Skip to main content

A Mongrel-American Social Science: International Relations


Institute For Middle East Studies

Racism and imperialism propelled the course of the United States in the world in the early twentieth century and in turn affected the way that international relations was taught and understood in the American academy. In White World Order, Black Power Politics, Robert Vitalis recovers the arguments, texts, and institution building of an extraordinary group of professors at Howard University, including Alain Locke, Ralph Bunche, Rayford Logan, Eric Williams, and Merze Tate, who was the first black female professor of political science in the country. Vitalis pairs the contributions of white and black scholars to reconstitute forgotten historical dialogues and show the critical role played by race in the formation of international relations.


  • Robert Vitalis is Professor of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of America's Kingdom: Mythmaking on the Saudi Oil Frontier and When Capitalists Collide: Business Conflict and the End of Empire in Egypt and coeditor of Counter-Narratives: History, Society and Politics in Saudi Arabia and Yemen.