Department of History

Fain-II----January-2018-Cropped-2.jpgW. Taylor Fain, Associate Professor and Graduate Coordinator


  • Ph.D., University of Virginia
  • MSFS, Georgetown University
  • B.A., University of Virginia

Academic Interests

Dr. Fain specializes in the history of the United States' relations with the wider world and American history in global context. His research examines the evolution of the Anglo-American relationship, the international history of the Cold War, the United States' roles in the Indian Ocean and Persian Gulf regions, and the American response to European imperial retrenchment in the post war era. Currently, he is writing an international history of the United States in the Indian Ocean during the era of Cold War and decolonization.

Dr. Fain is a former U.S. Department of State historian, and before coming to UNCW he served on the faculty of the University of Virginia's Miller Center of Public Affairs where he worked with a team of scholars at the Presidential Recordings Program.

Courses Taught

  • HST 106: History of the United States since 1865
  • HST 270: History of the Indian Ocean World (2021)
  • HST 301: History of American Foreign Relations since the Progressive Era
  • HST 358: History of the United States since 1945
  • HST 377: The Second World War: A Global History
  • HST 377: The World, 1945-1991: A New International History
  • HST 380: The United States Encounters the Middle East, 1776-2006
  • HST 380: The Cold War: An International History
  • HST 495/595:The United States and Britain in Peace and War, 1776-2006
  • HST 495/595: An Imperial Republic?: The United States and the Problem of Empire,1776-2005
  • HST 500: Historiography and Methodology
  • HST 520: The Literature of Twentieth Century American Foreign Relations
  • HST 522: U.S. History as Global History
  • HST 522: In the Shadow of the Bomb: Everyday Life in Cold War America
  • HST 562: Graduate Research Seminar: The Global Cold War
  • HST 590: The Historian's Craft: Issues and Approaches
  • HST 593: America and the World in the 20th Century

Significant Publications

  • American Ascendance and British Retreat in the Persian Gulf Region (Palgrave Macmillan, 2008)
  • “Conceiving the ‘Arc of Crisis’ in the Indian Ocean Region,” Diplomatic History, Vol. 42, No. 4 (September 2018).
  • “Britain’s Presence in the Persian Gulf,1617-2017” Ch. 5 in Mehran Kamrava (ed.) The Routledge Handbook of Persian Gulf Politics (2020)
  • “John F. Kennedy and Harold Macmillan: Managing the ‘Special Relationship’ in the Persian Gulf Region, 1961-1963,” Middle Eastern Studies, Vol. 38, No. (October 2002)
  • "'Unfortunate Arabia': The United States, Great Britain, and Yemen, 1955-1963," Diplomacy and Statecraft, Vol. 12, No. 2 (June 2001)