About this lecture

THIS EVENT IS FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC, BUT PLEASE CLICK HERE TO REGISTER TO ACCESS THE ZOOM LINK AND ATTEND. Please reach out to [email protected] for accommodation requests, questions or concerns.

The Center for the Study of Women and Society and Women Writing Women's Lives present the Dorothy O. Helly Works-in-Progress Lecture "From Martha Graham to Eleanor Lansing Dulles: Women, Power, and Intrigue in Cold-War Berlin" by Victoria Phillips.

Victoria Phillips will introduce her work on a biography of Eleanor Lansing Dulles, a forgotten principle American participant in the rebuilding of war-torn Berlin. Dulles joined with Martha Graham to “fight the Kremlin” with culture in the Cold War hotspot, Berlin, 1957. Unlike, Graham, who proclaimed, “Center stage is wherever I am,” Dulles hid in plain sight in the U.S. State Department’s man’s world of mid-20th Century Cold War intrigue, intent on keeping an “invisible position.” Victoria Phillips will discuss finding memos obscured in international archives that Dulles wrote under assumed names, and concealed in “Top Secret” files penciled in tiny print, EDL; for Eleanor Lansing, “Eyes Only Dulles.” Phillips posits that Dulles has not yet been written about because this power-driven woman succeeded in masking her ambition and contributions, a necessity during 1950s Cold War culture.


Victoria Phillips, Ph.D. is the author of Martha Graham’s Cold War: The Dance of American Diplomacy (Oxford University Press, 2020), which uncovers the political life of Martha Graham and her particular brand of dance modernism as pro-American propaganda during the global Cold War. A Visiting Fellow in the Department of International History at the London School of Economics, Dr. Phillips is also the director of the Cold War Archival Research Project, History OnLine, and co-founder of the Global Biography Working Group.To learn more about Victoria Phillips’ works visit her website, www.victoria-phillips.global.

This event is organized and hosted by Center for the Study of Women and Society and is co-sponsored by The Center for the Humanities, The Feminist Press, The Leon Levy Center for Biography, the Graduate Center MA Programs in Biography and Memoir and Liberal Studies, and the PhD Programs in History and English.