For reasons I still haven't fully revealed, I'm a newly converted fan of the Society for Military History (SMH), which until recently I had concluded was unlikely to be of much help in advancing military history as an academic field. My conversations at the recent Charleston annual meeting have given me a more optimistic view.
I promise not to keep you in suspense--or whatever you're feeling about this--much longer. But it's the end of Winter Quarter and I'm totally slammed. Moreover, I am in the process of moving the blog to WarHistorian.org. That site is already up and running, sort of, although at present it consists of a single page that I composed mainly as a way to evaluate the site-building tools on the new server. By Monday the new site should start to have something of its permanent appearance.
The Lee/Che flash presentation has also been revised--and the misspellings corrected, for the text-fixated nitpickers among you--and is in final form. [It should shortly be back online.] By and large I chose to leave it much as my web designer, Stephanie Wiseman, first created it. The "vision" of a military history that deals with both hegemonic and counterhegemonic power is mine, but I like the fact that a student (Ms. Wiseman is a sophomore here at OSU) has interpreted it.
The question now is what to do with WarHistorian.org, which is where the SMH reenters the picture. The SMH has a web site and a quarterly newsletter, The Headquarters Gazette, which is partially available online. It does not yet have a blog. It seems to me that a blog whose "beat" covered the field of military history could be valuable. And I mean the whole field: nonwestern, left-leaning, PC, trend-mongering, war/race, war/gender and/or subversive military history as well as the more familiar (but nonetheless vital) forms of military history. I think I also mean popular and public as well as academic varieties of military history, though I will be damned if I will let academic military history take a back seat to these other forms, as has so often occurred in the past.
I'd be willing, if asked, to reconfigure WarHistorian.org as the SMH blog, though through the device of the subdomain it would be simple and, I think, better to create a blog whose name really fit the SMH. This could be as minimalist as SMH-Blog.org, as cute as Blogs and Trumpets.org, as fierce as BlogThemIntoTheStoneAge.org, or as straghtforward as MilitaryHistoryBlog.org. All four domain names, I confidently predict, are still available.
What I don't know is whether I could find enough committed bloggers within the military history community to make the thing work. I have plenty to do overseeing my own blogs (not just War Historian but also The Ohio Twenty-first). I would need bloggers from all corners of military history, most especially the realm of academic military history. It's pretty obvious that military analysts have discovered blogging, but academics, for all their puffery about being "cutting edge," are professionally among the most conservative people I have ever met. No new medium exists for them until the American Historical Association has not merely blessed that medium, but verily drowned it in academic holy water. The fate of Civil Warriors, my effort to partner with some grad students to create a blog, has not been inspiring. They seem to have discerned all too quickly the academic orthodoxy concerning blogdom.
Still, anybody dumb enough to be an academic military historian in the first place is probably dumb enough to blog about it. Any takers?