Monday, January 12, 2015

The Role of Military History in the Contemporary Academy

Cross-posted from the Society for Military History blog

The Society for Military History has just released a white paper entitled “The Role of Military History in the Contemporary Academy.”  In it, notes the SMH web site:
 co-authors Tami Davis Biddle of the U.S. Army War College and Robert M. Citino of the University of North Texas provide a compelling chronicle of military history’s revitalization over the past four decades and assess its current place in American higher education. In addition to the sub-field’s maturation in academic terms, its enduring popularity with the public and college students makes it an ideal lure for history departments concerned about course enrollments and the recruitment of majors and minors. Knowledge of the uses, abuses, and costs of war should also constitute a part of the education of future leaders in the world’s mightiest military power.
The SMH intends this white paper to generate a dialogue with history professors, college and university administrators, journalists, politicians, and citizens regarding the key role the study of military history can play in deepening our understanding of the world we inhabit and producing an informed citizenry.
The white paper is available here. (It can be read online or downloaded in PDF format.)


Dave said...

Unfortunately, the two authors discussing the contemporary academy are two people who have left civilian academia. Might that fact change the rosy picture of the prospects for cooperation?

Mark Grimsley said...

No, it wouldn't. Tami didn't get tenure at Duke despite an exemplary record. Rob is still in academe (University of North Texas). You might have the wrong impression because this year he's a visiting professor at the Army War College. And I know a number of people in PME (Professional Military Education) who would like to get into civilian academe but can't, in part because of the antipathy toward military history within the civilian academy.

Luke Sprague said...


I thought the white paper was a well done and I particularly agree with the last three paragraphs.

Discussions like this are important and need to happen in the open.

I clearly see the boundary between academic history and everyone else on a daily basis and have made my peace with it.