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Scott Laderman

Associate professor of history at the University of Minnesota, Duluth

Scott Laderman is an associate professor of history at the University of Minnesota, Duluth, and the author of Empire in Waves: A Political History of Surfing (University of California Press, 2014).  Born and raised in California, Scott spent much of his life in the ocean before moving (he assumed temporarily) to the Midwest in 1998 to pursue his Ph.D. in American Studies at the University of Minnesota.  He now lives on Lake Superior, where he has discovered the pleasures – and challenges – of cold-water surfing.

In addition to Empire in Waves, Scott is the author of Tours of Vietnam: War, Travel Guides, and Memory (Duke University Press, 2009), which explored tourism and memory in that postcolonial Southeast Asian nation, and, with Edwin Martini, he co-edited Four Decades On: Vietnam, the United States, and the Legacies of the Second Indochina War (Duke University Press, 2013).  Scott has also published articles and essays on film history, American empire-building, and Cold War tourism, among other topics, for the Pacific Historical Review, Mass Communication and Society, and a number of other journals and anthologies.



  • “Waves of Segregation: Surfing and the Global Antiapartheid Movement” in the spring 2014 issue of the Radical History Review
  • Short essay (“Beyond Green: Sustainability, ‘Freedom,’ and the Labor of the Surf Industry”) in Jess Ponting and Gregory Borne’s Sustainable Stoke: Transitions to Sustainability in the Surfing World (University of Plymouth Press, 2015)
  • “Reds, Revolutionaries, and Racists: Surfing, Travel, and Diplomacy in the Reagan Era,” which appeared in Heather Dichter and Andrew Johns’s Diplomatic Games: Sport, Statecraft, and International Relations since 1945 (University Press of Kentucky, 2014)