Professor Nicholas J. Cull

Category: 1980s /  All Harkness Stories /  Higher Education /  Humanities /  International Affairs / 

Professor Nicholas J. Cull (HF 1988-90) is a historian of the role of media and culture in foreign policy.  Educated at a suburban London comprehensive school, Nick’s BA degree was in International History at University of Leeds.  He spent his Harkness time at Princeton, researching British propaganda to bring the US into World War Two before Pearl Harbor,  including interviews with surviving wartime broadcasters, a movie star, and an alleged spy.  His fellowship allowed wider exploration of the US and its cultural history enabling him to contribute to the growth of American Studies in the UK.  He served as the inaugural chair of American Studies at University of Leicester.  He also worked to advance the use of media sources in modern historical research.  In 2005 he relocated to the University of Southern California to lead a new master’s program in public diplomacy, applying his historical work on propaganda to better understanding the present and future of communication and exchange in diplomacy.  He has published widely, authored standard texts in the public diplomacy field, often advised foreign ministries and trained diplomats including those of the US and UK.  Especially known for saying that public diplomacy begins with listening and coining the concept of ‘Reputational Security.’  He has held visiting positions including at Beijing Foreign Studies University and Catholica Milano and remains committed to harnessing the power of exchanges to make the world a better place, as his own world was so profoundly enriched by his Harkness experience.