History of War in Global Perspective
November 12-13, 2004
The purpose of the conference, sponsored by the Mershon Center at The Ohio State University, was to assist the field of military history in transcending its Eurocentric origins and becoming truly global in the intellectual understanding of its subject matter. This involves an expansion not only of geographical coverage but also a major recasting of the conceptual frameworks employed to understand war. This conceptual recasting was one of two main emphases of the sessions. The other was how we could best bring about, in practical terms, the desired shift from a European to a global focus.
The format was a series of four round-table discussions:
Session 1. The Limits of the
Western Military Master Narrative
Session 2. Forum on World History of Warfare
Session 3. Extending the Western Military Master Narrative
Session 4. Toward a Global Military Master Narrative
One panelist chaired and moderated each session. Another kicked off the discussion with a 15-20 minute informal presentation. A discussion by the entire panel then ensued, typically for about 70-75 minutes, which left 30 minutes for audience questions and comments. While panelists drew freely on their own extensive backgrounds and writings, the point of departure for each session was one or more preliminary readings. Links to these readings are given in the conference schedule, below.
Pradeep Barua is an associate professor of history at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. He is the author of Gentlemen of the Raj: The Indian Army Officer Corps, 1817-1949, and a book, forthcoming in 2005, on The State at War in South Asia.
Jeremy Black, professor of history at the University of Exeter, is the author of over forty books, including War and the World: Military Power and the Fate of Continents, 1450-2000, and, most recently, Rethinking Military History.
David A. Graff, associate professor of history at Kansas State University, is a founder of the Chinese Military History Society. He is the author of Medieval Chinese Warfare, 300-900 and co-editor (with Robin Higham) of A Military History of China.
Mark Grimsley, associate professor of history at The Ohio State University, is the author or editor of seven books on military history, including The Hard Hand of War: Union Military Policy Toward Southern Civilians, 1861-1865.
Holger H. Herwig, Canada Research Chair in Military and Strategic Studies at the University of Calgary, is the author of numerous books, including (with Christon Archer, John R. Ferris, and Timothy H. E. Travers) World History of Warfare.
Stephen Morillo, who holds the Jane and Frederic M. Hadley Chair in History at Wabash College, is the author of Warfare under the Anglo-Norman Kings, 1066-1135 and co-author of a forthcoming book entitled War in World History: Society, Technology and War from Ancient Times to the Present.
Michael Pavelec, an assistant professor at Hawai'i Pacific University, is a recent graduate of The Ohio State University graduate program. His first book, "The Development of Turbojet Aircraft in Germany, Britain, and the United States: a multi-national comparison of aeronautical engineering 1935-1946" is undergoing revisions for publication with Texas A&M University Press.
Michael Pavkovic is the associate dean of the College of Liberal Arts at Hawai'i Pacific University and co-author of a forthcoming book entitled War in World History: Society, Technology and War from Ancient Times to the Present.
Geoffrey Parker, Andreas Dorpalen Professor of History at The Ohio State University, is the author of many books, including the award-winning The Military Revolution: Military Innovation and the Rise of the West, 1500-1800.
Clifford J. Rogers, associate professor of history at the United States Military Academy, is the author of several books, including Warre Sharpe and Cruelle, The Military Revolution Debate, and Civilians in the Path of War (co-edited with Mark Grimsley).
William R. Thompson, professor of political science at Indiana University, is the author of many books, including War and State Making: The Shaping of the Global Powers (with Karen Rasler).
Thursday, November 11
Informal reception at Barley's Brewing Co., 467 North High Street, Columbus, OH
Friday, November 12
8:15-9:00 a.m. Mershon Center Atrium. Registration, continental breakfast, coffee, etc.
Note: All sessions will be held in the Main Conference Room (Room 120).
Welcome -- Richard Herrmann, Director, Mershon Center
9:10-9:25 a.m. Opening Remarks -- Mark Grimsley
9:30-11:30 a.m. Session 1. The Limits of the
Western Military Master Narrative
Chair: Geoffrey Parker
Informal Remarks: Mark Grimsley
Semi-prepared remarks by Geoffrey Parker
Preliminary Readings for
Gautam Bhadra, “Four Rebels of Eighteen
Fifty-Seven,” in Ranajit Guha and Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak (eds.), Selected
Subaltern Studies (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Pres, 1988),
“Military Revolutions: a Forum,” in Historically Speaking 4/4 (April 2003).
Stephen Morillo, “Guns and Government: A Comparative Study of Europe and Japan,” Journal of World History 6, no. 1 (1995).
11:45-1:15 p.m. Lunch.
1:30-3:30 p.m. Session 2. Forum on World History of Warfare
Chair: Clifford J. Rogers
Informal Remarks: Holger H. Herwig
Preliminary Reading for Session 2.
Christon Archer et al. World History of Warfare. Not Available Online, but see this link.
4:00-5:30 p.m. Reception.
Saturday, November 13
8:15-9:15 a.m. Registration, continental breakfast, coffee, etc.
9:30-11:30 a.m. Session 3. Extending the Western Military Master Narrative
Chair: Pradeep Barua
Informal Remarks: William R. Thompson
Preliminary Reading for
William R. Thompson, “Back to the Past: Extending the Western Eurasian Military Trajectory in Time and Theory,” unpublished paper.
11:45-1:15 p.m. Lunch.
1:30-3:30 p.m. Session 4. Toward a Global Military Master Narrative
Chair: Mark Grimsley
Informal Remarks: Jeremy Black
Preliminary Readings for Session 4.
Jeremy Black, “Military History Today: Jeremy Black Calls for a More Wide-Ranging, Inclusive Approach to the History of Warfare” History Today (November 2003).
Jeremy Black, "Determinisms and Other Issues," Journal of Military History 68 no. 4 (October 2004):1217-1232.
Interrogating the Project of
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