Espionage Conference at Yale

On Friday and Saturday, Feb. 26 and 27, former CIA officials, historians, novelists and scholars will discuss the shadowy world of the spy at a conference hosted by Yale’s Whitney Humanities Center, 53 Wall St.

Members of the media are welcome to attend “The Matter of Espionage” conference, which was organized by three Yale faculty members: Robin W. Winks, the Randolph W. Townsend Jr. Professor of History and author of “Cloak and Gown: Scholars in the Secret War 1939-1961”; John Lewis Gaddis, the Robert A. Lovett Professor of Military and Naval History, whose books include “We Know Now: Rethinking Cold War History”; and John Hollander, Sterling Professor of English, who wrote the book “Reflections on Espionage.”

Conference speakers will explore espionage and its intellectual, ethical, artistic and institutional implications. “The study of espionage and intelligence – always fascinating – is well on the way to making the transition from the realm of spy stories to that of serious historical scholarship,” says Gaddis. “This conference will reflect the best of this new work, much of which is reshaping our understanding of what really happened during the Cold War.”

John Deutch, former head of the CIA and now a professor of chemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will give the plenary address on “Espionage and the Universities” at 5 p.m. on Friday at the Whitney Humanities Center, 53 Wall St.

Other conference participants include William Bundy, former deputy assistant director of the CIA and author of “A Tangled Web: The Making of Foreign Policy in the Nixon Presidency”; Newsday editor David Kahn, author of the book “Codebreakers”; George Kateb, professor of politics at Princeton University; novelist Charles McCarry; novelist and former counter-intelligence officer William Hood; historians Chris Andrew, Peter Grose, Nicholas Cullather, Wesley Wark and Timothy Naftali; and former Senior Intelligence Service staff members Helene Boatner, Susan McCloud and Jeanne Vertefeuille. Yale faculty members Ruth Wedgwood, Paul Kennedy, Gaddis Smith and Bradford Westerfield will also take part.

In addition to Deutch’s address, there will be four panel discussions: “Espionage and Literature,” “Espionage and History,” “Intelligence, Morals and Politics” and “Doing Espionage.”

The panels will explore such questions as:

* How does espionage relate to diplomacy in the post-Cold War era?

* How have universities figured in the planning, execution and study of espionage?

* What are the respective moral situations of field agents and analysts?

Conference sessions will take place 2:15-6:30 p.m. on Friday and 9:45 a.m.-6:30 p.m. on Saturday at the Whitney Humanities Center. See accompanying schedule for details. All events are free and open to the public. For further information on “The Matter of Espionage,” send e-mail to Katherine Kearns at

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