Dr. Brandon Wolfe-Hunnicutt

Associate Professor of History, Graduate Program Director


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
History 5930: History of Historical Writing (Graduate 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.

“Embracing Regime Change: US Foreign Policy and the 1963 Coup d’état in Iraq,” Diplomatic History 39:1 (January 2015), pp. 98-125. 

“Oil Sovereignty, American Foreign Policy, and the 1968 Coups in Iraq,” Diplomacy & Statecraft 28:2 (June 2017), pp. 235-53.

U.S.-Iraqi Relations, 1920-2003,” Oxford Research Encyclopedia of American History (Jan 2018).

Essential Readings: The United States and Iraq before Saddam Hussein’s Rule,” Middle East Studies Pedagogy Institute, July 20, 2018.


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