Christian Ruth

Full CV

M.A., University of Kentucky
B.A., University of Kentucky

Social Sciences 060W

I am currently researching the intersections between famine, human rights, and US diplomacy during the Cold War. My interest in these subjects stems from my Masters Thesis, which is on humanitarian aid in the Horn of Africa under the Carter and Reagan administrations. My grounding is, first and foremost, in US diplomatic history, although I have dedicated a great deal of time toward the history of modern Africa, especially the Horn region, and am increasingly using environmental studies in my research. In the broadest sense I enjoy exploring aspects of diplomatic history that have been under-explored, such as food rights and famine, while incorporating them into popular subjects like human rights. I have conducted research at the Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan archives, and hold Carter's in a special place in my heart because I grew up in Atlanta where it is located.

Aside from preparing for my qualifying exams, I am pursuing research into several different avenues, including spirulina production as a means to combat hunger during the Reagan administration, as well as the human rights actions of the Soviet scientist Andrei Sakharov in the greater context of the late Cold War. Food, especially food scarcity, is a fascinating subject to me, and is something that is increasingly being recognized as an underexplored subfield of history, more often it is the realm of sociologists and political scientists. I am a proponent of histories that are relevant to the modern day, and do my utmost to research and write on material that is intrinsically linked to the current events of the world.

Christian Ruth