The Women Writing Women's Lives Dorothy O. Helly Works-in-Progress Lecture will feature Victoria Phillips on "Women and Power in Divided Cold-War Berlin: From Martha Graham to Eleanor Lansing Dulles."
Victoria Phillips will introduce her work on a biography of Eleanor Lansing Dulles, a forgotten principle American participant in the rebuilding of war-torn Berlin. Dulles joined with Martha Graham to “fight the Kremlin” with culture in the Cold War hotspot, Berlin, 1957. Unlike, Graham, who proclaimed, “Center stage is wherever I am,” Dulles hid in plain sight in the U.S. State Department’s man’s world of mid-20th Century Cold War intrigue, intent on keeping an “invisible position.” Phillips will discuss finding memos obscured in international archives that Dulles wrote under assumed names, and concealed in “Top Secret” files penciled in tiny print, EDL; for Eleanor Lansing, 'Eyes Only Dulles.’ Phillips posits that Dulles has not yet been written about because this power-driven woman succeeded in masking her ambition and contributions, a necessity during 1950s Cold War culture.
Victoria Phillips, Ph.D. is the acclaimed author of the newly published Martha Graham’s Cold War: The Dance of American Diplomacy, (Oxford University Press, 2020), which illuminates the story of Martha Graham and her particular brand of dance modernism as a pro-Western propaganda. A Lecturer in History at the European Institute and Department of History at Columbia University, Dr. Phillips is also director of the Cold War Archival Research project (CWAR), Visiting Fellow in the Department of International History at the London School of Economics, and a 2020 Distinguished Fellow at the Corvinus Institute for Advanced Study at Corvinus University in Budapest.
Co-sponsored with The Center for the Humanities, The Feminist Press, The Leon Levy Center for Biography, the MA Program in Liberal Studies, and the PhD Programs in History and English.