculum in computer graphics (a program he initiated in 1984) and teaches a broad range of media-related courses. He has a Ph.D. in Communication, an M.F.A. in Film Production, and an M.A. in Cinema Studies, all from New York University.