Dr. Brandon Wolfe-Hunnicutt

Assistant Professor of History, Phi Alpha Theta Advisor


Ph.D., Stanford University, 2011 (History)
B.A., University of California, Santa Cruz, 2004 (History)

Specialty Fields:

US Foreign Relations
The Cold War
Business and Economic History
Middle East Studies
Modern Iraq

Courses Taught:

History 2600: Problems in U.S. History
History 3090: Contemporary World History
History 3630: U.S. History, 1877-1945
History 3460: The Contemporary U.S.
History 3900: Arab-Islamic Civilization
History 3920: Modern Middle East                          History 4600: U.S. Diplomatic History                 History 4960: Senior Seminar

Brandon Wolfe-Hunnicutt photo

Building Location:
Bizzini Hall
See Building #2: Map

Office Location:
118-F Bizzini Hall - See Map

Phone: (209) 664-6627

E-mail: bwolfehunnicutt@csustan.edu


Current Research

My current research focuses on the intersection of U.S. foreign policy, international business history, and Middle East studies. I am currently working on a book tentatively titled, Oil and the Limits of American Power in Iraq: U.S. Foreign Policy and the Nationalization of the Iraq Petroleum Company, 1958-1975. The book analyzes the U.S. foreign policy response to the 1958 Free Officers’ Revolution in Baghdad. I argue that the change of government in Iraq posed a significant challenge to the prevailing international political economy of oil, and that American policymakers sought to contain this threat by promoting a modernization process that would preserve private industry control over Iraqi oil fields. I conclude that the ultimate nationalization of the Iraq Petroleum Company (IPC) in 1972 undermined the structure of the world oil industry and set the stage for a reordering of the global economy.

I am also beginning a new project on the history of what President Eisenhower described as the “military-industrial complex.” I am particularly interested in analyzing the role that arms manufactures play in the American political economy, and the way that particular defense contractors have influenced U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East.


“The End of the Concessionary Regime: Oil and American Power in Iraq, 1958-1972,” Ph.D. thesis, Stanford University, Department of History, 2011.

“The Ends of Arabism: Iraq, the Baath, and the Crisis of Modernization Theory” (under review, January 2015).

“Embracing Regime Change: US Foreign Policy and the 1963 Coup d’état in Iraq,” Diplomatic History 39:1 (January, 2015), pp. 98-125. http://dh.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2014/01/10/dh.dht121.abstract.

“Who’s ‘Running the Show’: Oil and Power in the Middle East,” International Journal of Middle East Studies 47:1 (January 2015), pp. 169-74.

Review of Eric Jacobsen, “A Coincidence of Interests: Kennedy, U.S. Assistance, and the 1963 Iraqi Ba’th Regime,” H-Diplo Article Review No. 455 (April 30, 2014) http://www.h-net.org/~diplo/reviews/PDF/AR455.pdf.

Review of Timothy Mitchell, Carbon Democracy: Political Power in the Age of Oil, International Journal of Middle East Studies 45:3 (August 2013), pp. 614-16.

“U.S.-Iraqi Relations, 1920-2003,” Oxford Research Encyclopedia of American History (forthcoming from Oxford University Press).

“Historiography of US-Iraqi Relations,” in Christopher Dietrich (ed.), A Companion to U.S. Foreign Policy, Colonial Era to the Present (forthcoming from Wiley-Blackwell Publishing).

“Oil Sovereignty, American Foreign Policy, and the 1968 Coups in Iraq,” Diplomacy & Statecraft 28:2 (June 2017).

Salim Yaqub, Americans, Arabs, and U.S.-Middle East Relations in the 1970s, reviewed in H-Diplo Forum (forthcoming, 2017)

Irene L. Gendzier, Dying to Forget: Oil, Power, Palestine, and the Foundations of U.S. Policy in the Middle East, reviewed in Canadian Journal of History 51:3 (November 2016), pp. 705-07.

Bryan R. Gibson. Sold Out? US Foreign Policy, Iraq, the Kurds, and the Cold War, reviewed in The Middle East Journal 70: 1 (January 2016), pp. 157-59.

Conferences and Invited Talks

“Oil Sovereignty, American Foreign Policy, and the 1968 Coups in Iraq,” The Hagop Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies, New York University, November 14, 2016.

“The Middle East in Transition: Questions for U.S. Policy,” Sonoma County Office of Education, Santa Rosa, Ca., July 27, 2016

The US and the Free Officers’ Revolution in the Middle East,” The Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, San Diego, CA, June 23-25, 2016.

“Oil and the Limits of American Corporatism in Iraq,” New Directions in Political Economy Workshop, Stanford University, February 19-21, 2016.

“Oil, the Baath, and the Limits of American Corporatism in Iraq, 1963-1968,” Center for American Studies and Research, American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon, January 15, 2016.

“The U.S. and the Middle East: Past, Present, and Future,” The Centre for Arab Unity Studies, Beirut, Lebanon, January 13, 2016.

“The U.S. and the Middle East: Beyond the Clash of Civilizations,” Keynote Address, 2015 Northern California Regional Conference of Phi Alpha Theta, California State University, Stanislaus, April 17, 2015.

“Oil, Guns, and Dollars: U.S. Arms Transfers and the Breakdown of the Bretton Woods Financial System,” Sohaib and Sara Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies, Stanford University, February 27, 2015.

“The Ends of Arabism: Iraq, the Baath, and the Crisis of Modernization Theory, 1958-1968,” Middle East Studies Association, Washington D.C., November 23, 2014.

Respondent on Eli Jelly-Schapiro, "Terror and Colonial Modernity," UC Merced Seminar in the Humanities, October 22, 2014.

“Embracing Regime Change: U.S. Foreign Policy and the 1963 Coup in Iraq,” University of California, Merced, Center for Humanities, October 8, 2013.

 “The Antimonies of American Power: US Foreign Policy and the 1963 Coup in Iraq,” Middle East Studies Association, Denver, Co., November 17-20, 2012.

“The End of the Concessionary Regime: Oil, Iraq, and the Crisis of American Power, 1972-75,” The Middle East Studies Association, Washington, DC, November 23, 2008.

“The End of the Concessionary Regime: Oil, Iraq and American Power, 1967-72,” International Association of Contemporary Iraqi Studies, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, July 17, 2008.

Commentator, “What Now in Iraq,” Cabrillo College, Aptos, CA, April 27, 2006.

Selected Awards and Grants

  • Visiting Scholar, The Abbasi Center for Islamic Studies, Stanford University, 2012-13
  • The American Academic Research Institute in Iraq, Research Fellow, 2011
  • Andrew Mellon Foundation Dissertation Fellowship, 2009-2010
  • John F. Kennedy Library Foundation Research Grant, Oct 2009
  • The George Washington University, Summer Institute for Conducting Archival Research, Travel and Seminar Grant, June 2008
  • Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, O’Bie Shultz Dissertation Research Travel Grant, Summer 2008
  • Stanford Humanities Center, General Research Opportunity Grant, Summer 2008