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John Sbardellati

Associate Professor and Associate Chair (Undergraduate)

B​iography

John SbardellatiMy interests include twentieth century U.S. political, cultural, and diplomatic history.  I am especially interested in the connections between American domestic politics and foreign relations, and the way in which these connections surface in the policies of the national security state.  I received my Ph.D. from the Department of History at the University of California, Santa Barbara, in 2006. My book, J. Edgar Hoover Goes to the Movies: The FBI and the Origins of Hollywood’s Cold War, was published by Cornell University Press in 2012. It analyzes the FBI’s probe of the motion picture industry and its efforts to rein in the production of what it considered politically-suspect movies. 

Education

  • B.A. University of California, Riverside, 1996
  • M.A. University of California, Santa Barbara, 2000
  • PhD University of California, Santa Barbara, 2006

Research and teaching interests

  • Twentieth century U.S. political, cultural, and diplomatic history

Courses taught

  • HIST 208: US Foreign Relations since 1900
  • HIST 220: The Vietnam War & American Society
  • HIST 257: America until 1877
  • HIST 258: America since 1877
  • HIST 409A: Reading seminar in American history
  • HIST 409B: Research seminar in American history
  • HIST 632: Graduate reading seminar in American history
  • HIST 633: Graduate research seminar in American history

Key Areas of Graduate Supervision

  • Modern U.S. history, with special focus on the Cold War period

Recent ​publications

  • J. Edgar Hoover Goes to the Movies: The FBI and the Origins of Hollywood’s Cold War (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2012).
  • “The ‘Maltz Affair’ Revisited: How the American Communist Party Relinquished its Cultural Influence at the Dawn of the Cold War,” Cold War History Vol. 9, No. 4 (2009): pages 489-500.
  • “Brassbound G-Men and Celluloid Reds: The FBI’s Search for Communist Propaganda in Wartime Hollywood,”Film History Vol. 20, No. 4 (2008): pages 412-436.
  • “The Emergence of McCarthyism,” in History in Dispute, Volume 19: The Red Scare after 1945, edited by Robbie Lieberman (St. James Press, 2004).
  • “Booting a Tramp: Charlie Chaplin, the FBI, and the Construction of the Subversive Image in Red Scare America” (with Tony Shaw) Pacific Historical Review Vol. 72, No. 4 (2003): pages 495-530.
Affiliation: 
University of Waterloo
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