Dr. Nicole Sackley

Associate Professor of History and American Studies
Coordinator, American Studies Program


My research focuses on the history of Americans abroad. I am interested in how Americans without official status (such as intellectuals, artists, journalists, and scientists) shaped the interaction between the United States and the world in the 19th and 20th centuries. I am also interested in how expert knowledge is debated and constructed across national borders.

I am completing a book titled Development Fields: American Social Scientists and the Practice of Modernization during the Cold War. This study examines the history of American experts who sought to modernize the post-1945 world. It traces the origins of the postwar development project to India and examines how social scientists—from economists to agronomists—saw a strategy for winning the Cold War in the practice of social science abroad.

Grants and Fellowships

Truman-Kauffman Fellowship, Harry S. Truman Library Institute, 2012-2013



“The Road from Serfdom: Economic Storytelling and Narratives of India in the Rise of Neoliberalism,” History and Technology, 32, 1 (March 2016): 397-419.

The Power Elite,” Reviews in American History 42, 1 (March 2014): 121-126.

“Village Models: Etawah, India and the Making and Remaking of Development in the Early Cold War,” Diplomatic History, 37, 4 (September 2013): 749-78.

Cosmopolitanism and the Uses of Tradition: Robert Redfield and Alternative Visions of Modernization during the Cold War,” Modern Intellectual History, 9, 3 (November 2012): 565-95.

The Village as Cold War Site: Experts, Development, and the History of Rural Reconstruction,” Journal of Global History, 6, 3 (2011): 481-504.

Narratives of Development: Models, Spectacles, and Calculability in Nick Cullather’s The Hungry World,” H-Diplo Roundtable Review, 13, 5 (2011): 23-8.


Foundation in the Field: The Ford Foundation New Delhi Office and the Construction of Development Knowledge, 1951-1970” in John Krige and Helke Rausch, eds. American Foundations and the Coproduction of World Order in the Twentieth Century. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2012: 232-260.

“Developmental Assistance” in Akira Iriye and Pierre-Yves Saunier, eds., Palgrave Dictionary of Transnational History. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009: 267-271.


Ph.D., Princeton University

M.A., Princeton University

A.B., Brown University

Contact Information

327 Ryland Hall
(804) 289-8338
(804) 287-1992 (Fax)
306 INTC

Areas of Expertise

United States and the World
U.S. Cultural and Intellectual History