Eugene B. Ford
I received my Ph.D. in history from Yale in May 2012, where my dissertation, entitled “Cold War
Monks: An International History of Buddhism, Politics and Regionalism in Thailand and Southeast
Asia, 1941-1976,” co-received the Arthur and Mary Wright Prize for the best dissertation in non-
My research explored the international role of Buddhism in the politics of the Cold War. One of my
main interests was in the reaction of Buddhist monks in Thailand and in neighboring countries to the
self-immolations of South Vietnamese monk protesters starting in 1963. I also examined how the U.S.
attempted to cultivate relationships with Buddhist clergy in order to advance its strategic interests in the region (this work was carried out in part through the Asia Foundation).
I completed one year of dissertation research in Thailand, where I consulted Thai-language sources
held in the Thai National Archives and in the monastic libraries of two Buddhist temples. I also
conducted a series of oral interviews with Buddhist monks and other key informants in Bangkok,
northeastern Thailand and Laos.
In fall 2011, I was employed as Visiting Lecturer at Duke University, where I taught an undergraduate
seminar on the global history of war and empire in the 19th and 20th centuries. I am currently
employed as Visiting Lecturer at the Sciences Po Collège Universitaire de Reims as part of a new
international partnership between Sciences-Po and Yale.
My future research and teaching interests encompass the fields of international history, modern
Southeast and South Asian history, U.S. cultural and diplomatic history, peace studies, and the global
and comparative history of religion and religious movements.