Military History in the Modern Academy

AHA Session 194
Society for Military History 2
Saturday, January 7, 2017: 8:30 AM-10:00 AM
Mile High Ballroom 4A (Colorado Convention Center, Ballroom Level)
Jennifer D. Keene, Chapman University
Beth L. Bailey, University of Kansas
Gregory P. Downs, University of California, Davis
John W. Hall, University of Wisconsin–Madison
Jennifer Mittelstadt, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Session Abstract

In its 2014 white paper, the Society for Military History staked out familiar ground: historians of the military study not only institutions of warfare during wartime, but also the relationship between war and society: the many ways people in many times and places have organized, interpreted, prepared for, fought, avoided, and recovered from war. On the other hand, historians have recently (re)discovered that the military is fertile ground for investigating the history of the state, as well as the history of such divergent topics as gender, race, and the environment.

For some, this marks a change from a perceived rift between military historians and other historians. Is there an increasing permeability and cross-pollination between the study of war and the military and the study of politics, gender, race or the environment, especially in the study of the history of the United States? How does an understanding of military history enrich research questions in other fields and how does training in other fields enhance the work of military historians? What implications does such a rapprochement have for the study of history across fields and for how and where historians do their work?

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