On 24-26 May 2023, the RIAS will host an international symposium on Theodore Roosevelt’s global reception, impact, and legacy, with the participation of some of the leading experts on the 26th US President and the Progressive Era.

Theodore Roosevelt was one of the most internationally oriented presidents in US history. He traveled extensively, enjoyed a large network of friends abroad, and maintained a close familiarity with global developments. International reform projects, the state of conservation and resource development, and the potential for an international security architecture ranged highly among his interests.

But while Roosevelt was keenly aware of global developments and the international context in which the United States operated, he was also an ardent nationalist and imperialist. He rejected cosmopolitanism as ‘unpatriotic’ and racialized understandings of international relations shaped his global outlooks. For TR, the ‘Global’ served both as a stage for the globalization of US interests and simultaneously as an inspiration for progressive political, social, economic, and environmental reforms.

In addition, Roosevelt also frequently served audiences at home and abroad as a focal point and personification for their perceptions, interrogations, and evaluations of the United States in the world. His global outreach fascinated or repelled national and international audiences alike. It encouraged Americans to critically engage with the state of global affairs while it simultaneously underwrote many international assessments of the United States as Roosevelt came to epitomize the ever-increasing role of the United States in world affairs. In this process of personification and conflation, TR was often re-defined and appropriated by international audiences to serve their specific interests in and understandings of the United States.

The event gathers contributions from a wide range of perspectives contributing to the further internationalization of TR scholarship and the historiography of the Progressive Era. It aims to explore several interconnected themes, including a) the importance of global outlooks and perspectives for Theodore Roosevelt, b) the impact of TR on the global imaginary in the United States, and c) global perceptions, rejections, appropriations, and memories of Theodore Roosevelt and their intersection with perspectives on the role of the United States in the world.

The complete program is here.

To register, please send an email to info@roosevelt.nl before 12 May 2023.