Victoria Phillips

Victoria Phillips

Research Interests


Fall 2020

  • Professor Phillips is not scheduled to teach any courses this semester.



Victoria Phillips is an Adjunct Lecturer at Columbia University, and affiliated faculty at the European Institute, the Harriman Institute, and the Department of History. She specializes in Cold War history and cultural diplomacy.

Her book, Martha Graham's Cold WarThe Dance of American Diplomacy (Oxford University Press, 2020), explores Graham’s State Department tours between 1955 and 1987 under every seated president to over twenty-five nations. Her article “Dance Diplomacy: Martha Graham, the State Department and Cold War Cultural Exchange in Asia” won the Selma Jean Cohen Award from the Society of Dance History Scholars. In 2006, Professor Phillips curated Dance is a Weapon in Paris. She also co-curated Politics and the Dancing Body and an exhibit on the history of American Ballet Theatre at the Library of Congress. She has presented her work internationally and taught at the London School of Economics as a Visiting Fellow, 2018-2019.

She has served on the boards of the Joyce Theater and American Ballet Theatre, and currently sits on the board of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, the editorial boards of American Communist History and Dance Chronicle, and the Advisory Board of the European Institute.

Professor Phillips leads the Cold War Archival Research (CWAR) Fellowship, which was created in 2015 under the name "Radio Free Europe Research Project Fellowship" and was renamed in 2017 to "Cold War Archival Research Fellowship" as the focus was expanded to other cultural and geographical projects. The CWAR Fellowship is offered by the European Institute as part of its Initiative on Cultural Power in International Relations. It is an opportunity for selected Columbia students to conduct original archival research on the history of culture and the Cold War. Those interested in public diplomacy, journalistic history, the Cold War, and the engagement of modern Europe with other regions find abundant resources for productive investigations at archives they visit with the group.


  • PhD, Columbia University
  • MA, New York University
  • MBA, Columbia University
  • BA, Columbia University

Selected Publications


  • Martha Graham's Cold War: The Dance of American Diplomacy (Oxford University Press, 2020)


  • "Cold War Cultural Attaché: The International Career of Francis Mason" Ballet Review (Summer, 2011)
  • "Dancing Diplomacy: Martha Graham, the State Department, and Cold War Cultural Exchange in Asia" Dance Chronicle, 11.4 (2010): 1-35
  • "Performing Communism in the American Dance: Culture, Politics, and the New Dance Group" American Communist History, 7.1 (2008): 39-65
  • Dance is a Weapon, Exhibition Catalogue. Pantin, France: Centre National de La Danse, 2008
  • "An MBA Runs the Gauntlet" New York Times Magazine: The Business World, 12 June 1988