Professor Colleen Woods specializes in the history of the U.S. in a global context during the twentieth century. Her areas of research interest are the Pacific, specifically Southeast Asia and the Philippines, and critical geography.
Professor Woods teaches courses on U.S. diplomatic history, the U.S. in a global context, histories of U.S. wars and American memory, and comparative colonialisms.
Her book manuscript, Bombs, Bureaucrats, and Rosary Beads: The United States, the Philippines, and the Making of Global Anti-Communism, traces the histories of diverse actors from diplomats and foreign policy officials to military officers and counterinsurgency experts, CIA agents and paramilitaries, university professors and administrators, and Catholic missionaries, in order to show how these groups developed and implemented what they all believed were exportable models of post-colonial development. Bombs, Bureaucrats, and Rosary Beads draws on archival records in English, Tagalog, and Spanish to illustrate how transnational networks of Americans and Filipinos expanded and globalized the territory of the Cold War, while at the same time interrogating the spatial construct of the “global” in terms of U.S. and comparative colonial history.
Before joining the History faculty at the University of Maryland, Professor Woods spent the 2012-2013 academic year as a Robert E. Keiter 1957 Postdoctoral Fellow at Amherst College. She was an ACLS/Mellon fellow in 2011-2012, a fellow at the Southeast Asian Studies Summer Institute at the University of Wisconsin in 2010, and a Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) fellow in 2008-2009.
Professor Woods received her Ph.D. in history from the University of Michigan in 2012.