The Role Of Military History In The Contemporary Academy

It has over 2,300 members including many prominent scholars, soldiers, and citizens interested in military history. The Journal of Military History, the quarterly journal of the Society for Military History, has published scholarly articles on the military history of all eras and geographical areas since 1937. It publishes articles, book reviews, memoirs, research notes, documents of note, a list of recent articles dealing with military history published by other journals, an annual list of doctoral dissertations in military history, and an annual index. Officers and NCOs who enter the US professional military education system are educated about the responsibilities they hold in a society where civilians control the military and make decisions about where and when to use military force. At the most senior level of PME, for instance, War College students become well-versed in the special responsibilities they hold on the military side of the civil-military equation. Today’s civilians, by contrast, are under- educated about their responsibilities.

But the central reasons for an embrace of contemporary military history go far beyond the practical realities of departmental budgets. Shedding these burdens will require ongoing and mutual outreach from both military and non-military historians. Perhaps the best way for military historians to make their case to the broader profession is to highlight the range, diversity, and breadth of the recent scholarship in military history, as well as the dramatic evolution of the field in recent decades. Military historians believe that our work is a vital component of a liberal education that prepares students to be informed and responsible citizens. The society was established in 1933 as the American Military History Foundation, renamed in 1939 to the American Military Institute, and renamed again in 1990 to the Society for Military History. It has over 2,300 members, including many prominent scholars, soldiers, and citizens interested in military history.

All this gives the field relevance, and, indeed, urgency, inside the classroom. Scholars in our field are well-positioned to draw linkages and build bridges among subfields in history, and to engage in interdisciplinary work. Because warfare has dramatic consequences at every level of human existence, it must be a central element in the way that we understand our own narrative through the ages.

In the US today, the burden of military service is carried by only about 1% of the population. The remaining 99% have only limited contact with serving military personnel, and military institutions; our young people know little about warfare—and its profound costs and consequences—outside of what partial and often unhelpful information filters through via the popular culture. We do little to prepare our citizens to understand their role in owning and controlling a large military institution.

From the wreckage—the broken bodies, the redrawn boundaries, the imperfect treaties, the fresh resentments and the intensified old ones—altered political and social patterns and institutions emerge that may help to prevent future conflicts, or sow the seeds of new ones. All of this creates a difficult, complicated, and fraught historical landscape to traverse. The “moving wall” represents the time period between the last issue available in JSTOR and the most recently published issue of a journal. In rare instances, a publisher has elected to have a “zero” moving wall, so their current issues are available in JSTOR shortly after publication. Individual paper proposalsare also welcome and must include a 300-word abstract of the paper, and one-page vita with contact information and email address. If accepted, individual papers will be assigned by the program committee to an appropriate panel with a chair and commenter.

Courses in military history tend to fill, not only with history majors and minors, but also with students from other disciplines who are interested in the field. And because military history intersects regularly with the profession’s other subfields, it can serve as an ideal gateway to the other specializations any given History Department has to offer. It may, as well, lure back some of the students who have been drawn away to political science, international relations, and public policy departments.

Unfortunately, many in the academic community assume that military history is simply about powerful men—mainly white men—fighting each other and/or oppressing vulnerable groups. The study of the origins of war was fertile ground during the 1920s and 1930s as scholars searched for answers about the complex, wrenching, and seemingly incomprehensible event that was the “Great War” — as it was then called. But by the 1960s, critics had begun to conclude that military and diplomatic history focused too much on presidents, prime ministers, and generals; many felt it had become dry and stale, and had few new insights to contribute to our understanding of the past. In the United States this problem was exacerbated by the Vietnam War, and the terrible, searing divisions it created in the domestic polity. No small number of senior academics today came of age during that war, and, understandably, they resolved to put as much distance as possible between themselves and engagement with military issues of any kind. The challenges facing those who study war extend beyond the fact their terrain is challenging, morally-freighted, and emotionally-draining.

Other common relationships include a journal that is a supplement to another journal, a journal that is absorbed into another journal, a journal that splits into two or more new journals, or two or more journals that merge to form a new journal. For each of these related journals, the title history lists the dates published. Poster proposalsallow military historians to share their research through visual materials. Proposals should clearly explain the poster’s topics and arguments, as well as how the information will be presented visually. Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. One person on an organized panel will need to gather all required information for the submission and enter the information in the portal.

Students will not understand Vladimir Putin’s contemporary Russian nationalism if they do not understand Western intervention in the Russian civil war, the history of the Second World War, the Cold War that followed it, and the expansion of NATO following the Soviet collapse in 1989. The resort to war signals the failure of far more satisfactory means of settling human conflicts. It forces us to face and wrestle with the darkest corners of the human psyche. It signals the coming of trauma and suffering—often intense and prolonged—for individuals, families and societies. War-fighting concentrates power in nondemocratic ways, infringes upon civil liberties, and convulses political, economic, and social systems.

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